Tories invite Mike Allen back in, Wildrose show Joe Anglin the door

Mike Allen Jim Prentice Fort McMurray MLA
Alberta PC MLAs voted to invite Independent MLA Mike Allen back into the government caucus after a year in the opposition benches.

Progressive Conservative MLAs have voted to extend an invitation to Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Mike Allen to rejoin their caucus. A relatively popular first-term politician in his constituency who many watchers believe will still do well in the next election (as an PC or an Independent), Mr. Allen left the PC caucus after he was arrested while trying to hire two prostitutes in St. Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately for the Mr. Allen, the prostitutes happened to be police officers.

Police said he answered an online ad placed by undercover police, agreeing to pay two women $200 for sex. He was arrested and charged with a gross misdemeanour but pleaded guilty in December to a lesser misdemeanour of trying to hire prostitutes. He was fined $500, ordered to pay another $500 in court fees and sentenced to one-year of probation. His probation expires Dec. 18. (Edmonton Journal)

From a jail cell in Minnesota in July 2013 Mr. Allen did not deny the allegations, he admitted to his mistakes and voluntarily resigned from the PC caucus. As for his readmission into government, perhaps the MLAs in the PC caucus believe that one-year banishment into the opposition benches was punishment enough for Mr. Allen’s indiscretions.

Joe Anglin MLA Wildrose Rocky Mountain House Rimbey Sundre
Joe Anglin

Joe Anglin Out
What is Joe Anglin to do? After losing the Wildrose Party nomination in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre last weekend, some political watchers have speculated that he might join the Alberta Party, others believe he could run as an Independent candidate in the next election. He has yet to let his intentions known.

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith cheekily suggested he should run in Edmonton, which would be akin to Stephen Harper saying Rob Anders should run for re-election in Toronto. A one man wolf pack, Mr. Anglin is a liability for any party in the rigid system of party discipline that exists in our political system. And the closer a party gets to power, like the Wildrose is, the more rigid they become with their MLAs and candidates.

Is it uncommon for incumbent politicians to lose party nomination races? In Alberta, yes. In fact, there are only a handful of examples I can remember from recent history in Alberta politics:

Carl Benito MLA Edmonton Mill Woods
Carl Benito

– First-term MLA Carl Benito was defeated by Sohail Quadri in the Progressive Conservative nomination in Edmonton-Mill Woods in 2012, Mr. Benito ran as an Independent in that year’s election. He placed fifth of six candidates with 480 votes (3.9%).

– PC MLA Art Johnston lost two nominations in advance of the 2012 election – to Rick Fraser in Calgary-South East and Ric McIver in Calgary-Hays. Mr. Johnston retired from politics after the election was held.

– Then-Leduc mayor George Rogers upset two-term MLA Albert Klapstein in the PC nomination in Leduc before the 2004 election. Mr. Klapstein retired from politics after the election was held.

– Two-term MLA Tony Abbott was defeated for the PC nomination in Drayton Valley-Calmar by then-Drayton Valley mayor Diana McQueen before the 2008 election. Mr. Abbott retired rather than run for another party or as an Independent.

New Licence Plates
Albertans are living with flooding hospitals, overcrowded schools and a cash-strapped legal aid system, but a new licence plate design is a government priority? Premier Dave Hancock announced changes to Alberta’s licence plates at a press conference today, including the removal of the long-time slogan ‘Wild Rose Country‘ from the plates. Recent polls suggest that the current slogan is accurate.

7 thoughts on “Tories invite Mike Allen back in, Wildrose show Joe Anglin the door”

  1. Dave, a minor correction (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

    Mike Allen actually left (was booted from) caucus during a phone call in the early morning from a jail cell in Minnesota.

  2. Broyce Jacabs was dumped by PCs in Cardston Taber Warner prior to last election. His replacement was then beat by the Wildrose candidate.

  3. “The Wildrose Party would like to thank Mr Anglin for his hard work and dedication by presenting him with this ceremonial knife…”

  4. Dave, I don’t think its anything like a CPC run in Toronto. Wild Rose is polling a close second to the NDP in much of Edmonton. It’s not crazy to think that Joe Anglin’s brand of populist progressivism could win an Edm seat for Wild Rose.

  5. Remove ‘Wild Rose Country” from licence plates? Gee, this something to do with that far-right political party we’ve been hearing about?

  6. Dave it should be noted the Liberal leader who was an ex PC MLA was also thrown from caucus, albeit for taking a principled stand on healthcare, trying to keep his own party accountable. Yet, MLA Allen was kicked out and taken back, and had taken no principled stand on anything. The hypocrisy and double standards are staggering here. It is downright shameless and embarrassing, in light of this situation, it was funny to see education minister Mr. Johnson attack teachers on such matters, while he has not uttered a peep on the curious case of MLA Allen. The double standard and wholesale selective ethics are indeed deeply troubling and a barometer of how desperate the Tory MLA’s are and willing to keep office at any cost. It is beyond self serving, it should be duly noted.

  7. It should be noted that one of the Liberal staffers was implicated in the BC ethnic vote rigging scandal.

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