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Saturday, March 18, 2006

rumour mill's a spinin!

Gearing up for Premier Ralph Klein's leadership review at PC AGM in Calgary on March 31st, there's no shortage of rumours floating around.

Here's a quick sample of the rumours that floated my way over the past week...

Thanks, Clay Aitken! One of the main reasons Klein announced his ultimatum to the PC leadership candidates last week was to spurn the massive "roads for votes" campaign (see here, here, here, here, here, and here) spending spree of Infrastructure and Transportation Minister and PC leadership candidate Lyle Oberg.

- The flying Dutchman flying away? PC Party Executive Director Peter Elzinga is threatening to resign (whether this threat has something to do with Elzinga's rumoured power struggle with Klein's Chief of Staff, Peter Kruselnicki, is unknown - but suspected).

- Klein won't survive the leadership review. This one doesn't really surprise me. After the shockwave of Klein's announcement this week, many Tories I've spoken to were slightly jared by the tone of the announcement (18 months?).

The question is, what does a winning mandate look like for Klein? Considering he usually recieves Hussienian support levels of 97%, anything below this is bad for Klein. I would expect anything less than 80% to be a huge slap in the face to a man who has led the Alberta Progressive Conservatives to four majority governments.

- Nothing to lose. Tory backbencher, former Senator-in-waiting, and leadership candidate Ted Morton's organizers have been directing delegates to vote "yes" for the review.

- Everything to lose. Former Alberta Treasurer and leadership candidate Jim Dinning's organizers have been giving the "vote to support Klein... (wink wink, nudge nudge)..."

- Talkin' PC. This one isn't really a rumour, but judging from content of the latest "PC Talk" newsletter, the Tory establishment looks desperately worried about the potential outcome of the leadership review (the newsletter is filled to the brims with editorials, letters, and cleverly hidden suggestions from the party elites urging members to "VOTE NO" to the leadership review).

When a party has to drown its membership in "VOTE NO" propaganda, it should be clear that something is a foot.

And now this, from James Baxter in today's Edmonton Journal...

"According to well-placed sources, Klein and his chief of staff, Peter Kruselnicki, planned to use undated letters of resignation as leverage against any candidate seen to be misusing his office to further his ambitions. Klein had warned Oberg, Stelmach and Hancock to be discreet and beyond reproach."

And I fully expect things to get juicier...

SUNDAY UPDATE! And things have gotten juicier! Defeated Tory MLA and Leadership candidate Mark Norris is now a separatist...

I loved this part of the interview with the Calgary Sun's Licia Corbella:

"as soon as there's a carbon tax announced or any of those things like the NEP, then you stand up on the highest mountain top and you say 'no, we're going to fight this and if this isn't reversed, then we're going to take steps to secede.'"

It was only a matter of time before one of the candidates (other than Ted Morton) dragged out the dreaded NEP! Seriously, folks, the program was cancelled over 20 years ago, we now have a Conservative government in Ottawa, and the Prime Minister is from Calgary. No one is talking about a new NEP.

I'm really not sure what Norris plans to accomplish by saying this, but then again, I really can't understand why anyone in their right mind would want to support Norris for the Alberta PC Leadership...

2 comments:

peterrempel said...

Ah, Norris is straying into Mortonian territory.

This race will be interesting yet. [Metaphorical] death to Jim Dinning!

Jim said...

I don't understand why the hell anyone would support Norris, either, but people still do.

And by people, I mean wealthy businessmen like Cal Nichols, not the people of Edmonton-McClung, who never bothered to vote for him in 2004.