The PC Party is weaker than it was two years ago, but it is far from dead.
As delegates to the Progressive Conservative Party convention gathered in Calgary this weekend, it appears that “re-invention” was in the air. By all accounts, it sounds like it was a pretty good party.
As I first reported here on October 21, the Tories will launch as series of “discussion sessions” billed as “the most democratic engagement process for policy development in the history of any political party in our province.” These sessions will attempt to reconnect the PC party leadership with an increasingly disillusioned membership-base in the year before the party celebrates its fortieth year in government. It is being billed as a process in which any Albertan can participate, except the price of participation is purchasing a PC Party membership. It would be refreshing to see a new kind of politics come from the PC Party, but I am not holding my breath.
(Bloggers note: The new Alberta Party has held hundreds of Big Listen meetings across the province since the beginning of 2010 which have been open to anyone, regardless of party membership or lack thereof.)
As a near 40-year governing party, the PC Party suffers all the problems, challenges, and disfunctionalities that our traditional institutional political parties are facing. Low interest from the general public, high involvement by senior citizens, low interest from the under 40 crowd. The obvious advantage that the PC Party has over its competitors is access to power, which helps draw a lot of people to their ranks (see: Liberal Party of Canada).
The PC Party has hired 2008 campaign manager Randy Dawson as its campaign manager for the next election and plans to have candidates nominated in all 87 constituencies by next Summer. Currently, the Wildrose Alliance 21 nominated or declared candidates, the NDP has nominated 4, and the Liberals have nominated two candidates. See a full list.
A policy proposal to limit the power of unions to spend money on political campaigns was defeated. The defeat has drawn the ire (and conspiracy theories) of some elements of the PC Party membership.
While some political watchers have found it easy to already write the PC Party’s obituary, they are still the most organized and well-funded partisan political machine in this province. The growth of the Wildrose Alliance signals that the PC Party may be weaker than it was two years ago when it swept 72 constituencies across the province, but they are still far from out for the count.
20 replies on “don’t write an obituary yet.”
It may not be dead but it’s definitely on life support. They will not be able to correct the health care debacle or wipe from the memories the failed royalty grab mess any time soon. The more they speak it seems the less people want to listen to them.
The infighting and methods they’ve used to ensure tranquility within their ranks will ultimately be their downfall from within. The fact that not just any PC party member was “allowed” to attend the AGM is another sign of how scared and rightfully so they are. The leadership review was a farce, with numbered ballots and not all delegates getting a chance to vote. This is a party that is hanging on by a thread and that thread is burning.
Yeah, but the hospitality suites still rock!
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The PCs must think that the Alberta Party is doing something right. The authenticity of the process will confirm if it’s really a sincere interest in new politics or just window dressing. Open it up to all Albertans.
Vitor Marciano versus Randy Dawson? Game on!
Stelmach talks about new politics and then hires a high paid Tory lobbyist firm as his election team. It’s the same old insider politics for Team PC. Let’s bring back the Alberta Advantage and elect Danielle Smith as Premier!
Danielle Smith is far too extreme, ideological, and out of step with average Albertans. She is unfit for office.
Danielle Smith is not extreme, what the hell are you talking about? Just another fear mongering PC out to scare the people into voting the corrupt ones back into office.
Ed Stelmach is far more unfit for office then any of the leaders in this province, he proves it every day.
Wow Wayne, you obviously have not read anything recent about the Wildrose Alliance Party but I am guessing it is because you don’t want the facts to get in the way of your opinion. I used to belong to the PC Party but since their re-election in 2008 they have changed into something that I can no longer be a part of and the biggest part of the problem is Ed Stelmach.
My party is better than YOUR party!
Nuh uh…MY party is better. YOUR party has poopy pants!
Seriously folks, I almost feel obligated to chuck out a Joe Albertan reference here, because this “my Dad can beat up your Dad” crap is just about on the same intellectual playing field.
Good point about Dawson v. Marciano, though. Dawson comes with a certain bona fides…Vitor comes with a lot of baggage, a questionable (and Rubinesque) sidekick, and a serious inferiority complex likely resulting from a shortage of mommy-hugs. He’s a one trick attack pony, and that ain’t gonna cut it, kids.
BWS, thanks for the laugh.
The coming election should prove to be very interesting.
I’ve heard some rumours that another somewhat prominent PC MLA might be switching over to the WRA as they have been openly musing about it in their riding for months now.
Disregard that comment. Turns out that my friend was talking about Boutillier and I misunderstood them.
Broken Winged Swann, you never fail to insult people, talk about low intellectual playing field.
Thanks buddy. I will! Talking about low intellectual playing fields makes me feel good about stuff. But not bad stuff like in the newspapers, good stuff, like puppies and flowers and reactionary conservatism and even punctuation. But not very much on punctuation, that makes me think too much, and nobody tells me what to think about punctuation so it’s hard, and hard things are Ed’s fault.
The logic is airtight.
Name calling now, how becoming.
“Danielle Smith is far too extreme”
“Danielle Smith is not extreme”
Both perceptions are correct–which is what worries me about her.
Coming from someone whose entire philosophy is based on name calling and rhetoric, I’m afraid I’m going to have to question the legitimacy of that accusation, sir.
Name calling rhetoric? So you read only te parts you want and interpert them in a way to make your point, interesting.
—insert eye roll here— you’re the type that make people stop even visiting these blogs. Self proclaimed know it alls with an attitude. Good luck with that, somebody will knock your teeth down your throat at some point, that’s the only sure thing in your life.