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centerandleft: Alberta and Polls: Never Again

The Calgary Flames are preparing to host their first playoff game since 2009 in a matter of days. While the Flames are working hard to even up their series, the politicians are working the doors. The province of Alberta may be preparing to elect a new party to power for the first time since 1971.

Does this sound familiar? Just three years ago I was responsible for the following assumption:

Danielle Smith is likely to be the next premier of Alberta

It doesn’t sound like a terrible statement, but this type of statement reveals a foolish reliance on poor (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Oops!

It seems that a candidate for Alberta’s Wildrose party, Rick Strankman, has made a bit of a faux pas, one that he blames, as politicians are wont to do, on a volunteer: A Wildrose candidate was forced to apologize and retract a poster Thursday that called on party supporters to bring their wives’ pies to a meet-and-greet.

The poster encouraged constituents in Drumheller-Stettler to attend an “old fashioned pie auction” next week and “BYWP (Bring Your Wife’s Pie!!)”

Meanwhile, rumours abound that Strankman has hired a new campaign manager:

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In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 14: And they’re off! But why?

This week, Premier Jim Prentice called his uncalled-for election. The question remains, why?

The election — a year ahead of the lawful election date — has no validity. The PCs have a majority that any government in Canada, or the world, would kill for (and in some countries, that’s exactly how they do it). His “transformative” budget is unpopular, an ugly hodge-podge of tax hikes and service cuts. It does not, in any way, address the basic problem of the Alberta economy. The only possible outcome of this election is a win for the PCs, of course. But with the (Read more…)

In This Corner: Why good polls may be bad for the Rachel Notley Party

In the first week of the Unnecessary Election of 2015, the big story has been the polling numbers. The media, desperate to find something to report on in the early going, has fixated on the numbers which show the Rachel Notley Party with shockingly high numbers. The stats are so out of whack, even the pollsters are advising to take them with a grain of salt.

Pollsters have taken a beating lately due to a long string of wildly wrong results pretty much everywhere. That is in part due to the down-and-dirty method of polling, which is cheap and not (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff happens, week 13: Election? What election?; this week in atrocities.

There was plenty of speculation amongst the political class about when Premier Grim Jim Prentice would call his (illegal) election. Monday came and went with no word. Then came the polls — suddenly the Wildrose was on the rise, and the polls were giving the budget the thumbs down. So Tuesday came and went, then Wednesday, then Thursday… then it was Good Friday, and Prentice would have been crucified for calling an election then. So, at earliest on Monday, but that’s Easter Monday, so Tuesday it is. Or is it? What a great way to run a democracy.

Gas prices (Read more…)

In This Corner: Everything you need to know about 2015 right here.

As a dues paying member of the blogosphere, I feel compelled to do at least one of the annual blogs: the year in review, or the predictions column. Since the year in review blog takes lots of work, guess which way I’m going? Besides, it’s really easy to write a predictions blog, because you can predict only what you want to talk about, and by the end of the year, nobody remembers any of what you’ve said.

Prediction no. 1: RIP Keystone XL

The Keystone XL pipeline was first proposed in 1922 to transport kerosene from Alberta’s vast kerosene fields, (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Spring Signs of A Thaw In Our Political Passivity?

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen in print the term ‘Red Tory’, used to describe an economic conservationism balanced by a social progressiveness. Yet it is included in columns today by The Star’s Thomas Walkom and Chantal Hebert as both reflect upon the significance of Alison Redford’s Progressive Conservative victory in Monday’s Alberta election. Walkom goes so far as to suggest the term is also applicable to both Dalton McGuinty and Andrea Horwath, given their recent budget deliberations that yielded some real results.

As well, public editor Carol Goar writes on the growing backlash against the outrageously inflated

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Spring Signs of A Thaw In Our Political Passivity?

Montreal Simon: The Wild Hog Gang and the New Alberta

Wow. What a dramatic finish. The rednecks were squealing with anticipation. The beer was on ice.The Big Oil Barbie was so sure she would win.

But in the end the old wild hog couldn't make it up the hill of its own excrement and bigotry.Read more »

Red Tory v.3.0.3: A Red Tory Victory in Alberta!

Well, go figure. Who would have thought that a resurgence of the “Red Tory” political brand would occur in, of all places, Alberta? For weeks now, right-wing pundits across the land have been viciously excoriating the Alberta PCs for being “Red Tories” and for having drifted so far to the left in recent years as to have become a supposedly oppressive Liberal government in all but name – something that would surely result in them being, as Ezra Levant confidently predicted last week, decisively “crushed” in yesterday’s election.

