In party leadership races, endorsements by sitting MLAs can be a double-edged sword. Endorsements can lend credibility to candidates and individual MLAs own local political networks to the campaign. Large numbers of endorsements can also signal to rank and file party members where their party’s establishment is lining up.
But MLA endorsements are not always a solid indicator of who will win a party leadership vote. In 2006, Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jim Dinning had the support of the majority of PC MLAs, but he was defeated by Ed Stelmach. In 2011, Gary Mar had the support of a majority of PC MLAs, but he was defeated by Alison Redford.
In this year’s Alberta PC Party leadership race, bank vice-president Jim Prentice has the overwhelming lead in MLA endorsements. As of today, I count at least 15 PC MLAs who have lent their names to support his campaign to become their leader. More are expected to endorse Mr. Prentice:
MLA’s endorsing Mr. Prentice’s bid for the PC leadership are Manmeet Bhullar (Calgary-Greenway), Neil Brown (Calgary-Nose Hill), Robin Campbell (West Yellowhead), Alana DeLong (Calgary-Bow), Jonathan Denis (Calgary-Acadia), David Dorward (Edmonton-Gold Bar), Kyle Fawcett (Calgary-Klein), Doug Griffiths (Battle River-Wainwright), Fred Horne (Edmonton-Rutherford) Ken Hughes (Calgary-West), Jeff Johnson (Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater), Diana McQueen (Drayton Valley-Devon), Dave Rodney (Calgary-Lougheed), George Rogers (Leduc-Beaumont), Greg Weadick (Lethbridge-West).
The only other candidate to enter the leadership race, Calgary-Hays MLA Ric McIver, has no declared support from inside the PC caucus. Thomas Lukaszuk, who is expected to enter the contest, also has yet to receive any MLA endorsements.
Calgary-Hawkwood MLA Jason Luan and Banff-Cochrane MLA Ron Casey endorsed the short-lived leadership campaign of Ken Hughes, who is now endorsing Mr. Prentice.
I will be tracking the list of PC MLA endorsements on the 2014 Progressive Conservative Party leadership contest page.
5 replies on “Tracking Alberta MLA endorsements in the PC Leadership race”
I find it fascinating how an MLA can endorse Mr. Prentice for leader without hearing a single principle or policy idea from him. One can conclude several things from this state of affairs:
1. The campaign has been going on in private. This is the best possible option, which, however, is very sad for the people of Alberta.
2a. MLAs could not care less what Mr. Prentice stands for, they just think he can save their jobs. This is probably closer to the real circumstances.
2b. MLAs could not care less what Mr. Prentice stands for, they just want to be part of his cabinet. This is closest to the truth.
I sarcastically look forward to September when the PC Party tells me who my government is going to be lead by.
I’ve seen references to two other MLAs endorsing Prentice: Mary Anne Jablonski (Red Deer North) and Linda Johnson (Calgary Glenmore). Doug Horner is also likely behind Prentice, having stated he would be supporting ‘a strong candidate’ when he announced his intentions May 8 at PC fundraiser in Calgary that he would not be running.
No policy and everyone is supporting Jim’s coronation. The party is dead man walking and they all know with all the gifts Redford gave them. The ride was good while it lasted.
I’ve heard more people resigned to the fact the Wildrose will win the next election. They now know the devil, and she looks a hell of alot better then the new lipstick on the pig.
What if anything does Mr Prentice know about provincial policy issues? What does he know about the gong show that is AHS? About the Redford-Hancock government’s ill-considered and spiteful assaults on organized labour, i.e. the Pension bills and Bills 45 & 46? About the ongoing overhaul of the Municipal Government Act, City Charters, annexation disputes, big-city transportation issues like ring roads vs transit, inter-city highways (like twinning Hwy 63, finishing the twinning of Hwy 43 west to the BC border), and so on and so forth? He hasn’t even been living in Alberta in recent years.
I’m proud to endorse support and work hard for Ric McIver.