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Alberta Politics

ed stelmach resigning as premier of alberta.

Premier Ed Stelmach and his wife, Marie, at today's media conference.

Premier Ed Stelmach announced today that he is resigning and will not seek re-election. The text of his statement has been posted on his blog.

Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith reacts to Premier Stelmach's resignation announcement.
NDP leader Brian Mason took the podium with reactions after Premier Ed Stelmach left the room.
The Premier's Communications Office on the morning after he announced his resignation. Note the "King Eddie" framed newspaper headline in the background.

I am still digesting this and will provide more thoughts soon.

What do you think?

UPDATE: Here is my blog post looking at Premier Stelmach’s resignation the morning after.

22 replies on “ed stelmach resigning as premier of alberta.”

I think now we see the PC’s dive back to the right in response to the Wildrose Alliance. We’ll also start to see some interesting times as the potential candidates start to jostle for position.

If the PCs shift right as @Paul and many are suspecting (or fearing), then I wonder if a few more Red Tories will jump ship, either to be independents with Sherman or if they’ll join the Alberta Party.

Interesting times.

I think you’ll see Ted Morton start to position himself as the leader-in-waiting, setting up a leader-versus-leader election in Calgary Highwood.
Up until today, I figured we would have seen a provincial election this year, after the spring budget as the tories would try to limit the time the WRA has to gain ground. I don’t think a lot of people saw this one coming.

I was actually skeptical until today about the probability of an election this year, especially considering the PCs haven’t nominated any candidates.

Today I see that as a likely scenario, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one in the fall, I guess it depends on the timing of their leadership vote though.
Alternatively I can see the combining the leadership votes with candidate nominations (go and vote for your candidate, and leader in one stop). If they did this they could be in a good position to call a snap election immediately after a new leader is elected. With the updated list of supporters -which like in 2008 will probably be more accurate than any voters list Elections Alberta can provide the other parties- and the media likely focusing exclusively on the PCs during a leadership race it may work to their advantage to go immediately after a new leader is selected.

Stelmach made pointed reference to the fact they don’t have to hold an election until 2013. I think this is a move to extend an election period and get someone in the PC seat ready to lead and unite the party in 2013. I don’t expect they’ll move too quickly on an election.

@Peter,

You got that right! Ed just took the venom out of the WRA! WRA ain’t got nothing!

WRA is all about libertarianism and free markets, but not about humanitarianism.

Albertans are tired of being served up as the turkey at the dinner table.

We want a more centrist canditate and centrist party. Alberta Party is looking better each day. They still need a strong PC floor crosser, somebody that is a long time PC’er has to move, others will go with them.

Other PC MLA’s should still leave as independents and take the time to think it over.

I wouldn’t read Smith’s obituary just yet. Many of the WRA’s complaints – as with the other opposition parties – weren’t with Stelmach himself but with the direction of government. If all that changes is the leader and the direction and reactive planning remains “as is” then all this will accomplish, at most, is to put Alberta politics into a bit of a holding pattern until the new leader is determined and Albertans can see whether or not it is truly new and different or just a fresh coat of paint on the same barn.

There’s plenty more problems within the PC party for their opposition to pick apart their decaying carcass. The Alberta Party is not a legitimate contender for anything. Their followers from what I have read and seen are far too extreme and have no idea how to persuad voters. The WRA will no doubt be the next government of Alberta, not my opinion just what I see coming down the pipe.

This came as such a surprise, it makes one wonder whether he has a hitherto unpublicized health issue going on the prompt this “bolt from the blue” announcement.

As for the PC Party, I expect they’ll elect Ted Morton as leader and try to out-right-wing the WRA.

Danielle Smith doesn’t seem very comfortable as a right winger, why else would she run into the arms of a “progressive” like Stephen Carter and be so friendly with Nenshi.

Lets not forget the fact that she has done everything she can internally to kill the Alliance name, and kill off and expel and keep the Alberta Alliance party members from getting nominations.

I think Smith wishes she was in the Alberta Party.

I hope this is not the train wreck for the province that it is starting to look like – Morton against Smith, a divided province as the right wing slugs it out. How many government departments to close? How many vulnerable citizens left to fend for themselves? Fools, Foolish, Foolishness.

Ted Morton may commit hari-kari politically if he brings in budget with growing deficit, putting him out of leadership contention, and forcing PCs to pursue a more right-leaning leader to take on Wild Rose in election. This could force red tories to move elsewhere – giving Alberta Party cred if it can secure legit contenders – demonstrating it is “above” left/right parties. But recent recruitment of Lib Taylor could slow that shift. Could Alberta attract Hancock for leader – that would be an exciting race, but again it would be seen as an election of oil vs academes. Exciting times!

I love this left wing whiners forum. What’s even funnier is the speculation about Danielle Smith. She will be the next premeir of this province and you people just can’t deal with it. I laugh when I see the speculation about her going to the Alberta Party, that ones hysterical. That would be fluching her career down the toilet.

@LoL,

Danielle has just been defanged, she has no beast to toss the arrows at, and RW PC’s are not going to defect to WRA. so bye bye Danielle and Smith admirers, amateur hour is gone!

@Jas D.

Hancock couldn’t lead him self out of anything. He couldn’t run health, eduation or any other portfolio. He is neither a problem solver, nor a leader, other than that, he is a great politician!

If Ted plans to lie his way into office and promise not to cut health, education and other things to balance the budget, then he will be toast too!. He simply won’t be able to balance the needs of big oil with societie’s needs. He will get stuck in middle.

We need an extremely intelligent, tough leader like Klein, who communicates well, has vision, good ideas, can keep the left and right in check and govern from the right of center, provide an assurance of necessary govt services and steward towards debt reduction, while continue to be liked by all from both sides, LW, center and RW. This will require an extremely clever, smart individual.

The PC’s WRA and other parties do not have such an individual. But one will arise!

@Call it like it is, you seem to be under the impression that Albertans think all the ills in this province fall into the lap of Ed Stelmach. The WRA has plenty of ammo left with the likes of Kowalski, Morton, Liepert, Zwozdesky etc etc. You are practicing wishful thginking because your having trouble digesting what’s going to happen.

@Tony, That comment actually made me laugh, thank you. How did you figure that out? Magic 8 ball? Scribbles on the bathroom stall or was it one of your other reliable sources? That’s commical that you think because Ed’s gone she’s done, you know so little it’s actually amusing.

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