Alberta election: an appeal to the hold-your-nose vote

The message of a third-party video making the rounds is ‘Vote PC, even if you don’t want to’

Leave aside for a moment the Baptist Church Teen Talk quality of this viral third-party plea for strategic voting that is circulating around Alberta today in advance of the Apr. 23 vote. (Have you ever seen a mass-market political ad that wasn’t fundamentally cheesy and unintelligent?) Let’s ask a more interesting question: what does it tell us about the state of the campaign? It doesn’t seem to have been bought and paid for by the Progressive Conservatives; it may, for example, have merely been made and shot pro bono, in their interest and with their blessing. But it is hard to believe they didn’t have some hand in it. I am hearing a lot of conspiracy theories about “Wildrose black ops” and “rogue teenagers” and whatnot, but—hello? The message of the ad is “Vote for the PCs, even if you don’t really want to”. (Or, to take a literal direct quote: “F—k it, I’m voting PC”.)

It’s a risky move. The ad will alienate old-fashioned, loyalist blue Tories who happen to see it. It is not just old fogies in Alberta who like guns and vote for Stephen Harper. And it is not just young people who watch YouTube videos. At the same time, the sentiment that the ad is trying to appeal to is real; I have already talked to strategic voters who are going to cast their first PC ballot out of fear of the Wildrose Party. I’m actually kind of sorry to see them caricatured so brutally.

This ad—or this political tract in video form, pending its use as an ad—is both a wager and a frame-change. The wager is that an appeal to strategic-voting Liberal and NDP sympathizers will attract more marginal voting power than is given up in the form of horrified Tory loyalists, or in the form of people who aren’t especially partisan but are horrified anyway. Certainly the core idea here is strategically sound: if the Tories want to pull out some of their formerly close-run ridings in northern Alberta and even Calgary, it will help to appeal to the atavistic fears that have been raised about the Wildrose slate. This ad/tract/viral vid suggests that the PCs have given up on the hinterland and most of Calgary; the trouble is that to work even in the places where it might implicitly do some good, it must succeed in making viewers identify with the people onscreen. I have some trouble imagining a likely voter watching it and saying “Damn, the ‘I’m not like dat’ guy and the super-angry ‘Danielle Smith doesn’t believe in gravity’ chick are ME!”

The attempted frame-change is this: the 2012 election very quickly turned into a “Roust the crooks” bonfire-type occasion, with voters of all stripes sharing their disgust at the Progressive Conservative government’s bullying and corruption. Albertans will get the kind of behaviour from their next government that they choose to honour: if they reward the overwhelming sense of entitlement that the PCs have developed after 41 years in power, they will be sending a signal that anything short of murder will go unpunished. “Roust the crooks” is a recipe for electoral annihilation. The PCs need to move voters into a “Defend the status quo” mode, and that’s what this ad is about. Forget the PC kickbacks; forget decades of PC ad-hockery in healthcare; forget even that any PC caucus will probably contain dozens of people who believe that the gays are going to hell. The question—the hidden inner challenge of the ad—is: after 41 years, years which have seen plenty of liberal social progress and fairly impressive relative prosperity, do we really dare change? Things could be worse!




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Alberta election: an appeal to the hold-your-nose vote

  1. What a bizarre ad.   The people represented are like left-wing internet trolls, rather than actual people who vote for progressive parties and live in the real world. 

  2. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield;

    Nice kids. They really seem to care…about what I have no idea.

    •  That’s another problem with the video, it was ridiculously long and yet they managed to say absolutely nothing about what they care about.

  3. Well, there’s some hope for Alberta…in it’s young people

    I feel for them though….if I was an Albertan at the moment, I wouldn’t want to vote for the PC either…..41 years fergawdsakes…..but Wild Rose is even worse and will put Alberta even further behind.

    As an Ontarian, it doesn’t matter to me who gets elected….but for Albertans….hold your nose…..

    • Well, if there was anybody still on the fence for supporting Wildrose over the PCs after watching that video, Emily’s endorsement would push them over the edge.

      •  Hey, if Albertans genuinely want to live in the Dark Ages, it’s their choice.

        I just don’t want to hear any whining about WildRose, after the fact.

        • Who will it be OK to “whine about”, according to you? If the PCs win, will it be OK to whine about them?

          •  LOL well Albertans whine…it’s what they do after all…but since so many, at least on Macleans, have just discovered to their horror that they have had the same govt for 41 years and there MAY, just MAY be some hanky panky that’s gone on…..I don’t expect to hear much about it if the Wild Rose gang turns out to be far worse….and they will.

            Mind you, it may take another 41 years for Albertans to figure that out. LOL

            Victim syndrome is what it’s all about after all…however the ROC tends to roll their eyes and yawn about it.

          • If one could choose one person from the 30 million in the ROC to represent our views of Alberta, the last one we would choose would be the presumptuous twit known as the resident troll at MacLeans.

          •  @4a64130278c80432e4d05477e5ee5a66:disqus

            As far as I know, you’re not an Albertan either.

          • Emily

            No he,  BCblue isn’t a resident of AB. Blue’s just too galatictally dense to realise he shouldn’t then be using words he doesn’t fully understand like…our and we when talking about another province.

          • Whether I am a resident of Alberta or not is irrelevant to the point that the resident troll of the national magazine should be reprimanded for her constant insults towards Albertans, and if the magazine chooses not to correct her, then I will.

            By encouraging the troll kcm and other shameless contributors are belittling themselves.

          •  @4a64130278c80432e4d05477e5ee5a66:disqus

            I find it amazing that Cons think they can trash Ontarians on a regular basis, but any criticism of Alberta leads to personal attacks on the poster. Moi, in this case.

            You can dish it out, but…..

          •  @kcm2

            I always thought that BC Blue wanted BC to become as rightwing as he hopes Alberta will be, and then they can join forces and ‘opt out’ of the federation. Seems to be the direction he’s going in.

          • You may have failed to notice, Emily but Colby Cash is an Albertan.  So next time you “whine” on his blog about how Albertans are always whinning, you might want to keep that in mind.

          •  @57fc79f8528c0aa6c4b4330d53700334:disqus

            I’m aware of that.

