Friday, April 02, 2010

This Week in Alberta - Extra! Extra! Man Joins Alliance!

Today, a Calgary Grit exclusive, sure to be on the front pages of every Alberta daily tomorrow.

My sources have learned that Edward Johnson, a long-time PC member, will be announcing his defection to the Wildrose Alliance this weekend. Johnson was the Bonnyville-Cold Lake riding association policy chair from 1996 to 1998, and was a poll captain during the most recent election (he won the poll, I might add).

His defection is just yet another in long line of high profile PCs who have jumped ship to the Alliance in recent months. The fact that he shares a first name with Ed Stelmach only makes this defection more significant. We can certainly consider Bonnyville-Cold Lake in play now, since Johnson will only need to convince 2,043 of his friends to join him for the Alliance to take the riding.

OK. Deep breath everyone.

The above was satirical, but it’s not far off from what we’ve seen of late as the Danielle Smith love-train continues to ride through Alberta (fun fact: The Vatican is considering waiving their waiting period to speed through her canonization). Don’t get me wrong – the PCs are in trouble and I’ve been saying so for a long time. MLA and large-scale membership defections are a big deal.

But is it really worth writing a whole column on how Ed Stelmach’s brother-in-law is planning to vote? Can we really call Rob Anders “Conservative talent”? Do we really need to go apeshit every time anyone who has ever held any sort of position in the PCs defects?

I mean, last election we had stories of Preston Manning’s old press secretary voting Liberal and Ralph Klein’s dad going Alliance. And, despite this, Steady Eddie didn’t do too shabby.

Despite these defections, the PCs are still miles ahead of the Alliance organizationally. Hell, the Alberta Liberals are miles ahead of the Alliance organizationally. I don’t doubt the Wildrosers are closing this gap, but let’s not let a good media narrative cloud reality.

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  • If the SoCons/NeoCons/NeoFascists move out of the PC Party in total, then it's time for the Alberta Liberals and PCs (with only progressives left in it's ranks) to merge - and ensure that there is a majority gov't to keep moderate views in the forefront.

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 12:22 p.m.  

  • Well said Dan. The PCs are still the dominant force in this province, in terms of seats, money and support. However, if one were to read anything recent written about them, you'd get the feeling that the PCs were in a free fall to obscurity. Maybe the media is getting a little too excited at what Smith could potentially do (and she could do it) and are egging it on a bit.

    By Blogger Avnish, at 12:54 p.m.  

  • Nitpick: the story about Phil Klein joining the Wildrose Alliance was from last year's leadership race, not the 2008 election.

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 5:46 p.m.  

  • Wildrose Alliance has been door-knocking my neighborhood in Calgary-Hays they seem to be pretty darn organized here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 p.m.  

  • I think that the ALP has to pick it up a notch and reach the people who don't vote. The Wildrose ALliance plan to scrap section in the Human Rights and Multicultural Act should be addressed by the ALP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 p.m.  

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