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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

and the alberta exodus begins...

Stelmach leaves cabinet post to seek leadership
Last updated Mar 21 2006 12:44 PM MST
CBC News

Alberta's intergovernmental affairs minister is resigning from cabinet to run for the leadership of the Tory party although Premier Ralph Klein has said he plans to stay for another two years.

Ed Stelmach says he is stepping down at this early date because of Klein's directive that any contenders for his job should leave a cabinet posting by June 1 to prevent any conflict of interest. Stelmach isn't saying when his own campaign will get underway, and wants to be extra careful to avoid any measure of impropriety. Read le rest ici.
I should start a prediction pool to see who'll be next. Any takers?


After thoughts - Who do you think will replace Stelmach as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister when he resigns? My prediction is George Rogers - MLA for Leduc-Beaumont-Devon, former Mayor of Leduc, and former President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. Though he has more of a municipal government background, I could see him being a good fit for this ministry.

22 comments:

Allie said...

I like Mr. Rogers (if he becomes a Minister he will have less time to spend with me!) - but what about Gary Mar? I think the poor guy has done his time and deserves a promotion.

But we can't underestimate how much the Premier likes Thomas...

Duncan said...

My official guess (e-mailed to Dave earlier) is Hon. Gary Mar promoted (because he is really good at this, he should be let out of the dog house, and you need an experienced guy at the helm of IIR) and Lloyd Snelgrove replacing Gary, allowing Central rural Alberta to not lose a seat at cabinet.

daveberta said...

Intergovernmental Affairs is a promotion from Community Development? I would have thought they were equals - mind you, intergovernmental affairs would probably be filled with a certain amount of damage control with the Premier's tendency to make off the cuff comments about ridiculous things...

I think Rogers would be a fresh face in cabinet - and he's not as cocky as Thomas for sure... Mr. Supermodel-wanna-be... :-P

Anonymous said...

Egads! George Rogers as a Cabinet Minister!?!? I can't even fathom it. He is as Machiavellian as they come (aren't they all?).

Consider for a moment that Klein will have to do a drastic shuffling to fill the vacancies left not only by the leadership wannabes, but also Econ Develeopment. Oberg and Stelmach were both brought in to cover off Clint's duties while he undergoes treatment for bone cancer. If Hancock decides to officially jump into the fray, there are now four spots to fill.

Think for a moment those MLAs who have a significant number of members in their constituency (like George VanderBurg, Janis Tarchuk) and have also proven themselves at the head of the SPC table. Think also what promises Klein will make to these folks during convention in exchange for delivering a favourable vote from their delegates.

NOw who's Machiavellian!

Jim said...

Wait, so now Gary Mar is a "poor guy" who's "done his time" for practising blatant cronyism? Done his time HOW, exactly? By a few years in a slightly less prestigious cabinet position?

Wow. Good thing people don't hold Federal Liberals to the same standard.

Gary Mar: fuck that guy.

Anonymous said...

wow Jim that was mature...Mar is as compotent as they come and could be put into any portfolio (for the exception of the agriculture) and do a great job...

as for dunford...he hasn't resigned yet...stelmach and oberg were only acting on his behalf during his absences from cabinet meetings or other ministerial duties...each minister has 3 acting ministers assigned to him...I believe Rob Renner is the third one for dunford so if need be he'll be taking on those responsibilities...

as for the shuffle itself...it depends entirely on the mandate the premier receives from the membership...a higher number the greater the possibility it'll be a full blown shuffle...the premier will have the unique opportunity to cut dead wood w/o having to worry about loyalties going into an election and he would also have the opportunity to elevate some pretty talented people currently occupying the backbench...

Jim said...

I don't treat ethically-challenged politicians with kid gloves, anonymous. Maybe someday I'll grow up to be "mature" like you and look the other way when power is being abused.

daveberta said...

Play nice, children.

And yes, I tend to agree. Incompetance should not be rewarded by promotions.

Why are we people so forgiving of Tory politicians in Alberta?

Of course, if this were Ottawa, he would have been appointed to the Senate by now (a la Art Eggleton)

holtopia said...

Anonymous does not forgive!

Jim said...

Sorry Dave! I know you like to keep things fairly chivalrous here... but I prefer to go for the #$&^ing jugular and chew on some vocal chords.

I'll be gentle next time.

Anonymous said...

Refresh my memory on Mar supposed great ethical lack of judgement.

Mar is a top notch minister. Capable, intelligent and a great public speaker. Please inform as to who would be a better choice.

Jim said...

Kelly Charlebois.

Jim said...

