By Rob South
Rob Anders is excited about the next federal election, particularly because the Calgary West MP won the Canadian Alliance nomination for the riding on Aug. 26. Calgary Currie Member of the Legislative Assembly Jocelyn Burgener challenged the incumbent Anders for the nomination, but Anders won with 783 votes to Burgener’s 449.
"The competition was a good thing," said Anders. "It has been great training for the upcoming election."
Political scientists at the University of Calgary are not reading too much into the victory of the right-wing Anders over the more moderate Burgener.
"Incumbents always have an advantage," said professor Barry Cooper. "In terms of policy there was barely any daylight between them."
Anders feels the nomination meeting will add to the momentum the Alliance gained from the leadership race and recent defections from other parties.
"It bodes well for the upcoming election because we have 3,500 members [in Calgary West]," said Anders. "Usually you can transpose nine or 10 votes for each new member."
According to Anders, a federal election might occur as early as this fall because there will be a national census in June of 2001, which uses many of the same people required to run an election.
Burgener will remain on as the Calgary Currie MLA until the next provincial election, after which she plans to seek a job in the private sector, possibly in public relations.