Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where do we go from here?

It's the day after the morning after and the parties must now reflect on the campaign that was and look ahead to 2012. I'd rather look ahead than look back but I would like to just say that, despite the constant "Stelmach defied polls and pundits", the polls were correct (with one exception). The undecideds just didn't vote and, despite a desire for change, people didn't vote for it. And because of that, there's a lot of soul searching going on right now in Alberta:

“They are just happy with the way life is, most of them.”
-Ed Stelmach, on low voter turn-out

Ed likes to go around saying "I'm a very humble guy" and I have no doubt he'll keep saying that. But if he starts buying into all the Emperor Ed and invincible talk, he could be in for a rude awakening. The fact is, Albertans did want change and were unhappy with him - the low turn-out does not mean that 8 in 10 Albertans endorsed him. Stelmach is going to have to treat Calgary and Edmonton better than he has in the past and he's going to need to develop a real plan for Alberta's future. He's got political capital coming out of the wazoo now - hopefully he does something productive with it. There's really not much else I can add because, when you've been in power for 37 years and have won 72 of 83 seats, you obviously know what you're doing and don't need much advice.

Alberta Liberals
"I don't feel like I let the party down."
-Kevin Taft

First of all, there's no use in making excuses. I said my fair share of nasty things about Alberta voters on Monday night but the fact is the voters are always right. When only 1 in 10 people vote for your party, that's a failure. If they couldn't do better against a man who is, let's be honest, the worst communicator to lead a major party in Canada over the last twenty years, then major changes are needed. Name change? Leader change? I'm sure those discussions will happen in time. But a fresh coat of paint isn't going to change anything. The Liberals are fighting a perception that "PC = Alberta = wealth" to the point where every attack on the PC government was portrayed as an attack on Alberta and the impression that the Liberals would bankrupt the province hung over the election:
People finally woke up and said, 'Hey, maybe this isn't such a bad province to live in,' " said veteran Calgary Conservative strategist Alan Hallman.
"Maybe once we look at these guys over here, they scare us." Hallman said, referring to opposition parties such as the Alberta Liberals and the Wildrose Alliance.
"Fear is a great motivator."

I think the only way to break out of this equation is to re brand as a fiscally conservative pro-business party. The ALP's case study in this should be another Albertan, Stephen Harper. Harper recognized that you can't move the mountain to you - you need to move to the mountain. So he moderated his party in an effort to win votes in Ontario and Quebec, while still keeping a few key Reform principles in place. And the Liberals need to do that in reverse now. Either that, or just accept their fate as a glorified version of the NDP. I fully intend to expand on these ideas in the coming weeks but I think Step 1 is just admitting there's a problem.

"It's the party's call. It's not like the Liberals or the Conservatives where people are really ambitious and try to displace leaders. It's often the person who draws the short straw that has to be the leader."
-Bill Mason

In all likelihood, Brian Mason is the happiest of the four opposition leaders just because seeing the Liberals lose 7 seats probably gave him more joy than the pain caused by his party losing 2. But the NDP have lost official party status and were the fifth place party in most Calgary ridings. The bright spot for them may be rising star Rachel Notley who will be taking over as party leader at some time before the next campaign. If she is as good as hyped (and I've never heard her speak so I can't comment on that), they should promote her as much as they can. Policy wise, I think they're on the right track so they probably don't need to do as much soul searching as the Grits or Alliance.

Wildrose Alliance
"The thing people don't understand is, I'm not a politician and I wasn't in love with the job."
-Paul Hinman

And the moral of the story is: don't wait until two weeks before the election to create a new party. The right wing in Alberta is a threat if they ever get their act together. They just can't seem to ever get their act together. The party is still divided and now they don't even have a seat in the ledge (pending recount).

This party is really going to sink or swim on the strength of their next leader (Link?). Despite having a seat, no one knew a thing about Paul Hinman until debate night. The next leader is going to have to get known and they're going to have to accomplish that from outside the legislature. That means being creative and it means stalking reporters to make sure they write about you and treat you with the credibility they give the NDP, rather than the credibility they give the Greens. Equally important is going to be the behind the scenes stuff the public never sees - growing the party, raking in the donations from corporate Calgary, and finding quality candidates to run in the next campaign.

