Monday, September 19, 2011

Alberta PC leadership - 1st round

Saturday I sat at home debating whether to vote in this leadership race although I do not support the PC Party.  I ran some errands to fill in the day and drove by the Oliver Community League where the polling station was.  I parked and walked to the door and then had a strong feeling that I should turn around.  Then I said to myself, "You get to pick who you think would make the best premier."  So I entered and was quickly greeted by a volunteer.  I didn't have a $5 membership so I bought one in mostly quarters--coinage I'd never use and so I wouldn't waste a perfectly good $5 bill.

At that moment though I thought, "What are you doing? You can't stand this party and yet you have a membership now?"  Then the volunteer interrupted the thought and told me to take my membership and voting card to the desk and then to get a ballot.

I knew going in who'd I vote for.  Rick Orman--essentially the closest candidate to being an outsider in this race and a self-professed libertarian.  Unfortunately, his campaign never took hold

Why not Morton this time like last time for me?  I think most of us libertarian-conservative type folks had the same feeling about him.  As provincial treasurer, he saw the largest deficits in Alberta history.  To me, this simply shows a lack of leadership, and just following the party line.  Morton's biggest blunder was becoming treasurer in the first place instead of staying on the outside perhaps as it highlighted his "unconservativeness".  When a conservative stops being conservative, they lose support fast.  And in Ted's case, that's exactly what happened.

For Doug Griffiths, the relatively young MLA was smart to enter this race to keep his profile up.

So now onto the top three, if it's really even that; it's more like top one with scraps now.

With Mr. Integrity Gary Mar at 41%, sweeping Edmonton, will the remaining Redford and Horner campaigns abandon him as their second choice?  Will Horner garner the swift support of new Edmonton voters and Northern Alberta like Ed Stelmach did?  Ed had 15% and won so it's not out of the question but that was because Jim Dinning and Ted Morton were polarized enough and both from Southern Alberta to invigorate Edmonton and Northern folks to buy a membership and mark an "X" for Steady Eddie.

While most true conservatives and libertarians have already abandoned the PCs, where will those remaining park their support on the run off vote October 1st?  My bet is on Alison Redford or no one.

So now if there ever was a clear choice for libertarian-conservatives, it's certainly with Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Party.  That is, if the party gets better organized and more media attention.  As I said to the National Post last month, it's not ready for prime-time governing, but a successful stint as official opposition, and being able to raise some real cash, the possibility of governing in say 2015 is not out of the question, if not as a serious challenge to the PCs.

Forty years with the same party in power is not healthy for any democracy.  I urge Albertans to vote for anyone but the PCs in the upcoming election.  Even if you're a soft PC supporter, you'll be doing the province a favour.

In the meantime, I'll be debating whether I'll be voting in the final run-off vote on October 1st. 


maryT said...

I voted for our WRA candidate then crossed the street, bought/renewed my PC membership and voted for a premier. Will I vote Oct 1st, probably but it will be for Redford/Horner or Horner/Redford. It will not be for Mar and will not vote PC in the next election.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to bother to vote in the run off. That's it.

I've talked to a few people and the Mar campaign was pretty lavishly funded. n I'd love to know where he got all the money.

Anonymous said...

Nice of Ralph Klien to throw his support behind Mar and not a conservative candidate.

Oh what am I saying? Ralphie would never try to ruin the chances of a conservative trying to get elected. If you don't believe me just ask Stockwell Day or Stephen Harper. Ralphie is as hard core conservative as they come.

HEY KLIEN! Sit back, collect your overly generous pension and shut your fat, drunken yap!