Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Dear Alberta,

Seriously?


Yours Truly,

Calgary Grit


UPDATE: If 2004 was dubbed the Kleinfeld election because nothing happened, this one will have to go down as the X-Files (or Ed-Files, I guess) election because it's almost impossible to explain. Yes, the pundits will try to make sense of it in hindsight but I think they'll only look silly trying to do that because this one just defies any sort of conventional wisdom. Generally when popular leaders resign and are replaced by duds in long serving governments, things go poorly for them - even in Alberta. After the year he's had and the campaign he's run, it's hard to find any sort of rational explain as to why he's nipping on Klein's record highs.

I'd been expecting a strong PC majority but I can't even find any silver linings in this one. Too many good candidates got far worse fates than they deserved. And when only 4 in 10 Albertans bother to vote, it's hard to even give the "at least democracy is alive and well" spin.

Name change? New leader? I don't have the heart to get into those debates right now because this one is probably going to sting for a bit...and I don't even live in the province anymore.

Labels:

70 Comments:

  • Hi Calgary Grit,

    I hope my analysis of your election results are helpful. Please let me know what you think.

    http://sasklibertytrain.blogspot.com/2008/03/landslide-win-for-ed-stelmach-and.html

    By Blogger John Murney, at 12:58 AM  

  • Ha ha ha ALbertans are comical. They get abused by the Cons and come back for more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:03 AM  

  • Yeah, seriously, CalgaryGrit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 AM  

  • No kidding.... Uggggggggg......

    By Anonymous Jack, at 1:23 AM  

  • Somebody please wake me up when my cough syrup wears off. I thought I saw CBC flash numbers with the Tories picking up seats and someone mentioning a "Lougheedesque" victory for Stelmach.

    Seriously? What a blown opportunity for the Liberals. Stelmach will be treated as the Kaiser of Alberta now. For what its worth, the PCs out organized and got out their vote...and out did the Liberals big time. Congratulations on the victory.

    I guess compared to King Ralph, voters could be attracted to a bland and pragmatic "thinker" like Stelmach. I guess its okay by Albertans that Stelmach's public speaking skills are the polar opposite of say someone like Barack Obama.

    But seriously, Alberta needs more choices provincially and this election is a disappointment to all those who feel the substantive debates in Alberta should include Albertans outside of the PC riding associations.

    Seriously, Alberta needs a stronger opposition to keep the government honest. When one party is too strong - its bad for everyone.

    And Seriously, Ed Stelmach and the PCs aren't as good as the vote tonight indicates. Stelmach's critics will be silenced for a while, but Stelmach and the PCs are still flawed. I'm confident that Albertans on the right and left will be questioning this government again in one years time.

    By Anonymous Rob C, at 1:25 AM  

  • Let's look at the data.

    If we had a preferential voting system, what would the results have looked like?

    We vote split like crazy everywhere with the NDs

    The Wildrose Alliance didn't hurt the Conservatives as badly.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 1:32 AM  

  • "Ladies and gentlemen, er, we've just lost the picture, but, uh, what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over — 'conquered', if you will — by a master race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to...toil in their underground sugar caves."

    By Blogger Herbert B. Patrotage, at 1:35 AM  

  • Darn!

    So, it is true. Alberta is a 3rd world country. Tribal identity triumphs over clean government, rule of law and freedom of speech.

    Taft is a centralist, and tried to integrate Alberta with the rest of the country.

    However, Albertans perfer to be unique.

    Let's get Taft into Ottawa. He's a good man in the wrong place.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:35 AM  

  • Hey, what happened to our gentlemens agreement not to post anything tonight?

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:40 AM  

  • You're entitled to a five word post too if you want one...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:49 AM  

  • Sharpen the knives!!

    I love the 3rd world comments when the electorate does something you don't like.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 AM  

  • Congratulations Alberta, from Vancouver.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:14 AM  

  • It's all about the resources, and hanging on to whatever you've got.

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 2:28 AM  

  • Might be time to accept the fact that regular Albertans have spoken. That is a certainty.

    By Anonymous chris labossiere, at 2:31 AM  

  • Regular Albertans spoke alright, they said "bend us over and give us more".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:42 AM  

  • "I love the 3rd world comments when the electorate does something you don't like"

    You've got me wrong, dear!

    Lot's of electorates do things that annoy me. But, I don't call them 3rd world unless its true.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:46 AM  

  • So, it is true. Alberta is a 3rd world country. Tribal identity triumphs over clean government, rule of law and freedom of speech.