            Cons freely trash Ont on articles written by Ontarians

          • Blue

            Find one comment where i’ve encouraged E to trash AB. She’s entittled to her opinion – i don’t agree with alot of them. I simply find it more amusing to tease half wits like you who can’t hurl a decent accusation without contradicting themselves in one way or another.

          • kcm—-when a resident troll makes bigoted statement(s) and hangers-on like yourself, not only fail to condemn that statement but encourage it by posting your own name-calling attack, then you are every bit as guilty as the original troll.

            You may consider yourself some kind of smug insider             ( witness your pathetic cozying up to the MacLeans bloggers) but I find your posts mostly rambling incoherent trash.

        • What if the whine is “they’re not nearly as right wing as we would have hoped?” Because that’s probably something you’ll hear from Albertans before harvest-time.

          •  Heh….entirely possible.

    •  it’s not unusual for a lot to get out as soon as they can.

      • . I sure would. Not much to stay for.

        • Well no, not for you Emily…you are old.  You don’t need to find work that pays well to raise your family.  Plus, may I say on behalf of all of Alberta how really glad we are that you are sooooo happy to be an Ontarian and to stay out of Alberta.

          •  Mmm no, I’m 65….and I was in Alberta when I was ‘young’. It hasn’t changed much.

            Alberta has serious problems, and it would be nice to see them fixed rather than having elections that produce the same kind of thinking as they’ve always had.

            Otherwise you’re always going to get flow-thru people who go there to make money, and then leave again once they have a nest-egg.

          • Like I said, you are old….old enough that you are collecting OAS under the old rules.
            The fact that you lived in Alberta for a short time 30 or 40 years ago, does not make you any kind of expert on the province as it exists today.
            Perhaps if the comments you made were insightful and showed any of us that you knew the first thing about the reality of our province, we would pay some attention to your predictions. 
            As for the province attracting transient workers from eastern Canada, it is a completely reciprocal relationship.  We are happy to have them here for as long as they want to stay and work and they are happy to be here and make a good living.

          •  Well 65 isn’t old….and we’ve been over this ground before.

            I’m frequently in Alberta, I just no longer live there.

            It’s also not sacred, and it will be criticized.

          • 65 isn’t old?  Say what?  Are you or are you not collecting “Old age pension?”
            As for your “frequently” being in Alberta…define the word “frequently”.  
            No one EVER said Alberta was sacred and you do nothing but criticize it.

          •  No, I’m not getting the OAS….and 65 isn’t old.

            Are you not aware the reason the age is being raised is because people are living longer?

            Every few months….sometimes more, sometimes less

            Now stop acting like Alberta is untouchable, and go find some other thread to grouse on.

      •  That must be why Alberta has the youngest population of the provinces in the country.

        •  Alberta had, on July 1, 2011 the youngest population among the provinces with
          a median age of 36.0 years and a proportion of persons 65 years or
          older of 10.8%. In both cases, these were the lowest among all the
          provinces.

          http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110928/dq110928a-eng.htm

          As of July 1, the youngest population in Canada was in Nunavut, where
          the median age was 24.8 years. Almost a third (31.5%) of the Nunavut
          population
           was under the age of 15, the highest proportion in the
          country.

          • Nunavut isn’t a province last time I checked so who cares ?

          •  Um…er….hell no, they’re practically Albanians

          • Watch it, the current health minister is from there. 

          •  Hence I qualified it by saying “of the provinces”.   It still proves that GFMD’s comment is full of crap, as far more young people are moving into Alberta than are moving out of it.

            So even though I said the correct thing, I’m being told that I’m somehow dissing Nunavut.   What a vile bunch you people are.

      • Hahaha….get out and go where….to Ontario to work.  I think you are a little confused.  Alberta is constantly growing by people moving here.  Albertans aren’t leaving; other young Canadians are coming.

        • Where I live I am surrounded by retired Albertans, trust me,  people leave.

          • Oh I’m sorry Jan, Emily and GFMD were discussing the YOUTH of the province, not the rich elderly.  I am fully aware that the older, rich Albertans flee the province’s cold weather and spend their winters in Phoenix and their summers in beautiful BC.  However, young people are not leaving in droves.  In fact, we have people coming here to make their fortunes.

          • You need to stop  with the ageism.

    • ‘As an Ontarian, it doesn’t matter to me who gets elected…”  
      Excellent!  So now you can stop bombarded us Albertans with your opinions on our lack of intelligence and backward ways….thank goodness.  I thought you would go on and on about this election like it mattered to you.

      •  It doesn’t matter to Albertans who gets elected in Ont either, but that never stops them  from lecturing us.

        • You’re kidding, right?  Why don’t you take a quick stroll through the comments section of blog posts from your recent Provincial election and count the # from Albertans.  Here’s a hint – you won’t need both hands.

          Besides of which, we think the likes of you and McGinty are a match made in heaven.  On behalf of all Albertans, we applaud your wise choice and wish you many more decades of skillful leadership from him.

          •  Ont is criticized on here all the time, it doesn’t take an election. You just did so in fact.

            But somehow Alberta is sacred, and not a word can be said against it.

          • Emily, you blatantly tell us how much you disdain us and our province.  If Ontario is criticized, it is in response to the arrogance with which you are continually telling us what whinners and idiots we are.  It wears on people after awhile.

          •  Mmm no, don’t start the ‘you did it first’ routine with me. LOL

            Alberta has knocked Ontario since the first ‘eastern bastards’ remark.

            It’s only gotten worse since the auto industry crash, and the have-not stuff.

          • Emily, the “eastern bastards” comment was made in 1980.  There was bad feelings long before that.

          •  Yup, and all on your part.

    • I am an Albertan, and having withheld seeing the “video”, I still thing the Wildrose’s platform is better both socially and fiscally than the Conservatives! (Hold my nose… thanks for your true bias.)

      •  Well, as long as you’ve made up your mind and don’t want facts to get in the way…..

