Friday, October 7, 2011

Alberta Tory-leader/Premier

Surprisingly to many, a woman named Alison Redford won the leadership of the party that was recently Ralph Klein's. She worked for some time for Joe Clark, and she is considered to the left among conservatives.

The PC Party in Alberta has devised a system for leadership selection that allows the selling of new memberships between the first ballot and the second. Any non-activists, or people who have not been Tory before, can buy a membership and shape events if they do not like the way they are going. This is not a foolproof way of cutting party hacks out of the process, but it is a major step in that direction. Combined with alternative voting--Redford won on second choices, not first--and you have outcomes that are truly hard to predict.

Colby Cosh here.

[Gary] Mar, who served the Klein government and has more of a family-values persona, had the cabinet, the caucus, and the organizational old guard of the party in his pocket two weeks ago. As in 2006, their votes, in the open-primary system, turned out to be worth exactly the same as those of any other schmuck. But this time, instead of being humbled by an agrarian challenger from the North, the machine lost by a whisker to an accomplished lawyer from Calgary—one who has been careful to keep the oil industry on her good side, as Stelmach wasn’t.

Tom Flanagan on the unique Alberta Tory system here.

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