Friday, April 03, 2009

This Week in Alberta - The March To Formal One-Party Statehood!

Updated at the bottom with a new poll...

As if 40 years of one-party rules wasn't bad enough, the opposition parties appear to be crumbling at a time when (in theory) the PCs should be vulnerable.

Exhibit A is the Alberta Liberal Party, which will lay off its final two staff members on April 30th.
Exhibit B is the Alberta Green Party, who now face deregistration from Elections Alberta. In a comment on Gauntlet's blog post on the topic, party leader Joe Anglin admits "The financial problems with the Green Party are significant and they go far deeper than just failing to file a year-end financial statement."

It's one thing for the PCs to keep winning - maybe they deserve it. But even Conservatives have to agree that a democracy can't function properly if there's not a functional opposition to keep the government's feet to the fire.


In Other News...
Ted Morton's fourth annual golf 'n gun fundraiser is coming up!


And Enlightened Savage gives his assessment of the Calgary West AGM fall-out.


UPDATE: Via TPB, comes news of a new Angus Reid poll:

Conservatives: 56%
Liberals: 19%
NDP: 11%
Alliance: 7%
Green: 7%

I'd say that pretty much confirms that there's no real opposition left in Alberta. Even if the NDP and Alliance are healthier financially than the other aforementioned parties, they're still not in a position to win more than half a dozen seats between them - and that's being wildly optimistic.

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10 Comments:

  • Key word is functional but the word relevant must be added as well.

    Environmental activists sound good on paper but does that ring with the average Albertan?

    One also wonders why the Liberals have trouble fundraising?

    The are so many job loss and wage roll back issues occurring in the news yet not a boo.

    But the research into the entertainment bill does make me want to burn up my P.C. membership.

    By Blogger Re-Pete, at 10:19 AM  

  • I'm sorry, but you can't say it's a one-party state while the NDP is slowly growing in terms of staff numbers and polls. While people abandon the grits in this province, there are still many coming to and financially supporting the NDP. Sure we may only have 2 MLAs, but look how many times Rachel Notley (a novice MLA) has been in the news getting under Stelmach's skin. Compare that to the larger Grit caucus' media which has covered their leadership change to a less appealing candidate, how they were going to keep it civil in the Leg (and then gave that up) and how they are now bankrupt. And let's not forget some talk of mutiny in the caucus.

    I'll grant that there are a few hard-working Liberal MLAs, and hopefully they don't go down with the ship. Perhaps in the next election they could consider a different banner to run under...

    By Blogger Ian, at 11:28 AM  

  • Ian - True, the NDP do seem to be healthy organizationally...at least relatively speaking.

    But the party still isn't in the game anywhere outside of Edmonton. How many ridings were they even top 2 in (or top 3 for that matter) outside of Edmonton last election?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:59 AM  

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    By Blogger D.C, at 12:18 PM  

  • Ian, what polls have shown that the NDP have rising support in Alberta? In 2008, the prov NDP earned over 20% in only 6 out of 83 constituencies (5 of those in Edmonton, and one in a northern Alberta riding that the Liberals didn't have a candidate).

    The NDP may be in a better staff/organizational position than the Liberals, but I would argue that they still have yet to give Albertans a compelling reason to support them.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:19 PM  

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    By Blogger Tiny Perfect Blog, at 1:12 PM  

  • Here's the latest Angus-Reid Alberta numbers. +2% for NDP (likely within MOE but a modest gain for a small party), Grits -7%, PCs up ~3%. Basically Grit support reluctantly bleeds either right or left.

    I agree that there's not much potential outside Edmonton right now, but I think these revitalization conferences are helping, and potentially with the right names in the right ridings could become a lot more viable than they are right now.

    Don't think I'm drinking the Kool-Aid though, in the next election the NDP likely won't do better than 10 seats (and that would take an amazing rally to acheive). It's worth noting that Alberta loves it's radical changes in party, but in all reality, the Wildrose Alliance has a better chance of a change of dynasty then the NDP in the short term (recall the UFA sweep in 21) since AB loves switching between parties on the right.

    Nevertheless, my personal aim would be for a progressive Albertan future, not personal political power at any cost (we've seen provincially and federally what that leads to).

    By Blogger Ian, at 1:17 PM  

  • This is what happens when you elect the wrong person to lead your party. Alberta Liberals have no one to blame but themselves for drinking the Swann Kool-Aid.

    By Anonymous not a genius, at 11:40 PM  

  • It's also a natural position when two of the "major" three parties pretty much ignore and/or insult prospective voters - by word or by deed - outside of Edmonton and Calgary, with the exception of the writ period.

    You can't demean the abilities/professons of people who choose to live outside Alberta's two largest cities, and then expect them to vote for you come election day. Pastoor gets voted in Lethbridge not because she is ALP, but in spite of it (she describes herself as a "Lougheed Conservative", for goodness sake).

    The NDP doesn't/did not do this in Saskatchewan (or B.C. to the same extent) as the NDP or Liberals do in Alberta.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:17 PM  

  • I routinely hear about how spending outrage No. Gazillion makes a Tory want to burn his membership card, but I very rarely hear anyone say that he actually DID.

    And so it goes. ThereĀ“s essentially no limit to how far left the P"C" party can go before it would lose a meaningful number of people.

    Reform successfully battled the federal Tories but Reform was able to play into a populist, anti-Ottawa vein that Stelmach has carefully managed to keep tapped into.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 9:47 PM  

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