It's a daunting task, but the potential payoff is huge, if done right. I think Alberta would be better off with a viable right wing opposition party so I hope they do it right.


  • The Alberta Liberals do indeed need a new brand. Let's see, they say it's time for change in Alberta, to shake-up the status quo, to defeat a long-governing party they see as lazy and entitled...howabout The Reform Party?

    Focus group that name in Alberta, see how it tests...

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11:00 p.m.  

  • "The ALP's role model should be another Albertan, Stephen Harper"

    The odd thing lost in all the whining about the voter's judgement is that Decore left you folks the template, Thereafter the party gathered in a circle and started shooting inwards.

    Time to grow up. "I'm a Liberal, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.

    Notley will eat you folks up with the latte crowd, so you best mapquest main street alberta ASAP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 p.m.  

  • Quando omni flunkus moritati!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 p.m.  

  • ABCer: "Reform Party"...not bad. Might confuse some people. The "Alberta Party" is the obvious choice. I personally am tempted by "Liberal-Conservative Party" since it would confuse people, appease those who want to keep the Liberal brand name, and isn't any sillier than Progressive Conservative.

    Or maybe "Change Party" (but what do you do once elected), "undecided Party", or "None of the Above Party" (NAP, for short).

    So many possibilities...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:48 p.m.  

  • Yup - Decore had the right idea. It's a shame Bronco won't be willing to jump in - with him in charge, a new name, and a new focus, I think they'd be a force to be reckoned with.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:49 p.m.  

  • I have a hard time seeing the Liberals or NDP ever get elected in Alberta, so what about a merger between the 2, as a sort of "unite the not quite as right". Combined with a stronger right-wing alternative, it might be enough to at least bring the PC-ers down a notch.

    By Blogger UWHabs, at 11:57 p.m.  

  • There's enough votes here for 2 right parties and 1 left. But no surprise that the folks that keep the AB Libs from connecting with AB voters think the answer is merging with the NDP.

    Keep those moral victories coming. Make sure you always describe an AB that even newcomers can't recognize.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 a.m.  

  • What's really needed is another "big tent"
    party just like the Progressive Conservatives who can run on a platform that says "we're not them. but we are enough like them for you to trust us." This would entail approaching the Wildrose Alliance party and the Greens.It might be long shot, but I for one, am tired of losing and I have a feeling that some in the Alliance might view this as an easier route to a government than trying to chip away at the PCs for the next 12 to 16 years. I would not waste my time trying to convince the NDs to join such a coalition, because,based on "principle", they would rather live with 50 years of Tory rule than hop into bed with the Liberals and the Alliance or even the Greens.

    Those farmers who already back the Alliance have some of the same concerns as more liberal minded Albertans, and in the years to come, I think that there will be even more common ground (contentious social issues aside). These people will want a viable alternative that keeps them close to the levers of power. They just need a party ready to govern(other than the PCs) that they believe will not sell them out economically or bring social change too quickly before they can adjust to that change.

    This is just my looney thought, but at this stage every option has to be considered.

    By Blogger truegrit, at 12:46 a.m.  

  • I very much agree that we need to re-brand as a fiscally responsible, pro-business party. As I've said before, emulating the BC Liberals in certain respects is a good idea.

    As for the name change, Liberal-Conservative would be acccurate, but would probably confuse people and/or seem like a superficial trick to snag voters. We need something that makes sense, but I can't seem to figure it out. I thought about 'Alberta Democrats', but that might remind people of the NDP.

    I still think Bronconnier could be convinced to run. He says he has no interest in it, but I frankly don't believe that. Hillary Clinton said a few years ago that she had no intentions of running for the presidency.

    By Blogger Brandon E. Beasley, at 1:22 a.m.  

  • Notley is as good as hyped, but she's nowhere near ready to be leader. This was supposed to be her rookie term where she learned the ropes, like David Eggen got to. I'm sure she'll last longer than he did, but she's going to have a much tougher time of it under these circumstances. I can't see her taking over until after the next campaign (although if she's ready, I'd love to eat those words--she'd be great).

