It’s the final days before Stelmach’s leadership showdown and sources have confirmed that Fast Eddie’s team is feverishly working the phones to ensure the boss is not dethroned a la King Ralph.
PC MLA’s have been sternly instructed to "lay down the law" to their constituency delegates. All 15 had better cast ballots endorsing the Leader or they can kiss their cushy government contracts good-bye. That message is getting through loud and clear, but will he reach the magic 70s threshold or fall short, it’s going to be close.
What of all the whispers that former leadership hopeful, Jim Dinning is quietly mounting a comeback? Dinning, of course, is denying it and publicly expressing his love and support for the Premier. He was followed by the former #1, Peter Lougheed and the other would-be Premier, Ted Morton.
Sources are insisting Dinning is true to his word and will not run. Lougheed had his time in the sun, but then there’s Morty. The issue is not that he finally joined the chorus in favour of Stelmach, but that he took sooooo long to do it and, in fact was the last to jump on the bandwagon. The hot “street talk” is that snortin’ Morton still has a skeleton crew on standby to kick start a campaign if Red Deer becomes a Dear Rear Fiasco.
Of course the Alliance is already fundraising and planning strategy with its new leader, Missy Smith.
But are the NDs and the Libs ready to kick a little butt if the Alberta political structure explodes?
This could be one of the most wide open provincial elections in the past 2 decades. If the economy continues to struggle, deep cuts to essential services continue and we continue with a lame duck Premier. There could be a dreaded "double dip” down and that’s the direction falling oil & gas prices will take the Tories!
Stay Tuned, only 6 more sleeps!