Saturday, October 17, 2009

BIG DAY FOR POLITICS IN MANITOBA, ALBERTA

This is a big day for political junkies in western Canada. In Manitoba the provincial NDP had their big leadership convention to replace outgoing Premier Gary Doer, and the winner has just been announced: finance minister Greg Selinger, who defeated Steve Ashton in the leadership vote. As a side note, I actually was able to interview both Selinger and Ashton for news stories I did when I was in Manitoba, so now I can put on my resume that one of the guys I interviewed is now premier of Manitoba -- even though he was just finance minister at the time.

Anyway, the bottom line in Manitoba finally has a new premier.

Over in Alberta the rising upstart Wildrose Alliance party is making a lot of noise as an alternative to the unpopular Ed Stelmach PC government, a government a lot of conservatives aren't happy with because they think it isn't very conservative these days. The Wildrose Alliance's outgoing leader recently won a big byelection, and now the party is choosing a new leader today to replace him. The new leader will either be former TV host Danielle Smith (pictured) or Calgary chiropractor Mark Dyrholm, and the race is being watched closely because there's a growing sense that this party could be the bunch that could finally topple the Tories after 38 years in power. And Alberta political history is rife with stories of parties coming out of nowhere to sweep incumbent governments out of power. So it's a big day for politics in Alberta, too. Don Braid has a live blog of the leadership vote on right now.

I kinda wish I was covering one of these leadership things this weekend - these are the types of events political reporters live for and they are pretty darned interesting to follow.

Instead, this week I have been covering a sleep-inducing municipal election where the big issue is whether the community can afford to build a multipurpose facility. Now, that's what I call excitement. Woo hoo!!

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