Tory adviser says Stelmach should visit Albertans





The Stelmach government should take a page out of Ralph Klein’s legacy to turn around a huge plunge in the polls, a former Tory adviser said yesterday.


Premier Ed Stelmach needs to spend more time on the road, in small towns and in communities, speaking with real Albertans, said Rod Love, former premier Ralph Klein’s key political adviser and right-hand man.

“If you want my advice, you’ve got to get (Stelmach) talking to Albertans,” he said at the legislature yesterday. “Nobody votes for you in this building.”

“I don’t doubt for a minute that Stelmach is going to turn his numbers around the same way Ralph did six months after he became the sort of the premier that nobody expected,” he said.

Klein told reporters he wasn’t interested in discussing politics yesterday, but appeared to offer some advice as he left the legislature.

“I’ve always said there are no votes here, and sometimes we become consumed with the happenings of the legislature when really it’s Martha and Henry out in Alberta that makes the difference,” Klein said.

Since Stelmach took the reins of the province, Tory support in the polls has slipped from 54 per cent in January to 32 per cent in August.

An official spokesman for the premier’s office has disputed those findings, explaining there’s a large number of undecided voters who present an opportunity to gain back Tory support.

Coffee shop politics

  • Former adviser Rod Love said Klein arrived in office as an unpopular politician, but won people over by hearing their concerns in coffee shops and diners all across the province.