    • You appear to be a typical Ontarioite! Making judgements on this province with no knowledge of what your talking about. Danial Smith is a very progressive intelligent person who believes in free speech, pro choice, etc., she is an open minded person with much to offer.
      Alician may be much the same, but there are something’s that are questionable about her besides what the media has to say. #1 is the application to a country in Africa to become a citizen, thus giving up Canada. She was turned down and now we have her back. She is a human rites lawyer, which sounds really good but we all know how that’s working for us here.
      I suggest you read about them both but not from the newspapers as they have their favorites to build up. One more point, I really do wish that easterners would mind their own business. If you want to make comments about the west perhaps you should come out and see for yourself or educate yourself more on us, we are not all old white guys that voted for Steven Harper. By the way, I did vote for him and I am pretty sure you did to. A wise vote indeed .

      •  Had you read this entire thread before commenting,  you’d have known why I comment on the Alberta election.

        And no, I’d never vote for Harper. Most Canadians didn’t, in fact.

  4. First, this is a really awful piece of communication. Too long., not likeable, trying too hard.

    Second, I suspect that it probably is some PC Youth Wing “Holy crap I’ve spent all this time jockeying for position in the dynasty and now it’s all gonna go to ratshit” hail mary. Partially sanctioned with built-in plausible deniability, bien sur.

    Third, the PCs probably deserve to immolate, as every historic Alberta dynasty does, bi-generationally. Peter Lougheed’s long gone. And it really has been a bit of a clownshow since then.

    Last, ‘urban Alberta’ is a pretty vivid, cosmopolitan, imaginative and, yeah, youthful place. The rural part, not so much (At least that was true when we fled in ’93). So why paleos like the WR are even viable is a mystery. Except for 1), 2), and 3). 

    But they do love them some one party rule in AB, And I really hope they’re clear-eyed about this election. ’Cuz the Bible Bills hiding beneath D. Smith’s libertarian skirts are really gonna stink the joint up. But if that’s what the petrocracy wants…

    • We’re caught in between a rock (Conservatives) and a really realy really hard place (Wildrose)

  5. The ad is somewhat nauseating and stupid, I couldn’t get through it all.  I can’t see how it will help the PCs, it’s just too darn stupid to be appealing to anybody, and it’s somewhat offensive to some people who actually might have voted PC rather than voting Wild Rose.

    The other problem is that anyone who has actually seen or listened to Danielle Smith would think those idiots in the video are clueless.

    • Smith has built an entire career on her pliability as a meat puppet. SweetFA has changed. She’s not in charge. Nor will she be when she wins.

      • I just heard today that she interned with the Fraser Institute - they have been grooming her a long time. 

      • Redford, on the other hand, is beholden to no one, certainly not the teachers she handed $107M to a week after her leadership win, nor the public sector unions that organized thousands of members to take out PC memberships for the first time to vote for her.

        • Yes, but unions and teachers are 100% good and pure as the driven snow.  They don’t have a jot of selfishness or self-interest in them.  The Fraser Institute is 100% evil and wants to destroy Canada as we know it.  So there’s a difference, you see.

  6. The analogy might not be perfect, but having watched how fast the harper conservatives have gone from “we will provide better government” to “there are subtle differences between what the Liberals have done in office and we will provide ever diminishing distinctions between them”, if I lived there I might be suspicious of electing more right wing crazies to replace the current ones.

    • Yeah, those crazy conservatives turned crazy so fast they were thrown out in the 2008 election…

      …hmmm…

      the 2011 election…

      …hmmm…

      …come to think of it….

      apparently your comment is complete BS.

      • It’s amazing what a few robo calls and a weak opposition can accomplish isn’t it?

  7. The ad is a huge fail. I have to admit strategic voting is tempting for those suspicious of Wild Rose. There’s plenty of ridings with splits along the lines of 45-35-10-10 where a modest swing from Lib/NDP would knock the Wild Rose candidate off. Even some where a slight swing from PC to Lib or NDP would do the same (I’m in one of those myself).

    I am not a Wild Rose fan. I wonder what kind of tensions will exist within their government when they form it. Strangely (or maybe not) I think my personal views are closer to Smith’s than hers are to a large number of her candidates.

     I’m not a PC fan either, but joined the party to make sure (in Stelmach’s case) that Ted Morton would not be premier and in Redford’s case to make sure she would be. In the end though, no party should ever be in charge for 40+ years and if a term of WR is the price to blow up the PCs, so be it.

    Perhaps in the meantime the “progressives” in the PC/NDP/Lib/Alberta could get their act together and we could have some political balance in the future…

    •  ”I’m not a PC fan either, but joined the party to make sure”

      Wow, you are the living embodiment of what is wrong with the PC party today.  I knew infiltrators like you existed, but rarely do they admit it candidly.  You are the reason why the Wild Rose party exists.

      • I dunno, I think “what is wrong” is that we lived in a one-party state. If you wanted to make your political views known, the logical thing to do was join it. If the existence of WR is the outcome, that’s a good result in some ways.

        I kind of like being considered a “living embodiment” and an “infiltrator” though. Makes my reality sound far edgier than it is.

        •  Surely the fact that the Wild Rose party was able to organize a credible government in waiting in such a short time proves that the existance of a one-party state is your own damn fault.

          Here, I can even give you three steps to become a party that can challenge the PC’s in Alberta.

          1) Give up socialist ideologies, because even if they weren’t proven failures as ideologies Albertans just don’t want to live under an oligarchy of self-declared philosopher kings redistributing wealth.

          2) Give up the idea that it is your right and purpose to engage in social engineering.

          3) Gather credible and serious candidates that don’t hate, fear and despise the people they want to represent.

          Viola!  A new government in Alberta.

          • “1) Give up socialist ideologies, because even if they weren’t proven failures as ideologies Albertans just don’t want to live under an oligarchy of self-declared philosopher kings redistributing wealth.”

            That’s just so obtuse an opinion coming from a bright guy like you Yanni. Ever stopped to seriously check out how free spending PC govt’s have been over the years? How a province that’s as naturally endowed and rolling in oil dough has no real money set aside for rainy days and is often close to deficit?
            Honestly they’ve maintained their grip on power by being more “Liberal” than any liberal govt could be while selling the fiction they’re good fiscal managers.
            Not that i don’t think they haven’t done some great things for ABs. 

            And let’s not drag up crap about social engineering from a province that was into that stuff before the nazis. Those days are long gone thank goodness…although i wonder if there aren’t a couple of people in wildrose who don’t look back wistfully on those days?  

