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daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: PC Party opts for a short and expensive leadership campaign

TweetIn 2006, it was $15,000, in 2011, it was $40,000, and in 2011, the fee to become a candidate in the Progressive Conservative leadership race is $50,000. Senior officials from Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party gathered in Red Deer last night to discuss timelines, entry fees and the rules that will help shape their party’s 2014 […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Harper endorses Rob Anders and more nomination updates

TweetWith Dave Hancock being sworn-in as the 15th Premier of Alberta and speculation running rampant about who will replace him in four to six months, I thought now would be a good opportunity to provide a quick update about nominations for federal election candidates in Alberta. Calgary-Signal Hill In what could be a deciding factor in one […]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Lorne Gunter On Alberta Politics: A Brief Note

The Alta. Tories will replace Alison Redford with a monkey in a suit.  The monkey will win the next provincial election.  A year later, the Alta. Tories will grow tired of the monkey’s imperious manner.  And etc.  PS.  Be much harder to sell their dirty oil, though  Nobody wants to buy from a monkey.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Tories hope for a Hancockian era of stability

TweetOn March 20, 1989, Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives were re-elected with a majority government but Premier Don Getty was defeated by voters in his Edmonton-Whitemud constituency. It was a stunning embarrassment for the then 18-year governing PC Party. Twenty-five years later, on March 20, 2014, Alberta’s still-governing PCs selected Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Dave Hancock to serve as Premier […]

Calgary Grit: Redford has no one to blame but herself

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No one, least of all politicians, likes to admit just how big a role outside forces play in one’s political success – and failure. Strong MPs are defeated when the national campaign goes south. Unexpected issues derail the best laid plans. Competing interests from within will undermine even the most successful leaders.

That’s largely what happened to the last two Alberta Premiers. Ralph Klein saved the PC party from certain defeat in 1993, won 4 majorities, and eliminated the debt. His party showed its gratitude with a 55% leadership review.

All his successor did was increase the size of their (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: 8 candidates who could run for the leadership of the Alberta PC Party

TweetWith yesterday’s announcement by Premier Alison Redford that she will resign on March 23, 2014, the Progressive Conservative caucus will need to select an interim premier and the PC Party is required to hold a leadership contest to select a new leader. Deputy Premier Dave Hancock and Agriculture minister Verlyn Olson have been rumoured as potential choices for interim […]

Bryan Crockett: The aftermath of a week of resignations

Yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigned. I speculated on which political players that the Mr. Harper might appoint to replace him, and I was flat-out wrong. Stephen Harper’s choice for Finance was former Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. No offence to Joe Oliver, but this was ultimately a boring choice on Mr. Harper’s part.

Joe Oliver has the kind of resume that Bay Street will like. But Mr. Oliver isn’t the kind of Minister that could give the Conservatives an electoral push in 2015. But what this does for Stephen Harper is it allows him to keep the leadership (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A very Albertan coup: Alison Redford fell victim to her own hubris, as well as that of her Progressive Conservative Party

Alison Redford announces her resignation moments after 6 p.m. yesterday while Deputy Premier Dave Hancock looks on grimly in the background. Below: Mr. Hancock, the man thought most likely to become the PC Party’s interim leader and premier, as the crisis played out last week.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who resigned moments after 6 p.m. yesterday, fell victim to her own hubris and that of the party she led.

In the next few days and weeks, we are certain to hear two competing narratives emerge to explain what happened to Ms. Redford’s short, unhappy premiership, which began when (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: It was only a matter of time. Ruthless Tories force Redford to quit.

