Monday, April 12, 2010
Rick Bell scoops on Dave Taylor departure from the Alberta Liberal caucus.
To be fair to beleaguered Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann, he threw a bone or two the way of departing Calgary Currie MLA Dave Taylor.
But Taylor didn’t want the oil and gas policy bone - he wanted the whole damn turkey.
The Calgary Sun dropped the bomb in a Rick Bell column earlier today, in which Taylor characterized Alberta’s Liberals as being “too unfocused, too lacking” to serve the needs of Albertans.
But the harshest criticism was reserved for Swann himself.
“I’m not doing this to get David Swann. It seems to me David Swann is doing just a fine job of getting himself,” Taylor told Bell. “I’ve given him 16 months to lead, to show me, the party and Albertans what he stands for and I’m still waiting. He drifted. I don’t know why he drifted. I don’t know if he’s aware the extent he’s drifting.”
"The trouble with the Alberta Liberals is that nobody's leading, nobody's following, and nobody will get out of the way," Taylor says, and the tepid David Swann response seems to bare that out.
Contrast that to other incidences of party abandonment, Stelmach style - or Paul Martin. Yes, even ditherin’ Paul Martin showed more backbone in dealing with the David Emerson turncoating than Swann showed today.
Swann obviously must tread carefully. Staunch Taylor loyalists such as executive Director Corey Hogan and former candidates such as Lisa Higgerty in Yellowhead, Craig Cheffins in Calgary Elbow, or any of a number of Taylor's leadership endorsements aren’t going to condone such outright slash and burn tactics from the office of the Official Opposition.
Based on the past few short lifespans on Independent MLAs in Alberta, Taylor won’t last independently. But Taylor evidently won’t be joining the Wildrose or the NDP anytime soon. His choice words for the NDP allow that the dippers have “all the answers to the problems plaguing Canada in the ‘60s” and his description of the Wildrosers as the “Wild-Eyed Alliance”, won’t win any friends. That leaves only two options open for Taylor: Join Stelmach’s waning government, or hoping the Alberta Party stops 'listening' and starts talking, so Dave Taylor can do what's best for that enormous ego - Lead the party.
Yet, the onus must also be on Swann to either poop or get off the pot. As Taylor says, in 16 months Swann has utterly failed in defining himself and his party to the public.
The Liberal Party would be wise to dump Swann this year – and ride the coattails of a new leader, any leader, into the 2011-2012 provincial campaign. Go rogue Alberta Liberals, go rogue - or just wait and allow the electorate to do that for you.