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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

all eyes on the opposition.

- On April 25, the Alberta Liberal Party will be holding its first Annual General Meeting since David Swann became leader in December 2008. After recently announcing the laying off of their two remaining party staff members, I've been informed that the Liberals financial situation stabilized in the short-term when a number of donors opened their pockets when the news became public.

With current President Grant Dunlop stepping down, I've heard that two three candidates, Calgary Liberal Tony Sansotta, former Edmonton-McClung MLA Mo Elsalhy, and current Party Secretary Carrol Jaques [see: an email from Jaques to supporters] are intending to stand for the position. I've also heard that some members of the party executive are pushing time at the AGM to hold a discussion on changing the Liberal Party name.

- Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason was joined by Vancouver-East MP Libby Davies at that party's revitalization conference this weekend in Grande Prairie. While the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune reported only a dozen attendees, I was told by a conference attendee that there were nearly 30 attendees later in the afternoon (which still leaves the NDP with a lot of work to do).

The NDP haven't elected an MLA in the region for 25 years. Former NDP leader Grant Notley represented Spirit River-Fairview from 1971 to 1984, and Jim Gurnett was elected in a by-election following Notley's death in 1984 (Gurnett was later defeated by PC Glen Clegg in 1986). In 2008, NDP candidates Adele Boucher Rymhs and Nathan Macklin increased their party's support in Peace River and Dunvegan-Central Peace.

- Paul Hinman has announced that he will be stepping down as leader of the Wildrose Alliance. Hinman defeated PC MLA Broyce Jacobs to become the Alberta Alliance MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner in 2004. Hinman was elected party leader in 2005 when Randy Thorsteinson stepped down. With the merger of the Alliance and Wildrose Party in 2008, he became leader of the Wildrose Alliance. Hinman was defeated in 2008 by Jacobs. According to Party President Jeff Callaway, members are also eyeing a name change.

- Meanwhile, the Alberta Greens may face de-registration by Elections Alberta for financial reasons...


Concerned Albertan said...

People can discuss changing the name all they want, but once again no group proposed a bylaw amendment to either allow a change to a name determined in the future by some process, or change the name outright on the spot.

It would help if all these party reformers read up on the ALP constitution sometimes.

Also, current board secretary Carrol Jaques has announced her intention to run for ALP president.

daveberta said...

Thanks for the heads up on Carrol, Kyle.

What are the constitutional requirements to change the Liberal Party name? (besides the potential issues that could also arise with Elections Alberta with a name change)

Anonymous said...

The party to watch is definitely the Wildrose Alliance. With a ton of cash in the bank, thanks to big oil's backing, and the chance for a new name and a dynamic new leader, the Progressive Conservatives could face their first challenging election in years. If only something monumental would happen, like Ted Morton jumping off the PC ship to lead a real reform based agenda. I think a lot of Albertans would get behind such a movement and we could see the PCs under assault by the left parties in the cities and the Alliance in the rurals.

Anonymous said...

The Wildrose Alliance is in the exact situation that the PCs were under Lougheed before he was elected.

A large number of people who were apolitical or nominally PC are joining the party and you can expect to see them run a slate of oil patch managers, owners, and others who in the past were non partisan.

They also are moderating their image. They are now appearing more populist while maintaining moderate conservative values that most Albertans embrace. This isn't political positioning either - the party has always been populist but they now understand that they need to push this image more in order to get the "Reform" type voter to join them.

With Paul Hinman stepping down expect to see a strong leader emerge. It has been rumored that Danielle Smith may be considering taking the job on (and she'd be great in my opinion). Also, there are rumours of a well respected oil patch executive jumping on board as well.

Either way, the Alliance is back and the PCs better get their act in order or face the consequences.

Corey Hogan said...

To change the name of the party would require a Special Resolution passed at an AGM. Special Resolutions must:

- be sent to the membership 21 days in advance of the AGM.
- pass with a 75% supermajority.

As per ALP Bylaws, only those in attendance in person at an AGM are eligible to vote on a Special Resolution, so a telephone or mail-in vote is also ruled out.

Elections Alberta wouldn't likely care all that much if the ALP changed its name. Even if they did, the party could voluntarily de-register and re-register under the new name; since the ALP has more than 3 MLAs, registration would be automatic, without requiring a pile of signatures, etc.

Chandler Kent said...

I got a huge laugh out of the anonymous posts above. All about the oil money they have behind them (wait a minute, aren't they a "grass-roots movement"). And their leadership prospects (Ted Morton, big oilpatch executive, blah, blah, blah). Conveniently, they ignored their most "charismatic" member, Craig Chandler, who was front and centre at last week's event in Calgary. You know the one, where the WRAP promised to bend over for the energy industry forever, if only the boys will show them the money? And it was boys - apparently the male:female ratio was 25:1.

