Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This Week in Alberta - Redford's Honeymoon

Since becoming Premier, Allison Redford has faced a barrage of attacks, the latest over a "backroom deal" between her Finance Minister and a pair of energy companies:

EDMONTON - Two energy companies learned of potentially lucrative changes to a $350-million incentive program before cabinet ministers approved it, documents obtained by the Alberta Liberals show.

Internal emails reveal that days before cabinet approved the program, aides to then-energy minister Ron Liepert were working with a Williams Energy lobbyist who was already preparing to announce the company's plan to take advantage of the incentives.

The records also show a former vice-president and lobbyist for Nova Chemicals helped redesign the program, aimed at boosting ethane production, which ultimately benefited his one-time employer.

There's certainly something unseemly in the whole ordeal, but this shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with how the PCs operate. It's unlikely to bring down Liepert and certainly won't bring down Reford, who is still very much in the honeymoon phase. Consider the latest vote intent numbers from Angus Reid:

PC 44%
WRP 22%
Lib 16%
NDP 13%

When asked who would make the Best Premier, more Albertans name Redord (32%) than Smith (15%), Sherman (8%), and Mason (6%) combined.

While it's usually easy to cherry pick a few nuggets from a poll of this size for the purpose of spin (look at that Liberal momentum in Atlantic Canada!), there's little good news for any of the opposition parties.

The days of the Wildrose polling neck-and-neck with the PCs have passed, and the election of a Liberal-in-PC-clothing has done little to boost their support. Redford is more trusted than Smith on all issues tested, including the economy, job creation, and debt management. Danielle Smith could do no wrong a year ago, but she's now about as popular as Raj Sherman. My how the mighty have fallen.

The Liberals have had a difficult time holding onto their 2008 voters (all twelve of them) and would lose seats with these numbers. The only bit of good news for them is that Sherman is as trusted as Redford on Health Care, the province's top issue.

Although 13% is hardly an orange wave, these aren't bad numbers for the NDP, and they find themselves tied with the Liberals in Edmonton. Encouraging, but it's not any more impressive than the Layton-bump the NDP has enjoyed in other provinces this fall.

The Alberta Party and Glenn Taylor were given as prompted choices on this survey, which is a score for them. After all, the Greens usualy poll about 3 or 4 points higher on when they're listed as a voting choice than when survey respondents are forced to name them without prompting. But at 2% support, the Alberta Party has a long way to go until they can even match the Green Party's ability to rally the "none of the above" crowd on polls, never mind the ballot box.



  • Easy on the snide remarks there. You seem to take a strange sort of satisfaction from attacking the LPC and ALP these days. Are we to assume that the indefatigable Dan has joined the Ford Nation?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 p.m.  

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