Ah, but as things turned out, clearly not so.

It seems that (Read more…)

Red Tory v.3.0.3: Time for a Change

After four continuous decades in power during which time the ruling Progressive Conservative party was virtually unchallenged in any serious fashion, is it any wonder that so many Albertans are apparently now so eager for a change? Given the inevitable “throw the bums out” impetus amongst the normally feckless electorate usually kicks in a good deal sooner than that, a steady run of 41 years at the helm is an impressive achievement by any measure.

While it’s a shame that opposition to the entrenched establishment had to orginate from the more extreme, crackpot wing of the conservative movement, it’s no (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Just a reminder – Alberta, Go Vote.

Exercise the bare minimum of what is required for us to have a democracy, if you’re an Albertan make your way down to the polls and participate in the political process.

Filed under: Canada, Politics Tagged: Alberta Election, Democracy in Action, Voting

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Another Day, Another Wildrose Kook

In a news release, the Buddhist Society says [Wildrose candidate John] Oplanich then violated its tranquility “through bullying, intimidation and threats.”

As well as directly criticizing the Buddhist faith, threatening to call the RCMP, and warning about funding the Society receives through the government.

Looks like they’re still going to win, though the size of the victory may be in question.  They better learn some manners, though: those pipelines have to go somewhere.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Finally, Someone Has Noticed

…that the Wildrose Human Rights platform goes a wee bit beyond repealing the hate speech section of the.  From WK’s Sun column today:

Wildrose’s platform wants to kill a section of the Alberta Human Rights Act that prohibits posting of signs like “no blacks” and “no Jews” for employment or lodging or service.

It sounds kooky, but its true.  I’ve written about it here, but Jennifer Koshan at Canadian Lawyer Magazine spotted it first.  The Wildrose platform does not only seek to eliminate the prohibition against publications, notices, signs, symbols, emblems or other representations that might likely to “expose a

. . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: Finally, Someone Has Noticed

centerandleft: Wildrose Modernization of Democracy

The majority of Albertans are finding themselves dissatisfied with a Redford government they see as wasteful and bulky, and are savouring the opportunity for change. The last time citizens were upset to this degree with the Progressive Conservatives, they seriously considered a Liberal government in 1993, boosting the Grit seat count from eight to thirty-two, and the vote share from 28% to 40%.

Smith is Looking at a Big Win | Source: Chris Bolin, Globe and Mail

Instead of looking left, this year Albertan conservatives have found an alternative to the right of Redford’s PCs: The Wildrose Party. In most (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Link Byfield Going Down?

 Westlock County Councillor Maureen Kubinec placed highest among our poll takers with 41.43 per cent of the vote. Kubinec was followed by former Alberta Report publisher Link Byfield with 30 per cent of the poll vote.

An “informal” poll, unfortunately, so it doesn’t tell us much.  More links on Link here and here.

A. Picazo: Link Byfield – Another Thorn On The Wildrose

Though it took longer than I anticipated, it seems Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, gag order and all, has failed to contain the radical views held by some in her party from seeping out into the public sphere. These views would have been discovered eventually, mind you, as Smith cannot muzzle her candidates (or MLAs, for … Continue reading →

JimBobby Sez: New Song: The Wild Rose of Alberta

Whooee! Well, friends an’ foes, I reckon I’ll have a few more foes after the Wildrose backers have a look at this one.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Wildrose Candidate Ron Leech: I Can Speak For All Because I’m White

During the interview, Leech said, “I think, as a caucasian, I have an advantage. When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslin leader speaks they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a caucasian I believe that I can speak to all the community.”

Even better is party leader Danielle Smith’s response:

“I’m not concerned about [his remarks]. I think every candidate puts forward their best argument for why they should be the person the way represent the community….

Apparently that’s the best Ron could come up with.

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Glad Somebody Noticed

 Ms. Smith’s [firewall]  language may prove attractive to voters, but it means Alberta will likely be pursuing a more aggressive strategy at a time when it most needs the co-operation of other provinces, said David Taras, a political scientist at Mount Royal University.

“Just as we need more and more help to get our pipelines through,” he noted.

The odds that Northern Gateway will ever get anywhere near Kitimat are low enough as it is.  Send in the knuckle-walkers, and it will fall to zero.

Which I suppose is one reason to cheer for a Wildrose victory.