rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

The ABCs of Calgary Centre, by the Numbers

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Joan Crockatt

Seems as if an Anybody But Crockatt effort is afoot among some of the federal (or is that provincial?) Conservatives in the thick of the Calgary Centre federal riding nomination fight.

Leastways, according to the word from the trenches, supporters of candidate Greg McLean (who was, readers will recall, endorsed last Friday by departed Calgary Centre MP Lee Richardson, who is now Alberta Premier Alison Redford's principal secretary) are being asked to place lawyer Richard Billington in the No. 2 spot on their preferential ballot.

That's designed to edge candidate Joan Crockatt out, presumably as punishment for her backing the Wildrose Party in her journalistic commentaries before the April 23 provincial election. Another prominent Wildrose backer? Oh, say, Prime Minister Stephen Harper…

To this, we can add a few more relevant numbers to the exciting Conservative Party nomination race to replace Richardson:

-    Number of candidates: 6

-    Position Greg McLean supporters recommend voters place Richard Billington on preferential ballot: 2

-    Position Alison Redford supporters recommend voters place Joan Crockatt on preferential ballot: Dead last!

-    Number of Redford cabinet ministers officially campaigning for the ABC candidate: 1 (Christine Cusanelli, the tourism minister)

-    Revised number of eligible voters: 1,956

-    Number of still-eligible voters who were members before the campaign began: About 1,000

-    Number of ballots it could take to find a winner: 3

-    Number of well-connected Tory widows known to have been phoned and asked if their husbands would like a ride to the polls: 1

Well, as one Tory said to me: "You just can't make this stuff up!"

The candidates, again, in alphabetical order, are:

-    Richard Billington, a well-connected Tory lawyer who has served as a party official

-    Joan Crockatt, a journalist and commentator known for her right-wing views

-    John Lord, a businessman successful in the past in municipal and provincial politics with ties to the party's social conservative wing

-    Greg McLean, a venture capitalist and former young Conservative leader, endorsed by the previous (Red Tory) office holder

-    Joe Soares, a resident of Quebec – and for this reason, known as "Calgary Joe" -- with an ill-defined past connection to the Prime Minister's Office as an "advisor"

-    Stefan Spargo, well known for flying an Alberta flag over his house

Remember, whoever wins, if you happen to live in Calgary Centre, vote for the NDP when the prime minister gets around to calling a by-election! I mean, seriously, people… who wants to be represented by a divided party like this one?

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, Alberta Diary.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.