    As for the Alberta Alliance or whatever they're called these days, I completely agree with you that there's room on the right for a real right-wing party (which, let's be honest, the PCs are not--they're kind of a power party at the moment and nothing more), but they need to sort out whether they want to be a fiscally conservative or a socially conservative party, which means some more soul-searching. They had a couple of high-profile "name" candidates this time, so maybe they'll be back. And all partisanship aside, I really do hope they are--in contrast to most of your commenters, I firmly believe that the road to better representation under these circumstances is more parties, not fewer of them.

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 1:49 a.m.  

  • 47% of Albertans voted to turf the Tories. I would not be quick to concede the Liberals are devastated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:35 a.m.  

  • Tomorrow I plan to write a "what if" post where the Wildrose Party merged with the Alberta Liberals instead of the Alberta Alliance.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 3:24 a.m.  

  • Rebranding is a good idea. It also can't help but to chuck a little "Alberta Firewall anti-Ottawa" rhetoric in there either. If Liberals can rebrand and use populism as a key plank in how they market themselves, that will appeal to Alberty voters.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 5:57 a.m.  

  • I don't see much point in a merger between the Libs and anyone else. If you merge with the NDP, you'd just be moving further left and the NDP don't care about having power anyways so there'd be no incentive for them to do it (I agree a non-agression pact in a few Edmonton ridings might work).

    Merging with the Alliance? Good luck selling that to the members of either party. It's in the best interest of both those parties for the other one to do well, but I don't think a merger would ever work there in a million years.

    Ideally, if you re brand and get a popular leader, you can start picking off individuals from the other parties, kind of like Lougheed did in the lead up to '71. For both the ALP and WA, if they look credible, they'll start stealing some high profile PCs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:14 a.m.  

  • You can start your new party with;
    the stud scud
    j. dinning
    r. klein
    all the former lib/ndo/wra loser candidates

    the problem it appears is the majority of people who vote for ONE party are supporting the CPC.
    that's how democracy works.
    get over it.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 9:41 a.m.  

  • CalGrit - You are absolutely correct to say that the Libs need to admit that they have a problem that goes beyond name and branding. Until that happens they won't emerge from the opposition benches. The problem is that too many Liberals truly believe that the problem is that they weren't able to get their message out. It will be a long road and will require true leadership. Unfortunately, i don't see that leader in the current caucus.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 a.m.  

  • At the risk of oversimplfying, the hot economy and Albera's overall wealth was always going to beat the Liberals, no matter what the polls said or how bad a communicator Ed Stelmach is.

    Looking through the lens of pocketbook politics, there was simply no reason to send the PCs packing. Times are good. They've presided reasonably well over the boom. People have money. Why change?

    This is why I think all the talk of "If the Liberals couldn't win under THESE circumstances, when can they?" is simply wrong. That's the MSM bias talking; the press corps that wrote Stelmach off as premier and created this climate of political unrest in Alberta when there really wasn't. Sure Stelmach can't speak and is a lousy campaigner, but Alberta never wanted him gone.

    Low oil prices are the only thing that will bounce the Tories from office. And it will happen. But to say the Liberals campaigned poorly or didn't have enough ideas is missing the point. Albertans weren't listening because they were too busy buying SUVs and spending the weekend at their cottages in Banff.

    Let's face it. This incarnation of the Tory party is the furtherst thing from inspiring. But who can blame Albertans for wanting more of the same? Life is good!

    By Blogger sir john a., at 10:27 a.m.  

  • Sir John... exactly. You don't fix what isn't broken.

    Liberals continue to insist on seeing the Province as on the wrong course.

    If you continue to insist on pitting ideology against economics, your going to continue to lose.

    Although I do think a name change would be a good idea, and in Alberta, it's got to be a name that resonates with the people in a way the word "Liberal" never will.

    Over 60% of the population of Calgary has at least 1 year of University... Edmontonians, while perhaps not having as many University educated people, is certainly not slouching in the academia department either, and is definately the Cultural Arts center of the province. Do you really believe that those people are not capable of deciding whats right or wrong for them or their families? Do you for a moment believe that these people do not have a relatively centerist view of the world?

    When all you talk about is "graduated tax rates" and "Carbon Taxs", or "Slowing down the Oil Sands"... really, what did you expect, a surge to the voter booth?

    Why would people trade their flat tax rate, or burden themselves with additional taxs? Have you ever seen people rush to vote in new taxes? The concept of slowing down oilsands development... well, why don't you just tell people your sending them pink-slips.

