Despite her overwhelming support by the party faithful during last year’s leadership review, 77 percent, her popularity among Albertans has dropped into the 30 percentile range. There has also been growing dissent within her caucus with two recent departures of two members of her government to sit as independents.
Len Webber left the PC caucus last week, describing Redford as a bully, one who treats people and tax payers dollars poorly. There is more dissent within the party and it is estimated that as many as 20 more MLAs are considering to leave the caucus. CBC Edmonton’s interactive link demonstrates how widespread dissent is.
Donna Kennedy-Glans, the MLA for Calgary-Varsity and Associate Minister for Electricity and Renewable Energy announced yesterday that she is leaving the caucus to sit as an independent and apparently there are at least ten more MLAs facing this very difficult decision.
“This is a very difficult choice. This choice didn’t come lightly and it didn’t come quickly,” said Kennedy-Glans from outside her northwest Calgary constituency office on Monday. “I just can’t see how I can make, support, advance change from within this party system at this point in time.”
Donna Kennedy-Glans statement
I moved to Calgary 30 years ago and I’ve been blessed to live in this incredible province ever since. My husband and I raised three sons here, I was a senior manager in large oil and gas companies, and helped found a nonprofit that brings hope to women, girls, and youth in Alberta and around the world.
As a lawyer, I have long been fascinated with ethical behaviour in large organizations, including co-authoring a book on how companies can act with integrity. So when it came time to enter public life, I was excited about the opportunities this afforded to put my passions into practice in another critically important Alberta institution, the Alberta Progressive Conservative party.
I’ve always been an active supporter of the Progressive Conservative party Read More
The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta (PC) has been in power for over four decades. If there was ever an example of “Power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts,” you can’t find a much better example. The party, under the leadership of Alison Redford has developed a culture of entitlement, and as claimed by at east two former members of the PC caucus, has stopped listening to its constituents.
Leadership Selection Process
Redford knew that she faced an uphill battle during the selection process for a new party leader, after Ed Stelmach’s resignation. She faced former cabinet minister Gary Mar, who had vast experience under the late Premier Ralph Klein. Under the party constitution the new leader is selected by party members and if there is not a clear 50 plus one percent majority, there is a second ballot with two weeks later among the top three during the first ballot. Gary Mar received 41 percent during the first ballot, with Redford placing second and sharing the remaining 59 percent with the third place candidate.
Needless to say both of those candidates were well behind Gary Mar. The second ballot is based on providing two choices, your first and second preference for leader. If there is no clear majority, the second preference is then taken off the candidate that comes third in the second ballot and allocated to the first two as tie breaker.
This flawed system of selecting a party leader is flawed, allowing collusion between candidates that run behind the winner, encouraging their supporters to pick either number two or three as their preference. A third ballot runoff would be appropriate. This system is apparently still in place.
Alison Redford has been under fire for her extravagant expenditures during her constant travel. She traveled to London, England during the Olympics, renting 13 rooms that were not used by her and her staff. She has made several trips to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. in an apparent effort to sell the XL Keystone pipeline. It is well known that the battle lines for this pipeline are drawn in the U.S., which makes one wonder why she is trying to convince the converted. She was not going to convince John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid nor President Obama to make a favourable decision. Republicans don’t require convincing.
The crunch came with her trip to attend Nelson Mandella’s funeral in South Africa. She charged the taxpayer $45,000, which she has now repaid under pressure. She also repaid $3,156 for a trip to the West coast, which included a friend of her daughter’s. She defended the breaking of expense rules by claiming that it was the cost of being a mother. Unfortunately there are a lot of working women in Alberta that don’t have the benefit of subsidized childcare.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford used her role as a mother to defend breaking the province’s travel expense rules by taking her daughter on government business trips.
Redford announced Tuesday that she’d repay $3,156 to cover flights taken by her daughter’s friends on government planes.
Redford has battled the teachers, nurses and doctors of this province. In an attempt to stifle collecting bargaining rights of unions she passed legislation to stop their right to bargain. These were the very people that helped her to win the leadership of the party and the election. Promises were made and never kept.
Redford is facing a sinking ship and although the party establishment supports her, there is discontent within the party and mistrust by Albertans. For the sake of Alberta and the PC Party Redford should look in the mirror and do the right thing and resign.