    I am embarrassed to be an Albertan. A frackin clueless country bumpkin premier whose idea of culture is rodeo, sports arenas, and horse racing.


    Yes, there's nothing like bitter opposition supporters grousing over an election by blaming the voters.

    Turnout in this election was a pathetic 41%. Low turnout favours incumbents. The PCs were extremely vulnerable, yet they won a landslide because all of the opposition parties completely failed to engage the voters' concerns and present an attractive alternative. They have only themselves to blame.

    Welcome to where the Canadian Alliance was, circa 2000. That party eventually pulled themselves together, built their credibility, and won.

    So... will you?

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 2:49 AM  

  • “"Welcome to where the Canadian Alliance was, circa 2000. That party eventually pulled themselves together, built their credibility, and won."

    Bad news! The Alliance didn't win because of their credibility. The Liberals lost because they lost their credibility.

    Oh! The NDP and CPC helped with false accusations of corruption, The NDP paid damages and made an apology in Parliament to David Oliver for defaming him during the 2006 elections. In 2005, Gurmant Grewal accused Paul Martin’s staff of attempting to bribe him. Harper didn’t stop him although he had full access to Grewal’s tape.

    The final blow was the RCMP investigation into insider trading. Ralph Goodale took the heat but it was a Ministry official who was charged after the election.

    True to form, harper has now made two recent blunders. He leaked confidential information about Obama’s advisor. And, he made an admission on tape about a ‘financial consideration’ for Cadman.

    How’s that for credibility?

    On the other hand, Taft ran a good and clean campaign covering the economy, the infrastructure and the intangibles. He can’t win because he didn’t dig trenches, wear cowboy shirts, or rant at Ottawa like Danny Williams.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:21 AM  

  • I left Alberta for the greener pastures (quite literally) of BC, and I can say that I don't miss the anal-conservativeness one bit.

    I actually have people coming to my restaurant concerned with recycling and whether I use bio-degradable styrofoam in my coffee cups! And this is in sub-urban, fairly well-to-do Maple Ridge! Picture someone asking you about recycling or the environment in Calgary? Nahhh... you'll probably more likely get a rant about "bloody Toronto", or "damned Liberals", or "stupid unions".

    Mono-culture. Gotta love it. Even Toronto and Vancouver have PC pasts. There are still large parts of these metros that send conservative MLAs to their respective legislatures. Alberta hasn't changed in 40 years. There was a Conservative gov't in Ontario, just a couple of years ago. It truly sickens me when Albertans talk about Ontario voting one way - they never have been as "monoculture" as Albertans. Never.

    Basically, all this election proves is that if money is rolling in, people don't care about other stuff like what taxes pay for: infrastructure, health care, education, etc. As long as I got the latest F150 King Ranch Quadcab in my driveway, I'm happy.

    When - and it IS WHEN - the oil is no longer necessary (China, India, and Russia, maybe Europe are soon going to realize alternative fuels are more attainable in those parts of the world), Alberta may start thinking about building infrastructure. You know - once all the transplants move back to their own provinces. Although, knowing what we know, Albertans may run back to their religious roots and create a new party.

    Congrats, Alberta. You elected the government you deserve!

    Signed: Lovin' it in BC!

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 5:00 AM  

  • Pardon me Jimtan,

    Someone in the CPC quipped that Cadman deserved a Million$ if he voted with them.

    Not the same as an offer.

    Million dollar life policy? Pure fantisy. Cadman*s health was a public record. No medical check term policy would be an automatic void claim.

    You may be correct in that the Federal Liberal party dirt has soiled all Liberals in Canada.

    To this day there has been no house cleaning and it is common knowledge now that there are lists of 200 scams validated in a left leaning press.

    It may be a surprise to the rest of Canada, but Gordon Campbell*s *Liberal* party in British Columbia is in fact a very Conservative party.

    The Canadian voter is slowly learning more than Liberals expected.

    It may be the internet and blogs in general. Anyhow, for Provincial and Federal Liberals, there should be a clean out and a rebuild.