    No, the simple truth is there was no valid reason to replace a seasoned government with a novice one. There was little offered to even feel like replacing the Tories, and people simply said "screw it, I'm staying home".

    In the face of no major issues, no real alternatives with incentive, and empty rhetoric on issues that do mean something to Albertans coming from all parties (for example healthcare... do you honestly believe the people of Alberta stupid enough to think that any one party has the panacea to the issues in our system?), people will not bother.

    So my suggestion is to change the name of the Liberal Party to "Progressive Libertarian Party", or "PLP" for short, and start to focus solely on issues that fall dead center on virtually everything.

    How do you think the Liberal Party of Canada managed to stay in power for most of the last century? By stearing to the middle.

    If you continue to bash the very core beliefs and strengths of the province, you'll lose everytime. One thing I've noticed about fervent Liberals is their steadfast belief that they are always right.

    When a very small percentage of a population refuses to see the mindset of the majority...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 a.m.  

  • The Sask Party did kick out an effective and scandal free NDP gvt in Sask on a time for change message. It is possible.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 a.m.  

  • There's two things that are needed in order to change the ruling party in Alberta:

    1) A viable alternative to the PCs.
    2) An economic calamity.

    Sure, Albertans have been going on and on for months about how we "want" change, but until we're at a point where we need change, we're going to get more of the same. With the exception of a few blips (like the royalty review), Albertan's and the Oil and Gas Industry know exactly what their going to get with the PCs, and despite all the rhetoric recently, what were getting isn't all that bad. We've got good jobs, good schools, good neighborhoods. There's a big difference between whinning about how much your house costs and whinning because you don't have a job.

    Well off, comfortable people are rarely in the mood to overthrow governments, nor are they keen to inject needless uncertainty in their lives when things are going pretty well.

    By Blogger McLea, at 12:54 p.m.  

  • Everyone who lives in a rural boom economy knows that the first thing you do during good times is not spend bigger but save bigger. Once you have enough saved, then you start enjoying the wealth and Alberta hasn't saved near enough Everyone knows that.

    The party didn't make a big enough deal of its plans to increase savings, that was lost in the avalanche of spending announcements as they tried to keep up with the spending announcemnts of the NDP and Tories.

    I'd keep Taft on as leader, that demonstrates loyalty. I'd keep the name because if the name were an issue the PCs (Mulroney) and NDPs (irrelevance) would also have identity problems. The real change has be at the heart of the ALP - the policies.
    I'd hire conservative thinkers to develop the fiscal policies and Liberal thinkers to handle the spending policies. I'd get the Fraser Institute (or any other right wing think tank) to vet the fiscal policies.

    In theory, you'd have Liberal spending priorities within the confines of fiscal restraint and that will resonate with rural voters. It's not how much you spend, it's how you spend what you have.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:55 p.m.  

  • I don't think it's been said yet, but I think the high gas prices recently really helped Stelmach. If gas price had stayed low going into the election, I think you would have seen a lot more spill over from the Royalty Review, but because business has been good all winter, the Oil and Gas Industry has kind of shut up. Maybe not shut up, but there certainly didn't exist the incentive to galvanize the population against Stelmach.

    By Blogger McLea, at 1:12 p.m.  

  • Much as been written about what went wrong for opposition parties in last Monday's Alberta election and without pontificating on why the Liberals couldn't capitalize, I'd rather talk about why voters consistently vote Conservative in Canada's richest province.

    One comment on Cherniak's blog suggested that "she thanks God every day that Alberta doesn't get to determine who forms the federal government" and surprisingly, she's from Alberta. So over the past couple of days, I've been wondering just what everyone believes makes Alberta voters tick: why have they re-elected the PC's for nearly 40 years?

    Is it a knee jerk protest to the fact that federal elections are basically decided in Ontario and Quebec before the polls close in Camrose? Is it because Albertans are basically redneck bumpkins who just fell off the turnip truck and "don't know no better cuz Ma and Pa always voted Tory" or is there something far more intricate going on that speaks to an entirely different set of shared values that Albertans enjoy, yet the rest of the country fails to understand?

