Summer sun isn’t slowing down Calgary-Foothills candidates in byelection
WATCH ABOVE: As Sarah Offin reports, the byelection may be overshadowed by the federal election and summer sun.
CALGARY – In just over two weeks, voters in Calgary-Foothills head to the polls again.
It’ll be the third time in less than three years that those constituents attempt to elect a new MLA.
The byelection may be overshadowed by the federal election campaign and the summer sun, so candidates like the NDP’s Bob Hawkesworth, are pulling out all the stops.
“Elections are fun, door-knocking whoo-hoo but even I’m tired on behalf of the candidates of Calgary-Foothills,” Premier Rachel Notley said.
The competition for political news is tricky against the backdrop of a federal campaign.
Many local candidates, like the Alberta Party’s Mark Taylor, were also only nominated in the past week.
“It means there’s very little time for the voters to get to know the candidates or to get to know very much about them,” said political scientist Lori Williams from Mount Royal University.
“I haven’t really heard anything about them, apart from the fact that it’s happening,” said Octavio Salazar, a Calgary-Foothills voter.
This byelection could be pivotal in a riding that has voted in a progressive conservative MLA since it’s inception.
“I think that the people of Calgary foothills have a lot at stake. There has been a bit of a suggestion out there that this is a litmus test but I think that if byelections were litmus test Jim Prentice would be premier right now,” Premier Notley said. “It would certainly allow us to hear from an even larger group of Calgarians when it comes to the work we are doing on deliberating on public policy going forward. I certainly believe that the people of this riding and the city of Calgary as a whole would benefit from having such a seasoned and respected voice like Bob’s at the table.”
But PC candidate Blaire Houston could carry some heavy party baggage in the riding former premier Jim Prentice abandoned.
“I’m worried about the conservative vote splitting to be perfectly honest. After Prentice pulled out people are a little annoyed, so we might see a split and the wrong party could get in in my opinion,” said Tara Cooney, a Calgary-Foothills voter.
“For a party that really took obviously a huge hit in the last election, this could – if they wanted – be a signal that they aren’t dead, that there is a chance that they could revive. That they have some relevance or some significance,” Williams said.
For the Wildrose, and their candidate Prasad Panda, is an opportunity to secure their only seat in an urban riding.
But in midst of the dog days of summer, this all-important vote may be taking a back seat.
“I’m just trying to enjoy the summer. I don’t know what to say about it. I feel bad but I don’t care,” said voter Andrea Graham.
Graham also hasn’t experienced any door knocking yet.
“But I have a please don’t come to my door sign, so I probably won’t get anyone,” Cooney said.
Complete list of candidates:
- NDP – Bob Hawkesworth
- Wildrose – Prasad Panda
- Progressive Conservatives – Blair Houston
- Liberals – Ali Bin Zahid
- Alberta Party – Mark Taylor
- Green Party of Alberta – Janet Keeping