Monday, October 03, 2011

Alison Redford to be new Alberta premier

While at a wedding cocktail reception on Saturday, several friends kept asking me what the results were as I was glued to my Twitter feed on my phone.  As the results came in and they were at half the polls reporting, I said she was going to win due to the inability for Gary Mar to get passed 45% and that Redford would get two-thirds of Doug Horner's second ballot choices.  It was still close, and when Mar pulled ahead by 5-6%, he still couldn't penetrate even 45%, I was pretty sure she'd win at that point.  On Twitter, Dave Rutherford was the first out of the gate stating her victory based on his sources.

Final Tally
37,101 (51.11%) Redford
35,491 (48.89%) Mar

Well, I will admit that I voted for her and Horner 2nd.  I voted for her for three reasons.  I watched the debate on Wednesday and was impressed with her strength and felt of the three candidates, she would best represent Alberta, but maybe not ideologically.  Secondly, I didn't want Mar to win as his ethics are questionable, and thirdly, Redford is said to be a liberal-progressive, which splits the PCs and is a win for Danielle Smith, who'd I'd prefer as premier.  Now, a lot more conservatives potentially will leave the PCs for the Wildrose Party, but only if Smith and Co. can prove themselves as a viable alternative.

An indication of that is only 78,176 members turned out to vote Saturday, which was an increase from the first ballot vote two weeks prior, but it is a large decrease from the 144,000 that voted in 2006 which saw Ed Stelmach shoot up the middle to win.  That's a big vacuum.

Despite all that, Redford is a relative unknown to many conservatives and I believe Albertans for the most part, will give her a shot to see what she can and cannot do.  It will be difficult for the Wildrose to paint her in a bad light while the honeymoon is on, and I thought the press release from Danielle Smith congratulating Redford on her win while slamming her when she hasn't had a chance to govern yet was in bad form.

The fall session was to start October 25th, but Redford has postponed it, a budget, and a potential election until the spring.  The Wildrose is not happy with this, but while I took a tour of the Legislature building yesterday, the tour guide apologized for the state of the Assembly Chamber itself.  I took the picture below from the public gallery to show all the scaffolding they must use to change the 600 lightbulbs to energy-saving ones as they cannot fit a scissor-lift through the doors.  As well, they are painting.  I don't see them finishing and cleaning up by October 25th.  Whether that's the reason, I really don't know, but found it interesting and coincidental under the circumstances.

As we began our tour, media were on hand, waiting for someone, and I thought perhaps she would be there.  But alas, it was Raj Sherman, newly elected Alberta Liberal leader.

Even though I voted for her, this blog, and I'm sure many others of the conservative-bent, will watch her every move over the next while.  She'd be smart to introduce some conservative policies to keep that camp involved in her party, especially on dumbing-down or scrapping the Alberta Human Rights Commission, but her promise to restore $100 million to education for teachers within a couple weeks seems bold and decisive, but in reality, it seems like a bit of a stretch to accomplish.  If she does it, you'll note it is without any budgetary debate, which indicates to me, not much will really change with the way the PCs govern.

I remember just a week and a half ago when I saw her at an Edmonton downtown lounge sitting and having a conversation with a man, possibly an advisor.  I thought to go up to her and wish her luck, but I didn't, because who knew at that point she'd ever become our premier.

But she did.


maryT said...

Will there be protesters, mobs, facebook pages etc to protest her shutting down govt for 9 mos.
Where will the 100 million come from for her teachers union.

Platty said...

I do not believe that Danille Smith is the be all and end all that many are professing her to be. I saw her commenting on Redford's victory, and it seemed to me, diplomacy is not one of her strong suits. As for the 100 million, that's easy, just one phone call to Stephen Mandell letting him know that he will have to find the funding for Katz's new arena somewhere else.