Monday, February 14, 2011

Thoughts on the Changing Political Landscape in Alberta

Brandon Beasley has written a very interesting opinion piece in the University of Calgary student newspaper The Gauntlet "Alberta Politics: Out With the Old."

His point is that the re-alignment of Alberta politics would see the Progressive Conservative Party split in two.  The progressives would go to"the upstart centrist" Alberta Party and the conservatives would join the social and fiscal conservative Wildrose.  The Alberta Liberals would fold into the centrist Alberta Party leaving the NDP on the left.

This would provide a full spectrum of choices for a revived democracy in Alberta.  An interesting proposal for sure.  I wonder what it would take to make it happen.  For sure the PCs are likely to split to some further degree with either social conservatives leaving if a progressive wins and progressives leaving it Ted Morton wins.  There is no leadership candidate who has announced yet that is compelling enough to bridge that chasm.

As for the Liberals, unless someone like Anne McLellan runs and wins the leadership there is little chance for change to the fortunes there.  I don't see Anne wanting that "challenge" these days.

The NDP has it's core support and is comfortable in its role as the Jiminy Cricket kind of conscience of Alberta politics.  They are there just to keep the others honest and on their toes...and they are good at it. In fact they are very good at it that nobody wants to see them in any other role.  

Just some thoughts on possible options as time goes on and three political parties are hold leadership campaigns.  Hard to imagine the same old - same old is going to be the expected outcome of such a thirst by citizens for a real change in Alberta politics.