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean Kelly Charlebois would be a better choice. God no.

I have my suggestions, but they aren't in the Tory caucus.

Anonymous said...

so you believe there are people within the Liberal caucus who would be capable of handling a portfolio?

michael in calgary said...

"so you believe there are people within the Liberal caucus who would be capable of handling a portfolio?"

Of course.

Back in 1971, I'm sure people asked the same questions about Peter Lougheed's PC Caucus.

Anonymous said...

"Of course.

Back in 1971, I'm sure people asked the same questions about Peter Lougheed's PC Caucus."

Oh my. You're equating Kevin Taft and his caucus of today to Peter Lougheed and his caucus of 1968. Wow. There's nothing like being dillusional.

Michael in Calgary said...

wow. imagine that, a change in government in Alberta. Clearly I must be crazy to think there could be any sort of thing. How silly of me.

That's how Social Credit was thinking in 1971. The similarities between the SC then and the Tories now are stunning.

I guess I'll fall back in line and vote Tory because an anonymous commentator called me delusional.

Not today, bud.

Michael in Calgary said...

And yes, I am comparing Taft and his caucus to Lougheed's.

Jim said...

"so you believe there are people within the Liberal caucus who would be capable of handling a portfolio?"

...dude. If Luke Ouellette can get a Cabinet post, just about anybody in the legislature is capable of handling a portfolio.

Anonymous said...

Well. Only members of the government caucus are selected for cabinet so it isn't the case of "just about anyone" can handle a portfolio. Government caucus backbenchers have opportunities to prepare for Ministerial portfolios through SPC Chair appointments, chairmanships to gov't boards and committees or by chairing legislation or policy reviews. By doing so the Premier is capable of judging the abilities of backbenchers. I know there are other factors (geography, gender, etc) but backbenchers are capable of handling the task prior to be made a minister. Luke Ouellette may not have a PhD but I don't believe that it's necessary to have every minister to come out of some sort of idyllic mould.

I would like to know who in the current Alberta Liberal Caucus would be capable of handling of a cabinet portfolio. You rarely hear anyone talk about the ministerial capabilities of Liberal MLA's the way people spoke about the federal Conservative MP's (ex. Monte Solberg or Rona Ambrose) when they were in opposition.

michael from calgary said...

I think the biggest difference in the way Federal and Provincial opposition MLA's are portayed to the public is that in Alberta, the role of the opposition has been relegated to a dumbed down Legislative session that doesn't get much attention from the media (also, it being largely conservative Alberta).

I think there are MLA's in the Liberal caucus who are capable of handling Cabinet portfolios, but in an overwhelmingly one-party dominant political atmosphere like Alberta, it would be near impossible for them to get the type of media exposure which Solberg and Ambrose recieved.

As for Liberal MLA's I think would be able to handle caucus porfolios, to name a few: Kevin Taft, Rick Miller, Mo Elsalhy, Bill Bonko, Bridget Pastoor, Laurie Blakeman. And I'm sure others would be fully able to prove (or disprove themselves) if given the oppurtunity.

Coming originally from Ontario, I've always been confused with the dominant idea here in Alberta that only the PC's are capable of governing. It really leads to an inbred sort of self-intitlement. I've voted both PC and Liberal since I moved here and I think the Liberals would do fine.

Jim said...

"I would like to know who in the current Alberta Liberal Caucus would be capable of handling of a cabinet portfolio. You rarely hear anyone talk about the ministerial capabilities of Liberal MLA's the way people spoke about the federal Conservative MP's (ex. Monte Solberg or Rona Ambrose) when they were in opposition."

And you know why that is? It's because the Conservatives had a CHANCE at forming government, so people naturally began to look at the Tory caucus and saying: hey, there's a person who's cabinet-level material. It's not a reflection on the Alberta Liberal Caucus' capabilities that the media doesn't spend time pondering that "oooh, David Swann would make a whip-smart Environment Minister, or, oh, look at how hard Mo Elsalhy works, he's ripe for a Cabinet job when the Tories fall" because, let's face it, the PC monolith in Alberta has an air of invincibility. The media has better things to do than ponder what a change in government would look like, because, unfortunately, such a change is a total pipe dream at the moment.

You don't hear a lot of speculation about Cabinet capabilities of the Federal NDP caucus, or the Bloc Quebecois--because no one legitimately believes they'll ever be in a position to GET INTO cabinet. That's not to say that some of them aren't capable of handling a ministerial job. We'll just NEVER KNOW for sure unless they cross the floor (like former Liberal MLA Gene Zwozdesky did).

No offense, but your point really misses the obvious.