Nation, I just got out of the standing-room-only speech that the Premier gave to the assembled party membership and media at the PC AGM.
The speech was led off with a heck of a good opening speech from former (and future?) PC candidate Leah Lawrence (Calgary-Mountainview in 2008). Lawrence introduced the Premier, who came in to the room to the tones of "Alberta Bound" by Mrs. Savage's future ex, and was VERY warmly received.
The speech started off slowly, with few chances for the assembled masses to bang their "fan-fans", however once the topic of the speech turned to Alberta's role in confederation, and the Premier's vision for the future, the applause came loud and long. The crowd roared to its feet with Stelmach's statement that "I am ready to lead this party into the next election".
Some (well, one, anyway) in the Twittersphere are reporting an old, disengaged, nervous crowd on hand. With respect, and I'll leave this to my blogging colleagues to confirm, nothing could be further from the truth in my estimation. I feel positively middle-aged in this room, at the ripe old age of 32. The energy is tremendous. The spirits are high. And, while a possible election is still quite a ways away (the Premier indicated party nominations would be taking place "by June of next year"), there are over a thousand Progressive Conservatives assembled in this place not out of fear or a desire to watch a car wreck, but because of their passion for this party and province.
Agree or disagree with the PC's, that can ONLY be good news for a province where passion for politics is usually secondary to the local weather.