Two news articles caught my eye this weekend:
- Jeremy Loome had an interesting column in the Edmonton Sun this weekend on the state of the Liberal Party brand in Alberta.
Loome raised an excellent point about former Liberal leader and Edmonton Mayor Laurence Decore. As much as many die-hard Liberals continue to believe that Decore is an example of how their party has been successful in Alberta, many of them seem to have a hard time recollecting that even Decore wasn't able to lead the Liberals to victory against the PCs. I understand that many long-time Liberals feel a personal connection to the Liberal Party of 1993, but it's not hard to argue that the electoral gains made that year had more to do with Decore's personal brand and his political connections than any party label.
- Decore-era Liberal Alex MacDonald was quoted in the Calgary Herald this weekend arguing that the Alberta Liberal Party is now in a better position than it was when Decore became its leader in 1988.
Having no personal experience with the Liberal Party of 1988, I can't say that this isn't the truth, but the political environment that exists today makes it difficult for me to believe that the Liberal Party of 2009 could attract the high profile leadership material like Decore.
MacDonald continued to argue that "[w]ith the right leader, and with the right strategy, and with enough support from people around the leader and in the party, it's very possible for a great deal of momentum to be created from a base of not very much."
'If everything were different, things would be different' is a hard argument to counter.
I have a lot of personal respect for current Liberal leader David Swann, but the cultural state of that political party has led me to step away from the Liberal Party and focus my energies elsewhere. With the recent news that the Liberals will be abandoning their 124th Street Edmonton Headquarters because of financial reasons, I am having an even more difficult time being convinced that the Liberal Party of 2012 will be in a position to present itself as the viable alternative that it did in 1993.
Clarification: I received an email from the Alberta Liberal Party this afternoon:
At this time there has been no decision made on the state of the “124th street headquarters,” our lease is coming up and we are in discussions with the landlord and looking at other options as well for less space for less money. We might end up moving as you state or we might not, no decision has been made.