A little bit of the bloom came off the Wildrose this week as the entire executive committee of that party’s Little Bow Constituency Association resigned in protest central party interference of their recent nomination contest. The resignations come as local members nominated Vulcan County Councillor Ian Donovan, who defeated 2008 candidate Kevin Kinahan (a comment on Mr. Kinahan’s Facebook Page indicated that the vote was 209 to 204).
Wildrose Alliance support in Little Bow jumped from 857 votes (9.4%) in 2004 to 2,051 votes (23.1%) in 2008, making this one of that party’s best showings in the last election.
The internal turmoil was not limited to Little Bow. Earlier this week, Bobbie Dearborn, the Secretary of the Medicine Hat Wildrose Constituency Association resigned after a heated board meeting. According to the Medicine Hat News, some local members are apparently unhappy about a dispute over local finances and the quick nomination process that selected candidate Milva Bauman earlier this year.
It might be too soon to call them a wilting rose, but these are certainly the largest round of internal resignations to hit the Wildrose Alliance since Ms. Smith became party leader in late 2009.
NDP and Liberal nominations
The other parties had more smooth experiences with recent candidate nominations. The NDP nominated former MLA David Eggen in Edmonton-Calder. Mr. Eggen represented Calder from 2004 to 2008, when he was narrowly defeated by PC candidate Doug Elniski. The NDP also recently nominated Ali Haymour in Edmonton-Decore. Mr. Haymour stood for election in neighbouring Edmonton-Castle Downs in 2008, placing third with 13% of the vote.
The Liberals nominated former MLA Rick Miller in Edmonton-Rutherford. Mr. Miller served as the MLA for Rutherford and Official Opposition Finance critic from 2004 and 2008. He was narrowly defeated by PC candidate Fred Horne in 2008 and has since served as the Chief of Staff at the Official Opposition Caucus. The next election will be Mr. Miller’s fourth time standing as a Liberal candidate in that constituency (he stood against former Reform Party MP and PC candidate Ian McClelland in 2001 and defeated him in 2004). Other candidates already nominated in Rutherford are the NDPs Melanie Samaroden and the Wildroses Kyle Macleod.