The past few months have been a sobering reminder that it foolish to underestimate the staying power of Alberta’s 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives. A year ago the scandal ridden PC Government appeared to be on the verge of collapse. And now,… Continue Reading →
All four main political parties will have new leaders going into the next election after today’s announcement by Liberal leader Raj Sherman that he is resigning as leader and will not seek re-election as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark. Like the Wildrose Party, who… Continue Reading →
TweetIn my nearly ten years writing about politics in Alberta on this blog, 2014 was easily the most exciting. The sheer number of scandals, controversies, fumbles and resignations made for new content on a daily basis. If I had the time and resources, I could have easily written three or four posts a day for most of … Continue reading Top 10 moments in Alberta Politics in 2014
And then there were five: The Wildrose caucus back before it experienced civil war, desertions and mass defections, including that of its leader, the woman in red above. Below: former NDP leader Brian Mason and current Leader Rachel Notley; effective Liberal MLAs David Swann and Hugh Macdonald.
One of the more irritating byproducts of mass defection by the Mudville Nine and two of their caucus colleagues who rejoined the Tory Mothership a few days earlier has been the outright wholesaling of the nonsensical claim the Wildrose Party was the most effective opposition Alberta has ever known.
Jen Gerson and Jesse (Read more…)
TweetThis week’s defection of nine Wildrose MLAs to the Progressive Conservative Caucus has drastically impacted Alberta’s electoral map. The governing PCs now hold 72 of 87 electoral constituencies with the remaining opposition consisting of 5 Wildrose MLAs, 5 Liberal MLAs, 4 New Democrats and 1 Independent MLA. The mass-floor crossing could increase the likelihood of an early … Continue reading Could the Wildrose collapse mean an early 2015 election? →
Former NDP leader Brian Mason in a couple of typical poses, above and below. I’ll bet you didn’t know he was a terrific political blogger too!
Jim Prentice is Alberta’s first Wildrose premier and he will soon call a snap election to ensure he can push forward a Wildrose program of using temporarily low oil prices as justification to roll back public sector salaries, attack pensions, reintroduce health care premiums and lay off nurses and teachers.
This sharp and credible warning comes from someone who should be better known as a political blogger than he is, a shrewd analyst of (Read more…)
New management … same old owner. It’s all about marketing. Below: Jim Prentice and Fred Horne, advocating the same health care policies.
Sustained, uninterrupted privatization of health care, a senior official dumped for daring to speak out about political interference in her supposedly independent work, thousands of dollars in illegal donations to the good ole Tory Dynasty now led by Premier Jim Prentice …
All this and a Speaker who doesn’t understand or care about his impartial role in the Legislature. … Plus a national mission to build pipelines to all points of the compass!
This is new management? Sure (Read more…)
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, about to be interviewed by the media, moments after her victory speech in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Three scenes from yesterday’s NDP leadership convention, one of Ms. Notley’s buttons, her father, Grant Notley.
Rachel Notley’s campaign buttons asked: “Are you Ready for Rachel?”
There was never much doubt Alberta’s New Democrats were ready for Rachel, and they proved it yesterday by overwhelmingly choosing the scion of this province’s second-most-famous political dynasty as leader of their party in voting at Edmonton’s Sutton Place Hotel.
This has been clear since former leader Brian Mason announced his intention (Read more…)
Your blogger with Edmonton-Whitemud NDP candidate Dr. Bob Turner. Yeah, I support the NDP. Live with it! Below: Retiring NDP Leader Brian Mason, Health Minister Stephen Mandel, Alberta Liberal candidate Donna Wilson and NDP leadership frontrunner Rachel Notley.
After today, when the Alberta New Democratic Party has at long last chosen a leader to replace the retiring Brian Mason, she (or he) needs immediately to turn her (or his) attention to the Oct. 27 Edmonton-Whitemud by-election.
That’s because, if the buzz from some conservative-leaning campaigners is to be believed, there’s a sense on the doorsteps of the suburban Edmonton (Read more…)
TweetOn October 18, 2014 Alberta’s New Democratic Party will choose a replacement for retiring leader Brian Mason, who has held the position since 2004. The three candidates seeking the leadership are Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Rachel Notley, Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen and Edmonton-Ellerslie candidate Rod Loyola. This is the Alberta NDP’s first foray into a one-member, one-vote system […]
Candidate Rachel Notley addresses the crowd of New Democrats Thursday night during the Alberta New Democratic Party’s final leadership debate in Edmonton. Candidates Rod Loyola, in the middle, and David Eggen, at left, are visible in the background. (Photo by Olav Rokne.) Below: Mr. Eggen, Mr. Loyola and 2012 federal NDP candidate Nathan Cullen, who advocated co-operation among progressive political parties.
Listening to the Alberta NDP’s final leadership debate Thursday night in Edmonton, one could almost imagine there was total unanimity about everything among the province’s New Democrats.
Indeed, there was complete unanimity among the three candidates – in (Read more…)
The NDP and Alberta Liberals fight it out in Edmonton-Whitemud. I’ll leave it to readers to determine who’s just been demasted. Below: Liberal candidate Dr. Donna Wilson (CBC photo) and NDP candidate Dr. Bob Turner.
The reasons are perfectly clear and quite understandable, but it’s depressing nonetheless to see Alberta’s provincial Liberals and New Democrats fighting so bitterly for a few scraps from the table at which the Tories and the Wildrosers get to dine.
