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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The case for Ed Stelmach to stay as leader

Premier Ed Stelmach dismissed rumours that as many as 10 MLAs are considering deserting to the Wildrose Alliance. At the same time King Klein has come out and said that Mr. Stelmach requires 70% support from the PC convention delegates, in order to retain his legitimacy as Premier and party leader. It is clear, and has been clear for a while, that a leadership crisis is brewing in Alberta.

The Wildrose Alliance
has shown surprising strength. They won a by-election recently and the Albertan and national media are taking them seriously. The Wildrose Alliance could replace the PCs as the PCs once replaced Social Credit.

That is why I hope that Mr. Stelmach gets his 70% at the convention, because his staying in power is the WA's best chance of gaining power. The WA has been getting traction by demonizing Mr. Stelmach. If Mr. Stelmach is disposed of by his own party, perhaps the appeal of the WA to long time PC party activists and voters will disappear.

I confess that what I have seen of the WA race, inclines me towards Danielle Smith. But even if Mark Dyrholm wins, I believe that Alberta would be better off with the Wildrose Alliance than with anyone that the PC party is likely to choose as leader. The PC party in Alberta has lost its claim to conservatism. I do not see how they could get it back.

So if you are a member of the PC party and you are a delegate to this convention, I implore you for the sake of conservatism, to vote for Ed Stelmach.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on September 30, 2009 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


I repectfully disagree: Ed Stelmach must go.

At which point, a new "more conservative" leader of the PCs will emerge and shift to the right in order to compete with Wildrose Alliance.

Which in turn, means, Danielle Smith and the new party will have the opportunity to really pick up their game, to really promote liberty.

If Stelmach stays on, the party will take a few baby steps toward the right, and the bar for WRA will remain low. Low expectations, low requirements, = low outcomes.

I say let the Tories re-invent themselves in the face of the new WRA threat on the right, then let's see what a truly dynamic alternative Danielle Smith and the new party can be...

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-30 2:10:48 PM

Upping the ante -- on what can only be a libertarian right -- is a test only a Smith-led WRA will be up to. The PCs are already bankrupt in the so-called conservative milieu. They don't stand a chance.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-30 2:32:01 PM

Yep, Stelmach is a spent force.

Why, just last year he led a party that captured the second-highest number of seats during the Conservative dynasty.

And, it's totally his fault that the price of oil is $70.

What's wrong with this guy? Why can't he bend over and kiss the ass of Calgary's oil industry like Ralphie did?

Oil belongs to those who drill it, not we the people of Alberta!

Posted by: set you free | 2009-09-30 3:34:55 PM

Terrible argument, Hugh.

You're more concerned about your precious conservatism than you are with the state of Alberta.

Stelmach must go for the good of Alberta, not stay for the good of the Wildrose Alliance. Province before party.

Regardless, I predict Stelmach will stay. Back when Ralph Klein got trounced, there were behind-the-scenes players (sort of) like Jim Dinning organizing for his ouster.

Nobody's there to replace Stelmach...unless you count Guy Boutilier, the pariah now-independent member from Wood Buffalo.

If the PC Party doesn't take him back, Boutilier will probably join Hinman and the Wildrose Alliance will be a legitimate force. Now THAT would be good.

Posted by: The Tone | 2009-09-30 5:38:15 PM

Why are we even talking about whether Stelmach should go? He is already gone since there is no way he can win over 70% of the vote at the leadership review a little more than a month from now. People are wondering if he can even win 50%.

What Albertans are really talking about is who will replace Stelmach after November 7.

Posted by: beachgirl | 2009-09-30 6:14:30 PM

I can't see PC's admitting they and the electorate made a HUGE mistake choosing Ed as Premier. To admit wrong is a sign of weakness. A word you won't find in their dictionaries. I hope otherwise...

Posted by: bc | 2009-10-01 12:04:18 AM

Sorry as an Alberta Conservative I can admit Ed was a mistake and the machine that supports him has become Libralesque. Wild Rose Alliance here I come!