You can put lipstick on a pig, kids, but it's still a pig.

Mo Elsalhy said...


These are interesting times. Two little tidbits for you:

1. Our townhall meeting in Calgary on Saturday had more than 40 people there. It was reassuring to say the least, and the discussions were frank and lively.

2. The name change question is "off the table" to quote David Swann. He said so himself on Saturday. You'll also notice that we didn't include that theme in either of our renewal committee surveys for the simple reason that we weren't hearing it all that frequently. It was never a priority for the RC nor was it top of mind for most ALP members who communicated with us.



Anonymous said...

re: "The party to watch is definitely the Wildrose Alliance."

(Wiping laugh tears from eyes.)

Are you fucking retarded?
The best chance the WRAP had last time was with Hinman and Lueken, and they both got 'blowed right up.'
Before he leaves, Hinman should at least explain the difference between an anus and a vagina again. That was hilarious.
A latent homosexual says 'what?'
The only thing worse for Alberta than Stelmach and the PCs is the WRAP, or whatever they want to call themselves this time.
PCs will never be defeated until they are no longer allowed to make the rules, and that will never happen.
So here's to 30 more years... chumps.

Anonymous said...

Un-flippin-believable! Wasn't it Dr. Swann that pushed for the name change? If they're unwilling to even discuss the possibility for a name change, I guarantee you they will change little else.

I see the ALP untouchable illuminati have forced their will on the membership. Mo, Dr. Swann, you have now shown the renewal effort to be a farce of a PR stunt.

The ALP is now doomed.

Big West Sky said...

Name change was always a bad idea, because it's torn the Alberta Liberal Party into tatters.

David Swann pushed for it, it's done great damage, and now David Swann is backing down on it. I say good on him for having the guts to reverse course when necessary. That's not an easy thing to do.

I only hope it's not too late to undo the damage to the base. An interesting question will be what David Swann's personal "base" thinks of all this - they were pretty big on name change.

This all does make me wonder what the results of an Alberta Liberal Party leadership race would be today. After all, I can't think of anything that's gone well since Swann became leader.

Taylor 3000 - Swann 1000? Any other guesses?

Anonymous said...

Not quite. The next leadership numbers will resemble this:

Taylor 72 - Swann 11 That's my guess

Anonymous said...

Dave, you said there was a contingent of the Exec that was pushing for time on the name change issue. Can you give us any insight as to whether it was a group looking for name change, or looking to suppress name change?

I know for a fact that there are several ALP MLA's wanting name change. ALP MLA'S, if you're unhappy with your parties' muzzle on open debate, you know there's another option. Talk to me.

ALP Insider said...

Yes, talk to the anonymous guy.

By all accounts, the MLAs were unanimous in the need to take name change off the table.

ALP Outsider(thankfully) said...

What's with the sudden change of heart? I can think of 30 news reports dating from 2004 where your MLA's talk about a desire to change the party name.

I've gotta give it to daveberta. He totally called the this situation months ago. I forget Dave's exact words, but he also decided to have nothing to do with you.

Chester J said...

"I see the ALP untouchable illuminati have forced their will on the membership. Mo, Dr. Swann, you have now shown the renewal effort to be a farce of a PR stunt." - Anon 11:16You can't honestly believe that 75% of the membership wants to change the name, can you? 75% of people who joined the Liberal Party have a hard time being Liberals?

You're living in a dream world. Name change being taken off the table, if anything, reflects the will of the party. It's been talked to death, and it ain't going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

ALP Outsider, there were a few more MLAs in 2004. Maybe the name changers all lost because they were constantly apologizing for something that doesn't need apologizing for.

You know, looking weak and ashamed of yourself isn't a great way to get re-elected.

Anonymous said...

OMG maybe Ralph Klein was right about the ALP. It's to bad the name change is off the table. I would have suggested:

"Infinite Brainfart Party of Alberta"

If Albertans appreciate anything, it's honesty!

You all understand why this is happening right now, right? Daveberta told us their financial situation improved after they went out begging. Someone has donated generously to the party with the demand they don't change the name. Thank you for the contribution, PC association of Alberta!

Seener Beaner said...

Grand Prairie is a long way to go for an NDP council weekend. I have done it once. It's harder now because I have my little family.

ALP Insider said...

Anon 12:25 - That is not the case... sort of.

But the fact is, discussion of name change just killed the fundraising of the party. People who were big-L Liberals were quitting their contribution plans in disgust, and nobody else was coming in to take their place.

You can't run a party on good intentions. In the end, the name change group was nothing more than a people with a vague idea of what they wanted in politics. They had neither the finances, the votes nor the organization to actually be the change they wanted in the world. They failed.

