PC Party at risk of losing power
Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 12:18 pm
Albertaís Progressive Conservative Party has a lot of work to do to regain support after former premier Alison Redford resigned last week, or else it risks losing the next provincial election set for 2016.
Redford announced last week she was stepping down as premier and the partyís leader and deputy premier Dave Hancock was sworn in as her replacement on Sunday. Hancock will only hold the job for six months as the PCs will select a new party leader and premier on Sept. 6, with a possible run-off vote two weeks later if needed.
Itís easy to point to the $45,000 flight for Redford to attend Nelson Mandelaís funeral in South Africa and defections from to members of the partyís caucus crossing the floor to sit in the legislature as independents as the final straw.
However, they certainly arenít solely to blame for the premierís demise, or the partyís current state. There have been several policy decisions that helped pave the way to get the PCs get to where they are today, such as borrowing billions of dollars after having just paid off the provincial debt and Bills 45 and 46, proposed labour legislation that strips bargaining rights for provincial public unions.
Support for the Tories had been dropping in recent months and a poll released before Redford announced her resignation showed support for the party dropped to 19 per cent, while support the Wildrose Party is rising.
The PC Party also has to prove to Albertans that it deserves another chance to lead the province. The party is embarking on its third leadership race in eight years and the infighting that culminated with Redfordís resignation is not in Albertansí best interests.
As the leadership race gets underway, candidates and party members need to but the internal battles to rest and consider what is best for Albertans and the best use of taxpayer dollars.
The $45,000 South African flight is small change compared to the size and scope of the provincial budget. However, it makes suggestions of entitlement ring true and itís something Albertans can easily understand.
History isnít on the Progressive Conservative Partyís side. Only four political parties have ever held power since Alberta became a province in 1905. To date, Albertans have never sent a party back to office after voting it out.
The PC Party is facing this prospect and itís time to either straighten out, or move to the opposition side of the legislature.