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Keith Gerein: Even a court victory unlikely to save Alberta Party, Mandel from self-inflicted injuries

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The art of dodging bullets, metaphorically speaking, is a course every successful politician tends to learn at some point.

The most difficult projectiles to elude are those they aim at their own feet.

A prime example is the case of Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel, who has been hobbled with a five-year election ban due to some tardy paperwork.

On Friday, Mandel’s lawyers were in an Edmonton courtroom, asking a judge to reinstate his eligibility to lead the party into the upcoming race.

The judge reserved her ruling, meaning the handwringing will play out for as long as another week — time the Alberta Party doesn’t have to sit on the sidelines while the UCP and NDP both ramp up their campaign efforts.

Five other Alberta Party candidates remain in similar limbo, with their own court cases pending.

The good news for the party was that its nominee in Edmonton-Castle Downs, Moe Rahall, won his court challenge earlier Friday.

Based on that precedent, you’d expect Mandel and the rest of the group will also prevail.

But even if the former mayor can sidestep this particular catastrophe, his party’s next manoeuvre will be much trickier: trying to convince voters that the whole embarrassing episode doesn’t reflect badly on its ability to run a government.


© Fort McMurray Today