Monday, January 24, 2011

The Alberta Party Hits the Airwaves

So we've got the PCs with 67 MLAs. The Liberals with 8. The Wildrosers with 4. The NDP with 2. And Raj Sherman doing his own thing.

And now, the Alberta Party joins the big leagues with their first MLA - former Liberal Dave Taylor. Opposition parties are quickly becoming Alberta's largest industry, after oil and beef.

So what does this mean? Well, the Alberta Party recently launched a leadership race and it now seems a given that Taylor will be their next leader. Taylor quit the ALP after losing to David Swann so I certainly can't imagine his ego withstanding life as a backbencher in a one-seat party. And given Taylor's gift of the gab and relatively high profile, it's hard to see how the Alberta Party wouldn't want him as their leader.

With a one-man caucus at the moment, it's unlikely the Alberta Party will be immediately recognized as an official party in the legislature - the unofficial rule seems to be "it takes two". However, a viable Alberta Party is certainly in the PCs' best interest, as it carves up the ALP's vote, so I wouldn't at all be surprised to see Stelmach's gang doing all their can to give the AP added legitimacy and resources.

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  • Dave Taylor promised to run in a byelection if he joined another party before the next election. So much for the "big listen".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:24 a.m.  

  • If Taylor can't win the ALP leadership contest, what makes you think he's a shoe-in for the AP contest? Why would you want Talyor as a leader? The guy is an egomaniac and can't work with people. Another point... he ran on a pro big 'L' Liberal message in the ALP leadership race and then decides to quit the ALP. Does this guy have any credibility?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 p.m.  

  • " it now seems a given that Taylor will be their next leader"

    Same old, same old. This is EXACTLY what a new party, one that claims to be doing politics differently, needs to avoid like the plague.

    Setting up a leadership race where the result is a foregone conclusion (due to the involvement of a politician previously elected under the banner of a competing party) is not, in my opinion, the way to keep new AP members engaged, or the public less cynical.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 1:08 p.m.  

  • Well, there are certainly drawbacks to Taylor as AP leader, the two largest I can think of being:

    1. He won't do anything to break the perception the party is just a bunch of disgruntled Liberals.

    2. He has a reputation for being somewhat lazy, and a party in the "party building" stage needs someone willing to put in the hours.

    Still, short of any other high profile candidates, Taylor is probably their best bet. Taylor would provide them with more credibility in the media than they'd get electing an unknown. And he's a very good communicator who would likely perform well if the AP can sneak into the debates (I still don't know they will, but it's certainly not out of the question).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:37 p.m.  

  • I think the anonymous commenters are right - Taylor has no credibility.

    Has anyone else ever had success after losing a leadership bid and switching parties?

    And yes, the last thing Alberta needs is another "third party" - especially a 4th to the left of the governing party.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 1:41 p.m.  

  • Has anyone else ever had success after losing a leadership bid and switching parties?

    It depends on how you measure success, of course, but...Belinda Stronach?

    By Blogger Jae/Jennie, at 2:37 p.m.  

  • Former Alberta Liberal leader Nancy McBeth was previously a PC cabinet minister and lost a bid for the PC leadership to Ralph Klein.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:43 p.m.  

  • Stronach flushed one of the most promising political careers of the time down the drain with that move.

    As for MacBeth, she faced the electorate when she switched - I think that saved her credibility. Not enough to stop the Ralph Klein machine at it's peak, unfortunately.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 3:24 p.m.  

  • I really don’t think Taylor is a foregone conclusion as leader. You’ve done a good job outlining he’s pros and cons, and absolutely he has a good shot. However, my feeling is that Taylor does not fit the mold of what the membership and leadership of the party are searching for, which is either a bigger political fish or (ideally) someone fresh who represents the “new politics” buzz the party is generating and working off of.

    Ironically, by coming over now Taylor may have set the stage for his own defeat in such a contest, as the momentum and buzz it generates helps motivate others to throw their hats into the ring.

    I think your calling this one a little too far out, there’s still a lot of time on the clock.

    Regardless, I was happy to see Taylor announcement today he’s bringing allot of credibility and skills to the party. Politics in Alberta is getting very interesting.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8:53 p.m.  

  • Taylor will not run, leadership does not want him too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:54 a.m.  

  • CG is right - divided, the ALP and Alberta parties are good news for the PCs. A merger of the official opposition and Alberta party (adopting the latter’s name) would form a progressive force that, combined with the conservative alternative created by the merged Wildrose and Alliance parties, could actually squeeze out the putrid PCs in the next election much like one might squeeze out a festering zit. So if the sagging ALP and surging Alberta party want to take playful swipes at each other over the next few months, fine, but after that foreplay these two crazy kids have to get together.

    By Blogger Herbert B. Patrotage, at 9:12 a.m.  

  • It won't really have effect, I think this way.

    By Anonymous marketing online, at 5:44 p.m.  

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