    Bob Rae may breath life back into Liberals, but Dion and Iggy seem hopelessly out of touch. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 5:01 AM  

  • Considering you've been an opponent of Prop rep in the past this might be a good opportunity to take another look at how democratic FPTP really is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:03 AM  

  • Its good to be home :)

    By Blogger BR, at 6:07 AM  

  • "My grandfather voted Conservative, my father voted Conservative, I vote Conservative and I'll make sure that my children vote Conservative." That's what I learned about Alberta politics when I lived there thirty years ago. Albertans have yet to challenge my knowledge of Alberta politics.
    Loraine Lamontagne

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:11 AM  

  • You guys are making to much of this. Ukrainians in Edmonton and rural Alberta are willing to give Stelmach a chance, because he is one of them(/us).

    They weren't going to vote against him without give him a chance to fix Klein's mess.

    Like the older white women who vote for Hillary, and all the African Americans and young people who vote for Obama.

    Stelmach is a hard-working moderate fiscally conservative Ukrainian who has "done good". Most are going to give one of their own a chance.

    If urbane Calgary was willing to put up with a buffoon like Klein for over a decade, Stelmach will never be as remotely embarrassing as that.

    Note: I am Polish/Ukrainian from rural north-central Albeta now living in Ottawa.

    And as I said in anothe post, Taft missed his Sista Souljah moment when he didn't put Mark Holland in his place.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 8:12 AM  

  • As an outsider looking in, I was amazed that the Liberals campaigned to increase royalties on gas and oil in a time where escalating costs and bleeding investment to Saskatchewan and BC were already slowing investment. The average worker would certainly see this as affecting their own pay cheques.

    By Blogger Dante, at 8:24 AM  

  • How about blaming Kevin Taft for blowing the best chance in a generation to overthrow the Tories. And, Liberals, while you are busy blaming people, why not blame yourselves for having a weak organization and not enough foresight to recognize that Taft should have been shunted aside at least two years ago.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:05 AM  

  • The greatest moment of the night was the interview with the Alberta Liberal Party President. The dude was like the Iraqi Information Minister - even though it was obvious to one and all what was happening, he was still peddling the old, "the night is still young" spin. Informed by the reporter that her network had already called a PC majority, he replied that, "you will regret making that call, because we are going to win." It's one thing to put a positive spin on a tough night - that's his job. It's quite another to be in complete, Cherniak-esque partisan denial, and look like a fool on TV.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:50 AM  

  • Seriously, you whiners are why the Conservatives win. "Vote for me or I'll call you a third world country" is a great campaign slogan.

    One day maybe the Alberta opposition will get its act together like they have in almost every province. Probably not though. As long as there are people who believe the NDP are a relevant choice for Albertans, and that a party named "Liberal" can win, there will be a Conservative government.

    By Blogger Toby, at 11:53 AM  

  • Hey Western Grit,
    It appears that your time away from Alberta has left you sorely out of touch with what's actually going on in this province. Claiming that what you call "conservatives" (it's actually PROGRESSIVE Conservatives) care nothing about the environment, health care or education is a complete farce. One only has to take a look at candidates like Raj Sherman, Fred Horne and Heather Klimchuk (to name a few) to see that your characterization of "the conservatives" is totally out-to-lunch. Sorry but change from within still equals change for the province.
    And "mono-culture"? Give me a break. A low turnout means that about 20-25% of Albertans actually put the PCs in power. You Grits got outworked, the two opposition leaders couldn't connect with the electorate, and those that stayed home appear comfortable with what Ed and his team are doing in the Legislature. Speaking from personal experience, BC is a wonderful place to live, so maybe, at this point, you should just stay there.

    Sincerely,
    Progressive Canucklehead

    "Ladies and gentlemen, it's not how long you govern, it's how well you govern." - Ed Stelmach

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:57 AM  

  • Revenge of the Ukrainians. Ukrainians built Alberta. Ukrainians know it. And they will build Alberta's future also. And they voted that way. Edmonton is a Ukrainian city.

    All the insults of Stelmach backfired.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 12:09 PM  

  • Change for the sake of change is not a reason to vote.
    Obama is a good speaker. Does that make him a good leader? "Yes We Can"?
    Eddie had a chance to do something before calling an election. That gave us something to consider.

    Eddie the farmer vs. Dr. Taft? No wonder Eddie won. The farmers' will vote a goodfella in over a Dr., unless he's a Vet.

    By Blogger art, at 12:10 PM  

  • Kevin ran as Kevin.

    Only in Alberta will the fact that you are educated count against you.

    Especially when you actually earned them based on your own merit and intelligence.

    Albertans are very forgiving when their Premier earns his educational credentials by plagiarizing from Wikipedia.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 12:15 PM  

  • Alberta is a 3rd world country.

    Perhaps you should move?

