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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

laurie blakeman announces her leadership intentions and opts to stay out of the race.

Though many had predicted that the four-term MLA would make the run, Edmonton-Centre MLA and Opposition Finance Critic/House Leader Laurie Blakeman announced today that she will not be seeking the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party.

An actor and theater manager by trade, Blakeman was first elected in the downtown Edmonton constituency in 1997, and since then has been the bane of the largely male rural PC caucus who occupy a large portion of Ed Stelmach's front-bench.

Though I'm disappointed that Blakeman won't be running, as she would have been a serious, outspoken, urban candidate who could have made an otherwise dull race interesting, I can fully understand why she isn't joining the race. Currently in financial dire straights, the Alberta Liberals need a leader who can fundraise some serious cash over the next three years, something Blakeman honestly admits is not her strength.

Read Blakeman's media release and statement announcing her intentions.

Declared candidates in the race to replace Kevin Taft include former Edmonton-McClung MLA Mo Elsalhy and current Calgary-Currie MLA Dave Taylor.

15 comments:

tjk said...

So much for Tories for Blakeman...

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

I like Laurie a lot, but agree that this is probably a wise choice.

Anonymous said...

With your comments, it is pretty easy to conclude you have a deeply ingrained class mentality that characterizes people based on their residential address:

"...largely male rural PC caucus who occupy a large portion of Ed Stelmach's front-bench..."

"...I'm disappointed that Blakeman won't be running, as she would have been a serious, outspoken, urban candidate"

Urban/rural is so yesteryear Dave. I would have thought that a tech-savvy intellectual like yourself would be over that by now. Wireless access and efficient transportation networks make choices of where to reside increasingly irrelevant, and attempts to "grade" an individual's sophistication / education / ability on this basis increasingly suspect.

It would be crude for me to point out just how the 'dumb hayseed from the sticks' sure spanked the 'PhD from the big city' last election. So I won't.

Anonymous said...

What a dissapointment. Now this "race" will become little more than a coronation for the policy-void ego that is Dave Taylor.

Given the future of the Liberals under Mr. Taylor, which is likely a Calgary based party of business first types suckling on the teet that is big oil, perhaps Blakeman can finally reconcile her partisan choices and her own personal idealogy?

It would be strange to see Blakeman join a caucus as small as the Alberta NDP but it would actually make sense for both her and the New Democrats in the long run. Blakeman and the NDP would be a great matchup for the left. She has always looked and sounded more like a New Democrat than a Liberal.

Art said...

First time Laurie has shown any evidence of having political judgment.

Anonymous said...

A surprisingly apt self-assessment, which is not something I would have expected from her. I'm sad though, as I was looking forward to helping TJ help Laurie win, thereby ensuring that the Alberta Liberals "be the best opposition (they) can be" LONG into the future. Oh well, hope springs eternal...maybe TJ can help Hugh out, if he ever gets out of the blocks...

daveberta said...

"...largely male rural PC caucus who occupy a large portion of Ed Stelmach's front-bench..."

How is this not a fact? The PC caucus is largely male and occupy a large portion of the cabinet spots.

"Urban/rural is so yesteryear Dave."

Tell that to Stephen Harper. Politics in Canada revolves around the urban/rural political environments.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dave, the Urban-Rural split in Cabinet (and if you read your own writing, you WERE referring to Cabinet) is 13-10 in favour of the city slickers (and honestly, I could have moved Ted Morton and Janis Tarchuk into the urban column, since they both live in cities) and the gender split is 7 women, 16 men. That gender split (30 per cent) is not reflective of society, but it is a significantly higher percentage of women than is found in the Tory Caucus as a whole. Sometimes you've just gotta get past your preconceptions...

daveberta said...

So, my preconception is that Laurie Blakeman isn't the favorite of the Tory rural cabinet members?

Anonymous said...

Hell, they love her. they wish you had more like her...

Anonymous said...

And I bet Blakeman wishes the Tories had more Bill Donahue's.

Anonymous said...

Oh, SNAP! Touché, mon ami.

derk said...

I guess Ray Danyluk forgot to read the memo telling him that the rural-urban divide was passe:

"Rural MLAs, on the other hand, in 2004 complained loudly about losing two seats. And as dutiful representatives they're complaining again -- two years ahead of time.

According to Mark Lisac's newsletter, Insight into Government, Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk urged 1,000 delegates to this week's convention of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties to fight any move toward larger rural ridings.

"Representation is not all about equal representation, it's about equitable representation," said Danyluk whose riding of Lac La Biche-St. Paul is one of the smallest in the province, as far as population goes, with 30,000 people.

With that, the first shot in the electoral boundaries war has been fired."

Anonymous said...

Too bad Blakeman isn't running.

Swann is a solid candidate.

tj said...

That's too bad. I like Laurie B. Any word on who she will be supporting? Swann I would think would be the likely choice.