Monday, January 4, 2010

The Snowball that Became an Avalanche

For those that know me well, I've been saying for the better part of a year that the Wilrose Alliance Party is the latest split of the Right in Canada. Today's move by two PC MLAs marks the beginning of the end (actually the by-election win in Calgary-Glenmore was)for the Stelmach Cons and the start of a new blue tide federally in the years ahead.


Liberal Justice said...

If we have learned anything about situations like this on the Canadian political landscape is that a house divided cannot stand. If the right in Alberta remains split or becomes worse it will not be good news for the right in Alberta, either federally or provincially. It will likely mean good news for the Liberals, though perhaps not adding up to a whole lot.

DJN said...

It's only a split in Alberta, a split engineered by big oil because they're not happy with the recent talk of new taxes on the oil sands developments. There's no reason why this split would have a dramatic impact federally since natural resources are under provincial jurisdiction. And the federal Tories are already going to bat for big oil, so there's no problem there. Only if Harper actually tries to reign in big oil will there be fall-out for his Tories - and we know this isn't happening.

James Curran said...

Really DJN? No fall out? Hmm. Pretty sure that's what they said about the start-up Refom Party and Canadian Alliance Party too. And, the Bloc was just a passing phase in Quebec.

Liberal Justice said...

I agree with JC. A divided house is NEVER a good thing. How will it be? Time will only tell, but it will be bad.

MississaugaPeter said...

DJN is correct.

The Alberta Provincial PC Party was unaffected by the Federal PC/Reform split in the 90's.

So DO NOT expect the Federal Conservatives to be affected by the Provincial PC/WA split now.

Alberta's sheiks supported/funded the Reform after Mulroney disappointed them. Rural MLA/Premier Stelmach has disappointed them as well, and thus the rise of the WA. Harper has not disappointed the Albertan sheiks and thus there will not be any fallout at the federal level.

Alberta marches differently, and it elects dynasties, and it might just be time for its fifth.

Liberal Dynasty: 1905-1921
UFA (United Farmers) Dynasty: 1921-1935
Social Credit Dynasty: 1935-1971
PC Dynasty: 1971-

An Albertan in Mississauga

Liberal Justice said...

Peter, you're wrong. Once the upstart Reform Party really got going there was no longer a split in Alberta federally - almost everyone on the right was a Reform supporter. And if you want to use Reform as the example then where there was a split of the right, like in Ontario, it did have an impact at both a federal and provincial level. The tension between the two groups played out at the provincial level in Ontario with some Reformers refusing to support certain PC candidates while actively backing others. A house divided cannot stand!

R. G. Harvie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R. G. Harvie said...

It's an interesting issue, I think, and it IS relevant federally.

More and more, responsible government understands that it needs to govern "from the middle". That pure left or pure right positions aren't tenable. That we need a vibrant business economy and a reasonable social safety net.

But that doesn't appease ideologues.

My own $.02. The Reform party was a mistake. A waste of effort that did nothing but allow the Liberal party a free ride while the Conservatives had to re-build.

But, hey, such is the problem of democracy, that zealots from either side fo the spectrum have a right to their opinions and to support who they support.. but it's impacted the Liberals as well.. witness the struggle betweent the right and left in the LPC, the Raes vs. the Iggs.

So. I think the experience in Alberta is worth thinking about in a broader way, beyond provincial borders and even beyond party borders.

Is the time of the "ism" dying? Liberalism, Progressivism, Conservatism? Is the desire to put your policy in a "box" when society around you evolves constantly a dying concept?

Maybe so.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

There won't be a split federally until and unless Harper gets a majority and governs the way he has over the last couple of years.

Danielle Smith put it that way when she was asked -- the federal Tories get leeway till then.

So if you want to see the right split again -- and of course you Grits want to see that, same way that Tories love to see Liberal infighting -- then you'll just have to wait for a Harper majority.

If Ignatieff can hold him to a third minority or defeat him, you might see a leadership race on the right, but no party implosion.

Liberal Justice said...

The right was split all through its years in opposition, so your logical doesn't make any sense. In fact, I think when Ignatieff becomes Prime Minister the right will become less united than it currently is.

MississaugaPeter said...

Liberal Justice,

I was not wrong.

The split between the federal Progressive Conservative Party and the federal Reform Party DID NOT affect the Alberta provincial Progressive Conservative Party.

Please give an example of how the Alberta provincial PCs were affected by the federal right wing split.