Alberta Politics

alberta liberals choose to keep raj sherman as leader.

Raj Sherman Liberal Party leader
Liberal leader Raj Sherman at Edmonton’s 2012 Pride Festival.

Edmonton-Meadowlark MLA Raj Sherman will keep his job as leader of Alberta’s Liberal Party after a vote at the party’s annual general meeting in Calgary. Of the estimated 300 Liberal Party members who attended last weekend’s AGM, 94% voted to confirm their support of Dr. Sherman, who became leader in September 2011.

Dr. Sherman is the Liberal Party’s 11th leader since 1971, the year Peter Lougheed‘s Progressive Conservatives formed government. The Liberals were wiped out in that election and did not return to the Assembly again until 1986, when four Liberals were elected to the Assembly.

The Liberal Party formed Official Opposition in 1993 and since that time nine Liberals served as Leader of the Official Opposition. In 1994, Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Bettie Hewes served as interim leader, which marked the first time a woman to filled that role in Alberta. In 1998, former Tory cabinet minister Nancy MacBeth was selected as Liberal Party leader and became the first woman to enter the job in a non-interim role. Edmonton-Riverview MLA Kevin Taft led the party to increase its number of MLAs in 2004, the only election in which the Liberals increased their seat total after 1993. In 2011, a second former Tory MLA, Dr. Sherman, was elected as leader of the Liberal Party.

In the 2012 election, only five Liberal MLAs were elected and the party lost Official Opposition status to the Wildrose Party, led by Danielle Smith.

Alberta Liberal Vote 1971-2012
Alberta Election total votes and Alberta Liberal votes in elections from 1971 to 2012.
Alberta Liberal MLAs elected 1971-2012
Alberta Liberal MLAs elected from 1971 to 2012.

9 replies on “alberta liberals choose to keep raj sherman as leader.”

Interesting graphs. I’d like to see the same 2 graphs for the NDP.

It’s pretty clear that Albertans need a merger of the Libs & NDP. Presented with two nearly identical parties, the progressive voters never seem to come together around one option. The idea of a united party is tremendously popular with the non-partisan progressives I speak with. Only select insiders within each party are resisting it, because a new united party might threaten their cozy posts.

For the good of the province, we need a single, electable, progressive alternative.

“Cozy posts”? What pray tell is a “cozy post” in either the ALP of AB NDP. Respectfully, you have to understand the problem (as you see it) before you can hope to solve it.

I dunno, Neal. The fact that TWO ex-Tories have become Liberal leaders suggests to me that the “two nearly identical parties” are the Liberals and PCs.

And Ralph Klein was considering Liberal leadership before he ran as a Tory, as well.

Those volunteers on the provincial executives of the two parties have been riding the gravy train for years, with all their flashy “meetings in Red Deer” on their own dime and “big time conference calls”. Why do they always get to give up their weekends, huh?

But they’ll never give up those cushy positions will they. Some of them spend up to 10 or 15 hours each week not getting paid and even worse they donate their own money to the party. Must be nice at the top.

We’ll never change the system as long as these cosy insiders have a monopoly on organizing conventions and running local campaigns for free.

Will it ever change? Sigh. Sometimes I don’t know. I just don’t know.

What the graphs clearly tell us is the Liberal Party peaked in 1993- nineteen years and nine leaders later, they still struggle to be relevant.
As for a Lib/NDP merger, the only thing they share in common is the struggle to be relevant.
In case Neal didn’t notice, a “single, electable progressive” party was given another overwhelming mandate in April. They’re called Progressive Conservatives. Watch and learn.

There was not an overwhelming win for the progressives. They won a lot of seats but they did not win the majority of votes. However, there is no reason to unite liberals and NDs. That has been done in the progressive ( conservative- not) party. So we will watch and learn – just do not know what the lesson will be!

Looks like the usual suspects have come out to scream blue murder at the suggestion that the Liberals and NDP would be better off merged. Despite their sarcasm, you can bank on the fact that these posts were written by caucus staff, party staff, or even the MLAs themselves. Those are the cozy insiders who fear a merger. The truth is no one else (save for one MLAs spouse) cares enough to come and post like this. But go ahead, continue to work hard to split the progressive vote. I’m sure the tiny differences in policy, which neither party will ever get to enact, make it all worthwhile. Far better than attempting to actually win anything…

61 seats- pretty overwhelming from here! Rural gal, you may say down is up and white is black, it doesn’t change the fact the Progressive Conservatives won large- get over it.
Neal, you x-files-UFO seeing-conspiracy theory kook. Take a breath, dude.

Neal, I signed my full name and I’m perhaps even an “insider”. And nobody said anything against the merger idea, if you read the comments you’re referring to more closely. Chill out and I’d invite you to get involved if you want to stear one or both parties in a certain direction. You won’t get there by maligning volunteers of two organizations doing their best to advance the progressive ideas you apparently also believe in. My two cents. The “insiders” narrative does urk me though, so perhaps I was a bit snide in my first comment.

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