Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Leadership Candidate Profile - Dave Hancock

Dave Hancock is a candidate for the leadership of a party that he's been involved with since it first took power over 30 years ago. Dave is a fixture in the PC Party of Alberta, having seen Premiers Lougheed, Getty, and Klein pass through the Legislature. He was the President of the Party for the end of Getty's reign, and chaired the leadership selection process that resulted in Ralph Klein winning the Party Leadership.

Not exactly the resume for a blazing champion for change, is it? That's okay - we're not exactly in an awful spot, and many party members might think change is not the way we want to go anyhow.

Hancock's platform is quite detailed - he's probably second only to Lyle Oberg in that regard. If you want to know EXACTLY what will happen if Hancock is named leader, just look it up on his website - he's quite clear on the changes he'll make and, surprisingly considering he's the "establishment candidate" - there are quite a few changes in his platform.

Hancock wants to encourage private investment in the K-12 education system, and wants to open up 60,000 more post-secondary spaces. He'll eliminate Health Care Premiums, and offer tax incentives for healthy choices (gym memberships, etc.). He supports a province-wide smoking ban in all public places (EXCELLENT idea), wants to raise the so-called "sin taxes" (cigarettes, alcohol, and tobacco), and increase penalties for drunk driving (long overdue).

Dave wants to make life easier for community groups by offering government-funded background checks on volunteers, and taking the liability off of the community groups and letting the province shoulder the load. He'll increase and stabilize funding for the arts and recreation, promote energy-smart practices, and also supports the high-speed rail link between Calgary and Edmonton, which he thinks is best built as a P3. Environmentally, he's pretty solid, with support for the Water for Life Strategy and an Integrated Land Use Strategy.

A Hancock government proposes lowering taxes and making it easier for small business to get ahead. He has several Democratic Renewal stances, including fixed election dates, and has committed to serving no more than 10 years if elected Premier.

There are a lot of detailed plans here - unfortunately for Dave, he didn't get many of these ideas across in the only televised debate. Many (if not most) of the party members expecting to vote this Saturday aren't going to have gone to his website and read his policies - they'll just remember he was angry and talking a bit too fast on t.v. Hancock has solid policy behind him. If he relaxes a bit and gets that policy out into the public sphere, he's got a shot at this thing. He just needs to let a few more examples of that sense of humour shine through - when he does, he sounds like an average Albertan, which makes him much more electable. His line at the conclusion of the debate -
"If you haven’t heard of me, it’s because I haven’t screwed up"
- is still for me the highlight of the debate.

Dave Hancock is a strong candidate for this leadership, and if you haven't considered him yet, I'd encourage you to go to his website and take a look at the policies in more depth than I've offered here. I don't expect a first ballot winner, and hope that Dave sticks around for the second vote, and uses the week in between to hammer home his ideas, which I think most party members would embrace if they knew of them.

Dave Hancock's website is www.davehancock.ca/go/


Anonymous said...

Your analyses of the candidates are very insightful. As someone who has been intimately involved on the campaign, your pieces are very though provoking ans generally right on the money. I look forward to your profile on Jim Dinning in the next day or so.

Enlightened Savage said...

Thanks for your kind words - I'm just calling 'em as I see 'em. The profiles have been done in the order that the candidates are listed on the PC Party's official website (www.albertapc.ab.ca), so Dinning was today, Doerksen is Thursday, and Gary McPherson will be Friday.

- ES

another35 said...

I'm backing Dinning but I think it reflects badly on the party that someone with Dave's experience and brains is being relegated to an also-ran behind the other 5 guys. He's going to be a big part of the government for as long as he wants to stay.