Provincial political upset

The Alberta political landscape certainly saw its share of changes recently with Premier Ed Stelmach’s announcement he would not seek another term in the top job.

Two days later, Ted Morton resigned as finance minister, and announced he would be seeking the premier’s post down the line.

Stelmach said that he believed his announcement would come as a major surprise to many, but we don’t think that it was too much of a shock.

Politics has a way of grinding a person down – regardless of whether they are popular or not – and it’s clear that Stelmach has been feeling the wear and tear as of late.

Years back, he was a relatively fresh face when he pursued the Tory leadership. Yes, he had been in politics for years but leading the party was something new and apparently an exhilarating prospect. In those days, he would venture from place to place with that big smile and infectious optimism that he was the man for the job – even though many felt he wasn’t and expected Jim Dinning to easily capture the lead.

Well, Stelmach shot up the middle and became premier. And it’s been a relatively unsteady journey since for ‘Steady Eddy’.

From our perspective, he certainly hasn’t seemed to always enjoy being premier. Gone are the days, seemingly, when he appeared to relish the role. He was chatty, friendly and all smiles – most of the time.

Over the past couple of years, he seems to be often wearing a frown as he talks with reporters and in communication with the public. He’s become guarded and almost scripted in his dialogue with media. Oftentimes, he also comes across as defensive and snippy.

Last fall, during the premier’s dinner in Red Deer, these attributes came through quite clearly. That evening he went back and forth between sounding ticked off some of the time to being just downright unhappy. It was hardly an inspiring evening – regardless of the party faithful who were cheering their leader on nonetheless.

We think this is the right step for Stelmach, who says he is wary of the growing negativism of the scene and didn’t want to face it anymore. But he could also see the writing on the wall. Reports of a divided caucus don’t seem to want to die, and he just seems weary of it.

Morton may have the smarts for the job but isn’t the most charismatic fellow around. If elected, we may see this same scenario repeat itself in a few years.

The party is clearly at a crossroads, and deciding who is going to lead has never been more critical than it is at this juncture.

Just Posted

Red Deer to host portion of Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament

City approves $75,000 in support of 2018 hosting

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP charge two individuals with 198 charges, 29 firearms seized

Tara Veer and Ken Foster credit Pinpoint for arrests and seizures

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Ponoka RCMP seek assistance in locating vehicle belonging to the tire

MC College offers mental health app for all students

MC College has an application to provide students with access to mental health service

FCC host forum featuring sportscaster Brian Williams

The forum is part hopes to educate, reenergerize, inspire and inform producers

CP Holiday Train steams into Lacombe

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train delighted residents of Lacombe on Dec. 6

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exist

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Most Read