Can Wildrose survive Rob Anders? Can floor crossers survive PC Party?

Melissa Mathieson Rob Anders Macleod Conservative Guns

Calgary-West MP Rob Anders with former Conservative nomination candidate Melissa Mathieson in Feb. 2014.

Initially turned away by Wildrose Party officials, controversial Conservative Member of Parliament Rob Anders has asked the Wildrose Party for a “waiver” to run for the party’s leadership. Having lost bids for federal Conservative nominations in Calgary-Signal Hill and Bow River last year, the controversial Mr. Anders, 42, is scrambling to salvage his 18 year long political career.

Derek Fildebrandt Alberta Taxpayers

Derek Fildebrandt

Before crossing the floor to the PC Party, former leader Danielle Smith publicly told Mr. Anders that he was not welcome to run for the Wildrose Party. But now with the party weakened and without a leader, Mr. Anders may be in a position to mobilize his legions of social conservatives to win the leadership.

Also said to be considering a run for the Wildrose leadership are former Strathcona County mayor Linda Osinchuk (a nominated candidate in Sherwood Park), former lobbyist Derek Fildebrandt (running for a nomination in Strathmore-Brooks) and Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes.

Can the PC-Wildrose MLAs survive?
Kerry Towle

Kerry Towle

It appears that all or most former Wildrose MLAs who crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservatives in the final months of 2014 will face strong competitions to win their new party’s nominations to run in the next election.

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox is facing former Ponoka Mayor Larry Henkleman and businessman Peter DewitInnisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Kerry Towle is facing Red Deer County Mayor Jim WoodCardston-Taber-Warner MLA Gary Bikman is being challenged by Taber Reeve Brian Brewin, and Calgary-Shaw MLA Jeff Wilson is being challenged by arch-conservative activist Craig Chandler.

If Olds-Disbury-Three Hills MLA Bruce Rowe decides to seek re-election, he will face a challenge from Olds Town Councillor Wade Bearchell, who is already campaigning for the PC nomination. Medicine Hat MLA Blake Pedersen is also expected to face a strong challenge and Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson has already announced he will not run for re-election.

Immediately following the floor-crossings, Mr. Pedersen told the Medicine Hat News be believed their PC nominations were guaranteed, but that appears to be a key bargaining position the 9 Wildrose MLAs asked for and were denied before they joined the PCs.

Now the question is how many of the Wildrose-turned-PC MLAs can survive to run in the next election? Could a potential cabinet shuffle save their political careers?

What are PC-Wildrose MLAs are saying about being in government?

Olds-Disbury-Three Hills MLA Bruce Rowe (Olds Albertan):

“You know, it’s a shame to have to say this, but it’s amazing to me the doors that are open since I crossed the floor. I get into ministers’ office(s) and get things done. It’s just – it’s amazing. It’s really not the way it should be, but it is the way it is.”

What are PC MLAs saying about the PC-Wildrose MLAs?

Spruce Grove-St. Albert MLA Doug Horner (Spruce Grove Examimer):

“This shows that was all politics. That’s unfortunate, and we will have to let that go. But I think everybody should understand that when they make accusations like that and then (cross the floor), it’s obvious there was a lot of political motivation there and not a lot of fact,” Mr. Horner said.

“I’d like to see us stop with the unfounded character assassination — and I think that will stop from them.”

Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA Thomas Lukaszuk (Calgary Herald): 

“It’s sort of like that neighbour that screams at you all the time and calls the cops on you once in a while now moves into your house,” Mr. Lukaszuk said. “You sort of work around it and make it work. At the end of the day you have to focus on the prize — and that’s representing your constituents and making good decisions as a government.”


I will be taking a short break from blogging for the next week. In my absence, take a look at David Climenhaga‘s excellent blog at AlbertaPolitics.ca.

 

7 thoughts on “Can Wildrose survive Rob Anders? Can floor crossers survive PC Party?

  1. xenomorph

    Daveberta, in light of these WR and PC whimsical musical chairs. It looks like Dr. Sherman actually was the most honorable politician all along, as he left the party of money to take the hard road BY CHOICE and not so much a shred of kind words from any of your writing. Did you ever even get off your effing chair and talk to him? You rightly deserve admonishment and rebuke for never giving him the light of day and unjustly continually casting him in a poor light his entire time as politician. Just read your articles. Your claim of being neutral is all hot hair. Even DJC, was more fair and balanced. I urge you to mature your thoughts and look past old biases and the politics, as there is a wholesomeness, classiness, honesty, being principled and character lacking in almost all Alberta politicans. PC buffons and WR floor crossers were written about with in less biased manner.

    Reply
  2. Dave Cournoyer Post author

    Xenomorph: Thanks for the comment. As I wrote in an earlier post, as a health care advocate, Dr. Sherman was a natural fit in the opposition benches. As a former Tory MLA, I don’t believe he was the right fit to lead Alberta’s Liberal Party. I think that’s a pretty fair comment that many Albertans would agree with.

    – Dave

    Reply
  3. SC

    Dr Sherman should have stayed in the PC party and tried to change the system from within. Gong over to provincial Libs was a mistake (and I say this as a federal LPC supporter). Maybe we would see him back as a federal LPc candidate some day ………

    Reply
  4. SC

    On a slightly different note, what is Craig chandler (hard right social con) doing in the socially enlightened PC Party? Didn’t he belong to the ‘regressive’ strain of Alberta conservatives??

    Reply

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