placing odds on the next king of alberta…

We meant to post this a while ago…

For those of you who haven’t seen last month’s edition of Alberta Venture Magazine, odds have been placed on successors to King Ralph’s throne*…

Here they are…

Jim Dinning (former MLA Calgary-Lougheed): 2-1
Dave Hancock (MLA Edmonton-Whitemud): 5-1
Iris Evans (MLA Sherwood Park): 16-1
Ted Morton (MLA Foothills-Rockyview): 8-1
Mark Norris (defeated MLA Edmonton-McClung): 9-1
Lyle Oberg (MLA Strathmore-Brooks): 8-1
Ed Stelmach (MLA Ft. Saskatchewan-Vegreville): 4-1

Obviously, many of the rumours being flushed through the grapevine come our way and trying to filter through them is a definite challenge.

But, if the rumours have a trend, the trend is:

1. Klein will be gone sooner than later (emphasis on *sooner*). Many of the rumours hint of recent and past health problems coming to roost. This shouldn’t be surprising when speaking of a career politician in his mid-60s (stress, age, history of drinking problems, etc).

2. Though it’s very early in the race, it’s looking to be a Dinning/Stelmach race. If Dinning can take it on the first ballot, then he’s got it. If not, look for Stelmach to be a force to be reckoned with on the second ballot. We’ve also heard rumours that the Godfather of Alberta Conservative politics, Speaker Ken Kowalski, has endorsed Mr. Stelmach’s campaign… this is huge when it comes to pulling the rural PC vote.

3. Don’t underestimate the darkhorse of the race: Dr. Ted Morton. Our sources deep in the Calgary Tory establishment tell us of a right-wing insugency with hundreds of pro-Morton PC memberships being sold. This is a scary thought.

4. Don’t forget that in many ways, this leadership race is a battle between the rural and urban factions within the Alberta Tory caucus. There are some pretty deep divisions. Look for them to manifest into some fairly entertaining firework shows in the coming months as the urban and rural leadership candidates begin to seriously position themselves publicly.

*The odds were produced by an anonymous panel of seven Albertans drawn from business, labour, academia, and journalism.

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