          • That freespending and fiscal mismanagement is generally why you have the creation of many new parties on the right, whether Wildrose, Saskatchewan, or Reform.   After Harper has spent $125 billion in deficit funding (with little benefit as far as most can tell) don’t think people on the right aren’t wondering if they should get the Reform Party stationary out of storage.

            But regardless, in Alberta, the Wild Rose party isn’t a socialist party in its constitution, which is why they are an alternative for the PC’s and the NDP aren’t.

            As for eugenics, I’m sorry but the left has a pretty big glass house to be throwing that stone.   I don’t know many left wing people who wouldn’t have an abortion if they knew their child was going to be born with mental or physical disabilties, no matter how minor.  I know because I asked.

          • Then you haven’t asked enough people. That is an utterly moronic generalization and oversimplification.

            I know everyone on your side of the political spectrum is a fascist; i know cuz i’ve spoken to evry single one of them.

            I know this is politics and it often gets silly but intelligent peole know NOT to put everyone in little convenient boxes, even if we all get carried away from time to time.

            I’ll overlook what you said because its obvious its an important principle to you and believe it or not some “lefties”can and do respect principled beliefs.

          •  Hey, you’re the one that brought up a sleazy drive by insinuation about eugenics.  I just picked up the stone you threw and threw it back.

            So if we agree to stick to respectful dialogue, then I don’t have to respond to your crack about us being knuckle draggers by calling you guys limp-wristed elitists.

            Let’s let bygones be bygones.

          • Yanni

            a couple of people in wild rose is hardly calling “us” knuckledraggers.

            “2) Give up the idea that it is your right and purpose to engage in social engineering.”

            “3) Gather credible and serious candidates that don’t hate, fear and despise the people they want to represent.”

            Actually you started the mud slinging. Seems i made an error, thought you were a bigger boy than you are. I get it, it’s ok for you to label non conservative ABs but not the converse.

            Sooner or later all tories revert to being self pitying cry babies.

            Enjoyed the debate while it lasted.

          • Yes, because your accusations that Wild Rose is a party of eugenicists and white supremecists is entirely on the same level as anything I’ve said.

            Goodbye little man looking to prove he is so smart and accomplished, fighting a war against menaces that aren’t there.  I can’t say I enjoyed the debate myself.

          • “Yes, because your accusations that Wild Rose is a party of eugenicists and white supremecists is entirely on the same level as anything I’ve said.”

            Sure that’s exactly what i said…evidence!

            I just love a sore loser. :)

          • “Sooner or later all tories revert to being self pitying cry babies.”

            One of the awesome things about this site is that people are mature and reasonable enough not to engage in sweeping, bigoted, pejorative generalizations. 

          • What are you his mum? Follow the whole conversation or mind your biz. Your oneside interjections, always on the side of con supporters is getting tiresome.
            If you want to act like a real mum you might give both of us a clout upside the head, since both us did it.

          • Redistributing wealth – like sending everyone a check for $300?  Sounds kind of nanny-state to me. 

          • An embodiment, and infiltrator and now personally responsible for the one-party state of affairs. I have to admit voted PC once in the 90s, but there’s probably blame enough to go around.

            I’m not as sure as you that WR is “credible”. They are to the point that they will get elected, but it’ll be interesting to see the quality of ministers they can produce. Experience in govt does count for something. Innocents easily can end up like Jim Hacker in “Yes Minister” (sorry for the obscure reference).

            Of course we may differ on what makes a candidate credible and serious, and I suspect there’s a few WRs who despise certain subsets of the people they would seek to represent.

             

        • “If you wanted to make your political views known, the logical thing to do was join it.”

          Yes, exactly, and there were certainly many others like you.  Once that happens, the party no longer has any shared values.  It is no longer conservative. You have people voting for a conservative party that is no longer conservative.  Eventually the true conservatives will split out and form a new party, and the conservative voters will migrate to them in droves.  Meanwhile, the original PC party will become watered down and stand for nothing, as it does today.
          The federal Liberals had the same problem. Too much success for too long, and the party will become infiltrated by people have no interest in the party but have decided that infiltrating the successful party is easier than building and voting for an alternative party.

          • Excellent explanation of the demise of the federal Liberal Party and the Alberta PC Party. They both allowed their principles to be diluted by relatively small but loud opportunistic groups.

            They lose their moral compass–they lose their vote. You gotta love Democracy.

          • Indeed. All “natural governing parties” essentially have to do so from the centre over any serious length of time, then those tensions you described occur, and the cycle continues, which is probably healthy for democracy.

            Though I don’t really think people can easily be divided into “conservatives” and “liberals” either, so once the split occurs, the reverse tension winds up moving the most successful party back towards the centre over time, and so it goes around again.

          • Yes, I would agree with that. It’s not just the fact that parties themselves are pressured to move towards the centre, but also you end up with new entrants into the party who would normally choose other parties based on their policy preferences, but instead choose to join the given party because it’s the primary and maybe the only reasonable route to gaining influence and power. The more of these people in a party, the more it moves to the center. Even people just joining the party such as yourself has an influence in the selection of party leaders.
            Whether this is healthy, I don’t know. It can certainly be unhealthy for the party as the platform becomes diluted, which makes it more difficult for the voters to select a party based on their specific preferences.

      • When a province is a one-party state, the only way to get your voice heard is to join the party.

        • That’s not the only way. You can also try presenting a reasonable alternative. Enter Wild Rose.

  8. IMO, this video is a totally confusing amalgam of totally confusing, mostly puerile comments. Cosh’s pseudo-intellectual analysis (i.e., about wagers and frame-changes) is equally bizarre.

    Buncha’ yahoos from Alberta tryin’ t’ dress up, use big words, n’ put on airs.

  9. Meh. It worked for the CPC federally. Admitted, they haven’t had as long to be corrupt, but they’re giving it their best shot to catch up.

    • Yeah, given that Alta still is big territory for the federal CPC the idea that these people don’t really like racism and bigotry but are just so darn honest they can’t stand corruption any more isn’t super convincing.

  10. I’m not sure the ad is alienating, exactly (though it is stupid, and I particularly detest the nonchalant mockery of Danielle Smith’s religious beliefs – imagine somebody doing that about a candidate with Muslim or native animist beliefs). I’m the kind of right-of-centre voter who would have stuck with the PC’s if I lived in Alberta. As a younger person, I’d actually relish the opportunity to not have to mumble my political affiliation to my peers (or to have to quickly add that I like markets AND gay people).

