Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:01 am Post subject: Brandy Payne alberta ndp mla/cabinet minister not running
( its not just members of wynne's government who are running for the exit , its happening in alberta too . where one of Notley's accidental mla's from Calgary quietly announced on facebook that she wasn't even going to run in 2019 )
Graham Thomson: NDP cabinet minister gets ready for next election — by announcing she's not running
Last Thursday, Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne announced she will not be running in the 2019 provincial election. The fact she made the announcement via Facebook on the eve of a long weekend (while MLAs were already on a weeklong constituency break) suggests she and the NDP wanted to keep the news as low key as possible.
Graham Thomson, Edmonton Journal Graham Thomson, Edmonton Journal
Published on: April 2, 2018 | Last Updated: April 2, 2018 5:27 PM MDT
Last Thursday, associate health minister Brandy Payne, a Calgary MLA, announced she will not be running in the 2019 provincial election.
The fact she made the announcement via Facebook on the eve of a long weekend (while MLAs were already on a weeklong constituency break) suggests she and the NDP wanted to keep the news as low key as possible.
Not that Payne’s departure from the provincial scene a year from now will shatter the NDP government.
Her impending retreat from the political battlefield, though, will raise questions about how the NDP sees its own chances in the next election, particularly in Calgary.
Government politicians, particularly those in cabinet, don’t usually head for the exit voluntarily without a good reason.
In her Facebook post, Payne said: “I have made the difficult decision to not seek re-election in 2019 in order to spend more time with my family.”
She is the mother of young children and the daily grind of politics is no doubt a strain.
You could argue she should have anticipated that when she decided to run for the NDP in 2015. But then again you could argue she had no idea she’d actually win when she decided to run in 2015.
Payne is what United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney would uncharitably call an “accidental” MLA. She squeezed out a narrow victory when the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative candidates split the conservative vote. Testament to the “accidental” nature of her win is the fact she raised no money at all for her own campaign.
The NDP’s head office transferred a total of $240 to fund her campaign in Calgary-Acadia. Based on the miserly amount of money sent to help Payne, it doesn’t appear the NDP head office thought she had a hope of winning, either.
But she did.
The PC candidate, incumbent Jonathan Denis, spent almost $80,000 and finished third.
But that was then — and according to public opinion polls, the NDP is not on track to win 15 seats again in Calgary, either accidentally or on purpose.
You could be forgiven for concluding that Payne, not exactly a powerhouse in the 2015 election campaign, didn’t relish the thought of playing the part of hard-pressed incumbent facing near impossible odds in the 2019 election campaign.
Or, if you accept her I-want-to-spend-more-time-with-my-family explanation, you’re left with the impression the family-friendly NDP government is still struggling to overcome the hurdles facing women with young children in politics.
Rachel Notley, a premier who is drawn to babies like a bee to honey, has taken significant steps to encourage women to enter politics. She made a point of elevating two women to cabinet in February 2016 — Payne and Stephanie McLean — when they were pregnant.
“We are going to accommodate that and ensure that we are a place where women can engage fully in the opportunities for leadership that all Albertans want and need to see them adopt,” said Notley at the time.
(McLean made a habit of bringing her newborn into raucous sessions of the legislative assembly, which meant for the first time we had a baby, of the literal not figurative kind, on the front benches.)
Payne’s planned retirement is the second time an MLA from Calgary has announced her departure from the NDP. The first was Karen McPherson, who abandoned the NDP last fall to sit briefly as an Independent before jumping to the Alberta Party.
Their actions have reinforced the argument that the NDP’s ship is sinking in Calgary.
And then there are the words of Kenney, who said last week his party will be focused on Edmonton next election.
For the past few years, the conventional wisdom had the NDP firmly entrenched in Edmonton with the Wildrose dominating rural areas. That left Calgary as the battle ground to decide the winner of the next election.
But the arrival of the UCP has the newly united right leading comfortably in rural areas and in Calgary, according to public opinion polls. If accurate, that would leave Edmonton as a battleground to determine if the UCP wins an overwhelming victory by crushing the NDP everywhere.
Of course that’s still a year or so away. A lot can happen between now and then.
But we already know where one NDP cabinet minister has decided to be next election.
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Brandy Payne alberta ndp mla/cabinet minister not running