    I could dissect how wrong-headed this pitiful excuse for a comment is, but I think its sheer stupidity speaks for itself.

    Get real, jimtan.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 12:18 PM  

  • “Stelmach is a hard-working moderate fiscally conservative”

    Fiscal conservative? The facts suggest you must be joking. Stelmach’s spending promises in a single 10-day stretch worked out to a $1000 per second. This on top of per person spending that is already almost 40% higher than Quebec, and the last budget which was already a year-over-year hike of 17%. Yes, the economy was booming, but a spending increase in-line with the growth of the economy would have been 4.5%. This difference means a significant expansion in the size of government, and at the cost of long term fiscal prudence when you consider that the P”C”s have been actively raiding the Heritage Fund to fund their spending. Stelmach’s only significant tax move was to raise taxes on business. He’s also the only party leader who refuses to eliminate health care premiums immediately.

    As a Wildrose Alliance candidate I was not a Alberta Liberal supporter, but Stelmach’s attacks on the “Trudeau Liberals” was a guilt by association smear that did not serve our democracy. Paul Hinman is at least as hard-working, but that didn’t save his party from elimination, an elimination largely caused by Stelmach’s refusal to play fair and recognize fixed election dates (a plank the Alberta Liberals also support).

    Stelmach’s campaign claim that a vote for someone else would lead to “22% interest rates” is laughable. To the very limited extent that the Alberta government influences interest rates, the move that would take pressure off them is a less expansionary fiscal policy. My NDP MLA commented on the budget that was pre-empted by the election call saying, “... with all the spending they've been doing, I don't think the budget is going to be pretty.” This NDP candidate was then turfed in favour of yet another P”C” for his trouble. Apparently the electorate didn’t what to hear any complaints about the spending from any quarter!

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 12:32 PM  

  • "If urbane Calgary was willing to put up with a buffoon like Klein for over a decade, Stelmach will never be as remotely embarrassing as that."

    "Eddie the farmer vs. Dr. Taft? No wonder Eddie won. The farmers' will vote a goodfella in over a Dr., unless he's a Vet."

    Exactly!

    Quebec and Scotland have ‘strong’ identities. But, they would never put up with one-party state. And, they have histories of being conquered and oppressed.

    Third world country? There’s intimidation in the strongholds of the ruling party. There are non-conformists that choose to flee. There are the refugee-poor driven to other provinces because of government policy.

    I wonder why Saskatchewan is not like Alberta? Why is the tribal identity so strong in Alberta?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:42 PM  

  • No Brian,

    A good lot of them probably felt the same way I did...

    While I'm not terribly happy with the PC's, Kevin Taft, while being a nice fellow, is not what it takes to be Premier of this party. That and the associated emotions with the word "Liberal" in this province, and he was screwed before he got out of the gate.

    Laurance Decore was the only Liberal Leader in 30 years to present a credible challenge, and thats because he had a track record which is quantifiable. Simply being a sitting MLA and Leader of the opposition doesn't by default instill faith.

    That and we're done voting in ex-football players.

    The NDP... well, they're the NDP, so that goes without saying.

    Your Party is too young, too inexperienced, and frankly, your platform reads like it was written exclusively for farmers, by farmers.

    You kissed off the Urban centers before the writ was dropped.

    Hinman is hokey as hell too. Nice guy, but seriously, he was going nowhere.

    So what's a guy to do... stay home because while I might have given you my protest vote, I don't really want to see your party with any power yet... scares the crap out of me.

    When all is said and done, I'll stick with the devil I know, watch the economy continue to chug along, and hope that the other parties come out of the gate with new names, new leaders, and new idea's that actually sound like something the PC's are not doing, or won't get around too.

    By Anonymous Joe Calgary, at 12:47 PM  

  • Quebec and Scotland have ‘strong’ identities. But, they would never put up with one-party state. And, they have histories of being conquered and oppressed.

    What does this have to do with anything?

    Third world country? There’s intimidation in the strongholds of the ruling party. There are non-conformists that choose to flee. There are the refugee-poor driven to other provinces because of government policy.

    Tripe. You sure can pad your argument with bullshit to make sound good. But what does this mean? "Intimidation" in the "strongholds" of the "ruling party?" "Non-conformists" that "flee?" Get a grip. Or at least explain your sensational rhetoric.

    I wonder why Saskatchewan is not like Alberta? Why is the tribal identity so strong in Alberta?

