Independent Edmonton-Meadowlark MLA Raj Sherman is expected to announce that he will join the Official Opposition Liberals at 12:30pm today. Dr. Sherman was suspended from the PC caucus in November 2010 after penning a blunt email to the Premier, and his caucus and medical colleagues criticizing the PC government’s record on health care.
Dr. Sherman’s membership in any opposition party is a mixed blessing. While he is seen as an opposition folk hero among many Albertans, his political fortunes are sporadic and continue to plunge and spike depending on the day of the week.
In February, Dr. Sherman told reporters that he was thinking about running for a party leadership, but had not decided which party. Current leader Dr. David Swann has announced that he will resign as his party’s leader at the end of the spring sitting of the Assembly. Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman is the only candidate to have officially announced interest in the job.
This may be the first time in Alberta’s history that an MLA has left another party and joined the Liberal Party.
UPDATE: Dr. Sherman has announced that he is joining the Liberal Party as a member and will seek that Party’s leadership, but he will remain an Independent MLA in the Assembly until the next election.