Thursday, November 30, 2006

I support Ted Morton

I voted last Saturday and shall vote this Saturday for Ted Morton. Three candidates remain in the Progressive Conservatives Party's race for the Premiership, Morton, Dinning and Stelmach. I contend that Ted Morton is superior to either of those options.

As it currently stands, the PC Party of Alberta is an organization upon the brink of collapse. Its lack of ideas, direction and energy left it staggering through the last election like the walking wounded. Taking but a brief look at the numbers will very easily explain why the Progressive Conservative Party lost ground in the last election. It was not that former PC voters went over to the Liberals or the NDP - their numbers have essentially been static in provincial and federal elections. The PC Party lost 200,000 votes because many Conservatives in the province chose to vote for the Alberta Alliance to protest the party's poor performance or they simply stayed home.

"During 2001, in the provincial election, 627,252 people voted for PC Alberta. Contrast that with 358,193 people who voted Lib/NDP. I'm counting the Libs and the NDP as a single block for several reasons, which will become clear later on. In the 2004 provincial election, 416,886 people voted for PC Alberta, compared to 352,566 who voted Lib/NDP.Going federally, in 2004, 786,271 people voted for the CPC. Contrast that with 401,745 who voted Lib/NDP. In 2006, 931,701 voted CPC, compared to 386,608 for the Lib/NDP."

Essentially the threat to the Progressive Conservative Party is not the growth of its opponents, as they are for the most part static. The parties on the left can attract between 350,000-400,000 voters to the polls. Whereas the provincial and federal conservative parties can field anywhere from 500,000 (counting PC and AA votes in the last election) - to 900,000 voters.

In the last provincial election the Progressive Conservative Party lost ground not because the NDP or the Liberals had done anything different or special. The Progressive Conservative Party lost ground because it lost touch with the grass roots of the party. It lost touch with the ideals, the priorities the aspirations and beliefs of the average conservative voter. Conservative parties and Alberta have thrived when they've been populist, but run afoul when they smacked out of elitism and faux conservatism.

The route to victory for any conservative in Alberta, is not to try to convert Liberals and dippers. Rather the route to victory is to appeal to the majority of the province, with its populist, capitalist and conservative outlook. Tapping into that sentiment is the difference between Kim Campbell's campaign and Preston Manning's.

Only one man of those remaining captures that spirit - Ted Morton.

Ted Morton had the energy, ideas and policy to reinvorgate the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party and lead us into the future as a strong and proud province. Ted's firm stance in favour of provincal rights, working towards a more assertive Alberta, reforming health care and leading the province into reclaiming jurisdiction over services such as policing and a pension plan will provide a needed injection of policy into the listless provincal Tory void. His commitment to a referenda promoting saving 30% of future fossil fuel revenues for the future, will also establish a needed commitment to our future and also indicates Ted's deep commitment to democracy.

Ted Morton is uniquely positioned at this point in our provinces history to lead our province forward. He can bring disenchanted conservatives in the Alberta Alliance back to the fold, and sooth the conserns that the Party under Ralph had began to list to the left spending money like it was going out of style. He can also bring many disaffected conservative voters who chose simply to stay home or to participate solely in the federal party to the PC cause, which is invaluable as the need to fundraise and recruit volunteers is ever present in politics.

Two men currently are the alternatives to Ted Morton, one is Jim Dinning and the other is Ed Stelmach. I like Ed Stelmach. By all accounts is a decent guy and he's been a good MLA for a number of years running and I've read some interviews with him and he sounds like a humble and honest fellow. I'm happy there are guys like Ed Stelmach in politics, and he'd be a great deputy Premier or Minister of Something in a Ted Morton government. Likeability and the lack of anything offensive about him are one thing, but Stelmach doesn't provide the needed sense of Zeitgeist to the PC Party. The charisma, the ideas and the direction aren't coming from Ed, he's a competent manager and a good MLA but he's not the man to lead the charge for renewal. Although he is preferable to Jim Dinning.

Speaking of Jim Dinning he's the remaning candidate for premier. Dinning has been running to be Premier of Alberta for the last decade and at the moment he appears to be seeing all his dreams slipping away from him. Over the last number of days he's been ranting and raving and making the whole leadership campaign about Ted Morton. If you changed the name Jim Dinning to Paul Martin and Ted Morton to Stephen Harper, I feel like I'm living through a rerun of the last federal election. Apparantly Ted Morton has a dragon in his shed, whose going to consume small children while reading passage from the book of Revelations - Jim Dinning is not allowed to make this stuff up.

Jim Dinning has the same, I'm everything to everyone campaign platform as Martin did too. Jim Dinning loves puppies, rainbows, and candy and doesn't seem to propose any substantive change. Not to mention the rather infamous fact that Jim Dinning wrote a 25,000 cheque to the Paul Martin leadership campaign and attached a personalized love letter to dear old Paul. While Nancy McBeth whose last forray into electoral politics saw her running against the PC Party as leader of the Alberta Liberal Party is also a big Jim Dinning supporter. Heck he even ran he campaign against Ralph Klien for the PC Leadership. Dinning's apathy towards meaningful change, and his apparant fondness for all things Liberal will only antagonize the rank and file of PC party support.

The only difference between a Jim Dinning PC party and a Kevin Taft Liberal Party would be the names. That's not acceptable to me, and that's not acceptable to a whole lot of others Conseratives in this province. Hence on Saturday its Morton for premier - everyone get out and vote Ted needs your support to lead this province forward.


At 6:06 p.m., Anonymous Jon said...

Good post, well thought out analysis of the situation. I too voted last weekend and will this weekend for Ted, but it won't be enough. We need to bring in more new voters for Ted if we want to defeat the prefered candidate of the Gliberals and the NDP. Talk to your friends, relatives and neighbours about the importance of this election. Get out the vote!


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