For Christ's sake, they never even came up with an alternative name.

They were loud, they were disruptive. They got nowhere, and even listening to them for a short time to allow the question on the table was a very, very bad idea.

Anonymous said...


The Edmonton Riverview Alberta Liberal Constituency Association invites you to a Town Hall meeting to talk politics over popcorn and beer with Kevin Taft, MLA and members of the Alberta Liberal Renewal Committee, chaired by Mo Elsalhy. Come and discus what’s working in Alberta politics and what’s not.

Location: Windsor Park Community Hall, 11840 - 87 Ave
Start Time: 7:00 p.m.
Finish Time: 9:00 p.m.

Anonymous said...

Yah, whatever.

Just so you know, I will the one standing beside you, laughing when you lose the next election.

Your leaders have a habit of zoning-out into prozac induced comas at election time. Will it be any different next time? I don't think so. Will you have any sort inspirational policies, ideas? Nope, just vague smiley, happy feelies. Will you have any candidates that aren't 5th generation members of the Alberta Liberal Party? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

If the leadership contest was held today I think Swann would still win because the Liberals never learn anything, and certainly would never admit they made a mistake.

Chester J said...

Anon 1:00 -

That's stupid. We're in a thread about Swann doing a reverse course on name change and you're using the opportunity to talk about how rigid and unable to change course the Liberals are.

ALP Insider -

I agree with everything you said except for "They got nowhere, and even listening to them for a short time to allow the question on the table was a very, very bad idea."

It's been on the table for over a year, with no result. That dog won't hunt, let's move on.

Anon 12:47 -

Beer and popcorn at the renewal meeting? Really? That's ridiculous. But it's nice to see the legacy of Scott Reid lives on.

Wildrose Edmonton said...

If you are interested in joining a powerful grassroots movement in Alberta come to the Wildrose Alliance Party of Northern Alberta Town Hall meeting tonight!

Date: Wednesday, April 22nd at 7PM
Location: Edmonton South Four Points Sheraton
Street: 7230 Argyll Rd
City/Town: Edmonton, AB

For more information contact:

Todd Loewen

ALP Outsider(thankfully) said...

I'll take you up on that Wildrose! I always appreciate a party that can hold its meetings somewhere other than seedy west-end motels and community league basements.

If you hold open and democratic discussions, you're already way ahead of the ALP

Oh, and I don't hate the Alberta Liberal Party. I simply despise them.

4EVRLiberal said...

Why should we give up the name? We are smarter than most everyone in the province. We just have to educate the stupid and uneducated Alberta masses at to what Liberalism should means to them. My friends and I aren't giving a penny to the party if they change the name. Why won't they vote for us? We gave them the rodeo thing. That should have appeased most of them. Isn't that what they do when thier not drivin there pickup truck. Sheesh

Anonymous said...

Quit being so hyperpartisan, dave! ;)

Anonymous said...

Rob Anders for sure.

Darren said...

4EVRLiberal summed a major problem up nicely - the party and it's supporters are viewed as elitist snobs. "You'd vote for us if you weren't so stupid" isn't really an effective way of getting support, any idiot knows that. Well apparently almost any idiot.
If the Tories don't curtail their spending over the next few years, the WRAP will be the one to watch as that was the only party really talking about too much spending during the last election.

Anonymous said...

I've heard Jonathan Denis, Rob Anderson, Evan Berger, Ted Morton, and Teresa Woo paw are all crossing the floor.

rc said...

"I've heard Jonathan Denis, Rob Anderson, Evan Berger, Ted Morton, and Teresa Woo paw are all crossing the floor."And going where, exactly?

Or are you just being sarcastic?

I've long heard some folks involved in the WRAP give these sorts of hints of potential floor-crossings since, well, Gary Masyk crossed over to the Alberta Alliance from the PCs five years ago. I guess their thinking is that Masyk's crossing was some sort of precedent.

It's a fantasy. Masyk's circumstances prior to jumping ship to the Alliance were very different than most any current PC caucus member, especially some of those that you listed; none are facing the elimination of their riding and the prospect of a new nomination race they'd almost certainly lose.

And really, who wants to commit electoral suicide by crossing the floor to a minor fringe party like the WRAP? Most of the PC caucus probably realizes that winning the PC party nomination in their riding makes the actual election pretty much a formality; if not, it certainly is much easier. In ridings like Airdrie-Chestermere or Livingstone-Macleod, I'd wager that a potted plant or a dairy cow could be elected to the Legislature -- so long as it ran as a Tory. It's the colour on their signs that counts.

And Jonathan Denis knows this perhaps better than most, because of Calgary-Egmont's drawn-out nomination battle.

So those people aren't going anywhere.