TweetIt was only a matter of time. After a short 898 days as Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford announced today that she plans to resign as premier and leader of the Progressive Conservatives on Sunday, March 23, 2014. After facing months of controversy over travel expenses and weeks of turmoil in her caucus, Ms. Redford […]

Alberta Diary: Electoral math is calculus, not arithmetic, so 15 more Tory defectors won’t necessarily bring down Alison Redford’s shaky government

Alberta Premier Alison Redford and her crack team of Tory political strategists consult the Billion Dollar Brainiac, the Alberta government’s carbon- and vote-capture supercomputer, to figure out how many members must remain in her shrinking caucus for the party to survive a non-confidence motion. Actual crack Alberta political strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Just ignore the note that says “Bon Voyage.” Below: MLAs Steve Young, Edmonton Riverview, and Matt Jeneroux, Edmonton-South West.

The assumption of just about everyone in the Punditocracy, the Commentariat, the Blogosphere and the Media Bloviarchy here in Alberta is that if Premier (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: 4 ways out of the PC leadership crisis

Tweet The increasingly public struggle between Premier Alison Redford and a group of disgruntled MLAs in the Progressive Conservative Party continues this week. Following Monday’s announcement by Calgary-Varsity PC MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans that she would sit as an Independent MLA, two more PC MLAs are publicly considering leaving. Edmonton-South West PC MLA Matt Jeneroux mused […]

In This Corner: Alison Redford will go down with the ship

Alberta politics is all a-twitter these days about the future of the Princess Premier, Alison Redford.

Two MLAs have resigned, bringing simmering discontent to the surface. Len Webber quit last week, calling Redford “a bully” (poor baby!), while Donna Kennedy-Glans, the associate minister for electricity (whatever that is), threw in the towel this week. There are ‘rumblings’ (media-speak for unsubstantiated blather) that 20 or so MLAs were on the verge of quitting. (That number seems laughable; there aren’t 20 PC MLAs with the balls to go it alone.) Whatever the number, clearly Redford is in trouble. It (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: That sinking feeling. More problems for the Redford Tories

TweetBlasting the culture of entitlement that has engulfed the 43-year governing Progressive Conservative Party, Calgary-Varsity MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans announced today she was leaving the government caucus to sit as an Independent MLA. Ms. Kennedy-Glans is the second MLA to leave the PC caucus this month, but unlike the departure of Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber, she […]

Alberta Diary: If Alison Redford won’t voluntarily step aside, Alberta’s Tories are likely finished

Alberta Premier Cruella de Vil brings some of her rebellious MLAs to heel. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: High-profile caucus rebel Donna Kennedy-Glans; Stephen Mandel, former mayor of Edmonton and about the only person who could unseal the Alberta Tories’ doom at this late hour.

The departure yesterday morning of Donna Kennedy-Glans from the Alberta Progressive Conservative caucus makes it pretty obvious the message is sinking in with disaffected PC MLAs that casting Alison Redford as Premier Cruella de Vil and then putting her on double-secret probation may not have been the most astute strategy (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Worst political strategy ever: Alison Redford put on probation by Tory party big shots

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, as her party used to see her. (In the background, an ecstatic Thomas Lukaszuk.) Sad to say, this is another example of actual politicians not appearing exactly as illustrated. Below: Alison Redford, as Cruella de Vil, the way her party sees her now. Below her: Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski, grimly emerging from Government House on Friday.

Do the backroom leaders of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party seriously expect the province’s voters to re-elect as premier a leader in whom they obviously have no confidence?

I mean, c’mon people, talk about the lamest (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Allaudin Merali files suit against Fred Horne, Alberta Health Services for breach of contract, defamation

Health Minister Fred Horne: target of defamation, breach of trust, loss of income suit by former Alberta Health Services CFO. Below: Allaudin Merali.

Allaudin Merali filed a statement of claim today in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench against Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne.

“The statement of claim includes claims for a breach of contract, defamation and loss of income,” Mr. Merali said in a carefully worded email sent to media and bloggers.

Since the former Capital Health Region and Alberta Health Services CFO’s expense account became a cause célèbre and a political embarrassment to the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Tory caucus rebellion threatens Alberta premier? Nobody here but us chickens!

