Danielle Smith Dave Taylor David Sands Ed Stelmach Edwin Erickson Gene Zwozdesky Jerry Toews Jim Gurnett Joe Anglin Ralph Klein Ron Liepert Tom Olsen

upside-down week.

Shuffling the deck.

Long-time Government spokesperson Jerry Bellikka replaces Tom Olsen as spokesman for Premier Ed Stelmach (Olsen now becomes Alberta’s Olympic Spokesperson in Vancouver). Former MLA Jim Gurnett replaces Jerry Toews as Chief of Staff at the NDP caucus. Instead of laughing at satire, PAB blogger David Sands leaves Twitter altogether. Taking a more open approach to the media than his predecessor, Health & Wellness Minister Gene Zwozdeskys cell phone number is now showing up on Government media releases.

Not your father’s NEP

With new Energy Minister Ron Liepert‘s mandate to reclaim PC dominance over energy sector support from Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose Alliance, the Liberals do not want to be left out. Calgary-Currie MLA Dave Taylor is leading his party’s 180-degree policy change from their previous position that resource royalties are too low. On the policy change, Mount Royal University Professor Bruce Foster told FFWD:

“It seems as if the Liberals didn’t take the lead on this or didn’t distinguish themselves and now they’re playing catch-up,” he says.

Calgary Grit has more.

Alberta Party of Alberta

Former deputy leader of the now-defunct Alberta Green Party Edwin Erickson is now leader of the Alberta Party. In the last election, Erickson placed second with 19% of the vote against Tory Diana McQueen in Drayton Valley-Calmar. Erickson and Joe Anglin led the fight against Bill 50 and Erickson had publicly mused about creating the Progress Party of Alberta. The Alberta Party has existed in a number of forms since 1986, but has never been competitive (highest support: leader Mark Waters earned 1,200 votes in Calgary-Currie in 1993).

Ralph University

Olds College has re-named their Community Learning Centre after former Premier Ralph Klein and not everyone in Olds is enamoured with the decision.

32 replies on “upside-down week.”

Dave- re: the Twitter thing, while I agree laughter should be the first choice, the fake Morton account (while humorous) does have a misleading tag and he was engaging with folks who clearly weren't aware it was satire.

So the question to you, Chapman and all the other social media gurus is: if you really want gov't to get into the conversation, shouldn't there be some reasonable ground rules? I love great satire but shouldn't it be clearly marked as such?

Dave:Your ridiculous anti-Liberal bias is becoming really annoying. Man you must have been choked about not having your contract renewed.
The media has been super positive about this move by the ALP and you find the one negative comment out there!!!!
Post-partisan my ass, seems like you are the propaganda minister for recycle alberta or whatever Chima's little project is now called. Sooo can't get the 7000 signatures eh, can't aford to buy the Alberta party name eh, and the ALP is making good moves so you don't look that good anymore. Go ahead maybe facebook and twitter are not enough, maybe you should get a myspace page as well that might actually get your new party started you complete "non-partisan faker"

With Love
proud partisan

Anonymous 8:05: Thanks for the comment.

You're right, the Morton account wasn't clearly a parody at first (and it wasn't completely clear that it wasn't Minister Morton until after they broke character – at which point it became less funny, IMO). I understand how a government communications person would be frustrated with it, but I don't believe that completely backing out is a reasonably solution.

Anonymous 9:13: Thank for the comment!

I don't believe that my comment was unfair or negative. The PCs have appointed Ron Liepert as Minister of Energy to mend political fences with the energy sector. Danielle Smith has drawn an increasing amount of financial support from a group of middle and junior sized oil and gas companies in Calgary. Until now, the Liberals have appeared to largely stay out of that mix.

Dan Arnold makes some pretty good comments about the role that Dave Taylor is playing in the announcement. It would also be fair to observe that this change could be related to the Liberal Party now having more MLAs from Calgary than from Edmonton.

Also, Anonymous, I've been very open about my parting with the Liberal Party. I never sought to have any contract renewed, I left. I like David Swann, and all the power to him if the Liberals can actually succeed in creating a viable alternative to the current governing party, but I don't see it happening.

