Wildrose country - Macleans.ca

Wildrose country

Upstart political party surpasses Alberta Tories in latest province-wide poll


A new poll shows momentum behind the conservative Wildrose Alliance Party now gives it a double-digit boost over the Progressive Conservative Party, in power since 1971 but now in its worse slump in popularity in 17 years. A couple of months ago, the Wildrose Alliance was in a dead heat with the Alberta Liberals for second place, but had slipped passed the reigning Tories in Calgary. That was a worrying but ultimately unheeded trend for the Stelmach Conservatives, who’d already lost a long-held Calgary by-election in September to the Wildrose. Now charismatic Danielle Smith’s fiscally hard-nosed Roses are beating Stelmach everywhere, in the main due to Stelmach handling of the economy and ongoing questions about his team’s competence. A nice way to start the Christmas season in Edmonton.

Calgary Herald

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Wildrose country

  1. Also because while they're making cuts all over, the MLAs gave themselves pretty hefty raises.. like 30 – 50K raises.

    That isn't sitting well with the Alberta public.

  2. Misleading headline to say the least; the WRA is ahead of the PCs in Calgary only?

    Not that I care, but I would doubt they're ahead in Edmonton, or much of rural Alberta for that matter.

    • Edit: Note to self: always click on the link, lest foot drop into mouth.

      At any rate, let's see what the voters say in two years. Stelmach snatched victory from the jaws of defeat only 21 months ago.

    • The WRA is leading the Tories in Edmonton. The Tories are now third in Edmonton. See the Edmonton Journal story, "Wild rose surges past Tories".

    • Danielle Smith and Wildrose Alliance are ahead EVERYWHERE in Alberta, INCLUDING Edmonton and especially in rural areas.

  3. Albertans, dissatisfied with the cuts, rape and pillage of this province are apparently looking for a pie in the sky cure from an unknown party who has put forward no platforms on any key issues facing this province.

    The NEP fiasco has long since been debunked. At a time when oil was less than 20.00 per barrel in today's cash and interest rates were allowed to go above 25% a number of companies and individuals went broke. Who would have guessed?

    The NEP was installed to ensure Canadian ownership of the resource. And, it worked. Canadian ownership went from 5% up to 50% in this period.

    The Conservatives spun the carnage as all being the fault of the NEP and in a time with no public forum to speak of they got away with it.

    The WRP is on every count more extreme than is the ruling Conservatives and, that is really saying something. These same people are the authors of the Alberta Firewall. The christian right in full marching uniforms.

    The only thing really bad is the Alberta Liberals did not latch onto the Wild Rose name when it was available.

    • You are a bigot. You're so convinced of the rightness of social democracy that you have zero tolerance of anything that conservative (and likely libertarian since WRA is the first mainstream Canadian party with a significant libertarian contingent since the Liberal Party of Canada prior to Pearson). Because of your intolerance, you are personally are a threat to democracy. And so are the many others you like in Ontario. If don't have at least slight doubts about your world view _and_ you think everyone else should be governed by it, you have little respect for rational debate and fruitful democratic decision making.

      Wildrose's popularity does not reflect concern over social programs being "raped" as no cut have occurred. The extreme spending binge started in the late Klein years has continued apace. If Albertans wanted social programs saved the NDP would grow in popularity. With your level of moral certainty, the only rational reaction to Wildrose's popularity is to start being bigoted against Albertans (like so many Ontarians and Quebecois).

      And that interests rates were high and oil cheap during the NEP doesn't show that the NEP didn't cause Alberta's economic crash or at least make it much, much worse. Nationalization because of the inefficiencies inherent in state control prevented a great deal of economic growth, causing businesses to close, and slowed any natural recovery. And that Canadian ownership increased does not prove success — it tells us nothing about the living conditions of average Albertans. Moreover, to the extent that Canadian ownership was government ownership, it hurt Albertans. This is because the purpose of government ownership in the NEP was to transfer wealth back to Ontario and Quebec to buy votes. As Marc Lalonde stated in the 1980 election when Trudeau was bring in the NEP, "Screw the West, we'll take the rest."

  4. How refreshing, a 'female' premier.

    • Albertan conservatives are surprisingly tolerant on every subject that isn't politics. They'd follow a disabled lesbian native female leader as long as she's conservative enough.

  5. I don't think the Tories are done just yet. They've been behind before (for instance, Klein looked like he was going to lose in 1993). Moreover, they can run out the clock for about 4 more years if need be. A lot can happen in four years. A global economic recovery will send oil prices soaring again, and may be enough time for Alberta to eliminate its deficit and make headway against the debt.

    They need for Ed Stelmach to make a bunch of unpopular, but necessary long-term choices, and then quit. Stelmach can become a patsy for the party, while some new guy comes in with a clean slate. Since the main challenge to the party comes from the right, Ed Morton would probably be a good choice (I realize that this scenario isn't likely to happen, but I do think it is the best approach for the PC's).

    Finally, they need to own issue space. The most ominous statistic facing today's federal Liberals is that there is no one issue where Canadians prefer the Liberal approach. I suspect the situation is similar in Alberta. If you want to save social programs, the Liberals are your best bet. If you want to cut spending and reduce the deficit, the Wild Rose Alliance is a better option than Eddy's PC's.

    Time is not the friend of the Wild Rose Alliance. With only one seat, they aren't going to have the kind of voice even the Liberals do in the legislature. Moreover, when they do go on the air, the inexperience of most of the WRA team is a huge liability. Now would be a good time for attack ads too. Attacks work best against new leaders – Day in 2000, Harper in 2004, Dion in 2007, Iggy in 2009. They tend to fail when the public already knows a candidate. Plus the WRA doesn't have the money or presence to respond to such a campaign.

    Mario Dumont led in the polls at least twice before. Today his party is on the brink of disappearance, while he has no political future. If the PC's play their cards right, they can ensure the continued survival of their mighty dynasty.

    • Comparing Premier Stelmach to Premier Klein is like….well..I don't know what it is like but it doesn't work very well. Premier Klein was a populist who went above the media to talk directly to the voters. Not really Premier Stelmach's strong suit. This all reminds me of when Peter Lougheed took out the Socreds – another long standing party with tradition in quick order. Ms. Smith is as fresh, young, and smart as Peter Lougheed was when he won. If you look at the Socreds in BC – it doesn't take much to destroy a party that has ruled for many years and appears to be an instiution. I think we are seeing the end days of the Alberta PC Party.

      • Ms. Smith is as fresh, young, and smart as Peter Lougheed was when he won

        Any other similarities that might be of interest, policy similarities in particular? My suspicion is that there are substantial policy differences, although I'm not convinced that that is the case.