Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Future of Alberta Politics - One Person's Opinion

After viewing the outcome and the aftermath of the recent Glenmore by-election it became abundantly clear that the Alberta Liberal Party was handed an opportunity even greater than the Decore years. The Party was offered a chance to pull itself up, dust itself off and get back into the game.

It would require a plan, a plan yours truly offered immediately following the by-election. The plan was to gain the centre of the political spectrum in Alberta.

This would require a strategy, a strategy I am still waiting to see.

My crystal ball told me politics in Alberta would evolve as follows;

The Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta
Having elected Paul Hinman in Calgary Glenmore and with the upcoming immanent leadership victory of Danielle Smith (now confirmed), Alberta would have an official neo-conservative, social conservative party or as they like to refer to themselves as the TC (true conservative) Party. They have no place to exist except on the far right.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta
They are in a schizophrenic nightmare, not even able to organize to get to work on Tuesdays. Since they have no respect, nor fear of the Alberta Liberal Party, they will see their threat coming from the right in the form of the Wildrose Alliance Party.

There adjustment will be to move further and further right resulting in huge cuts to programs will little desire to raise taxes. Albertans will suffer under this scenario far worse than in the Klein years of the early 90s. They have their leadership review in November and sources tell me the sharks are circling the sinking ship.

We have to wait until November 7th, 2009 to see how small a percentage of support Stelmach receives. The outcome will be determined by Party insiders who suggest numbers like 70% and 80% are not enough and then we have the Joe Clark factor of 2/3 support not being enough.

Tremendous political instability exists here.

The Alberta Liberal Party
They need to gain the centre. This space is larger than any other and occupied by most of the voters of Alberta with no one in control. Hence we see 40% voter turnouts and a disdain for all parties. The secret is how to get there because only the Liberals can go there.

First, the Party needs to change the Leader. Before we go off on a tangent, I mean the public persona not the physical person. Dr. Swann needs to be much more aggressive, more available to the media and with a firm centrist message, not an easy task.

Second, the Party needs to change Caucus communication immediately if not sooner. The Alberta Liberal Party is not taken seriously by the media as my sources tell me repeatedly.

Third, the Party needs to take an aggressive stance towards reorganization on the ground and so far this seems to be the area given most attention. Unfortunately, without the other changes this will not succeed.

The Alberta NDP
The have a firm grip on the left, not interested in moving off that position and constantly willing to call the Liberals a right wing party which can only help move the Alberta Liberal Party more to the centre.

One Person's Opinion


  1. Many hurdles exist for Liberals in Alberta.
    Going back as far as the Trudeau eently as Chretien and Martin.
    Albertans have long memories and recall in an instant the unkept promises of the Federal Liberals over the past decades.
    The constant waffling and promises of by-gone eras are difficult to forget when even today, Ignatieff appears to have no clue what direction he and his Libs are headed.
    One day he's proudly announcing a "probation" and "report card" for the feds and the next weeks he's sunk so low in the polls, he's unsure if he has a job in 6 months. He shouldn't.
    Like it or not, your federal leader impacts your acceptance in provincial politics.
    It's the consistent turmoil and controversy the Libs display which makes Albertans uneasy and unsure of a party bearing the same name.
    Rebrand yourselves, you may havea chance.

  2. Donn

    The Liberal franchise in Alberta has a solid hold on 20% of the vote. Getting another 20 from a centre that is mostly Progressive Conservative and Right winf ND's remains elusive.


  3. Given the recent polls, drastic action is required.