Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The king is dead. Long live the king(s)?

The site now has a new drive and sense of purpose.

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein is nearing the end of his long tenure as leader of this province, and already members of his party are climbing over each other to take his place.

I'll get this out of the way right now - I vote NDP. So what right do I have to play favourites in the race to lead the Progressive Conservatives? Maybe none. On the other hand, an observer from the opposite end of Alberta's political spectrum may be a mitigating force.

The simple matter is that, over the next four weeks, I will be examining the race and the merits of each contender, as well as Alberta's political history. Maybe, just maybe, we'll stumble across a recipe for Alberta's continuted success - whatever that means.

Darcy Henton's article in Alberta Venture magazine is a far better overview than I can provide in this short space. And, it comes with betting odds. Step right up, people.

To start, let's take a superficial look at the candidates. We'll flesh them out later.

According to the article, Dinning, Evans, and Norris sing a familiar litany - business needs government to let slip the reins that they may play free in the flowing black-and-green rivers of oil money flowing out of the province. To be honest, one can't complain. Less government = more money is a formula that has apparently worked for the province so far - the oil surplus speaks to that.

On the other hand, Morton believes that "sticking with the status quo" is exactly NOT what the province needs to do. He doesn't go into any more detail, so he will be one to watch in the coming weeks.

Finally, Oberg, Stelmach, and Hancock tout a more touchy-feely style of conservatism. Listen to the people, protect the environment, take care of quality of life as well as the bottom line, they say.

To be honest, I like what Hancock has to say. If he sticks with this short blurb, he just might steal what little Liberal vote this province has.

With seven hardy contenders with views that are just different enough to be interesting, this should be a heck of a race.

Stay tuned, gentle reader.


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