Friday, June 01, 2007

Great Moments in Spin

EDMONTON - Premier Ed Stelmach isn't surprised by a recent poll showing his support slipping, particularly in the province's two largest cities.

"There's a lot of pressures on Alberta today," Stelmach said Tuesday. "Anything from taking longer to get to work because of congested roads, to issues tied to housing, more people moving to the province -- this is a result of Alberta growing economically."






Yes...Ed Stelmach is losing support because Alberta's economy is booming. Uh-huh. I guess like all Premiers, Mr. Ed has his fingers crossed for a recession to boost his popularity?

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16 Comments:

  • Thanks. I've been looking at that headline cross-eyed all day, with "what is wrong with this picture" running through my mind.

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:10 AM  

  • I feel kind of dumb for saying this, but Stelmach's assessment makes a certain degree of sense to me. Aren't a lot of these daily annoyances the logical consequence of rapid growth and economic expansion? And can't these be laid at the doorstep of his predecessor for not planning adequately for them?

    By Blogger Red Tory, at 8:17 AM  

  • "can't these be laid at the doorstep of his predecessor for not planning adequately for them?"

    Except Stelmach was in his predecessor's cabinet for a long time, so he gets to wear it.

    Hwy 63 to Fort Mac has been a death highway for decades. Traffic on Deerfoot Trail in Calgary? Ditto. And just wait until the carbon taxes hit people's electricity bills.

    By Blogger Candace, at 9:16 AM  

  • Ed Stelmach has no leadership. He's an honest guy, he's by all accounts a nice guy, and he's even a smart guy. Stelmach's statement makes sense, however he was a BIG part of Ralph's government, which admitted that they had no vision or plan, and didn't adapt once the economy started booming.

    I have to wonder why Kevin Taft isn't doing better in the polls? The Liberal brand is unpopular provincially in Alberta for reasons that are it's fault, and reasons that aren't. It's easy to point fingers at Taft - maybe a new leader with more charisma (Bronconier comes to mind) would do better? Ralph had personality in spades (love him or detest him), and was a "Federal Liberal" was he not? He got on TV because he was never afraid to give a good soundbite / quote. Kevin doesn't do that, so I don't think he gets media exposure.

    Maybe, the answer is like what's happening in Saskatchewan. Find some common ground, attract some prominent people, and create a new party from the ground up?

    I'd be curious to know what opinion is on that subject.

    By Blogger Mercury Rising, at 9:20 AM  

  • >>I have to wonder why Kevin Taft isn't doing better in the polls? The Liberal brand is unpopular provincially in Alberta for reasons that are it's fault, and reasons that aren't. It's easy to point fingers at Taft - maybe a new leader with more charisma (Bronconier comes to mind) would do better? Ralph had personality in spades (love him or detest him), and was a "Federal Liberal" was he not? He got on TV because he was never afraid to give a good soundbite / quote. Kevin doesn't do that, so I don't think he gets media exposure.<<

    I tend to look at Kevin Taft as a "caretaker leader"... you know, someone to mind the store until a person who has the ability to capture voter's attention comes along. Don't get me wrong, I think he does a good job at articulating Liberal views, assuming the media and voters are paying attention. He reminds me a lot of Peter Lougheed, a quiet competence, if you will. Unfortunately, Alberty is far removed from recognizing the value of an understated business-like premier and you can thank Ralphy for that. Albertans love their noisy, boisterous and bombast-filled populists, and unless the Liberals have one waiting in the wings, Stelmach will win the next provincial election. (With significantly reduced seats, mind you...)

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 9:35 AM  

  • The Liberals always poll low between elections in Alberta...I think it's because people get confused between the federal and provincial parties on phone surveys but things crystalize a bit more during campaigns.

    I like Kevin Taft a lot. He won't set the world on fire, that's true, but a lot of the "charismatic" leaders have flamed out in recent years. It'll be interesting to see how things play next election.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:12 PM  

  • He reminds me a lot of Peter Lougheed, a quiet competence, if you will.

    And this makes him a caretaker leader?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:20 PM  

  • >>And this makes him a caretaker leader?<<

    Is he lighting the world on fire in the polls lately?

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 12:31 PM  

  • I agree with candace's statements. Edmonton is a city with extremely poor future vision, specifically relating to its roadways and community expansion. The shortcuts that this city has taken have gotten us so far ahead of ourselves that we've actually fallen behind.

    A great deal of environmental burden would be relieved by having a properly funded and certified group evaluate the simplest problems; for example, traffic light timing. We spend so much time idling our vehicles at one red light only to wait at the next red light a block away, a result of poor traffic flow.

    What about an elaborate set of motion or weight sensors at intersections that would determine where the bulk of traffic is and give them priority? Hm?

    By Blogger Mickie, at 1:00 PM  

  • Candace — Got it. Sorry. I’ve been out of the province for many years now. It does strike me as kind of funny considering that Edmonton and Calgary were both predicting tremendous growth (this was like 15-20 years ago) but somehow failed in the meantime to address the infrastructure problems that would come naturally along with that. Back then it was all about the fabulous business opportunities that would result from an expanding consumer base.

    By Blogger Red Tory, at 4:47 PM  

  • I don't know if your version of Peter Lougheed fits Lougheed in opposition that well. This CBC archives film probably presents a very different Lougheed from the patrician one we all love and remember (try to find a picture of Lougheed's campaign posters - the NOW! ones).

    http://archives.cbc.ca/500f.asp?id=1-73-1472-9850

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:06 PM  

  • http://archives.cbc.ca/IDCC-1-73-1472-9851/politics_economy/alberta_elections/

    This one is also a lot of fun.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:12 PM  

  • Hmm, I can kind of see where he's coming from, actually...

    If it's a "sorry, but we're simply not able to effectively manage a speedily growing economy" kind of a place, that is.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 8:37 PM  

  • It is not wrong to say that the discontent is a by-product of the hyper growth the two cities have experienced recently. That is pretty much a given. Stelmach's disconnect seems to be that he doesn't get that it is how he has so far worked to address these growth issues - that has so many disenchanted.

    No reasonable Albertan should be expecting an instant fix for any of these things and I hope they realize that continually returning "prosperity cheque" Ralph to power for the last umpteen years makes them as culpable as Ed. Still it is depressing to see how tone deaf he seems to be on these files.

    As a fairly newly minted Calgarian who returning to the province after 20 years away....colour me unimpressed.

    By Blogger Ian, at 11:45 PM  

  • "It does strike me as kind of funny considering that Edmonton and Calgary were both predicting tremendous growth (this was like 15-20 years ago) but somehow failed in the meantime to address the infrastructure problems that would come naturally along with that."

    Yes.

    Exactly.

    It strikes me very funny too.

    That's why there's a genuine climate for change here. If the Liberals had ANY kind of leader, the Tories would be in real trouble.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:57 AM  

  • The lack of alternative is a problem; I don't see AB going all sideways and electing a Liberal gov't in a hurry. It was pointed out on CTV's QP that both the PC and Liberal parties are centrist, and grassroots usually happen from the right.

    I have heard absolutely nothing about the Alliance party lately - since the last prov election, come to think of it. That may be because there are no by-elections in Edmonton, but you'd think we'd have heard something up here.

    By Blogger Candace, at 7:08 PM  

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