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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stunning rebuke in Alberta elections

The upstart Wildrose party received a stunning rebuke from Alberta voters last night. Election bells that were supposed to ring a death knell for the Progressive Conservative dynasty in Alberta sounded peals of victory to celebrate the PC’s sweeping majority.

Prior to the vote, pundits seemed pretty sure of a win for the Wildrose—the election would serve only to confirm the actual margin of victory. Few, if any, predicted the reversal of fortune suffered by the new conservative party.

As with the federal Conservatives in 2004, an earlier lead by the Wildrose seemed to have evaporated on the final days of the campaign, and, at least in part, for much the same reason: controversial—some would say intolerant and outrageous—comments made by a couple of candidates.

Despite her pleasant personality and appearance of competence, gaffes by members of her team and a lacklustre platform hampered Wildrose leader Danielle Smith in her attempt to offer the alternative to Alison Redford’s liberal-like Progressive Conservatives that Alberta’s voters were looking for.

In the end, voters decided Wildrose needed more seasoning and gave it a term as official opposition. Hopefully for the conservative movement, that party will use the time to smooth off some of its rough edges. In the meantime, I am certainly looking forward to hearing Ms. Smith debate Ms. Redford in the legislature.

And in four years we’ll see what happens in round two.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell

7 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. proof that there are more people at the tax trough than we thought. only liberal socialists will vote for spending more of someone elses money and albertans did just that. calling the pc party anything but liberal is just a lie.

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  2. Exactly, our PMSH needed to at bats to win over voters and form his first minority.

    Many of us partisans may have been too hopeful for a big change.

    Wildrose is a relatively new party, their metrics are very good. They need to follow the CPC outreach and bypass the major outlets and big unions that have joined forces with the Govt.

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  3. The devil you know...

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  4. The painful thing, though, is Alison the Red can do a LOT of damage in four years. I can feel my paycheck getting lighter and lighter as we speak for all the useless spending that's going to go unchecked.

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    1. But now wasteful spending won't go unchecked, Wildrose is in the Legislature now.

      Wildrose will now have funding for a research team, and they will be digging into contracts etc.

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  5. "Prior to the vote, pundits seemed pretty sure of a win for the Wildrose"

    Did they, or was this a tactic to scare people into sticking with the devil they know?

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  6. I don't believe this was a loss to the WRP at all. They are now the Official Opposition with their leader elected to the Alberta Legislature. They had their foot in the door previously with defections (i.e. Guy Boutilier joining their camp after being turfed from the PC Caucus), now they have opened that door wider and will not be going away. Maybe in 4 years time but we'll see, I guess it depends on them. On a different matter altogether, I couldn't vote for the party I wanted to vote for (Alberta Party). They didn't field a candidate in my riding so I threw my vote to the Liberals which didn't matter because Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo is PC country. Hopefully in 4 years time the Alberta Party will have candidates in all ridings.

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