The ability to change and survive under new leaders and different circumstances are the strength of any long-ruling political party. Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party has successfully rebranded itself in previous years, often using “new leadership” as a strategy. Throwing a former Premier under the proverbial bus seems like a simple solution to dwindling popularity, but have the PC’s used this tactic one too many times for it to be effective this go around?

Alberta’s seventh PC Party Premier, Jim Prentice criticized many of the decisions made under Alison Redford and by the government he now leads. The removal of several high profile PC MLA’s from cabinet positions and making questionable ministerial appointments that included members with no seat in the Legislature, could be considered the beginning of Prentice’s “de-Redfordization”. Immediate action on selling the fleet of government planes and cancelling the license plate redesign was a popular no-brainer. Revamping Alberta’s foreign offices, keeping the Michener Centre in Red Deer open and axing some unpopular Bills by proroguing the Legislature until Nov 17 are also consistent with that strategy.

But these initiatives are not really addressing the inherent internal challenges the PC Party is facing nor do they necessarily lead to effective change that will keep this party viable in the eyes of the electorate. The speaker will candidly discuss the current strategy taken by Premier Prentice in the first weeks of his reign. Plus she will speculate on the effectiveness of this course of action and make a few predictions of her own.
Speaker: Bonnie Farries Bonnie is a Political Scientist and holds a Masters in Political Science from the University of Lethbridge. Although all levels of government are fascinating in how they interact and affect our daily lives, Bonnie’s passion is at the local level, having worked in municipal government for the last 11 years.
Moderator: Tad Mitsui
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (talk and coffee)

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