Alberta PCs to stick to current rules to elect new leader

Alberta will have a new premier in September.

Leadership race will remain largely unchanged from last contests

Alberta PC party president Jim McCormick speaks to reporters Monday night after a three-hour meeting to decide how the leadership race will be run. (CBC)

Alberta will have a new premier in September.

During a three-hour, closed-door meeting in Red Deer Monday night, Progressive Conservative party members decided to hold its leadership vote on Sept. 6 with a second round of voting two weeks later if necessary.

The vote will be similar to the last few leadership votes despite many party members wanting a change.

"We discussed all the options and certainly this one was established as being the best for the process," said party president Jim McCormick.

Some party members expressed an interest in getting the race done quickly at a convention with selected delegates.

Instead the party went with the tried and true.

Every Albertan over the age of 14 who has purchased a PC membership will be eligible to vote.

No more preferential ballot

A candidate who receives more than half the total votes on the first ballot will be declared leader. If that fails to happen, a second ballot will take place between the two candidates with the most votes.

(That differs from the last two contests where the top three candidates appeared on the second ballot.)

The one change the party did make last night concerned the cost of getting your name on the ballot — a cool, non-refundable $50,000 — up from $40,000 in 2011 and $15,000 in 2006.

"We think that qualified candidates will be capable of raising money and we think that's not an unreasonable amount to expect in this case," McCormick said.

The party has not yet announced a date to begin the leadership race triggered when Alison Redford resigned as party leader and premier Sunday.

Dave Hancock is serving as premier and interim party leader until a new leader is selected.

According to the party constitution, a leadership vote must be held no later than six months after a leader’s resignation.