    I'm an import to the west, even though I've spent the bulk of my life living there. I was born in Ontario but moved to Calgary during the great western migration of the late 1970's. I was a kid then, and Calgary seemed such an amazing place where anything was possible in my 12 year old mind. I wasn't a political junkie in those days, yet I knew there were a lot of Ontarians like myself heading for greener pastures and new opportunities for their families.

    As I grew up, I've struggled with trying to understand the nature of Alberta's gripes with central Canada (read Ottawa, specifically) and the one overriding theme that I've heard from nearly every single Albertan I'd chanced to have a political discussion with comes down to three utterly poisonous words: National Energy Program.

    I lived through that period in Alberta's history and I don't think anyone who didn't live there can truly understand how it not only devastated the economy, but broke whatever faith Albertan's had with our federal system. It's almost like the NEP created some kind of post traumatic stress disorder not only on Alberta's citizenry, but also it's social and political institutions.

    (As I read what I've written, maybe part of the problem is that I've referred to Canadians by their regional titles - is it true that we Canadians do view ourselves through a provincial filter BEFORE we identify with being a Canadian citizen? Is this the source of the problem we all share?)

    On Monday, roughly 40% came out to vote. Were 60% content to let the Tories continue their grip on power simply because that party was the party (I suspect most believe) that built modern Alberta, and shepherded it through boom and bust. Perhaps Albertans feel that because the PC's were there through that dark period in the 1980's they earned the right to govern because the other two mainstream parties weren't shaped by that horrible time in everyone's lives.

    Perhaps also, Alberta voters simply believe the PC's are the only party that can give Ottawa the finger and tell easterners they can freeze in the dark. That brand of populism, while unpalatable to many people in central Canada is something Albertans in my experience identify with strongly - so much in fact, they view it as a badge of honor. As for Alberta Liberals, part of their problem, I believe is "guilt by association" with their federal cousin. It was a federal Liberal government that brought in the NEP and it shook Albertans to core. The echoes are still heard twenty years hence.

    God, you simply had to live through it to truly understand... that's all I can say.

    I have a hypothesis that's bound to stir some controversy, but here goes:

    I think Albertans consistently support Conservatism because while they are proud Canadians, there's a generation or two of deeply wounded voters who saw what happened to their beloved province in a country they love passionately. There's been no apology from Liberals or from the Alberta perception of "eastern Canada." We still, as a nation, haven't reconciled with Alberta and until that happens, there won't be any healing and forgiveness.

    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 1:45 p.m.  

  • Well said, Darren, except I'd take issue with "Alberta hasn't saved near enough. Everyone knows that."

    If everyone knows that, that implies that Albertans don't have a sense of fiscal discipline, and I don't think that's true. People just aren't aware of how badly their money is being managed because there's so much of it.

    Watching Alberta's govt is like watching a guy making $100K a year who spends $100K a year. Unless he has a high level of engagement in issues beyond which SUV to buy, he's not going to sit down for a rethink when the sheer volume of money coming in will mask the consequences of dubious budget decisions. I doubt that even Stelmach can screw this one up enough to get un-elected anytime soon.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 2:39 p.m.  

  • "PC's are the only party that can give Ottawa the finger"

    The only one I've heard who's been telling McGuinty he's not getting any more money to pour down his ratholes is the Feds. This money for the rust belt would ultimately have to come from Alberta yet Stelmach has been MIA re this national debate.

    The PCs are the beneficiaries of a great deal of mythologizing about standing up for Alberta such that they benefit from sharing a name with the federal Conservatives while the Liberals lose by the same token. That said, Kevin Taft does nothing to dispel the perception he's more sympathetic to Ottawa interests when he wags his finger at Albertans about feeling alienated.

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 2:52 p.m.  

  • I think the reasons the Liberals will never take power in Alberta is the name and association with the federal Liberal party and secondly a lack of trust that the provincial Liberals will ever stand up for Alberta's interests. There is a negative association that lingers with the name Liberal in Alberta from the 80s, from the gun registry, the sponsorship scandal and a number of other things. These are all federal matters and it is guilt by association, however, given that provincial liberals tend to pledge their undying allegiance to the federal liberal cause everytime there is a federal election perhaps the imposition of guilt upon them isn't wholly unwarranted.

