Tuesday, July 11, 2006

PC Leadership "Race" and Advice

Monday night I attended the first annual Northern Alberta Conservative Party (federal) BBQ with about 600 people in attendance. Many area MPs were on hand: Rahim Jaffer, James Rajotte, Ken Epp, Rob Merrifield, Rona Ambrose, Mike Lake, Leon Benoit, and Brian Storseth. The guest speaker was Jim Prentice, Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs.

Anyway, as expected, I'd thought I'd see some PC Party of Alberta leadership hopefuls. While many were probably at the Stampede in Calgary, only two were at this BBQ in Edmonton:

Ted Morton
Dave Hancock

I was finally introduced to Ted Morton by Tory blogger Noise from the Right. Now I've read all the policies of all the candidates from their websites and found that Ted's had the most substantive platform. It shows vision.

Personality wise, Ted seems like a nice man, and I told him that I'm a disaffected PC supporter turned quasi-Alberta Alliance type guy. He said that we need to reach out to that base of support (over 200,000 supposed supporters who didn't show up last provincial election). I agreed. He gave me a brochure and that was about it.

Here's some further advice for leadership hopefuls...

1) While you can talk negatively all you want about their ideas and policies, don't talk negatively about their speaking abilities or character. Doesn't even matter if everyone agrees that so and so is a terrible public speaker.

2) REMEMBER NAMES. There's nothing more sincere then when someone says, "It was a pleasure to meet you John." Not just, "Bye." I'm really bad at names, so I notice when someone forgets mine.

3) Be engaging. Get to know your potential voters and find out where they stand on issues or just get to know them. It's a smaller province than you think.

There also seems to be a whisper campaign going on about Jim Dinning. Whatever has been said I won't bother. I'm just not a big fan of some of his policies.

Lyle Oberg has a rebel streak in him. I like that. I like some of his policies too. Would he resonate in the cities though? I'm not too sure about that.

Dave Hancock ... and Crew... What is this "Crew"? Who's in it? Am I electing him or the crew?

Ed Stelmach. I read a HUGE endorsement from "The Ukrainian News" for Ed. Very nice man. No policies. Poor campaign. He'll resonate rurally.

Mark Norris. Has some good policy. "Real Passion" though? As opposed to "Unreal Passion"? Anyway, losing his seat was a big downfall.

Overall, I'm sure any of the candidates would make a good premier. None of them so far are the "total package" for me... yet.

Then again, why do I even care--I'm not even a member of the party. Who knows, maybe one of the candidates would interest me enough to join and vote. We'll see.

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