That was Then and This is Now…

by David Biltek

Heard that one before?

Sure Ralph said it time and time again, and expect to hear it more again as Alison Redford resigns as MLA from Calgary Elbow.

so what now?

Alison will not comment, she will say things like moving on or moving forward and as a private citizen the Opposition parties will have not have her as a target.

This is good for Jim Prentice as he will be elected as Leader of the PCs next month and will essentially be able to say: “That was then, this is now”, or words to that effect. It allows hi  to move on.

and he has a great deal to do.

First, he must get elected. He will not be able to govern from the galleries. Once elected Leader and as such Premier (no you do no need to be elected to be Premier), he will call a by election. As well election laws in Alberta require that a by election for the now vacant Calgary Elbow seat be called within six months of today.

My guess is Prentice will NOT run in Elbow….it would be foolish and a high risk activity. First he may suffer retribution by the obviously disillusioned voters of Calgary Elbow; his results would be compared to Redford’s and if he did not do better than her the pundits would designate it a fail, plus the constituency has a very strong Liberal base and on the other side of the spectrum the Wildrose is surging in Calgary. No he will not run in Elbow.

But where?

I think there is every chance he will run in an Edmonton Constituency. This will allow him to claim he is an Edmonton MLA, thus keeping the balance, and tradition of switching Edmonton and Calgary as the home of the Premier. Also Edmonton although the stronghold of the Liberals and NDs, they are both pre occupied and in some areas f Edmonton they have little support. It would also keep him close to the Legislature during the campaign.

I suggest his best bet may be Edmonton Whitemud, yes David Hancock’s present constituency. Hancock has been a good and loyal servant to the party and has as Premier done a good job as Premier. It may be time for him to move on. As well this is one of the safest PC seats in Edmonton and an area that sees itself as deserving of a Premier. Jim would do well here.

After that by-election and the one in Elbow…and watch that one closely….is there a PC brave enough to run there?…The Elbow race could be the real interesting place. A Liberal candidate has been working there for some time, she is an articulate lawyer with a substantial background in the oil industry.

But that is all for another time…and what do you think?