PHOTOS: Would-be/won’t-be UCP leadership candidate Paul Hinman, gone from the contest after the shortest Alberta leadership campaign in living memory, your blogger’s anyway. Below: Jason Kenney and Andy Warhol.

Talk about a Minute Man!

Paul Hinman, the former Wildrose Alliance leader who ran his flag up the virtual flagpole on Monday with his announcement he was running for the leadership of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, had failed to raise the required $95,000 entry fee by 5 p.m. yesterday.

In other words, no one saluted. His campaign is finished, over, done like dinner. Radio stations were reporting he was out of the race he was never really in 10 minutes after UCP nominations had closed.

Mr. Hinman says he raised about half of the sum, presumably not all of it in the 48 hours he was formally campaigning, but still not a bad tally for a guy with zero chance of winning. It may even be a world fund-raising record if he can get an international accounting firm to back up his claim.

He also says it gave him a chance to get some of his issues on the radar. Fair enough. There may have been a shorter political campaign in Alberta history, but surely never one that generated as much publicity. So Mr. Hinman has now successfully provided compelling evidence almost anyone can achieve the late celebrity artist Andy Warhol’s oft-repeated prediction of the planetary future, in which “everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

OK, maybe not world famous, exactly, and maybe not for a full 15 minutes, but close enough for a guy to advocate stirringly for recall elections – a cause that nobody likely to actually get elected is going to be interested for more than, well, about 15 minutes after any election they win.

The former Mormon missionary and avowed social conservative will now disappear from Alberta’s political radar, probably for the rest of his life. His campaign website may linger for a few hours longer.

But don’t breathe easy. Mr. Hinman is not the only extreme social conservative in the race, and the other one is likely to win. That would be Jason Kenney. More about him another day.

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  1. Andy’s factory created so many interesting things. I visit the Brillo boxes at the art gallery. I would reduce fifteen to one.

  2. Absolutely no loss whatsoever to Alberta or Albertans. Except perhaps those who were thinking of donating money can perhaps now spend those monies in our economy and help some local businesses.
    Far better than flushing the money down the toilet by giving it to Hinman’s non starter of a campaign.

  3. Perusing his campaign website I found a photo of his boy scout uniform which was interesting.

    But thinking about it I got confused. Isn’t the boy scout motto “Be prepared.”

    Announcing your campaign on the morning of day before nominations close and then calling it off that very same eveing is not the hallmark of somebody who is prepared.

    And this business of “recall elections.” Isn’t every election a recall election?

  4. Given your report, the difference between the cost of involvement with the UCP and the Federal Liberals or the Alberta NDP is just one of degree, not kind. All of them are about paying to play.

    As members of the Federal Liberals and the Provincial NDP, when we go to fill in either party’s online surveys we are not allowed to send our responses without making some sort of cash donation. So we empathize with Mr. Hindman’s financial embarrassment although not his values.

    It seems that the less democracy, the more professional politicians have their hands out and their ears and eyes closed. Some things in Alberta just never seem to change.

    1. The degree in difference is fairly significant – $57,500 vs. a donation of say $25. Now, I am old school, so I don’t donate on line and I occasionally get nice letters with postage paid envelopes enclosed from a certain party. If I was inclined, I imagine I could write a letter and put it in the envelope and perhaps it would be read (or not) at no cost to me.

      Alternatively, I can write my MLA or MP or a cabinet minister again at no cost. Actually, I would rather give my feedback to an elected official than a party, although some of those donation requests have made me consider sending feedback to the party.

      1. Fair enough David the difference in degree is substantial. However, it seems to me an online survey, conveyed by email to a party member is disingenuous when it will not allow completion without a donation to the Party and all of them are guiltily of this.

        As to your observation the Party is separate from the government – that has not been the case in Alberta since 1935 – just ask any Municipal politician, especially a rural one. More than one rural Reeve has told me that they would not criticize anything the PCs did because their municipality would get hurt. It flows downhill too. As a rural landowner you put the peaceful enjoyment of your property at risk if you criticize your municipal politicians.

        Alberta has functioned as an authoritian single-party state almost since its inception. The NDP are pretending it is different now, but the culture in the civil service and elsewhere has not changed much if at all.

        The PCs were experienced enough to know this but the NDP naively thinks the civil service is impartial and trustworthy when in fact most of it is infested with ultra-rightists and neo-Cons at best – which explains why the NDP has failed to change much of substance when it comes to land, energy, and economic justice.

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