Alberta Premier Alison Redford departs Government House in Edmonton at 11:32 yesterday morning, all alone. No one else came out and the door quietly closed behind her. Then her security detail whisked her away in a big, black SUV. Below: Deputy Premier Dave Hancock blathers on, mostly about nothing in particular. Below him: Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber, from his federal campaign website, who says he’ll now sit as an Independent.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford looked so grim when she came out the door of Government House in Edmonton yesterday morning and climbed into the back of her big black security (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Anti-Redford coup fails to materialize at PC MLA meeting

TweetA rumoured coup d’etat within Alberta’s Progressive Conservative caucus failed to materialize yesterday as government MLAs gathered at Government House to discuss Premier Alison Redford‘s future. Cancelling all public appearances and media events for the day, including the premier’s trip to Regina to participate in the New West Partnership meeting, PC MLAs cloistered themselves in […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: $45000 trip has serious political costs for Redford

TweetAfter spending two months avoiding having to pay the costs of her $45,000 trip to South Africa, Premier Alison Redford called a press conference late yesterday to announce she would reimburse the government for costs of sending herself and her executive assistant Brad Stables to South Africa in December 2013. Despite attempts to ignore the issue, Ms. Redford has been unable […]

Alberta Diary: Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

There will be no more scenes like this aboard Government of Alberta aircraft, thank you very much! Actual Alberta cabinet ministers and cabin crew may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: a screenshot of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s news conference yesterday.

Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced yesterday she has personally paid back the $45,000 cost of her trip to South Africa in December, and that of the young aide who went along with her.

“My hope is that we can now get back to the work Albertans asked (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: LRT funding a big win for Edmonton, but it is enough to save Redford?

TweetJust five days after provincial finance minister Doug Horner was criticized for delivering a budget that was absent of additional funding to expand the south east section of the “Valley Line” of Edmonton’s LRT system, provincial politicians announced yesterday that it would commit $600 million towards the project. Surrounded by city councillors and local Progressive Conservative […]

Alberta Diary: Lousy polls? Redford Tories execute screeching reversal on southbound Edmonton LRT tracks

Fresh off a train in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announces $600 million surprise funding for an Edmonton LRT less than a week after her finance minister tabled a budget that didn’t mention it. Below: Finance Minister Doug Horner explains how the spending is really in the budget, even though it wasn’t mentioned; Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson looks relieved the government came through, but less than thrilled about the suspense.

How much is it worth to the Redford Government to improve its sagging poll results?

Looks like it’s about $600 million, $400 million anyway.

That’s how much (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Ides of March: Alison Redford under ‘friendly fire’ from coup plotters in her own caucus

Premier Alison Redford and an aide, at right, look on as Progressive Conservative caucus coup plotters try to remember if the signal to make their move is “Toga! Toga! Toga!” or “Tory! Tory! Tory!” Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Rumoured Redford replacements Gary Mar, Stephen Mandel and Jim Dinning.

It’s less than a week until the Ides of March and signs are now plentiful an attempt to topple Alberta Premier Alison Redford is under way.

By all accounts the coup plotters come from within the premier’s own Progressive Conservative Party. They are (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Why Budget Day matters less every year

TweetGenerally speaking, Budget Day and the Speech from the Throne have been big events that gave Albertans an indication about the government’s agenda for the year ahead. This week, no real agenda was not laid out in the Throne Speech or in the provincial budget. Each event is stage-managed to allow the government an opportunity […]

Alberta Diary: Understanding Alberta’s 2014 budget: the deviltry’s in the details

Budget 2014: let the good times roll. Life’s great nowadays if you’re a Tory insider in Alberta – like these happy political staffers from the Premier’s Office. Actual political advisors to Premier Alison Redford may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former Premier Ed Stelmach as he counted up ways he could save money; Ms. Redford.

Another million dollars for the Premier’s Office?

Now that’s interesting!

As in Pravda back in the day in that other one-party state, the name of which escapes me at the moment but which you’d think was still around judging from the chest-thumping 1960s-style rhetoric (Read more…)