    You’ve got to remember that the people left in the PC party are not that Conservative. According to crosstabs from one Abacus poll, only 37% of Stelmach voters are sticking with the PCs (though the PC’s are picking up 28% of Liberal voters from 2008).

    Still that is also why strategic voting isn’t going to save Redford. Most of the easy pickings from the Liberals and NDP are in the bank – why go fishing among the 20% most left-wing Albertans, when over half of Wild Rose supporters were PC voters just four years ago (and in many cases even a few months ago).

    •  Religion isn’t an excuse for idiot science, and pretending it is insults both religion and science.   It’s even worse because religious crazies will go to almost any length to subvert science, same way Ezra Levant does with law.

      And yes, the one’s parading the idiot science over here tend to be christian, by a long shot.  Disagree? Find half a dozen examples of non-Christians trying to force idiot science into the public sphere.  Or STFU.

      •  Does that include discredited things in the social sciences?   Cause I’m pretty sure I can find half-dozen examples still going by discredited theories for affecting public policy on education, first nations reserves, and mental health.

        For my first example, the idea of suppressed memories and the techniques for discovery were debunked before being used to accuse people of nasty sex abuse crimes in some pretty high profile cases.

        Then of course there are faddish things like trying to prevent people from being vaccinated or pushing the government to fund arterial stints for M.S.

        •  I love that this guy still posts like a normal person would care what he has to say.

          • Shh.. it’s okay.  You can still believe you are intelligent in your own mind, even if your posts are easily disproven.   That’s all that the insults and accusations of moral inferiority towards people who disagree with you is about isn’t it?

            After all, it isn’t like you are trying to actually have a debate, learn something, or try to convince other people of their errors.   If so, you would actually attempt to debate topics rather than just post about how someone you don’t like is ruining the country, then insulting the people who disagree with you.

        • And who did most of that debunking? Other scientists, liberal SScientists and maybe a couple of tories.

          Seriously, it’s called empiricism. It’s at the core of Liberalism..

          Let’s not confuse real sincere religious belief and questioning of secular assumptions and idiocies[ some of which you've listed] with junk science married to ignorant politically motivated rightwing [mostly] neanderthals.Some of whom evidentally still believe being white confers an evolutionary advantage over lesser breeds.

          And while we’re at it Smith derserves to be called out [ as she was by one brave prof on a an AB political news show last night] for stating that AGW science isn’t settled – there scientists for and against. No it isn’t. They’ve simply aguing over the degree of infuence due to human activity, and the ratio of scientist for as to opposed is enormously skewed toward guilty as charged.
           Smith’s a bright lady, she knows that. Shame on her pandering to vested interests and core idealogues and more than a few knuckle draggers.

          • At the core of Liberalism yes, but the left isn’t always liberal.  Sometimes its socialist.  Socialism often has as bad a record as any religious crazy you care to mention.   I mean sure, socialist scientists have made positive contributions as well, but Issac Newton was probably as crazy and religious as any Wild Rose supporter you might care to name as well.

            As for junk science married to poltically motivated causes, a lot of the reasons why these assumptions and idiocies are created in the first place is because of left-wing ideological biases and proper application of the scientific method was ignored.  

            Sure, proper empiricism is working hard on correcting it, but not before it did a great deal of damage, and many things are still doing a lot of damage.  

            Also, I agree with you that bad science, racism, and other crimes against reason should be challenged.  However, it shouldn’t be challenged by presuming superiority of a political faction over another where none exists, or to be an counterproductive ass about it and insult the people you are trying to help.

          • I’m not a socialist so i don’t see where that enters into it, other than you are yourself doing what you claim is wrong – trying to inply that anyone outside of your poitical philosophy must be “left”. I’m a liberal and as commited as my limited brain enables me to the core principles of liberalsim and empiricism, which includes respecting some conservative principles.

            Quite frankly i don’t find just about any political belief objectionable if the individual is sincerely trying to think it through and has doubts where he/she should – absolutism is a sin iows.
            It is stupid people who cling on to stupid beliefs they can neither defend with logical consistency or intellectual rigour that bugs me.[ trying to decide who and what is stupid is admittedly a bit subjective]
            Not a shot at you.Hopefully your last sentence wasn’t a shot at me.

          •  The only left of center party that has a hope of challenging the PC’s in Alberta is the NDP.  That’s how it enters into it.  Also, the whole debate is about whether non-christians are guilty of pushing junk science or non-scientific policy on the general public, and I think we’ve definitively proven that they do.  Let’s not get distracted from the central thread here.

            If you want to create a centrist party (whatever that means) you can create it by following the three steps I mentioned, and there is a good chance that you can win (or at least create some sitting MP’s).  

            Just don’t put “Liberal” on your party’s campaign bus.  It has too much baggage to ever be forgiven.

      • I agree that there is no merit to teaching creationism in a science classroom. However, not all creationists actively seek to implement their beliefs as public policy.

        And there are plenty of anti-science beliefs that travel in the circles of the secular left:
        -vaccine phobia
        -anti-nuclear hysteria (despite the lowest number of deaths per kilowatt hour of any energy source AND zero C02 emissions)
        -opposition to genetically modified foods (despite zero evidence of harmful effects)
        -And it extends to social science evidence as well, eg. broad rejection of the evidence that free trade is beneficial

        •  Part of me wants to give you credit for trying even if you ;don’t know what right and left mean and tend to mistake your own pet theories for scientific fact.

          But the idea was to find other religions who scream that their idiot science is valid and should be respected because it’s a religious belief.  Y’know, in the way you did in the first sentence of your post. 

          So, fail.  Points for trying, but fail.

          •  An example might be, for instance, if jehovah’s witnesses started publishing falsified studies showing that blood transfusions were actually medically harmful and that they shouldn’t be performed on anyone because of innate dangers.  As far as I know they aren’t doing this, but that’s the kind of thing that would have to happen if they were to begin to equal the right wing Christian crazies and their ever so dear and important “religious” beliefs, which shouldn’t apparently, be mocked.

