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Friday, November 06, 2009

what's going to happen at the pc leadership review?

Barring a stealth insurgency campaign, I anticipate that around 85% of Progressive Conservative convention delegates will support Premier Ed Stelmach in the leadership review vote this weekend. Why so high, you ask? Because this is a vote by dedicated partisans from Alberta's PC Party. Premier Stelmach has his detractors, but I expect that the kind of party members who would pay hundreds of dollars to spend two days in Red Deer will predictably rally around the PC Party brand.

Seeking to revive fond memories a past era, the slogan chosen for this convention was also the PCs 1979 election slogan. Now... more than ever, which was chosen thirty years ago over the wrath tempting 79 in '79, is meant to remind party faithful of the glory days and to put aside their feelings about more recent political baggage. 

With at least two or three years until the next election, Premier Stelmach has at least twelve months to pull his party's support up again before he faces the kind of internal opposition that forced Don Getty into retirement. Similar to Getty's time in office, Premier Stelmach is governing during an economic slowdown under the shadow of a popular predecessor. Getty's administration was marred with scandals and internal dissent and so far, Premier Stelmach has demonstrated an ability to avoid taking personal responsibility for his government's missteps. Getty retired in 1992 as Laurence Decore's Liberals were riding a wave of discontent that mirrored the rise of the Reform Party on the federal stage. While they are currently rising in recent polls, it remains to be seen whether Danielle Smith's Wildrose Alliance can sustain their support until the next election. It also remains to be seen whether David Swann can re-energize the Liberals to take advantage of a potential split on the political right.

Also uncertain is who would contest a 2010 leadership race if PC delegates voted to sack the Premier. Ted Morton, Brett WilsonJim Prentice, Dave Hancock, Jonathan Denis, Ray DanylukAlison Redford, and Doug Horner are names that I have heard bandied around, but it is too soon to tell who is actually prepared to step up to the plate.

Billed as a policy convention, a quick look at the policy booklet reveals a fairly dry agenda for debate. It is likely that the liveliest excitement of the weekend may come from outside the convention where the AUPEthe Friends of Medicare, and other public sector groups are busing hundreds of supporters from around the province to a huge Stop the Cuts rally only blocks away from the convention.

On Saturday night, PC archetypes will herald the convention as a success of the grassroots, but I expect that little will change after the convention concludes. Regardless of potential icebergs on the political horizon, a strong showing of support in the leadership review will certainly solidify the resolve of Premier Stelmach and his supporters that they are steering their party, and the Government of Albertans, in the right direction. "Rearrange the deck chairs..."

Recommended Reading: 
Alex Abboud: State of Alberta: At a Crossroads
Calgary Grit: This week in Alberta - All good things...
Ken Chapman: Is Alberta about to enter an empire illusion stage politically?
Chris Labossiere: Run up the middle... to right of centre
Duncan Wojtaszek: Red Deer
Live Gov: PC AGM

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Calgary is going to be an absolute wipeout for the Premier. This alone takes him under 80%.

dan said...

It's time for Ed to go. Lack of vision. Lack of leadership.

Art said...

It also remains to be seen whether David Swann can re-energize the Liberals to take advantage of a potential split on the political right.

No, it doesn't. It really doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Great post, dave.

Merlin Durken said...

Things don't get better, they get worse -- it's that darned Second Law. But, maybe Thermodynamics isn't the only game in town -- at least when it comes to politics, which has always tried to pass itself off as just that.

calgaryrants.com said...

Ed will survive...why? they didnt ask for my vote as it was likely not needed. I blogged about this today... I'll be watching from home this year.

Shane

www.calgaryrants.com

Anonymous said...

Expect changes changes in the Premier's office staff and in cabinet after the vote.

Diane said...

Has anyone else heard the rumor that Ric McIver is being courted to run as the WildRose Party candidate in Calgary-Hays or Shaw? McIver would be unstoppable.

Anonymous said...

McIver told me he was a member of the PC party and refused Wildrose advances. He's running for mayor.

Anonymous said...

"Now...more than ever"

I don't get it.

James L. said...

"Now... more than ever"? Are they getting their ideas from recycled trailer voiceover cliches?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXbFuNQwTbs

Anonymous said...

Great regurge of other people's blog. Sheesh

Anonymous said...

McIver lives in Egmont. Maybe he'll run there?

rc said...

Anon@3:04

""Now...more than ever"

I don't get it."


"NOW!" was the slogan of the PCs when they swept to power in 1971.

Mike Wallace Moir said...

"Fascinating David. Your perspectives are always just so spot on. None of the folks you have listed as potential candidates I suspect wants to be Premier."

SD said...

Thoughts on the 77% result?

Anonymous said...

"Archetypes"? Uhhh. ok. Spot on? Decore's Liberals mirroring the rise of the Reform Party? Hmmh. Not sure about that comparison. Oh well.

In the wake of the vote, it will be interesting to see what kind of changes in the staff or cabinet he makes. If any. At this point, anybody good enough to help likely wouldn't want the job. And not a lot of experience of actually having to compete.

Anybody else depressed by the image of all the PC sycophants positioning themselves?

Anonymous said...

I'm depressed that peopelo consider such an "out there" party as the Wildrose. They will never get my vote, especially with the leader they have.