First casualty of outrage at Wildrose floor crossing? Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson says he will quit politics

Posted on January 06, 2015, 2:50 am
3 mins

PHOTO: Airdrie Progressive Conservative, formerly Wildrose, formerly Progressive Conservative MLA Rob Anderson speaking in the snow on the steps of the Alberta Legislature last winter.

Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson, understood to have been one of the key leaders in the controversial effort to get the majority of the Wildrose caucus to defect to the Progressive Conservative Party on Dec. 17, announced on Facebook just before midnight he intends to leave politics after the next Alberta general election.

It’s the season for the traditional Canadian political “walk in the snow,” and in a long statement on the social media site, Mr. Anderson said he told Premier Jim Prentice before Christmas of his decision “I would not be seeking re-election.

“I also thanked him for his leadership in working with my colleagues and I to unite like-minded Albertans committed to fiscal responsibility and ethical governance,” the double-floor-crossing MLA said.

The abrupt timing of the announcement, nevertheless, suggests that the ambitious Mr. Anderson is the first high-profile victim of the backlash in conservative circles against the defection of himself, former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, and seven other members of the Wildrose caucus to the Progressive Conservative benches on the same day.

At the time of the floor crossings, Mr. Anderson was widely and confidently predicted in the mainstream media and the blogosphere, as well as in government circles, to be in line for a senior position in Mr. Prentice’s cabinet. However, reportedly in the face of stiff opposition from some members of the premier’s own Progressive Conservative caucus, that commitment – if such a commitment was in fact made – appears now to have been pulled off the table.

Mr. Anderson said in his Facebook statement that in his last weeks or months in office “it will be my pleasure to help serve the government as we work to advance critical pipeline infrastructure, recalibrate the provincial budget so it can be balanced at a lower oil price, cut waste, increase government transparency and reprioritize spending to core services and infrastructure.”

He said that he and his wife both hope to pursue careers in the private sector and spend more time with their four young sons.

Mr. Anderson, 37, has a law degree from the University of Alberta and a bachelor of arts degree from Brigham Young University in Utah.

He was first elected as a PC MLA in 2008, crossed the floor to join the Wildrose Party in 2010, and re-crossed to rejoin the PCs last month. Before his most recent journey across the floor, Mr. Anderson was the Wildrose Party House leader.

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9 Comments to: First casualty of outrage at Wildrose floor crossing? Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson says he will quit politics

  1. anonymous

    January 6th, 2015

    I’m sure Mr. Anderson will find gainful employment somewhere – maybe the Fraser Institute or the Manning Centre for Building the Manning Centre. However, down the road, unless his kids receive ExxonMobil scholarships, they may have to attend Trinity Western instead of Brigham Young.

    • David Climenhaga

      January 6th, 2015

      Keeping up on the churchgoing habits of Alberta politicians, are you, Anonymous?

      • anonymous

        January 6th, 2015

        Yeah. I have an obsessive compulsive separation of church and state disorder (OCSCSD). I am currently discussing this disorder with my psychiatrist. We meet five times a week.

  2. Rob Bernshaw

    January 6th, 2015

    Will miracles never cease is what I say. Now this announcement is a great day for Alberta and Canada and the democratic foundation that we live by. Now if the other defectors and betrayers of the public trust leave politics as well that would make for a much better 2015. If more quit politics as they quit the public and taxpayer support than that will leave less hypocritical MLA’s on the political stage to betray the public trust as recently happened here in Alberta of 2014. Maybe with Andersons example the other perceived MLA lemmings will soon follow suit. Let us hope so.

  3. Ted

    January 6th, 2015

    Perhaps this makes the ever seething and self righteous Mr Anderson a worthy candidate for the federal Conservative party of Canada. Time will tell.

  4. Athabascan

    January 6th, 2015

    I don’t believe he will quit politics. Anyone who believes anything Rob Anderson states or claims is an idiot.

  5. January 6th, 2015

    Mr. Anderson negotiated the WRP crossers side of the deal I thought! Lack of alignment with grassroots has him realizing best to quit than be turfed. Wonder how much of no Cabinet position and no free membership pass nominations played in his leaving with a whimper not a bang

  6. Daniel @111010 Twitter

    January 8th, 2015

    The first battlefield loss is the “Truth” about the alliance party and WRA/WRP and Preston Manning and Stephen Harper along with Danielle Smith and Tom Flanagan. The Alberta Electorate has been taken for a ride via the PC party here in Alberta.


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