Well it looks like we are in for another interesting year in Alberta's politics.
On January 25th the Premier and leader of the Alberta PC's announced after 25 years in the legislature he would be stepping down and not seeking another term. It is no secret at all what I think of Ed, but I give him credit, serving Albertans for 25 years is no easy task. So where does this leave the PC party? It all depends, with the ability to delay the election till 2013 and put the focus on their leadership race....well it may be just what they need to regroup. The announced candidates Alison Redford, Doug Griffiths, Ted Morton, and Doug Horner will take the spotlight as they try and win over Albertans. So far there has been no flair and no one saying anything of deep substance to take the reins and gain momentum. This being said I would have to throw support the younger and more energizing Griffiths, new and fresh ideas are needed, and an old cabinet won't cut it.
The Alberta Liberal Party leader David Swann also announced his decision to step down after the spring sitting of the Legislature. Announced candidate Laurie Blakeman is the only one to seek the position of party leader. The official opposition has in the past year fallen flat on it's face, with a long hard road of being a legitimate contender in the next election. If they can focus on health care as they have been doing this may be what can keep them on the radar. This party if any needs the publicity of a high profile leadership race with quality candidates. At the pace it is moving now it may be a party of one.
The Alberta NDP Party....well I see them remaining the same. With the two MLA's Rachael Notley and Brian Mason. No secret that I am no fan of either politically, I also will say there are not two more effective in opposition in the Legislature. Their topics are well researched and they hold the GOA accountable with their relentless attacks. I don't see either losing their seats, but outside of them the party will remain stagnant.
The Alberta Party was formed not too long ago in an attempt to garner the support for the left wing. Many will claim center (like every party does) is where they are, but they are not shy on where they stand which is left on the spectrum. I like the party itself and where it may go, however there is not enough time before the next election to get the name and idea's known enough to Albertans. Their sole MLA Dave Taylor left the Liberals earlier in the year and stayed as an Ind. until joining. I am not sure if Dave will be able to hold his seat after the next election, not because he is not effective at opposition, but because with the new boundaries his riding is probably the most fractured. I think in time if the Libs and Dips do not get their act together you will see them flow over to this party, setting them up as the next opposition on the left.
This brings me to the party I choose to support, the Wildrose. The last year has been an interesting one. Paul Hinman winning a seat in Calgary-Glenmore, Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth crossing the floor, and the Ind. Guy Boutielier also joining, bringing them to 4 MLA's in the legislature. Now I realize that three of them were elected Tories and they chose to cross the floor, I don't have a problem with that. It was done well before Ed announced his resignation and did not do it for political gain. What I am concerned with though is the onslaught of high ranking PC's flocking over to the party as of late. Far be it from me to say I even come close to Danielle Smith when it comes to running a party, but I do worry about some of her choices. Many of us long time supporters had issues with the old and tired politics played in Alberta, yet the party we supported seems to be getting taken over by these same people. To be new and refreshing you can't run with the old party under a new name, it's not that easy. I hope some new blood and fresh faces are place in some high ranking positions within the party or it will be the recycled PC party.
The recent addition of Dr. Lyle Oberg has many of us upset and tested. As the architect of the "Our Fair Share Report" I am surprised to see him here. I have heard people say many times thats the Wildrose was a party of pissed off oil and gas guys, funny I don't think Oberg would be their first pick. In the end if the Wildrose is to be the NEW and exciting party of people, they must stop becoming the old PC party. They are on the outs for a reason.
PS: Please don't put Bill Hunter in the party as well or I quit. :P