Calgary Real Estate
Government and politics
Calgary is mostly a conservative city, dominated by traditional small-c social conservatives and fiscal conservatives. As the city is a corporate power-centre, a high percentage of the workforce is employed in white-collar jobs. The high concentration of oil and gas corporation lead to the rise of Peter Lougheedís Progressive Conservative Party in 1971. During the 1990s the city's mainstream political culture was dominated by the right-wing Reform Party of Canada federally, and the Alberta Progressive Conservatives provincially. The Reform Party was founded in Calgary.
The Green Party of Canada has also made inroads in Calgary, exemplified by results of the 2004 federal election where they achieved 7.5% of the vote across the city and 11.3% in the Calgary North Centre riding. A provincial alternative, represented by the right-wing Alberta Alliance, became active during the 26th Alberta general election and campaigned for fiscally and socially conservative reforms, and managed a growing percentage of support thereafter.
However, as Calgary's population has increased, so has the diversity of its politics. One growing alternative movement was recently active during the 2000 World Petroleum Congress demonstrations and the J26 G8 2002 protests. Protesters were a mix of locals and outsiders. The city has chapters of various activist organizations, as well as an Anti-Capitalist Convergence.
Calgary is governed in accordance with Alberta's Municipal Government Act (1995). The citizens vote for members of the Calgary City Council every three years with the most recent vote in October 2007. City Council is comprised of the mayor and 14 ward aldermen. The mayor is Dave Bronconnier who was first elected in 2001.
The city has an operating budget of $2.1 billion for 2007, supported 41% by property taxes. $757 million in property taxes are collected annually, with $386 million from residential and $371 million from non-residential properties. 54% of the budget is spent for wages of the 13,043 city employees and expeditures.
Calgary is represented by 23 provincial MLAs including 19 members of the Progressive Conservatives and 4 members of the Alberta Liberals. For exactly 14 years (from 14 December 1992 to 14 December 2006), the provincial premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, Ralph Klein, held the Calgary Elbow seat. Klein was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1989 and resigned on September 20, 2006. He was succeeded as provincial premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party by Ed Stelmach, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville. Following this leadership change Calgary saw its leadership and representation on provincial matters further reduced as its representation on the provincial cabinet was reduced from eight to three with only one Calgary MLA, Greg Melchin, retaining a cabinet seat. In June 2007 Ralph Klein's old riding, a seat the PC Party held since it took office in 1971 fell to Alberta Liberal Craig Cheffins during a by-election.
All eight of Calgary's federal MPs are members of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). The CPC's predecessors have traditionally held the majority of the city's federal seats. The federal electoral district of Calgary Southwest is held by Prime Minister and CPC leader Stephen Harper. Coincidentally, the same seat was also held by Preston Manning, the leader of the Reform Party of Canada, a predecessor of CPC. Joe Clark, former Prime Minister and former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (also a predecessor of the CPC), held the riding of Calgary Centre. Of Canada's 22 prime ministers, two have represented a Calgary riding while prime minister. The first was Richard Bennett from Calgary West, who held that position from 1930 to 1935.