          •  You can mock them for sure.  But don’t pretend it is anything but you masturbating with your own feelings of superiority.   It is possible to respect the person and their religious traditions even as you disagree, debate and disprove them.

            Those of us who actually travel in the circles of non-denominational, Pentecostal, Mormon and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and would like to convert people to proper empiricism on matters such as evolution, genetics, history and yes even climate science would rather not have to deal with the wall of anger first because of people like you.

          • You are coming off as a jerk, so I must be making an impression.

            I simply think that mocking people’s religious beliefs is not productive in the public sphere (unless somebody specifically seeks to legislate them). It needlessly polarizes people around issues on which they will never agree, and which, frankly, are not that relevant to public policy.

            And I really don’t understand where you think you are scoring some big point. Every religion has elements that are taken on faith. That’s kind of the point. I also suspect just about every religious person would like for their beliefs to be respected, and not mocked. For instance, consider the anger of many Muslims when Mohamed was depicted in Danish cartoons.

            And incidentally, most religious faiths have creationist beliefs – Christians, Muslims and Jews share the same creation story, while the Ojibway have the tales of Nanabush, etc. Within each of these faiths there is a spectrum of belief – some people take the story literally, while others do not.

            Pew conducted a poll on whether people of different religions in the US believe evolution best explains the origin of humans ( http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1105/darwin-debate-religion-evolution ). Here are the results (% saying yes):

            Buddhist: 81%
            Hindu: 80%
            Jewish: 77%
            Unaffiliated: 72% (yes, some atheists don’t believe in evolution)
            Catholic: 58%
            Orthodox: 54%
            Mainline protestant: 51%
            Muslim: 45%
            Historically black protestant: 38%
            Evangelical protestant: 24%
            Mormon: 22%
            Jehovah’s witness: 8%

            You don’t have to agree with them (I don’t), nor should creationism be taught in schools. However, there are a hell of a lot of creationists out there. Most of them are good people, and I believe you will enjoy life a lot more if, instead of picking fights with them, you get over your differences. Can’t we all just get along?

      • “…. because religious crazies will go to almost any length to subvert science …. Find half a dozen examples of non-Christians ”

        Scientists have corrupted science much worse than religious crazies have. Also, proper science welcomes constant attack, scrutiny or else you are practicing religion, not science.

        And what’s with the religious purity tests, torquemada? 

        Yahoo March 2012:

        Scientists and drug companies haven’t won the battle against cancer because much of the research we’ve amassed is wrong, according to a report published on Wednesday. The report, published in the journal Nature, alleges that up to 90 percent of the research that is currently being relied upon to develop cancer treatments is useless, according to MSNBC/NBC News.

        The authors – C. Glenn Begley, formerly of Amgen Inc., and Lee M. Ellis of MD Anderson Cancer Center — concluded that the culture of academic research regarding cancer is largely the problem. Although Reuters reported that the two were careful to say that they did not suspect that fraud was involved, they did point to a number of factors that they strongly believe contributed to having amassed so much bad research.

        • Did they mention the failures of BigPharma research?

        • Evidence please!

          Where have scientists tried to insist that such demonstrably false theories as young earth creationism be taught along with real science?

  11. Good for them.

    I always vote strategically. The fact is, only two parties have a chance of winning this election. It’s PC or Wild Rose. Anything else is a wasted vote. Choose the one that most closely resembles your values.

    I’m disgusted with the choice, but that has more to do with the first past the post electoral system. I’d love to vote Green, and would do so if there were proportional representation. Not my fault we’re stuck with a 19th century electoral system that forces me to vote strategically or waste my vote. 

    • I always argue that as long as you vote for the lesser of two evils, you’re only ever going to put evil into power.

      Vote for who you truly identify with, whether they’ll win or not.  The logic is that the party that came in second is going to be looking for ways to pick up more votes, and the winning party is going to be looking for ways to secure their position.  In either event, you want them seeing that the positions you really do support have enough people behind them to make it worthwhile for them to consider adopting some of them.

      This election, I’ve got a Liberal sign on my lawn, because they’re the party with the policies that make the most sense to me, but after looking at the candidates, the one who’s most likely going to get my vote will either be Moe Amery of the PCs or Robyn Luff of the NDP.

      Moe because he has occasionally stood up and presented the view of this riding as opposed to the view of his party. Luff because her experience outside of government, and in the couple interviews/forums I’ve heard from her while she’s not the best speaker, she seems to really know her stuff and she’s willing to admit where things don’t work.

      Working against Moe is that I have actually talked to him, and he seemed pretty clueless on a lot of issues. Working against Luff is that I haven’t seen hide nor hair of her in this particular riding so I’m worried she’s more of a party candidate than an actual riding one.

      • So you have a Liberal sign on your lawn, but you can`t decide whether to vote PC or NDP.
        What,  was there no Communist or Rhinoceros Candidates to support ?

        You liberals get yourselves twisted into such knots, flailing away at loser choices, unable to accept the fact that the good folks of Alberta will make a logical choice for change next Monday—a majority Wildrose gov`t.
        Nothing to worry about—change is good—democracy is good—live with it.

        • Wow.. you are a bitter little twisted person aren’t you?

          Unlike you, I’m not actually afraid of any party getting in, I’m trying to legitimately pick the candidate I think would be best to represent me. You know.. the actual point of this whole *representative* democracy thing.

          • That`s good to know.
            Now, remember to trust in the choice that the majority will make on the 23rd.

          • You’ll be doing the same when the NDP win in B.C., of course.
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             

          • JanBC

            Course not. He’ll be screaming blue murder bout the commies overturning the majority will of BCers. 

          • Uh.. no. I’ll accept it — at least unless/until there’s significant evidence of voter suppression/electoral fraud — but trust needs to be earned.

        • Your actually too stupid to see the irony in your last sentence given the fact you pissed all over his choice[ which he took the time to logicallly think out] in the rest of your post.

          Please asure me you’ve never been elected to nothing more important than dog catcher in your community. [ i'm insulting dog catchers here].

          • No irony in my last sentence. Democracy is good. Wildrose is change. All is good.

