From the Calgary Herald:
Ex-Liberal MLA Dave Taylor will throw his support to the Alberta Party today, adding a third opposition party to the increasingly crowded legislature floor.
“I am joining the Alberta Party and that obviously means I will sit as an Alberta Party MLA,” Taylor told the Herald on the weekend.
“I’ve taken a long time to make this decision but I believe it is the right one. The Alberta Party is a good fit with my values and my principles. I can be very comfortable with these people.”
The Calgary-Currie MLA will make the announcement this morning at a downtown news conference with interim party Leader Suff Huff, other party advocates, and members of his Currie riding association.
His decision is a “tremendous boost to this new party and another nail in the coffin of the Liberals,” says Mount Royal University professor David Taras.
“So far the Alberta Party is below the radar with most Albertans. Not many could pick the leader out of a lineup.
“And now here’s Dave Taylor all of a sudden. He’s known, he’s articulate and he’s effective. People could start to get really interested in this new party.
A former radio host on Calgary’s AM770, Mr. Taylor was first elected as a Liberal MLA in 2004 and left that party to sit as an Independent MLA in April 2010. As the new Alberta Party’s first MLA, he will certainly give the new party a boost in public attention as the Legislature resumes sitting on February 22, 2011. Today’s announcement also challenges the growing narrative that only the Wildrose Alliance has momentum going into an expected 2012 provincial general election.
In December 2010, the Alberta Party Board of Directors surprised some political watchers when they approved a set of guidelines for future Alberta Party MLAs and MLAs wishing to join that Party. The Alberta Party also kicked off its leadership contest in January 2011 with voting for a new leader to take place in May 2011.
Mr. Taylor’s move creates an even more oddly split Assembly with 67 Progressive Conservative MLAs, 8 Liberal MLAs, 4 Wildrose Alliance MLAs, 2 New Democrat MLAs, 1 Alberta Party MLA, and 1 Independent MLA.
(Note: I am a member of the Alberta Party. Read my closing remarks to the Party’s 2010 Policy Convention to get a good idea of why I joined)