Tomorrow, Ralph will drop the write in what figures to be a very ho-hum election in Alberta. The thing is, Albertans change government once a generation and I'm not talking about Paul Martin's "a generation is 6 years long" generations either. There have been 3 government changes in this province's history and we're not going to get one this time out.
But even though this will be a fairly non-eventful election, I'm going to try and focus this blog on the contest for the next month. So I'll shut up about Sheila and Don Cherry for the next 28 days and try and focus on this incredibly boring election.
One reason this election is worth following if you're a Liberal in Alberta is that the provincial party is on the way up. Of course, when you have 7 seats, there's only one way to go. So here are some reasons for optimism:
1. Klein's bored: His heart won't be in this campaign.
2. Klein's past his prime: His melt-down with Laurie Blakeman earlier this year looked bad. His essay plagiarism would have hurt any other politician in Canada. He's snapping at the media. Add it all up and a lot of columnists have been comparing him to *gasp* the federal Liberals for his aimless drifting and arrogance.
3. Gary Marr's friends
4. The Alberta Alliance: They're polling at 10% right now. Of course, that's all in cattle country. But if they can get up to 10% in Edmonton or Calgary, watch out. They take votes away from the Tories which will help the Libs and NDP.
5. NDP is, well, the NDP: Don won't want me to say it, but the NDP isn't any better off than they were last election. And they won 2 seats last election. I can't see them doing much better and the less votes they get, the more the Grits get (and the Greens...let's not forget they polled in at 6% in AB last federal election).
6. The Doctor is in: Kevin Taft may not have the common man charisma of Klein but he's a bright guy. And he's not afraid to go after Klein. Ken Nicol would usually criticize Klein in the legislature by saying "I agree with 7 of your 8 points Ralph but I have a slight problem with the wording on that last point...". Taft will take Klein on.
7. Candidates: I'm not sure about Edmonton, but in Calgary, they've got a couple solid candidates. Dave Taylor and David Swann could both win their ridings.
8. Only one way to go: Nancy MacBeth was a disaster. This campaign can't go any worse than that.
Add it up and, things are looking up. Not way up, but up none the less. As for predictions...