This is from the Edmonton Journal. The lack of candidates in some Edmonton ridings may help the Conservatives retain some urban seats that they otherwise might lose through a split vote.Although the Greens are running more candidates it remains to be seen if they are able to elect anyone.
Wildrose Alliance short 22 candidates (updated)
edmontonjournal.comPublished: Monday, February 18
EDMONTON - Voters in 22 Alberta ridings won't be able to choose a far-right alternative to the Conservatives. The Wildrose Alliance is fielding only 61 candidates this election, party officials confirmed shortly after today's nomination deadline for Elections Alberta. Its predecessor party, the Alberta Alliance, fielded a full slate of 83 candidates in the 2004 election, electing one member and getting 90,829 votes. Paul Hinman, the party's leader and lone MLA, has attributed the recent merger with the fledgling Wildrose party to the organizational woes. As it was, several Wildrose Alliance candidates barely made this afternoon's 2 p.m. deadline. "It's been a mad rush to find candidates, and to get the paperwork in place," Hinman said in an interview from his riding of Cardston-Taber-Warner, where he's in a tough race to keep his own seat. "My understanding is there would have been 10 others, if we had one more day." Meanwhile, the Alberta Greens' website proclaimed they had nominated 79 of 83 candidates. Last election, the party ran 49 candidates but won no seats.
"It's going to give us a huge leap in credibility," said a jubilant George Read, the Greens' leader. "A lot more people are going to have the opportunity to vote Green."
The Liberals, NDP and Progressive Conservatives all announced full slates shortly after the campaign began Feb. 4, but the Liberal in Peace River dropped out at the last moment. The declared candidate was Cory Van Der Aa, an Edmonton scaffolder who had never been to the northwestern riding before tentatively putting his name forward, according to a local media account.
Kevin Taft's party ran one candidate shy of a full slate in 2004 as well, when the Liberals' contender in Drumheller-Stettler also pulled out.
The Alliance's vacancies include five ridings in Edmonton - including the three currently held by Tories Gene Zwozdesky, Thomas Lukaszuk and Dave Hancock. The Alliance garnered about 500 votes in each of those constituencies last election. The absence of those votes this time may boost the re-election chances of the capital's only Tory MLAs.