Monday, March 03, 2008

Alberta Election 2008 prediction

I voted in an advance poll on March 1st as I'm in Alexandria/DC for the next few weeks and would miss voting on March 3rd. Knowing which person to put an X to was a difficult decision for me. I looked at all the party policies, noted the candidates running for MLA in my riding, thought about who I wanted as premier, and a new thought I had regarding the disparaging anti-Ed campaign going on.

I don't agree with several major Alberta Liberal policies regarding reregulation of power, economy-killing environmental policies, and vast spending promises. I do like some of the fiscal policy, as far as saving for the future, but they don't get specific on tax policy. Kevin Taft is too left for me--not something I think truly represents Alberta. In my riding of Edmonton-Centre, Liberal Laurie Blakeman has been the MLA for many years and her socialist husband, Ben Henderson, is now the city councilor for the same area. How convenient! I think she's a good MLA, but I don't agree with her party's policies.

The Wildrose Alliance has many policies which I agree with, but being that it's a renamed party, I also question the internal politics of that party and the motives of Link Byfeld who started the Wildrose Party then merged it. What was the point? I voted for the Alberta Alliance last election as they had a credible candidate (who's now an Edmonton city councilor), but this year's candidate running in my riding does not appear to have the experience or any visible campaign whatsoever.

Now the Alberta PCs have been in power for 37 years and is on its fourth leader/premier. There has certainly been stark differences between each of them in personality and management style.

So what's changed since Ed Stelmach took the leadership and premiership? I think he's still cleaning up a lot of the mess left behind by Ralph Klein since the last election. There's a lot of ads attacking Ed about having no plan. Well, I think it was Ralph who had no plan last election and that's why I walked out of his campaign kick-off rally. Since Ed's been in, the oil royalties were redone, road projects have started (although still too slow), and there's probably other internal things that are being done differently. Bill Donohue is the PC candidate with an good record in volunteer and public life and I've met him. I don't think he's going to win as Laurie Blakeman is more known in the community.

But the disparaging thing I hinted at was an apparent anti-Ed sentiment emanating from Calgary. Anti-Ed Stelmach and anti-Edmonton. It started right when he won the leadership. I really think now that Ralph is no longer batting for Calgary, Calgarians will punish the PC party and I think some in the business community there is behind some of this.

So I found myself behind the voting booth and placed an X next to Bill Donohue for the Progressive Conservatives.

So now the prediction background...

Party standings at 2004 election (dissolution):
62 (60) PC
16 Liberal
1 Independent
1 vacant

I think the stronger Liberal campaign and weak NDP campaign will cause the Liberals to pick up a few more seats, possibly in Calgary where unknown weak PC candidates are. But I think the PCs might pick up Liberal seats in Edmonton now with some Liberal/NDP vote splitting and that Ed is premier in a Greater Edmonton-area riding getting the conservative vote out.

But the barrage of anti-Ed TV ads will have an effect on people, so the Liberals will gain, but not much. I don't feel a break through. Kevin Taft is still unknown to Albertans and I think people still trust Ed Stelmach.

2008 prediction:
(-2) 58 PC
(+5) 21 Liberal
(-1) 3 NDP
(--) 1 Wildrose Alliance
I also predict that Kevin Taft wins his riding but not by much.

So I think Albertans are going to give Ed a chance, Edmontonians in particular.

My next prediction... Liberal leadership race ensues and Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier runs and easily wins, takes the party to the right, and the next Alberta election turns into an Edmonton vs. Calgary classic battle of Alberta.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you were wrong.. Really wrong.

Holy said...

anonymous commenting should be illegal - especially on political blogs. :)

So hey, did you get my cardski - haven't heard from you.

I just did the most amazing retreat - will have to tell you all about it one fine day.

What's it like being back in the USofEh?