Following the move by Dave Taylor to the Alberta Party yesterday Premier Ed Stelmach has just announced that he will not be seeking re-election, and will be stepping aside as Alberta's Premier. The move by Mr. Taylor was already something of a tremor in Alberta politics, giving as it did the rapidly growing Alberta Party its first MLA. Mr. Stelmach's decision is an earthquake, however.
The Premier's remarks -
The Enlightened Savage's Comments -
The Premier's decision is a game-changer. First and foremost it means that the PC party will be having a leadership race. That race will be a chance for the PCs to focus and define themselves in preparation for the next election. How that race turns out, and the direction the PC party chooses to move, will have a profound impact on the province's political landscape. Will the party choose Morton and go head to head with the Wild Rose? Will the progressive wing of the party prevail with a candidate like Redford or even Doug Griffiths? The latter would place enormous pressure of the Liberal and Alberta parties, where the former would likely serve to put a large part of the existing PC voters up for grabs. Mr. Stelmach's decision is also likely to mean that the next election, expected in March or so of 2012, will be delayed. A leadership race, candidate nomination etc. will all take time.
Personally I would also like to add that Mr. Stelmach has always been an upright and classy human being, and a fine representative. I disagree with many of the decisions and priorities of the governments he has been a member of and latterly led, but that doesn't impact my high regard for him as a man. Thank you for your service Mr. Stelmach.
Alberta politics just gets more and more interesting these days!