Posted by: Pete | 2009-10-01 7:43:40 AM

Who does "Ed" really speak for in Alberta? Grain farmers? Edmonton resident public servants, your unionized civil service? The state apparatus? That's it as far as I can see.

He certainly does not speak for the average family oriented private sector working man or woman. Your job was sidelined with the Royalty Review, despite what market forces did to the gas industry.

The PC Party can't do math. They do not understand economics in the most basic way. I understand that "Ed" grew up on a farm. He didn't learn a thing there, so I guess that's why he gravitated to politics, because if he was risking his "farm" on any decision he's made since, he'd be BROKE! I'm going broke under his government's rule in Alberta.


Because in 3 years time, there will be nothing left in the kitty and this province will look like a ghost town.

Oh, and by the way, I'm voting Danielle, because I'm not having Mr. Dyrholm's sock puppet-master Craig Chandler running this province from Ontario. Rosedale can kiss my patoutie!

Posted by: po'ed in AB | 2009-10-01 11:00:18 AM

My husband and I bought WRA 3 yr.memberships the day after Hinman won in Glenmore. Born and raised in Calgary, we are just so disillusioned with this leader. As we approach our 60's in the next few yrs.. All we can say, is that thank goodness for a Choice of conservative government now. We have been here through thick and thin, this is our home, and this current government is something I do not recognize to represent our needs. Sometimes, it resembles an episode of Madmen

Posted by: momo | 2009-10-01 6:49:34 PM

John, you said only a libertarian right. So, I guess all the social conservatives are just supposed to shut up and vote for a libertarian Wild Rose Alliance because at least it will let us keep our guns! If this is your agenda, then why shouldn't social conservatives form their own party that promoted values like opposition to abortion, corporal punishment in schools, or a referendum to bring back hanging for murderers? Why shouldn't I vote for a party that actually pay attention to social conservatives? Will it ever come to the Canadian right that social conservatives are a viable electoral base that a politician might want to pay attention to? The most successful conservative in recent north american history was Ronald Reagan(he radically shifted America to the right). Reagan won by forming a coalition of libertarians, social conservatives, and staunch anti-communists. He didn't tell social conservatives to shut up because their opinions were irrelevant. How often did Progressive Conservative leaders like Stansfield, Clark, and even the "great" Mulroney blow opportunities by failing to reach out to social conservatives? One has to wonder if Stansfield would have been more successful in 1972 and 1974 if he had attempted to sway social conservative voters. Maybe if Clark had made such an effort, he could have won a majority government in 1979 and avoided Trudeau's return 9 months later. Reagan gave social conservatives a place at the table and made the Republican Party competitive. The sad truth is that the socialist left has dominated Canadian politics since 1935. Meanwhile, what passes for the Canadian right has been largely impotent during that time. The economic and cultural results have been devastating.

Posted by: Jerry | 2009-10-01 7:06:01 PM

@ Jerry:

I agree with you 100%: so-called socons should start their own political party. I'd be honoured to speak to your first general assembly to give encouragement!

But you will never win anything. You might broker some deals for things on yoru agenda, but they won't be anything more than what you'll get from a Smith-led libertarian-leaning (she is NOT advancing a pure libertarian agenda, believe it or not, and she IS very committed to what existing party members decide upon) WRA.

Reagan was a disaster. His tax cuts were a fraud, he paved the way for the deficit and debt disaster that has been Bush-Obama, and he ultimately grew government in many ways.

Under a libertarian admin, social and religious conservatives will be free to live and prosper without the state abusing them. What you will not be permitted to do is impose your values on other peoples lives or wombs.