            And listen guys, I am just a messenger telling Liberals like yourselves that you`re thinking is all over the place—you are so overcome by the fact that the majority wants nothing to do with your lost Liberal party that it has made you crazy.
            It`s Liberals who put Liberal signs on their lawn and then angst over voting NDP or PC.
            It`s Liberals who are about to name their 7th leader federally in the past 8 years.
            It`s Liberals who produce such trash as the above video.

            Look within yourselves, if you want change. Don`t shoot the messenger.

          • How about those B.C. Conservatives eh – now there’s a group that’s got their shit together.

          • Actually its you who is confusing provincial liberals and federal libs; federal elections and Alberta elections, and getting your math wrong as to liberal leaders – not that i’m a bit surpised. Your a concern troll yourself blue so don’t waste your breath.

          • Federal Liberal leaders in the past eight and one-half years:
            Chretien, Martin, Graham, Dion, Iggy, Rae, and soon kcm will make seven.

      • I don’t entirely agree with you[ unless i misunderstood and you are saying vote for the best person regardless] as winning and losing parties can pretty well figure out for themselves what they need to tweek in order to pry certain kinds of voters away from opponents next time around.
        However, i do agree we can only improve our imperfect system by voting for the best person[ even if they are in a party we don't like, maybe most of all here]. Unfortunately this is very difficult to do in the real world even if you have the time to get to really know your candidates – possibly in smaller and remoter communities such as where i currently live is this still possible. I’m certainly comfortable voting for my NDP guy cuz i know he’s a good un and from the north. Fortunately for me the CPC candidate seemed to be a real cow – although that’s just first impression and undoubtedly compounded by my comfirmation bias. 

        • Hm. I tend to think that “Vote for who you truly identify with” *is* saying vote for the best person regardless. What’s “best” is of course a subjective opinion each person has to come to on their own.

          Oh.. wait.. now I see, were you thinking that by “who” I was meaning “the party” instead of “the candidate”? I wasn’t, but that’s a reasonable conclusion to have come to, especially considering my sign comment, and what I was responding to.  The thing is, in Alberta (and probably elsewhere, though I tend to think more here) people seem to be more in line with voting for a party rather than a candidate. It’s the response that comes easiest when you’ve got your head down working and are simply too busy to be involved with politics any more than you absolutely have to be.  So I put up the sign in hopes that it might provide a tipping point to get a couple of people to check out platforms.  Unfortunately, the candidate for this area for the Liberals is definitely a place-holder, and the one for Wild Rose is simply a short-term thinker — he’s most excited about the Wild Rose pledge to give up to 20% of the royalties back in years where there is a surplus — up to $300/citizen.

          If he thought about it, he’d realize in years where there’s a surplus, it means we’re booming, so most people will already have jobs, won’t really need the extra money, and if anything it’ll just serve to spike inflation making the situation even worse for those who are getting left out of the boom, and $300 over the course of a year won’t really make a damn bit of difference to them in the long run.  Far better to take that money and shove it into skills training programs instead so that the people left out of the boom can get in on it.

          • Wouldn’t object myself to those who think getting $300 is agood idea [ actually it is if you only give it to families who need it] if those same people were prepared to pool their money, go rent some equipment and pave the gravel road outside my house.

            That whole debate would be a lot more honest if Smith was prepared to acknowledge many people don’t need that money and it would be better invested elsewhere.

    • You may be able to vote strategically without choosing the lesser of two evils. In certain ridings voters like us are being asked to support the most winnable center-left candidate (NDP, Lib, AP, EverGreen) in order to secure more seats in opposition and pave the way for the future. Hardly a wasted vote! For more info (and to look up your riding), go to http://ChangeAlberta.ca.

  12. If the use of social media to get out the vote was the key to the election of Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, and the key to this provincial election is Calgary (as some have suggested), then perhaps this may work, to some degree.

    I would tend to discount many of the comments about the quality of the ad from commenters here on Macleans.  I don’t think this (myself included) is the target demographic of the ad (older, more politically engaged/aware here – political junkie types).

  13. The stupidity of the ad isn’t in what it says or what it attempts to do.  The stupidity is in thinking there are more than a handful of the very small percentage of left voters who will be convinced to abandon their loyalty to one of the left parties to thwart the Wildrose.

    Cosh suggests the risk in running the ad is that you’ll drive more people to the Wildrose by disgust over the ad than you’ll convince to do what the ad says.  I don’t think there’s any “risk” of this happening – it is a certainty.  Rather than risk assessment, the more appropriate analysis is “how much of a large Wildrose majority can be attributed to this”.

  14. Got to get my ritual shot in at Colby. [ i only do it cuz i love ya CC, and i know you can handle the criticism]

    Did you hold those views about the PCs this time last year? Or have you only latterly seen the light about tory perfidy and corruption in AB much of these last 40 years, just say’n. [ bare in mind i've not long been following your stuff...used to take the time to read you when you were at the post. You, Wells and Coyne were all i could mostly stomach[ all right Kay is fine most of the time]  

  15. The whole PC strategy has been perversely self-defeating. Essentially Redford blew off her party’s traditional base in order to better split the Liberal vote.Her running against conservatism may have given her points with the media but it just gave Danielle a lock on the undecided conservative vote (like my own).  I really was in the balance between PC and WR and if Redford had showed even a modicum of respect for conservative values I might have continued to vote PC as I have for the last 25 years.   But when she pronounced people like me to be scary there was only one place left to go.

     

  16. I was born and have lived in Alberta the majority of my life… I love
    and hate this province…. love its beauty, hate its politics; love its
    nature, hate its industry – regardless, it is and always will be my
    home.  I have seen my hometown of Edmonton change drastically over the
    last few decades – the current Edmonton is certainly not the one of my
    youth.  I used to think of Edmonton as a bastion of some sanity in a
    hugely right wing province, but sadly that sanity has been eroding over
    time.  Nonetheless, I have had the rare pleasure of voting here in
    Edmonton for a non-PC/Conservative MP/MLA  and actually have them win…
    twice – believe me, that is a minor miracle.  I would never vote PC to
    prevent a Wildrose win; the difference between those two political
    parties it is like comparing two sunken ships, with the HMS Wildrose
    being in deeper waters than the HMS Progressive Conservative
    (Progressive Conservative – an oxymoron if I ever saw one) – sure one
    sunk deeper, but they are both shipwrecks.  I might strategically vote
    to prevent a right-wing candidate from winning a seat (whether that is
    PC, Wildrose, Conservative, or old Alliance, old federal PC), although I have yet to do so, but voting
    for a right wing party to prevent an even further right wing party from
    winning an election seems like flawed logic from my left wing point of
    view (or even a centrist point of view).

