Alberta Votes Day 14: Party of One
Notes from week 2 of the Alberta election, as Alison Redford tries to resurrect her campaign over Easter Weekend.
1. Daveberta's post on the Wildrose Party's more controversial candidates has generated over 100 responses and heavy online debate - not surprising, given the limited coverage by the mainstream media on this topic so far. Which is kind of surprising when you consider how much the national media feasts off crazy/controversial local candidate stories during federal elections.
In fairness to the Wildrose Party, I scanned their candidate list, and one or two dozen appear to have some kind of municipal government experience. The list also includes Joe Anglin who posted the Green Party's best showing in the last provincial election, two media personalities, and an oil and gas workman awesomely named Ethane Jarvis.
Of course, many of the candidates' key selling points seem to be their involvement in "University debate clubs" or "campus newspapers". To the best of my knowledge, none of them are members of the McGill NDP club.
2. Dave also unearths @ElectDanielle's backup Twitter account - @PremierDanielle. It looks like @OppositionLeaderRedford is still available, but likely not for long.
3. With Smith flying high in the polls, she has decided to play it safe by talking about...uhh...abortion and private health care.
4. On CalgaryGrit this week: Smith promises Ralphbucks and soars in the polls, while Redford loses control of the agenda and tries to win it back...by inventing triage.
5. On the blogs: Robert Vollman looks at the ballot question, David Climenhaga slams the Wildrosers on abortion and health care, while the Englightened Savage begins his riding profiles in Airdrie and Banff-Cochrane.
SantosSez speculates about progressives jumping to the PCs to stop Smith, and judging from what I've seen from my largely left-wing friends on Facebook over the past week, progressive Albertans are definitely worried about what a Wildrose government would look like.
The thing is, the Liberals and NDP are polling at a cumulative 25%, which is already 10-15 points below their total in every Alberta election since 1993, when the two parties won a majority of the popular vote. In short, it looks to me like Redford has already peeled off progressive votes from the left, and I'm skeptical how much more she can attract.