I personally consider abortion barbaric. So I don't want to pay for one, nor will I be party to one. I do support alternatives to them. But what I won't do is committ the evil of having the State invade, and impose jurisdiction upon, a woman's body. While abortions continue on anyway. The State can no more police the wombs of the nation than the US can police the globe. They can try, but they only create more havoc and chaos and ugliness than existed before their intervention.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-01 7:27:53 PM

Because in 3 years time, there will be nothing left in the kitty and this province will look like a ghost town.
Posted by: po'ed in AB | 2009-10-01 11:00:18 AM

I find all the comments extremely amusing. If only we had done this, if only we had done that. Let's face it folks the economy of Alberta is tied to the price of oil. Last year when oil was $150 / barrel and some were hoping for $200 / barrel all you Albertans thought the good times would never end. Well it did end and now your economy is tanking. You have no one to blame but yourselves. Unless you diversify your economy it will be boom and bust. Unless Ed Stelmach or Danielle Smith can affect the price of oil they can't do a thing and all they say is just hot air.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-10-01 7:34:19 PM

@ Stig:

Actually many of us were forecasting a serious correction, and many many of us objected to Stelmach -- and Harpo -- running roughshod over the industry, and blowing its proceeds.

Danielle Smith can't do much about the price of oil -- but she CAN do something about the costs. And that will make a difference in the quality of life in Alberta, AND Canada.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-01 7:45:36 PM

Danielle Smith can't do much about the price of oil -- but she CAN do something about the costs.
Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-01 7:45:36 PM

Maybe around the margins. The price of oil has to be substantially higher than $70 / barrel, where it is today, for the Alberta industry to be prosperous. You guys are just lucky it didn't stay at $30 - $35 / barrel when oil collapsed late year. If it had Alberta would looked like Oklahoma during the 30's.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-10-01 8:05:44 PM

Jerry and John, I think that I might have a compromise. A libertarian Wild Rose Alliance party and a social conservative party could form a center right alliance like exist in Australia. In Australia, there are two main center right parties. One is the National Party which tends to represent the rural communities and is more socially conservative. The other is the Liberal Party which is more urban based. The Liberals are more pro-business friendly but have both socially liberal and conservative wings. The two parties have an agreement to run only one candidate in each riding. Therefore, Liberals don't run in areas where National Party candidates poll better and vice versa. The result has been that the two parties have run the federal government for the following years since 1949(1949-1972, 1975-1983, 1996-2007). This is a far more successful right-wing electoral alliance than has ever existed in Canada(conservative canadian governments 1957-1963, 1979, 1984-1993, 2006-present). About twice as long if my calculations are correct. Imagine what Canada would be like if Canada's conservatives had held the reins for 23 more years since world war 2 than the record shows. How many fewer items would Trudeau been able to implement? Maybe Pearson would have had to leave the medical sector in private hands? Maybe voucher programs would exist in Canadian schools?

Posted by: Ted | 2009-10-01 10:09:38 PM

In regards to Alberta's financials being dependent on O&G revenues. I personally feel that this is the absolute WORSTE thinking. Alberta should limit its budgetary spending to what we get BEFORE O&G revenues. This helps in so many ways, by not over extending spending, and allowing the potential extra income (From O&G) to be spent only AFTER it has been received. That spending can be re-invested in the Heritage fund, an Alberta only pension etc. Hell in time both would quickly be self sustaining. The (Again IMO) wonderful thing about this is in good times we get a nice fat savings and pension account, in lean times our CORE expenditures are still covered..This is something the PC's never, ever got their heads around. They treated O&G income as part of the main government income, and thus spent it before they got it....seems obvious where that lead us to. (Almost $10 Billion....sigh)

Posted by: Cochrane Wildrose | 2009-10-02 12:13:28 PM

Ed Stelmach has to go. He continues to bully MLA's that don't agree with him. Speak out an you get fired

Sign the petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Albertacares

Posted by: Mike | 2009-10-07 9:23:53 PM

I have lived in Alberta for 30 years and it is sad, the conservative legacy, really beyond description here. They are not done yet, there are still futures to be ruined, booty left unplundered.

I fought the good fight, sorry I was overwhelmed by greed and stupidity. Now, I can't get out fast enough. It's not Ed's fault, it's not Ralph's fault or even Rod Love--It's your fault--that's where the greed and stupidity are. These guys are just doing what they are hard-wired for. Pity them,
Shame on us!

Posted by: rh | 2009-10-07 9:40:51 PM

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