    To borrow some of your dramatic prose, I would guess it's because Alberta has been "oppressed" and made the object of political gamesmanship by Liberal Ottawa in the past. That type of demonizing tends to have a galvanizing effect on a populace. Continually voting Conservative is way for Alberta to thumb its nose at eastern Canada.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 12:52 PM  

  • You know, perhaps one of the reasons contributing to the the Liberal loss is the saying (somewhat altered from the West Wing), you claim to love Alberta, but clearly hate Albertans.

    You call Premier Stelmach a farmer (derisively), a bumpkin, anti-education, anti-art, and a whole host of other names, and then wonder why voterts haven't thrown their arms around you. This province still has a TON of farmers in it, and people employed in the energy industry.

    I also disklike the characterization of what you believe represents a conservative. I'm a latte-drinking, art gallery-viewing, symphony-attending individual whose parents were a teacher and a social worker. I'm also a conservative who believes in lower taxes, getting tough on crime, strengthening our armed forces, and getting government out of the way of people.

    If the comments I've read on this blog posting are truly reflective of what Liberal strategists, candidates, and campaign managers believe, then why you lost is becoming very clear. You cannot STAND a huge chunk of the electorate, believing them to be either dumb, mentally-deficient, or archetypal of some conservative cliche out of a wild west that may or may not have ever existed. Is it a wonder why voters don't vote for a party that seems to hate them, and have nothing but contempt for their beliefs? Maybe that is the message that has come through, and it supersceded the message of change - in which case, change of leadership and change of name are all irrelevant. Neither will result in substantial electoral improvement until there is a change in attitude, and the elimination of a holier than thou, we're-better-than-you smugness that I believe a lot of Albertans suspect is entrenched in Liberal thinking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 PM  

  • Laurence Decore was a Ukrainian also. So it was not surprising that he was the most successful Liberal leader, post-Trudeau, in Alberta. Laurence Decore is the person most responsible for the fiscal conservative revolution in Canada that eliminated deficits and balanced budgets. Preston Manning and the Reform Party got the wave started by Decore in Edmonton, when he was mayor, and led Edmonton through the devastation of the National Energy Program.

    The fact that Grant Mitchell and the Liberal Party basically stabbed Decore in the back as soon as Decore got the Liberal Party off the mat is well remembered by most Ukrainians.

    When Edmonton had another chance to vote for another common sense Ukrainian and one of their own, they did.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 1:19 PM  

  • "your platform reads like it was written exclusively for farmers, by farmers"

    So the legion of academic economists, tax experts, and assorted white collar public policy professionals like Finance Canada Directors who support our call for a cut in the corporate tax rate are really farmers are they? And what is Ed Stelmach? A Manhattan investment banker? It seems a little ironic for you to be deriding the people who founded this province. What about the financial analysts covering E&P gas players who circulated memos to international investors comparing Stelmach to Hugo Chavez? Out in the field too? That's where their Bloomberg terminals and trading floors are, I suppose!

    Your contention seems to be that only farmers think spending is out of control, and that's simply false. What factored in this election is 1) people were not politically engaged; they have a vague sense that there are shortages but don't realize that there is out of control government spending behind it all that is helping to create these shortages and 2) identity politics, where Ukrainians and northerners who saw Stelmach as "their man" trumped policy debates.

    Rest assured that everyone besides the P"C"s will look amateurish in your eyes because after this election, everyone who donated money or worked for an opposition party got another lesson that that time and money directed to the opposition is a total waste. The opposition doesn't appear to have any chance and accordingly will be even more limited in terms of quality human and financial resources than before. One either works within the Borg (good luck with that) or is a fringe candidate.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 1:52 PM  

  • I might add that before I went to work for Finance Canada I was a "hard core" card carrying "Conservative". However, after spending a few years in one of the government machinery's central agencies, it become apparent that the "Liberal" and "Conservative" labels carry far more weight with voters than they should. Although Flaherty is right on many issues such as income trusts and vs McGuinty, his belligerence compared to Manley puts people off, including myself. Dion has mused about cutting corporate and/or personal taxes instead of consumption taxes, and on that point Dion is right and Harper is wrong. "Conservatives" on both the provincial and federal levels are big spending governments. Yet you've got a whole crew of "Blogging Tories" who are more interested in shooting at Liberals than in shooting at bad policy. I have more respect for CalgaryGrit, who is willing to criticize his own party and do so with wit and style. The people who support without discrimination anyone or anything with a big C "Conservative" on it are ultimately retarding the cause of small c conservatism.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 2:16 PM  

  • The media campaign of the opposition could be viewed as an implicitly anti-Ukrainian campaign.

