'Cause he's resigning early.
Why? Because he's just sick of political life it seems, and is worried about how the next election will be an American-style personality-driven attack-ad one. One that, apparently, he either doesn't think he can handle, and/or doesn't think he can win, because lets face it, the man has the charisma of a turtle.
But this isn't a Danny Williams-style bailout in 2 weeks, or a Gordo/James-style leadership race right-away kind of thing. Stelmach has simply informed us of his intention to resign at some point in the near future, no dates yet, but soon. So, really, we could have Stelmach for almost another year! Yay!
It's a sad, and slightly confusing fate for the leader who gave his party a huge majority only three years ago. He's the candidate who was never supposed to win, and he did, and he did well. But now with the rise of Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Alliance, Stelmach faced the prospects of being the last Alberta PC Premier - but not anymore! This move is highly reminiscient of the ouster of former Premier Don Getty back in the 1980's due to his sagging, dynasty-killing numbers against the then-Liberals of Laurence Decore. Everyone was pretty sure Getty would lead them to destruction, so they replaced him with Ralph Klein, and, well, the rest is history.
Will this save the PCs? Maybe. The new leader, whoever he/she is, will probably get an automatic honeymoon effect. When that disappates, however, don't be surprised if they're back down to Stelmach-levels of support. The dissatisfaction with PC rule in Alberta seems kind of entrenched and if Danielle Smith's Wildrosers keep up the pressure, its likely they could still take a bite out of PC support, even to the point of collapsing Alberta's party of power.
But its also very likely that they'll fail just as the Decore Liberals did. After all, even with Stelmach at the helm, the PCs were still keeping their heads above water. If they get the right leader, they may get their mojo back. Its amazing how easily a change in leadership can turn things around.
So, that's Gordo, Stelmach, and Williams down. Whose next?
CalgaryGrit has a great post on the life and times of Ed Stelmach.