Monday, September 28, 2009

Alberta's New Opposition?

Tory defections to Wildrose Alliance rumoured

In matters pertaining to Albertan politics, Paul McLoughlin tends to have the inside track.

McLoughlin recently made a prediction that has hit Albertan politics like an earthquake: if Danielle Smith wins the leadership of the Wildrose Alliance on October 17, 10 Progressive Conservative MLAs will cross the floor to join them.

This would instantly make Danielle Smith the new leader of the official opposition, as the party would have as many as 12 MLAs. With Paul Hinman's recent victory in Calgary and Guy Boutilier, should he do as he has suggested he may and join the Alliance, the party would leapfrog the Liberal party (who currently have 9 MLAs) to become the province's new official opposition.

This would almost certainly be the end of Mark Dyrholm's leadership ambitions, as the party would literally have too much to lose by choosing him over Smith.

Of course, the Calgary Herald's Don Braid isn't buying the hype, even despite McLoughlin's strong track record -- his predictions tend to be correct.

Braid notes that even under the nadir of the party, under Don Getty, there was no mass exodus from the Progressive Conservative party.

Then again, there was no increasingly-relevant conservative competition in Alberta at that time. As the Wildrose Allaince continues to attract high-profile supporters, its newfound relevance is making it increasingly dangerous.

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