Monday, November 21, 2005

What's so great about Jim Dinning, anyway?

Things have cooled off a bit in the race to succeed Ralph Klein as leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party. Given this province's voting record lo these past millennia, that probably means the race is also on to lead this province a little further into the 21st century.

Of the aforementioned scrapping mad dogs, Jim Dinning is allegedly the favourite to win the coveted post.

On his admittedly impressive website, Dinning lists the highlights of his political and private careers.

First elected in 1986 in the Calgary Shaw riding, Edmonton-born Dinning went on eventually to become Klein's Minister of Community and Occupational Health, then Minister of Education, and finally Provincial Treasurer.

After his retirement (read: his terms were up), Dinning served on numerous "public, private, and not-for-profit boards," ending up this year as Chairman of High River-based Western Financial Group Inc.

Dinning links to a Nov. 14 article in Western Standard magazine entitled "Can this man defend Alberta?"

In the article, writer Kevin Steele lauds Dinning as a safe choice, but notes that, should Dinning win, the victory will be hard-fought.

The most interesting point I found was Steele's labelling of Dinning as a "Red Tory" - indicative of Dinning's somewhat pro-environment stance. Should front-runner Dinning pull off a victory - a tough proposition given rural Alberta's far-right stance, this could mean a kinder, gentler school of Alberta conservatism.


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