susan riley is pretty much a grit operative. I rarely pay any attention to anything she writes or says, but this amused me. The grits are broke and have no ground game in Alberta. Indeed the provincial grits wanted to change their name. It will be interesting to see how much of their limited resources, the grits want to waste on this lost cause. The grits might be better advised to defend their last fortress in Toronto. The Tories are at the gates of Toronto and many grit seats are vulnerable.
In coming months, we will see if Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's ardent courtship of Alberta - especially his impassioned advocacy on behalf of the oilsands - is paying dividends.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has until May to call a byelection in Calgary Centre-North, a seat left vacant when former environment minister Jim Prentice announced in November he was leaving politics for a senior job at CIBC. If there is a general election before then - highly unlikely, despite the buzz - no one will pay much attention to the outcome of one Calgary race. But if the Calgary byelection happens, it will be a test of Ignatieff's political strategy and of voters' appetite for change.
It would be astonishing if the Liberals won - akin to Conservatives winning Mount Royal, or Toronto Centre, say. It is more realistic to ask whether they can improve their fourth-and third-place finishes from the last two elections, or boost party morale with a near-win - the kind they claimed after the November Vaughn byelection, won by Conservative Julian Fantino with less than the predicted landslide.