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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Premier Morton - Get Used to It!

I do not support Ted Morton for leader of the PC Party. But I am practical and pragmatic about his chances. He has a large support base that is quiet, committed, disciplined and quite capable of crowning Dr. Morton as Alberta's PROGRESSIVE conservative party leader - and our pro tem Premier for the next 2 years. Some irony makes you laugh while others make you cry.

Professor Morton's views are well known from his numerous op-ed pieces and speeches. He is a signatory to the famous Firewall letter. He comments often against the feds, even with a Harper government. In Morton's view Alberta needs a Firewall to protect us from Canada. He has changed a bit. His new "a" word is adoption not abortion (sic) but there is still no" gaiety" in his heart for homosexuals. I could go on but you get the picture.

The past Reform/Alliance/Federal PC wars over leadership and power has created a large and well organized socially conservative political force in Alberta. My sources tell me that Stockwell Day had 32,000 Alberta based votes in his last leadership bid. Those voters are quietly positioned and poised to support Professor Morton and push him over the top. With those numbers in his camp it could be enough - if history has any relevance to the present.

In the 1992 leadership, front runners, Ralph and Nancy had just under 32,800 total votes between them; 16,393 for Nancy and 16,392 for Ralph - proving every vote counts. 32,000 voters for Ted is pretty impressive in this context.

The second ballot total vote in 1992 increased 48%. Nancy was endorsed by every other candidate and doubled her support to 31,722. Ralph's team went to work that week and blew her out of the water with 46,245. That dramatic voter turnout and turnaround on the second ballot is reassuring. It proves citizens can get motivated and they will participate in decisions about who should govern them - if they have a good reason. Otherwise it's "don't worry - be happy." The frog sits contentedly while the water warms.

Morton's social conservatives are motivated and they will participate in this leadership contest and good on them. As for the rest of us who decide to be no-shows, it was never truer than now, in a democracy, we always get the government we deserve.

Premier Morton! Get involved or get used to it!