Danielle Smith Deron Bilous Kent Hehr Ray Martin Tony Vandermeer

alberta politics: state of the opposition.

They may have dropped to the fourth largest party in the Legislative Assembly in 2010, but the NDP are the first out of the starting gate to nominate a candidate for the 2012 election. The Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview NDP have scheduled their nomination for May 5, 2010. As far as this blogger knows, local teacher and 2008 Edmonton-Centre candidate Deron Bilous is the only candidate seeking the nomination. The constituency was represented by NDP MLA Ray Martin from 2004 until his narrow defeat to Tory Tony Vandermeer in 2008. Under the interim proposed boundary changes for 2012, the new Edmonton-Clareview constituency would reduce Mr. Vandermeer’s 2008 margin of victory down to 101 votes. With recent polls looking quite different than those of 2008, past results could mean very little in two years.

Word has it that a recent shake up in the NDP was not limited to their departing Executive Director. Some recent turnover on the board of executive officers has introduced some fresh blood onto the tiny party’s central bureau (since no table officers are listed on the NDP website, it is left to this kind of speculation). While they are reported to have raised $681,000 in 2009, insider sources have told me that slower economic times have contributed to a decline in individual donations in 2010, making staff layoffs likely.

Not too far behind in their search for candidates is the Liberal Party, who I have been told are hoping to nominate candidates in Edmonton-Decore, Edmonton-Glenora, Edmonton-McClung, Edmonton-Mill Woods, and Edmonton-Rutherford by Fall 2010. The Liberals are reported to have raised $768,000 in 2009, but are struggling to even hold their support in the polls, a problem that has some Liberals talking about a palace coup.

The Liberals may also be looking for a candidate to run in an upcoming by-election if rumors that one of two Calgary MLAs run for Mayor this Fall. A growing number of Liberals in Calgary are seriously talking about supporting a Mayoral bid by popular Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr. One Liberal told me that Mr. Hehr “is seriously considering running for Mayor, and is currently arranging lunches with former Bronco heavy weights.” A by-election in Calgary-Buffalo would be an ideal opening for a new party with a potential candidate who has extensive experience organizing a winning election in that progressive downtown constituency.

Meanwhile, Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith is taking advantage of not being burdened with the responsibility of holding a seat in the Assembly by delivering campaign style stump speeches across the province. Ms. Smith’s party remains strong in the polls and raised nearly $700,000 in 2009 (most since she became leader in October 2009.

23 replies on “alberta politics: state of the opposition.”

Alberta Party candidate Carl Schwartz netted a total of 56 votes for 0.73% of the popular vote in 2004.

They have a little bit of work to do.

Who are you reffering to as the AB Party's potential candidate there, Dave? Having read the article you linked to, it's not clear to me at all, as many different folks are mentioned. Maybe I'm just being thick today but I'm not seeing it.

Sounds like the NDP are conducting ritual sacrifices: "…introduced some fresh blood onto the tiny party's central bureau…"

I think you meant "into". Bureau comes from French, and means both desk and office.

Or maybe that's EXACTLY what you meant!

Having watched Jack Layton and even Stephen Harper use a similar strategy, I think it is very wise for any new party leader who is not already elected to wait for the next general election before seeking a seat. Nothing generates as much buzz for a party as the new leader touring here, there and everywhere. It is far more effective than when the leader (again, of any party) is stuck in the daily grind they will face once elected.

Anon 9:51:00 AM: Dave is referring to Chima Nkemdirim. Lawyer at FMC, Kent Hehr's campaign manager in 2008, now an Alberta Party organizer.

Chima would be crushed. The Liberals got an outright majority of the vote in Calgary-Buffalo. But it's good he's got an Edmonton cheerleader.

Here's an idea: why don't you get involved in Edmonton-Centre's business and stay out of Calgary's?

The Liberals got 48% of the vote in Calgary-Buffalo. Almost a majority. It's wide open if Hehr doesn't run.

Syncrude Canada Ltd donated $8975.00 to the PC's last year, was that so Stelmach wouldn't see some ducky photo's?

Come on Tiny Perfect Dave, you're not really rehashing the addled blog of Donn Lovett as a credible source are you? You should really know better.

For the record, he's also given "good intel" on Stephen Harper and his wife splitting up, Boutillier crossing the floor last budget day, and Jim Prentice organizing against Stelmach at his leadership review.

Give your head a shake.

Nobody is talking coup in the Alberta Liberal Party. Nobody serious or important, at least.

Organizationally, the Alberta Liberal Party has made huge strides (See: Debt Figures, New Processes), and who do you credit for that if not David Swann? Expect the Liberals to build on those gains in the months to come.

Will Cheemo Nikemdurm campaign on the legacy of the Alberta Party/Alberta Separation Party/Alberta Alliance Party/paleo-conservative nobb party? How quickly will we separate if a federal Liberal government is voted in? How many fully automatic assault rifles will every Albertan be mandated to own. Will we follow Uganda's lead on human rights?

Alberta Party of Alberta- Yippee!

In reality, any open seat in Calgary means a free ticket to the Leg for Danielle Smith. That's why no Tory MLA will run for mayor, and why David Swann would be very well-advised to keep Kent in that seat.

The fact that Swann is in his seat may be a reason Hehr wants a new one. A good Liberal candidate could probably win that seat again. I'm not convinced the WR could pull that one out, but it might be pretty interesting. All this isn't to say Hehr would win the mayoral election – I doubt he would. But there's no doubt a handful of Liberal hacks in this town who think he could…or think he should so they can play Mr. Strategist. Seems like Lovett is one of them. That would be a wildly overrated pair.

The Liberals don't listen. They don't listen to each other, to their advisors, and the infighting has been kept a secret for too long.

There are two distinct factions…

(1) Swann and his supporters

(2) The outsiders

Swann and his supporters include: David Swann, Kevin Taft, Harry Chase, Bridget Pastoor, the Chief of Staff, the PR big cheese, and Mo Elsahy

The outsiders are Dave Taylor, Darshan Kang, Laurie Blakeman, Hugh MacDonald, the staff at the Caucus, Tony Sansotta.

If the party had taken the advice of the experts instead of hired guns they would have saw that there was no way to grow beyond 16 seats.

I have already parked my vote and my dollars behind the only party listening to Albertans.

I hope MANY more will join the Wild Rose Alliance and stand for real grassroots democracy instead of rule by the tall foreheads locked in their ivory towers.

Remember Liberals 2012 is coming very fast.

Anon 10:37,

You're full of crap. There ARE fissures in the party, but

A) they are not as bad as you suggest; and
B) they aren't even along the lines you suggest.

Also, what is the difference between an "expert" and "hired gun"?

You also are clearly oblivious of party structure, based on your breakdown. But good try.

Anon 10:37, you forgot Kent Hehr, where does he stand?

Laurie Blakeman is a Swann supporter for the simple reason she doesn't like Taylor. That's why Swann made her both deputy leader and house leader and there's a lot of extra money for her for occupying both positions.

Darshan Kang would better just focus on keeping his seat. MacDonald is always on the outside, a great MLA in his own right but forever opposed to any and all leaders. As for Sansotta, I agree with you, the guy's listening ability is miniscule. He is stubborn and thinks he knows it all.

What's the difference between the Alberta Party and other left wing parties? Nothing except a different group of people involved. Wait, that's the same too!

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