David Sands was going to lose from the start. He had to play by the rules while bloggers and tweeters in their mom's basement can write whatever they want. Looking forward to reading more tweets about fish with two mouths.
I guess DanWoy has won.

"I like David Swann, and all the power to him if the Liberals can actually succeed in creating a viable alternative to the current governing party, but I don't see it happening."

Wrong. You're actively working to make it not happen. But go ahead and balkanize the centre/centre-left a little more. At least a couple dozen rabid twitterers will think you're a demigod.


Maybe consider fighting for real change? The Liberals are tied with the PCs! Isn't that a "viable alternative"? Do you really think it's harder to swing 5% of the vote to the Liberals than starting a new party and finding 30%? Because that's stupid.

If you like Swann, work with the man. Right now you're a hypocrite – working for change and ensuring its failure concurrently.

So, it looks like Edwin and Anglin have another party to deregister.

I guess when they stick knives into the Alberta Party they will go turf Naomi Rankin for the Communist leadership.

Lost in all this is the significance of hiring Jim Gurnett as Chief of Staff for the Alberta NDP. Jim is an outstanding person, a political veteran and brings an impressive marriage of political principle and pragmatism.

Dave, I thought Renew Alberta was going after the 'Alberta Party' name. If that's not true, or it's not working out, do you know what kind of names they are looking at? Will they stick with 'Renew Party', or are they thinking of joining the former Green guy that has the name?

Congrats Dave. You must be doing something right if all sides are now accusing you of bias. I'm sincere about that, too.

"Lost in all this is the significance of hiring Jim Gurnett as Chief of Staff for the Alberta NDP."

Ah yes, the NDP caucus's annual Chief of Staff switch-a-roo. What is it about Mr. Mason that he has to shuffle through staff constantly? Oh that's right, he treats them as scapegoats.

Everytime Brian's too lazy to read his briefing notes or get to an event on time then it's time to change out a staff member and act like it was their fault. Guess what Brian, nobody is buying it.

Lucky for you your party is in such fringe status that nobody really cares about the internal caucus machinations. I'm surprised to see Jim Gurnett take the post, as he surely knows it won't be a long term assignment. He'd do the party a much bigger favour by running for leader against Mason at their next convention.

I thought Chris LaBossiere was part of Renew Alberta. He's listed as a executive of Alberta Party. Is this the next step of Renew, or something completely different?

Anyway, the new Alberta Party website can be seen at

I don't think they know it can be seen.

Tried to get to the new Alberta Party website but couldn't get onto it. Will have to wait and see what changes a new leadership brings.

To snipe at it… or at those involved before anything becomes public seems rather odd to me.

Also, I'd like to point out that there is no lack of consistency for Edwin Erickson to be involved in the Alberta Party. While trying to form a new party, he obviously came into contact with the Alberta Party and they found enough common ground to move forward with.

If there is enough common ground between Renew Alberta and the Alberta Party, they too will move ahead together.

I'm ready and willing to see what they offer out of the starting blocks. Those who criticise others for trying something new, ought to re-examine their motives. The current opposition parties have had ample time to inspire Albertans. They have failed.

All those who attempt to move forward in new directions don't deserve derision; they deserve a fair hearing and perhaps honest critical questioning.

Agreed, Berry. We have to test the waters. I think renew needs a proper party name to kick things into high gear. AlbertaParty is no longer there for use. Wasn't there talk of a 'Progress party' and centrist party/Alberta centrists. I don't if 'renew party' will grab peoples attention. I want these efforts to succeed. It's got to seem professional

>Alberta Party, Renew Alberta, >Reboot Alberta…

>Does this remind anyone else of the >'People's Front of Judea'?


Hey Lou, how did that NDP losing half their seats in the last election thing work out for you?

Who sounds like the people's front?

Not the Judean Peoples' Front. The Popular Front of the Judean People.

Hah, ha, ha… it's all very funny until the NDs lose another seat!

… but I did love going back to YouTube for that Monty Python clip. VEry witty.

I'm somewhat reassured that people can make references to Monty Python on this blog, and other people get it!

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