By Steve Jalsevac

EDMONTON, November 24, 2006 ( – A new Leger Marketing poll of 800 Alberta Progressive Conservative members has found that Party establishment favorite Jim Dinning is only three points ahead of candidate Ted Morton, who is touted in the media as a social conservative. Dinning, the Calgary Herald reports, received the support of 21% of those surveyed and Morton is close behind having received 18% support. Lyle Oberg, who previous polls put in the second place position, is trailing at 11% according to the poll.

  The results, if accurate, guarantee a second ballot on Dec. 2 between the three top candidates from the first ballot which takes place tomorrow.

  The Herald reports that candidates Lyle Oberg, Ed Stelmach, Mark Norris and Dave Hancock all have a chance at finishing third tomorrow, according to the poll that was conducted for the Herald.  The survey was done between Nov. 18 and 21 using a list of 37,000 members released by the party.  25 percent of the members are said to be still undecided.

  Alberta’s pro-life and pro-family groups have expressed strong disappointment with Ted Morton who has decided to avoid responding to questions on the life issues and has refused to meet with Campaign Life Coalition Alberta. In 2004 Morton gave disappointing responses to questions on abortion defunding and mandatory informed consent.

  Candidate Lyle Oberg has been the most responsive to the groups and has given the most positive answers to their questions.

  Campaign Life Coalition Alberta has noted in a letter to its supporters that although none of the candidates can “be rated as being pro-life, and therefore worthy of a full endorsement”, it suggests “Lyle Oberg clearly offers the best possibility of advancing the pro-life cause in Alberta”.  As for Jim Dinning, the organization states because of his “explicit pro-abortion position”, “Dinning should be actively opposed.”

  Signing up new members and getting them out to vote is the crucial factor that will determine who wins the vote. Anyone can pay the $5 membership right up to the time of tomorrow’s vote or the Dec. 2 vote and still be eligible to cast a ballot. All pro-life and pro-family Albertans are being strongly urged to take out a membership and cast a ballot for the leader and automatic new premier of the province.

  Campaign Life Coalition Alberta published the following about the three top contenders in its letter to supporters:

Jim Dinning: Currently considered the front runner: believes that abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor. That is an explicit pro-abortion position. Dinning should be actively opposed.

Ted Morton: He has been completely unresponsive to CLC’s questions and communications. A senior Morton official stated that Ted’s campaign is “not touching” the abortion or other life issues. He stated the issues are “too divisive”. Ted introduced Bill 208 to protect religious freedom on same-sex marriage. However in 2004 he answered “no” to a question “would you support de-insuring all abortions except those done for medical reasons?” He answered “no” to requiring informed consent for abortions. He also answered “yes with reservations” to a question on requiring parental consent for abortion. He answered “yes” to conscience rights for health care workers.

Lyle Oberg: He supports parental consent, women’s right to know information regarding abortion, conscience legislation, opposes euthanasia and supports palliative care and believes in the sanctity of marriage (one man, one woman). On defunding of abortions he would only look at having ‘not all abortions paid for”, specifically repeat abortions. He would consider “a tighter definition for ‘medically necessary’ abortions.
  2004 election- no response

  See CLC’s evaluations of all the candidates in a previous report
  Pro-life, Pro-Family Albertans Attempt to Influence Nov. 25 Conservative Leadership Vote