    The implicit "Ed is a BH" message clearly backfired.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 2:23 PM  

  • Brian Dell "... identity politics, where Ukrainians and northerners who saw Stelmach as "their man" trumped policy debates.
    ...Rest assured that everyone besides the P"C"s will look amateurish in your eyes because after this election, everyone who donated money or worked for an opposition party got another lesson that that time and money directed to the opposition is a total waste. The opposition doesn't appear to have any chance and accordingly will be even more limited in terms of quality human and financial resources than before. One either works within the Borg (good luck with that) or is a fringe candidate."

    Quit whining. Your party wasn't ready for an election. I voted for the WAP guy in my riding, who garnered a whole 90 votes, because HE HASN'T GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY YET.

    You call that a viable candidate? I call it a protest vote.

    I was desperate for a viable alternative, but nothing was offered by anyone.

    Anonymous at 1:18 nailed it:
    "You call Premier Stelmach a farmer (derisively), a bumpkin, anti-education, anti-art, and a whole host of other names, and then wonder why voterts haven't thrown their arms around you."

    Get a leader who doesn't ooze entitlement out his pores "isn't it time" - what kind of crappy campaign slogan is that? Vote for us because it's our turn? Might work in kindergarten, not so well in the real world.

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:38 PM  

  • Brian, right now you're rather perfectly falling into the trap of "making the perfect the enemy of the good". Neither the Federal or Provincial conservative parties are perfect, but the alternative would have far more deleterious results both to our economy and our basic liberty. You can note Dion has mused about cutting corporate tax cuts - on the other hand how much credibility is someone whom is seemingly obsessed with implimenting environmental policy and damn the consequences really going to have on creating a business friendly atmosphere in Canada? The PC party and the Conservative party aren't perfect but they're eminently more trustworthy than those who seek to replace them.

    By Blogger Chris, at 2:41 PM  

  • And when only 4 in 10 Albertans bother to vote, it's hard to even give the "at least democracy is alive and well" spin.

    CG are you willing to take a fresh look at electoral reform yet? Or are you waiting for turnout to hit 30%?

    By Blogger Greg, at 3:48 PM  

  • The next party to govern Alberta likely has yet to form. Alberta has since it became a province, never re-elected a political party which once governed it.
    The Liberals were first, followed by the United Farmers of Alberta, then the Social Credit.

    The UFA is now a farm supply store, and the Liberals are hanging on by threads.

    Wild Rose Alliance won't really fly, unless they decide to actually campaign. One can't pray that God will elect them. ;)

    The Liberal brand in Alberta is damaged goods, much via the idea that new Albertans drop their past political affiliations and become westerners.

    A new party will likely be the next government of Alberta. It will take a lot of real work and effort.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 PM  

  • greg - I've always thought electoral reform was a good idea...just not a radical overhaul of the system.

    I'm not sure if PR would actually increase turn out rates - although if I saw data that the rates were significantly higher in the "close" ridings than the lopsided ones, I guess that's something worth looking at.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:35 PM  

  • I think all of the "Liberals hate Alberta" comments just shows show succesful the PC party has been at creating the imagine that Alberta=PC government=Alberta's wealth.

    If any attack on the PCs becomes seen as an attack on Alberta, the opposition just doesn't stand much of a chance. It's been brilliant positioning by the PCs which appears to have worked.

    (Fed Libs have done it too, on the "Canadian/Charter values" a bit, but not nearly as succesfully)

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:37 PM  

  • I think they show hypocrisy more than anything else, considering the same people who blather on about how your comments show you "hate Alberta" woul be the first to attack other provinces for voting for the Liberals.

    (Me, I'm a little dumbfounded reading this. Even TEXAS is purpling these days, yet Albertans continue to propagate a one-party system that would make Japan's LDP bitterly jealous?)

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 6:21 PM  

  • Mr. Dinning is feeling just fine these days, methinks. Making plenty of money and not suffering fools.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:37 PM  

  • "Your party wasn't ready for an election"

    If the election date was fixed in advance 4 years from the last one, it wouldn't have happened until November. But apparently Albertans wanted one now because they voted overwhelmingly for a party that chose to call one now. I can't argue with Albertans so I suppose you're right. We weren't ready and we're the ones to blame for that.

