What a great time to be interested in politics! The political developments over the past few months have produced a cornucopia of political stories and introduced a wealth of scenarios that never existed even six months ago. The election of Daniele Smith as leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party has brought provincial political issues back to the water coolers and dining room tables in Alberta, which I believe is excellent for citizen engagement. The constant media attention to politics lately has now moved towards Premier Stelmach's popularity in Alberta and his future as the leader of the PC Party.
With the Alberta PC Party's convention approaching on November 7, many people are wondering how the Premier will fare in his mandatory leadership review? Former Premier Ralph Klein set a pretty high standard when he commented publicly that anything less than a 70% approval rate will be unacceptable. (Mr.Klein knows a thing or two about leadership reviews, having been "dumped" by his own party in a 2006 review.) For all the talk in the media and the blogs about "turfing" Premier Stelmach by ensuring he receives less than 50% support, I must say..." Be careful what you wish for"!
IF...and I must say IF... Mr Stelmach were to receive a low support level and resign as leader, who is going to replace him? I cannot think of any one candidate that jumps out as the logical choice, but then again, who predicted that Ed would replace Ralph?
Lets look at some of the potential replacements..
Now, I am sure that there are many, many others that may fall into the rumour mill list! I am not going to comment on the list above, as I want to know your thoughts?
Personally, I believe that Mr. Stelmach will survive the leadership review this year. I cannot see the PC party dumping the leader at this point. This will look like a "reactionary" move and with a Provincial election still at least 3 years away, a "panic" move is so unnecessary. Slow down...take a few breaths...think things through folks. Perhaps Mr.Stelmach is not the only problem here?
Many people think that a new leader will solve all of the image problems with the PC Party. Others think that the party is beyond repair and doomed to failure. I believe the problem lies with the Governments ability to effectively communicate with the people of Alberta. I think that all party members should take a long look in the mirror and work together over next year to fix these problems internally first.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the Premier will survive the leadership review? If not, who do you think will replace him as the next leader of the Alberta PC Party?