Alberta Politics

New Liberal leader to be chosen on June 4, 2017

The Alberta Liberals announced this week that they will choose their next leader on June 4, 2017. Current leader David Swann stepped in to the role on an interim basis before the 2015 provincial election when former leader Raj Sherman stepped down and did not run for re-election. Dr. Swann has served as the MLA for Calgary-Mountain View since 2004 and was the only Liberal candidate elected in the 2015 election.

Nirmala Naidoo Liberal Calgary Rocky Ridge
Nirmala Naidoo

The Liberals also announced that Nirmala Naidoo, the party’s Calgary co-chair of the leadership process, was stepping down as would be replaced with Calgary party official Bryndis Whitson.

The timing of Ms. Naidoo’s departure is curious because of recent news from another party’s leadership race. As the federal Liberal candidate in the Calgary-Rocky Ridge riding in the 2015 federal election, Ms. Naidoo was endorsed by her friend Sandra Jansen, the Progressive Conservative for Calgary-North West MLA and, as of last week, an expected candidate for her party’s leadership (Ms. Naidoo was also endorsed by former PC MLA Teresa Woo-Paw). It is yet to be seen whether Ms. Naidoo has left the Liberals to support Ms. Jansen’s campaign.

The Liberals will use a point system, explained here, to select their next leader. Calgarian Russell Scantlebury appears to be the only candidate openly campaigning for the leadership.

3 replies on “New Liberal leader to be chosen on June 4, 2017”

As the lines(depending upon the outcomes of the PC leadership) between centre motivated political thinker become increasingly blurry, leadership hopefuls need to survey the landscape carefully.
The dangers the Liberals face right now is a direction that could make or spell the end of the party.
If they, 1: continue to reflect words and actions that closely reflect the current government they become a version of ND Lite. Not a real choice as an alternative from any major voting block. 2. Remain active cheerleaders of the LPC, whose actions of late appear to again put Alberta on the back burner. Take away the charismatic leadership of Justin Trudeau, his international presence, and this government is scoring very low, specially here in Alberta.
The solution, as I see it, is patience, pragmatism and an objective view of bringing the centre of Alberta politics into one significant block choice for voters.
If Kenney wins, there will be many former red Tories looking for a home, if Jansen or another more moderate conservative wins then Liberals should look long and hard at their future and relays ce going forward.
Can you say collaboration?

I’d like to see the ALP go through a revitalisation as a party willing to run to Notley’s left. I think there is an opening there for a party to attract centre-left and centrist votes upset with the NDP’s drifting agenda – maybe run explicitly on environmental issues, like a Green party but red. Anything to get that vote, because any time a left wing party gets into power, there are lots of disenfranchised idealists to scoop up.

It won’t win them an election, but it will help them build up a base, eat into NDP lead (hopefully causing them to lose), and pick up the pieces of the left during the years of Conservative rule. Or, if the NDP win again, they’ll make their names as thorns in the side of Notley, which will attract even more voters that get tired of that government.

Whoever wins should actively seek to merge the ALP with the PCs and Alberta Party. AB needs a strong centrist option: welcome to 3-party politics! From a small-l (and Federally big-L) liberal.

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