Friday, May 15, 2009

This Week in Alberta: Aloha Ron

This has been known for some time, but it was made official today:

Edmonton... Deputy Premier Ron Stevens, the Minister for International and Intergovernmental Relations, has informed the Premier he is resigning from Cabinet and as the Member of the Legislature for Calgary-Glenmore to pursue other career options. The resignations are effective immediately.

Stevens, you'll remember, gained some notoriety for a tax-payer funded 3-day Hawaiian "stop over" in 2003, on the way back from a fact finding trip to Australia to "study" their gambling system. But he did find his way into Ed Stelmach's first Cabinet, even though he was from Calgary, so he must have been doing something right.

Looking ahead, Stevens won his riding handily in 2008:

Ron Stevens (PC) 6,436 50.67%
Avalon Roberts (Lib) 4,213 33.17%
Ryan Sadler (WRA) 1,025 8.07%
Arden Bonokoski (Green) 550 4.33%
Holly Heffernan (NDP) 477 3.76%

But the PCs won everything quite handily in 2008, and Calgary-Glenmore has a similar electoral history as Calgary Elbow, which the Liberals picked off post-Klein in 2007. That said, I tend to think the political climate in Alberta is such these days that the PCs can easily hold it in a by election, regardless of who the parties recruit to run (with voter turn-out on par with most Students Union elections).

Perhaps more interesting will be speculating over who gets named new Deputy Premier. I'd imagine the front runners for that position would be Ron Liepert, Alison Redford, and Ted Morton.



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