    "because HE HASN'T GRADUATED FROM UNIVERSITY YET"

    Well I've graduated four times, have worked as a professional economist, distributed 5000 flyers and placed 250 signs, and got the same result (3%) as the 20 year old kid in the next riding over who was just a name on the ballot. We were both in NDP ridings so it's not like mine was more difficult. The guy running in the other riding adjacent to mine got 3% as well. So I'd dispute your contention that graduating from university would have made any difference! I'm being critical here, but isn't that the opposition's job? Do we really not want that?

    Anyone who did not run him or herself is in a rather dubious position to "whine" about there being no candidate worthy of supporting.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 6:43 PM  

  • Brian,

    What exactly in your policy position is actually different... aside from the pie in the sky promises you've made.

    An Alberta Pension plan? Forgetting of course that its a minimum of 3 years to disengage from the CPP.

    Not to mention thats properly the question you ask in a referendum...

    Or perhaps you mean reducing corporate tax to 8%... notwithstanding that we can barely keep up with the influx of industry and business as it is. You'd advocate even more disarray. I can barely find workers now and you'd make it harder.

    Or perhaps you mean stable funding for municipalities... which is another way of saying you'd spend money every year as a part of the budget that is designated towards the municipalities... sounds like increased spending to me, even though you say it's not.

    Or perhaps you mean rejigging the royalty framework again, on the basis that land lease sales are down, sans the fact that everyone and their dog in Calgary knew last year, prior to the royalty review, that companies were pulling back on exploration and development in Gas because the price sucked.

    Really, a highschool student could have written your policy position. Get back to work, and if Stelmach shits the bed in the next four years, you might get a shot.

    By Anonymous Joe Calgary, at 6:48 PM  

  • You guys can shit on Alberta all you want for being a one party state, but what we're we supposed to do? All the opposition parties are jokes. Oil and Gas prices are through the roof. Most people are making stupid amounts of money.

    I mean it's one thing to keep voting for the same party while they run your province into the ground, but Albertans have enjoyed at least a decade's worth of prosperity, so it shouldn't be a suprise to anyone that we have voted for more of the same.

    By Blogger McLea, at 6:49 PM  

  • Exactly mclea,

    There's room for improvement, thats obvious and the polls this last 4 weeks show that, but why fix what isn't terribly broken.

    More importantly, the only candidate to show up at my door was a PC.

    He stood there and took my shit for 15 minutes and promised to do better.

    Whatever, but he was the only one to knock on my door. Not a sign of the NDP, Liberal, or WRA candidates.

    Way to go, way to show the voter you want the ball.

    By Anonymous Joe Calgary, at 6:54 PM  

  • Brian: "If the election date was fixed in advance 4 years from the last one, it wouldn't have happened until November. But apparently Albertans wanted one now because they voted overwhelmingly for a party that chose to call one now. I can't argue with Albertans so I suppose you're right. We weren't ready and we're the ones to blame for that."

    I didn't say it was your fault that the party wasn't ready, I simply said your party wasn't ready. Just because your party likes fixed election dates doesn't mean they should just happen. You have to get elected, first, before implementing that kind of a law.

    The fact that the 20-yr-old and you both rec'd 3% of the vote means that your party was seen as a good place to park a vote as a protest vs. a viable candidate/party.

    And Albertans did NOT "vote overwhelmingly" for the PCs - in fact, Albertans overwhelmingly stayed home. The other parties did not present a viable alternative (to repeat myself and others).

    "Anyone who did not run him or herself is in a rather dubious position to "whine" about there being no candidate worthy of supporting."

    Yeah, okay, if that works for you. I got PC literature, NDP literature, I got lots of Liberal literature, I got squat from the WAP candidate or party. I saw Liberal signs, PC signs, NDP signs, squat from the WAP.

    "I'd dispute your contention that graduating from university would have made any difference!"

    Of course not, because your party doesn't currently look like a viable option. The leader has less charisma than ED for crying out loud. And ditto to Joe Calgary's comments re the platform.

    You guys need to take a few days, lick your wounds and then suck it up and get to work so that NEXT TIME you will be ready. At the very least take heart from the fact that the Liberals and NDP were equally trounced (or more to the point, were equally deemed "nonviable").

    CG: "I think all of the "Liberals hate Alberta" comments just shows show succesful the PC party has been at creating the imagine that Alberta=PC government=Alberta's wealth.

