August 22, 2014 7:05 pm
Updated: August 22, 2014 8:48 pm

PC leadership candidates spar over idea of fixed terms


CALGARY- The idea of set terms for Alberta premiers created fireworks at a debate between those vying to become the next PC party leader.

On Friday, Jim Prentice, Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk faced a sold-out crowd in Calgary, laying out similar positions on health care, taxes and education. However, the idea of setting a two-term limit for provincial politicians is what going everyone talking.

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“Politics is about public service, it’s not about a job,” Prentice said. “These kind of limits work successfully in other democracies, you know, the president of the United States is eligible to serve as president for eight years.”

However, McIver and Lukaszuk aren’t on board with the idea.

“I’m sorry, the idea of not letting the voters decide who sits in their legislative assembly is offensive to me,” McIver said. “The ultimate entitlement is an elected person deciding who else gets to sit in elected office. Albertans get to decide that.”

“It sounds great for public consumption—get those politicians out of offices, get those bums out—but the fact is that when you look at the practicality of this promise it cannot be applied,” Lukaszuk added.

Those in the audience said they were motivated by the forum, but there are concerns other Albertans aren’t engaged in the campaign to determine Alberta’s next premier.

All three candidates admitted they’re disappointed with the number of PC memberships distributed so far, and hope the pace picks up in the final weeks of the campaign.

The vote is scheduled for September 6.

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