Sunday, April 08, 2012

Alberta Votes Day 14: Party of One

Notes from week 2 of the Alberta election, as Alison Redford tries to resurrect her campaign over Easter Weekend.

1. Daveberta's post on the Wildrose Party's more controversial candidates has generated over 100 responses and heavy online debate - not surprising, given the limited coverage by the mainstream media on this topic so far. Which is kind of surprising when you consider how much the national media feasts off crazy/controversial local candidate stories during federal elections.

In fairness to the Wildrose Party, I scanned their candidate list, and one or two dozen appear to have some kind of municipal government experience. The list also includes Joe Anglin who posted the Green Party's best showing in the last provincial election, two media personalities, and an oil and gas workman awesomely named Ethane Jarvis.

Of course, many of the candidates' key selling points seem to be their involvement in "University debate clubs" or "campus newspapers". To the best of my knowledge, none of them are members of the McGill NDP club.

2. Dave also unearths @ElectDanielle's backup Twitter account - @PremierDanielle. It looks like @OppositionLeaderRedford is still available, but likely not for long.

3. With Smith flying high in the polls, she has decided to play it safe by talking about...uhh...abortion and private health care.

4. On CalgaryGrit this week: Smith promises Ralphbucks and soars in the polls, while Redford loses control of the agenda and tries to win it inventing triage.

5. On the blogs: Robert Vollman looks at the ballot question, David Climenhaga slams the Wildrosers on abortion and health care, while the Englightened Savage begins his riding profiles in Airdrie and Banff-Cochrane.

SantosSez speculates about progressives jumping to the PCs to stop Smith, and judging from what I've seen from my largely left-wing friends on Facebook over the past week, progressive Albertans are definitely worried about what a Wildrose government would look like.

The thing is, the Liberals and NDP are polling at a cumulative 25%, which is already 10-15 points below their total in every Alberta election since 1993, when the two parties won a majority of the popular vote. In short, it looks to me like Redford has already peeled off progressive votes from the left, and I'm skeptical how much more she can attract.

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  • Joe Anglin's webpage says he had served as a Marine. since Canadian military does not have Marines as of yet (, I wonder if he fought for a foreign power as a Marine. Doesn't sound like your run of the mill greenie, does it?

    More on Marines:

    What a collection D. Smith is assenbling- be warned, be scared, vote strategically !

    By Anonymous Sub, at 11:20 a.m.  

  • Canada had a dozen soldier in Iraq, so maybe that was the reference. Candian Gen. Infantry have a comparable level of training as Marines. And there is migration. Does the "yet" reference mean you thought Marines had superior training? The American Units that took over from Canada in Afghanistan in obey Province used 25 and 50 for every
    Canadian relieved, and we don't deplete our resources refurbishing Iraq the expensive way. W didn't even thank Canada for taking in the airplanes in 9/11. It was at great risk.

    How comes Libs or Democrats don't have someone as pretty as S.E. Cupp? Usually I don't like those sharp angles or long face, but damn. GOP and CPC give-it-all-to-rich-people-who-attained-their-wealth-in-an-obsolete-time policies will only get worse with the distraction. It wouldn't be a distraction if she would let me take her to the prairie dog city at the zoo.
    AB could make up for some Mackenzie pollution risk in NWT by permitting NWT to borrow at AB interest rates for a generation or two. NWT population won't get big enough for this to be much of an issue in the timeframe. Inevitably be a heavy metals spill into largest lakes on Earths. I need more survey data about permafrost and peat conditions in NWT. Or an Arctic climate simulation computer in Yellowknife.

    I like pooling Provincial currency instruments since flight-to-quality happened.

    By Anonymous The Keystone Garter, at 1:50 p.m.  

  • In fairness, Smith seems to be talking about the private delivery of publicly funded health care.

    If so, that really shouldn't be terribly controversial.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 2:11 p.m.  

  • Sub,
    Anglin served in the United States Marine Corps before he came to Canada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:24 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous pradeep, at 3:03 a.m.  

  • Jim - Fair enough. Smith's healthcare proposal likely won't be that controversial.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:39 a.m.  

  • My girlfriend and her friends have public sector jobs, and usually vote as far-left as possible.

    This time they're all voting for Alison Redford, to stop the Wildrose. Normally they'd never vote PC in a thousand years but they are absolutely PETRIFIED of the Wildrose. They literally think they'll lose their jobs if the Wildrose is elected.

    I've always believed that elections shouldn't be viewed as one-time events, but rather in the long-term, and you therefore must consistently support the party of your choice, and build up their momentum. But this election may see a lot more strategic voting than usual.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:45 a.m.  

  • Jim R.: In fairness, Smith seems to be talking about the private delivery of publicly funded health care.

    My understanding is patients would have to pay anything the private clinic charged over the public rate. That means those who have money can get service faster. What's the incentive for health care professionals to stay in the public system when they can set up private clinics to charge more ... and have the clients because the wait times will be just as long or longer in the public system with less resources.

    I'd rather see something radical like a true health care system rather than the disease management we have now. Pay people / docs for staying / getting healthier, subsidize non-processed foods, taxing junk food (and put into the health care system), basic dental care. (Chronic illnesses would be outside this.)

    More band-aids won't stop the bleeding.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 a.m.  

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