    If any attack on the PCs becomes seen as an attack on Alberta, the opposition just doesn't stand much of a chance. It's been brilliant positioning by the PCs which appears to have worked. "

    No, speaking for myself, attacks on the PCs are not seen as an attack on Alberta(ns). Calling the voters stupid sheep, however, sounds like an attack on Albertans.

    Re-read the comment: "You call Premier Stelmach a farmer (derisively), a bumpkin, anti-education, anti-art, and a whole host of other names, and then wonder why voterts haven't thrown their arms around you. "

    You (generic) call Stelmach a farmer...a bumpkin...anti-education...etc etc etc. Thereby calling the supporters of him or his party the same thing. (See how Obama & his supporters have turned this against Clinton & her supporters).

    Call the guy out on his policies (or lack thereof), but leave the personal crap out of it. How hard is that?

    Personally I'm not thrilled with Ed & royalties, but Kevin and "cap & trade" scared me a hell of a lot more.

    By Blogger Candace, at 7:08 PM  

  • If there are any lessons to be drawn from this election, they primarily concern the extreme level of apathy in the electorate. A turnout of scarcely 40% is beyond embarrassing; it points to the failure of an ossified political system to provide an outlet for change or much accountability - mediating these issues through PC riding associations and leadership votes is NOT healthy in a democracy.

    Electoral reform would be a good step, though, among other things. It wouldn't necessarily boost turnout, but anything that makes the party system as it is more competitive should be regarded as a good thing. Conservatives like competition, right? :)

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 7:49 PM  

  • joe calgary and candace: No politician has ever argued anyone into voting for them. I'm just providing my perspective and I appreciate your taking it under advisement even if you reject it.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 8:03 PM  

  • So, it is true. Alberta is a 3rd world country. Tribal identity triumphs over clean government, rule of law and freedom of speech.

    Welcome to Ontario. Always a majority of federal Liberals elected, then they ignore us for 4 years. Lather, rinse, repeat.....

    Maybe we should trade places.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 8:19 PM  

  • How to win...

    1. Change name to the Alberta party (worked for the Saskatchewan party). Merge with greens and NDP.

    2. Recruit Jim Dinning as leader.

    3. Aggravate urban-rural cleavages.

    4. Pray the price of oil drops.

    5. Pray the Wild Rose Party or whatever the crazy right wing party is can get its act together, with somebody series (eg. Ted Morton) as leader.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:57 PM  

  • “Tripe. You sure can pad your argument with bullshit to make sound good. But what does this mean? "Intimidation" in the "strongholds" of the "ruling party?" "Non-conformists" that "flee?" Get a grip. Or at least explain your sensational rhetoric.”

    This is no different from Singapore, Iran, Russia or China.

    ‘Two members of a Conservative candidate's team in rural Alberta storm into a local newspaper office. The candidate wants the editor's head on a plate. His crime: the paper dared to print a picture of Liberal Leader Kevin Taft on its front page.
    The editor agrees to tell this story to CBC News but stops at the last minute. That's because the paper's publisher tells the editor that "if he values his job," he won't speak about the incident.’

    Scott Dippel Feb 29

    By Blogger JimTan, at 8:57 PM  

  • Regarding the obvious necessity of electoral reform in Alberta (and elsewhere...), see here.

    By Blogger Josh Gould, at 11:12 PM  

  • 30 years ago the tories had been in power 7 years. Therefore, your father, grandfather etc would have been voting Social Credit for the previous 35 years.

    By Blogger maryT, at 12:00 AM  

  • jimtan - you are ridiculous. enough said.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:40 AM  

  • "Taft is a centralist, and tried to integrate Alberta with the rest of the country.

    However, Albertans perfer to be unique."

    Bingo, that's bang on. Liberals need to recognize the fact somehow in their ideology. BTW, Taft already tried to aggravate urban-rural differences to the max. Albertans respect their rural roots and could backfire.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:09 AM  

  • "jimtan - you are ridiculous. enough said."

    What's really ridiculous? Insulting someone anonymously. Why don't you post as Anonymous Yellow?

    BTW what happened to Sir John? I posted the Dippel quote for him.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:15 PM  

  • jimtan,
    I'd be happy to respond to it if you could provide the provenance of the story. I can't find it on Dippel's blog.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 3:23 PM  

  • Jimtan - You are an idiot.

    Sincerely,
    Anonymous Yellow

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:11 PM  

  • Sigh!

    Google "scott dippel february 29".

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:41 AM  

  • hoping that alberta did not fool od those politics.

    By Anonymous tuxedo shirt, at 8:55 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:54 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home