There may have been some young folks at this weekend’s Alberta PC convention in Calgary, but that doesn’t mean that there’s a new crew steering the S.S. Stelmach. You don’t have to look too far to see that it’s still the same stodgy crew running the show.
There are currently 61 Progressive Conservative MLA’s in the Legislature and with 42 of those have been re-nominated (19 of the 42 re-nominated Tories have sat in the Legislature for a decade or more), it’s going to be hard to make the case that the Alberta PC’s are going through a 1993 Ralph Klein-style reinvention.
With Ed Stelmach failing to stand up for Albertans by compromising on resource royalties and continuing to refuse to fire Energy Minister Mel Knight after Auditor General Fred Dunn singled out Knight’s Department of Energy for failing to collected billions of dollars in natural resource royalty revenues owed to Albertans, it’s clear that it’s business as usual in the halls of the Tory government.
With the likes of Lyle Oberg, Lloyd Snelgrove, Ray Danyluk, and Luke Ouellette running the show, a close look will reveal the same old stodgy Stelmach Tories.
Similar to the Liberal Party of Canada under Stephane Dion, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives failed to realize that simply changing your leader doesn’t equal revitalization in the minds of voters. Like Dion’s Federal Liberals, the Stelmach Tories have embraced institutional mediocrity and have clearly not begun to undertake the road to revitalization and re-branding that occurred under two previous 1990’s-era leaders.