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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

race to the right: the alberta alliance story

You may not know it, but the race for the leadership of the Alberta Alliance is going on as we blog.

The right-wing Alberta Alliance, which was formed in 2003 and led by former Social Credit leader Randy Thorsteinson until March 2005, is in the midst of finding a new leader.

As many of you know, in 2004, the Alliance elected a massive one-MLA caucus and nearly matching the Alberta NDP's massive 1997 and 2001 caucuses by nearly electing a second MLA.
The elected being Mr. Paul Hinman in Cardston-Taber-Warner, and the near-elected being Mr. Dale Leuken in Dunvegan-Central Peace.

So far, the Alliance leadership race has drawn the gaze of three contenders:

Marilyn Burns


Slogan: A Brighter Future

Political BG: Ms. Burns is a lawyer who ran for the Alliance in the Stony Plain riding where received just under 2,000 votes. She's the Alliance's Justice Critic and that her son , Jeremy, also ran in the 2004 election (in Edmonton Strathcona).

Pet Policies: unknown (website didn't say).

Conclusion: She's an educated woman, which gives her an automatic +1 for running in the first place. -1 point for not having a website with content. So, she sits at 0 points until we find out more.

David Crutcher


Slogan: New Alberta

Political BG: An engineer and businessman who ran for the Alliance in the Calgary Egmont riding in 2004 and gained a surprising 15% of the vote (the largest amount for any Alliance candidate in Calgary). His connections are strong with the Progressive Group for Independent Business and former Federal PC leadership candidate and Concerned Christians activist, Craig Chandler.

Pet Policies: Alberta Pension Plan, Alberta Police Force, Triple-E Senate, disband the Canadian Wheat Board, Charter Schools, anti-Child Pornography, no Same-Sex Marriage, Referendum, Recall, end of manditory Union membership, Elimination of Corporate Subsidies, Independent Ethics Commissioner.

Conclusion: Perenial right-wing platform issues. We agree with an Independent Ethics Commissioner. We can't really name a politician that isn't "anti-Child Pornography." +1 point for the entertainment purpose of brining Craig Chandler on his team.

Mr. Paul Hinman
MLA Cardston-Taber-Warner


Slogan: Moving Forward

Political BG: Hinman, the grandson of former Socred Provincial Treasurer Edgar Hinman, narrowly defeated two-term Tory MLA Broyce Jacobs. From what we recollect, during the last Legislative session, Hinman tended to concentrate his Question Period time on fighting icky gay marriage and mad cow disease.

Pet Policies: Lower Taxes, Smaller Government, Democratic Reform, use the "notwithstanding clause," creation of an Alberta Constitution, put a fixed percentage of natural resource revenue into the Heritage Fund, no more Same-Sex Marriage, protect Alberta's resources from Ottawa, referendum, recall, free votes, develop a tax structure that reflects family values, and the one we loved the most: "Protect families from unnecessary intrusions by the government." Just give yourself a couple of seconds to think about that one.

Conclusion: Perenial right-wing platform. We're not quite sure how a tax-system can "reflect family values." We're also not quite sure how he plans to "protect families from unnecessary intrusions by the government." Maybe he's running to be the leader of Krypton? -10 points from creapy picture. He'll probably win because he's already an MLA.


Is the Alberta Alliance simply a blip on the radar of wacky right-wingness?

Many speculate that Tory leadership candidate, Ted Morton, may cross the floor to the Alliance if he loses the Tory leadership (and the Premiership in turn).

Is the Alliance the next NDP-of-the-right in Alberta?

Will the Alliance usurp the deep rural Alberta ridings from the Tories if the uber-urban leadership dauphin, Jim Dinning, becomes Premier? Will they split the right-wing vote with the Tories and allow Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals a foothold in rural Alberta?

Your thoughts?

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