Yesterday, two members of Ed Stelmach’s Alberta PC caucus crossed the floor and joined Danielle Smith’s Wildrose Alliance. Two Calgary area MLAs, Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth, left the PC caucus citing failed leadership and bureaucratic glut in the Premier’s office.
Today, Stelmach send an email to supporters addressing the news (emphasis mine),
Hello [name withheld],
During difficult economic times, it is important to stick together and help each other out. It is the Alberta way. We did it during the Depression in the 1930s and we did it during the dark days of the National Energy Program.
You may have heard that two of our MLAs recently decided to leave our party. Of course, I was disappointed when I heard they had decided to leave the PC team. But their departure will not deflect us from our goal of leading Canada out of its recession, and ensuring Albertans have the brightest future possible.
The remaining 68 MLAs in our strong majority government caucus are focused on the task of growing the Alberta economy, making Alberta the most competitive jurisdiction in North America and returning this province to a surplus position in three years, while protecting services for the least fortunate.
And when the recession is over, unlike any other jurisdiction in Canada, Alberta will not be passing debt onto the next generation.
The coming year will be difficult but we have never shied away from hard work. And Alberta will very soon be leading the country in economic growth again, thanks to you.
Premier of Alberta
Now, a quick review of history from Wikipedia,
Alberta’s second dynasty was the United Farmers of Alberta who rose from a minor party known as the Alberta Non-Partisan League, formed in 1916. Henry Wise Wood would lead the party into the 1921 election and form a majority based on winning rural seats. The party did not run in the cities and allied with Labour candidates. Henry did not want the job as premier so the farmers were forced to shop around. John Brownlee was asked first but declined. Herbert Greenfield, the second choice, became the new premier.
Greenfield would resign four years later because he was often absent due to illness. John Brownlee, who had previously been offered the job, succeeded him. Brownlee’s reign as government leader was troubled by the onset of the great depression. He resigned in scandal after he was accused of sexual acts with a minor in the Attorney General’s office. This and another scandalous divorce by Oran McPherson, speaker of the legislative assembly, gave the United Farmers an image of moral decay. In 1934 Richard Reid would replace Brownlee and lead the United Farmers government into total defeat at the hands of the new Social Credit party.
This, of course, happened during the Great Depression.
In recent history, Stelmach replaced Klein.
Back then, the decay was cited as moral, today it is financial decay and bureaucratic ascendance.
Albertan political history is marked by political dynasties. Is this the end of the Progressive Conservatives and the rise of the Wildrose Alliance?