But how else can we explain the spectacle of our province’s two progressive parties with only nine Legislative seats between them battling it out in (Read more…)
TweetPremier Jim Prentice announced this week that five-term Conservative Member of Parliament Rob Merrifield would be appointed as Alberta’s representative in Washington D.C. Mr. Merrifield’s resignation from the House of Commons means that a federal by-election will need to be called in the Yellowhead riding by March 17, 2015. This would be the fourth federal […]
Jim Prentice prepares to be sworn in yesterday. Below: Health Minister Stephen Mandel and social media gadfly Olav Rokne.
Things were going to change in Alberta so much once his capable hands were on the steering wheel, Jim Prentice warned us, that we’d better make sure we’d strapped on our seatbelts!
Well, he might have given us a mild scare as he motored through the political equivalent of a yellow light yesterday afternoon by appointing a couple of unelected, well-off, older, gentlemen to his cabinet.
These two fellows may or may not turn out to be a matched set (Read more…)
TweetA closer look at twenty years of provincial by-elections in Alberta As newly selected Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice begins his transition into the Premier’s Office (having just named his transition team), attention will soon turn to a provincial by-election that will allow the new premier an opportunity to be elected as an MLA. In advance of the impending […]
Alberta’s PCs are smiling today as Jim Prentice, at right, takes over the helm of the RMS Titanic Tory. Actual just-elected leaders of the Progressive Conservative Party may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Jim Prentice as he appeared surrounded by media last night. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.)
So, c’mon guys, how many of those 23,386 Progressive Conservative Party memberships were actually purchased by someone, and how many were given away?
Will the PC Party under Mr. Prentice, committed to transparency and integrity as its new leader says it is, (Read more…)
Finance Minister Doug Horner on his Alberta politics Most Wanted card. Below: The real Mr. Horner; Hamilton Burger, “incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial!” Sgt. Shultz: “I see nothing!”
If you want evidence the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party is done like dinner – with or without former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice sitting at the head of the table – look no further than the recent statements of Finance Minister Doug Horner.
Mr. Horner had the opportunity to do the right thing, shoulder the blame as the minister responsible for Alison Redford’s misuse of government aircraft and bow to doctrine (Read more…)
John Ashton, author of today’s guest post. Below: Rachel Notley, David Eggen and Rod Loyola.
Alberta’s NDP made it official today with the close of nominations: there are three candidates in the race to succeed Brian Mason as the leader of the province’s New Democrats, in alphabetical order, David Eggen, Rod Loyola and Rachel Notley. Mr. Eggen and Ms. Notley are MLAs with solid records in the Legislature. Mr. Loyola is a union leader, president of the Non-Academic Staff Association at the University of Alberta.
To mark the occasion, I will run only the second guest post ever to (Read more…)
About-to-declare NDP leadership candidate Rachel Notley with the author of this blog. Below: Already declared NDP leadership candidate David Eggen with the same guy; Grant Notley. Bottom: Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ric McIver at the “March for Jesus” in Calgary yesterday, grabbed from Mr. McIver’s Twitter account.
Good morning, everyone. Although you may not have realized it yet, today is one of the most interesting days of the year in Alberta politics.
That is because, later this morning in Calgary, and then again in the afternoon in Edmonton, Rachel Notley, 50, one of the most interesting politicians in Alberta, is (Read more…)
TweetWhat do the Alberta Liberals, New Democrats, Alberta Party and Green Party have in common? None of these parties will form government after the next election. As Albertans prepare for another electoral showdown between two conservative parties – the long-governing Progressive Conservatives and the opposition Wildrose Party – many non-conservative voters and voters looking for an alternative […]
David Eggen at the Legislature, hanging around with your blogger. Below: the Alberta NDP Legislative caucus, from left to right, Deron Bilous, Brian Mason, David Eggen and Rachel Notley.
The latest Alberta political leadership candidate says his name means “the sharp end of the axe” in Norwegian, which would sound more sinister in this neoliberal era of needless and harmful austerity if we were taking about the boring and predictable race to lead the governing Progressive Conservatives.
Thankfully, we’re not. David Eggen, 51, the tireless New Democrat MLA for Edmonton-Calder, is the first candidate to declare officially he’s running for (Read more…)
A system of contracts that can be enforced and adjudicated by an independent and disinterested court like this one is one of the key features of civilized society. This is a picture of the court used by a significant number Canadian law firms to illustrate their web pages. Actually, it’s the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Manhattan. But, unlike all those coruscating Canadian legalists, I took this picture myself. Below: Premier pro tem Dave Hancock talking to the media about an entirely different controversial issue; historian Alvin Finkel.
Amid all the brouhaha in recent weeks over (Read more…)
TweetWhile most political chatter in Alberta is focused on how big Jim Prentice’s victory will be on the first ballot of the Progressive Conservative leadership vote on September 6, there is another race about to begin – the race to become the leader of the Alberta NDP. At his press conference announcing departure, outgoing NDP […]
AUPE President Guy Smith, left, and Finance Minister Doug Horner on the podium together at yesterday’s news conference in Edmonton. Below: NDP leader Brian Mason as he spoke to reporters moments afterward.
There’s no question, after a year of something approaching total warfare between the Government of Alberta and its civil service union, it was unnerving to see Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith and Finance Minister Doug Horner sharing the same podium at a joint news conference yesterday morning.
The backstory for the public? Former premier Alison Redford is gone, taking her war on public employees with (Read more…)
TweetBack in the mid-2000s, when I worked for the Alberta Liberals, Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason was a constant source of frustration for my colleagues and I. Each week, I was amazed at how the leader of the tiny perfect NDP could consistently earn so much press and scoop away the media attention deserved by of my party’s Official […]