    By the way, to certain
    commentators here and on all websites that have Canadian comment
    sections with political and/or environmental issues:  the way I see it,
    there are only 3 or 4 provinces and 1 territory that have earned the
    right to, as a citizen of a particular province, slam another province
    for the Conservatives winning the last federal election or “being
    conservative” (that would be Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince
    Edward Island, perhaps Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories).  
    Ontario actually voted in more Conservative MPs (73) than all provinces
    west of it combined (72) – basically handing the Conservatives their
    majority; it wasn’t “crazy” Alberta with its whole 28 total ridings.  Even “left-wing” BC only voted in 6 less Conservative MPs
    than Alberta and the number of BCs winning Conservative MPs (21) significantly larger than all
    other party winning MPs combined (15). Yes, as a percentage, Alberta is by far the
    most Conservative province, but believe me there are more like me here,
    trying to combat the scourge in the belly of the beast.  Please remember
    that when generalizing/slamming a particular province over its
    politics…

    … or environmental issues for that matter.  I am no
    fan of the Oil Sands – I want growth in them frozen and their use
    phased out.  However, Ontario is only now starting getting out of the
    coal powered electricity generating power plant business (a significant pollution source), and for some
    Ontarians to continually decry Oil Sands pollution while conveniently
    keeping silent on Ontario’s own mess of environmental issues due to its
    massive manufacturing industry that powers the economy of that province,
    not to mention the massive army of gas powered vehicles in that
    province is a tad hypocritical.  In the same light, those in “green” BC attacking Alberta can look
    at the immense swaths of eroding land that used to be its old growth
    forests and its decimated fishing industry as well as the Oil Sands. 
    Yes, the Oil Sands are a terrible environmental mess – perhaps now
    becoming amongst the if not THE worst of environmental issues in Canada, but by
    no means are the Oil Sands the only significant environmental issue in
    Canada, but perhaps the easiest one for some to criticize while not
    looking in their own backyard.  Again, there are those of us here in Alberta trying to slay the beast in its own lair – try wearing a Greenpeace shirt in Edmonton or Calgary – it is a tad less safe than doing so in Toronto or Vancouver I wager. 

    While I pick Ontario and BC out as
    specific examples, because the majority of Alberta haters I have seen on
    these commentary sections of news sites seem to be from one of those
    two provinces (although I do not generalize that every person in Ontario nor BC feel this way), our ENTIRE country (each and every province and territory
    has its own issues) is far, far, far from being environmentally (and politically imoh) responsible.  Pointing and shouting at one guilty group does not eliminate one’s own guilt – (“I only killed two people, but you are the real criminal as you killed four!  Four is twice as big as two!”) – I learned long ago to take a long look in the mirror before casting aspersions, besides which, casting aspersions does nothing to solve the issues at hand, it simply distracts and detracts from the real problems and potential solutions.

    The only province that REALLY has is going on politically and
    environmentally lately (or at least in the right direction) is Quebec… and
    that from a “redneck” Albertan – who would have thunk it!  And even they
    have their issues – Asbestos, Quebec anyone?

    The first and only time I have commented on these kind of sites….but I just had to get that off my chest to the Internet, regardless of whether anyone reads it or not…

  17. Personally, I think that the Wild Rose Party is not conservative enough. It has a leader that is pro-abortion and I heard nothing about allowing a  provincial referendum on reinstating the death penalty.The only sane provincial party that we have in Ontario is the Family Party of Ontario. Unfortunately, they probably won’t be running a candidate in my riding. So, I will be forced to vote for one of the centrist PC’s from Hudak’s party. The sad fact is that most provincial PC parties have become watered down centrists. The only provinces with real right-leaning conservative provincial parties are in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and BC(new Conservative Party).

    • Umm, news flash Josh:  criminal law and in particular the sentencing provisions of our Criminal Code are matters under federal jurisdiction.  If you don’t believe me, go take a gander at our Constitution.  So a provincial referendum on reinstating the death penalty would be as useless as mammary glands on a bull.  Just sayin’.

  18. Judging by the angry reaction to this video from ALL the parties, I would believe that it’s what it says – a grassroots effort by some disgusted young people. I highly doubt the PCs would develop a video that says: “PC sucks! But vote for us anyway!”

    It didn’t really speak to me when I first saw it. But I’m starting to like it. They dissed every single party so well, and are voting on their own terms.

  19. Smells like Union Crap!  Teachers or College Union Crap!

  20. “The wager is that an appeal to strategic-voting Liberal and NDP sympathizers will attract more marginal voting power than is given up in the form of horrified Tory loyalists, or in the form of people who aren’t especially partisan but are horrified anyway.”

    Keeping in mind of course that an ND or a Liberal voting strategically for the PCs narrows the gap between the PCs and Wildrose by one, but a horrified Tory loyalist voting for Wildrose increases the gap by two.

  21. Keep in mind that voting Conservative to keep out the Wild Rose will provide the Conservatives with another majority govt…………..heaven forbid!  Having either a Wild Rose or Conservative govt. and a Wild Rose or Conservative opposition will only ensure that the privatization of our public health care system will speed up.  Both these Parties are in favour of privatizing and deregulating whatever is what their friends want to own in Alberta.  DO NOT VOTE CONSERVATIVE OR WILD ROSE!

    Vote strategically and vote either for the Liberals or the NDP.

     

    • Well,  at least the Liberal Party of Alberta is an ALBERTA party unlike NDP Masons’ new boss advertising this week in Alberta, Olivia Chow NDP Toronto  MP side by side with Mason, pushing Albertans to vote NDP.  Obviously NDP is both Federal AND Provincial.  Hummmm ,,,,who’da thunk?  LOL

      • Highly doubt Albertans want new NDP leader Mulcair  ruling them.  NDP is both Federal and Provincial. 

  22. These jerks that acts in the video are a good representatives of immature individuals that vote for the socialsts (Liberals and NDP)

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