    Furthermore, I think the largest problem is that the Liberals cannot be trusted to stand up for Alberta's interests. They pretend to be a government in waiting, but in the eyes of many its more of a "Vichy government" in waiting where they'd effectively roll out the red carpet for eastern Canadian Liberals who've displayed nothing but crass bigotry and jealousy of Alberta's wealth and sucesses. Rolling out a program to try and undermine the current economic foundation of the province only tends to cement that image. If Alberta Liberals want to prove that they should form a provincial government, they'll have to dissociate completely from the federal party, denouce efforts to infringe on the provinces sovereignty and efforts to curtail its growth or 'share the wealth'. They'll have to prove that they are Albertans first not Liberals first.

    By Blogger Chris, at 2:52 p.m.  

  • "It's a shame Bronco won't be willing to jump in - with him in charge, a new name, and a new focus, I think they'd be a force to be reckoned with."

    A sober version of Klein 2.0 does not work for me. Besides old Ralph was a Grit before he became Premier. We've been through this before.

    "so what about a merger between the 2, as a sort of 'unite the not quite as right'".

    With Rachel Notley, the NDP finally has a potential leader who can change the political landscape. Her dad won 16 in the mid 80s. Maybe the Grits should start negotiations with the NDP and start a new alliance, such as the Alberta United Left. The Dippers are doing much better in fundraising than the Grits, so why not?

    IP, you don't need a leader in a caucus of two. The next four years should be spent on outreach and to take advantage of any possible moves once Kevin Taft falls on his sword. In fact, Rachel would be smart in using the United Left concept to peel off Taft's Calgary centred politics as soon as possible. Once Leftmonton goes orange, then she can challenge for leadership.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:10 p.m.  

  • Why hasn't the Liberal Party attacked the Ontario automobile industry on the issue of climate change for having a worse record than the oilsands industry?

    (Fleet fuel consumption per mile is way up over the last decade, energy intensity of the oilsands way down over the decade).

    If the oil industry is going to have to sacrifice for climate change, the automobile industry should also.

    Why wasn't Mark Holland taken to task for his proclamation that he was the boss of Alberta?

    Alberta Liberals have to demonstrate that they will defend Alberta.

    All those cars sitting in traffic jams on the 401 in Toronto are emitting carbon dioxide. Where are the road tolls and the congestion taxes. Isn't it a climate crisis?

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 5:10 p.m.  

  • "All those cars sitting in traffic jams on the 401 in Toronto are emitting carbon dioxide. Where are the road tolls and the congestion taxes. Isn't it a climate crisis?"

    Tell that to your harper. He's been obstructing carbon taxes. He's got no climate change strategy.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:42 p.m.  

  • All those cars sitting in traffic jams on the 401 in Toronto are emitting carbon dioxide.

    And God knows we wouldn't be digging up the mud in the Oil Sands if people outside of the province were buying it. I don't understand why the Oil and Gas industry should bear the brunt of any carbon tax, when it's clear that we wouldn't be pulling any of this crap out of the ground if people around the world weren't begging to stick in their cars and burn it.

    An effective way to reduce carbon emissions from the Oil Sands would be for people to stop paying for the shit that comes out of them, but we all know that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

    By Blogger McLea, at 7:01 p.m.  

  • Mushroom: "With Rachel Notley, the NDP finally has a potential leader who can change the political landscape. Her dad won 16 in the mid 80s."

    Um, that would be Ray Martin who led the NDP to 16 seats in 1989. Grant Notley was very much dead by then. The most Notley ever won was 2.

    But then again, the NDP was never good with numbers, now were they.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:15 p.m.  

  • As much as I can understand your frustration, CalGrit, that aphorism about "real Conservatives and fake Conservatives" seems to loom large. Will skewing right actually help?

    (Doesn't seem to for Dems much.)

    Honestly, when you've got the conservatives calling you Nazi collaborators, cozying up to them just doesn't seem to be a likely solution.

    As for the rest of the conservatives crowing about "the will of the voters"... I trust you'll remember it the next time you're grousing over the rest of the country rejecting hard-core conservatism.

    (The equivalents of Houston Republicans shouldn't be surprised that the rest of the country doesn't vote for the oilmen's boys.)

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 12:13 a.m.  

  • You guys need to change Alberta politics from being about left-right to being silly-party vs. serious party. The man to lead you in that? Jim Dinning (or alternately Preston Manning).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 2:08 p.m.  

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