Monday, April 30, 2012

Run Rae run! You too Justin!

No surprise to anyone, Bob's gonna gun for the Liberal leadership.

Makes you wonder if the TV attack ad on Bob Rae by the Conservatives prompted this in some way, like they were egging him on.

Also, after pounding on a Conservative Senator in a highly-publicised charity boxing match by the Sun News Network, I wonder if Sun was doing it to egg-on Justin Trudeau to run as well.  I think it was a pure and perfect publicity stunt by Trudeau.  And you know how I know he's going to run for the leadership?

Because he said he wasn't.

With most of the Liberals not wanting Bob Rae to run, Trudeau will be the rallying and unifying candidate.

NDP proposes crackdown on bad behaviour in house

..from 'Tom' Mulcair's party?  This is pretty rich.  Maybe Tom wants himself to calm himself down.

Highway 63 and insanity

If you are horrified like me at the recent tragic deaths that occurred on Highway 63 and wish it was twinned, but you voted for the PCs a week ago, you know that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting a different result, right?

Redford wants 140 new clinics in the province.  Until it's twinned, I suggest she place all of them along this highway of death.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Charest is a weak premier

Oooh, $1625 increase over 5 years now spread to 7 years.  Give me a break.  Quebec students already pay the lowest tuition in the country because it's heavily subsidized.  Quebec has the biggest provincial debt and yet receives the most in transfer payments.  All Charest has done is shown that these protests and vandalism can actually work and influence government.

Hey, listen, I'm still paying off my student loan, but I got a good career job, worked hard, and worked my way up the ladder.  Maybe if these students got into a program that actually produced a good paying job, then maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal.  $1625 is only a $325 increase each year for 5 years.  That's a 2-3 days worth of work.

As well, if the gov't had planned better and increased tuition years ago, it wouldn't be the relative perceived hit it appears to be now.

But to me, that shows great weakness on part of Quebec's Premier Jean Charest by succumbing to this type of pressure from thugs and losers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alberta election 2012 - detailed results

Uber-Edmonton blogger Mack D. Male at has put together an amazing page of election results at:

Waaaaaaaaaay better than Elections Alberta at

Why they don't hire him to do it, is beyond me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alberta election 2012 - The Hangover Analysis

PCs got 1/3 of Liberals and previous PCers plus a new public union vote.

That's the short jist of it.  I crunched the numbers and something was uncanny.

The numbers are uncanny.  You have to go all the way back to Klein in 2001 to find the old PC stalwart voters.  They didn't show up in 2004 or 2008.  But they came back this election.  Look at this...

501,063PCs in 2008
378,023conservatives who left PCs to WR in 2012
123,040conservatives/PCs remaining in PCs in 2012

251,158Liberals in 2008
  46,174Liberals to NDP in 2012
127,642Liberals in 2012
  77,342Liberals to PCs in 2012
     31%% of Liberals to PCs in 2012

567,050PCs in 2012
200,382conservatives and liberals in PCs in 2012
366,668New (former?) PC voters in 2012
366,672Voter turnout diff 2008 to 2012

IT'S THE SAME AMOUNT!!!!   In summary, a third of Liberals went PC because they were scaredy-pants of the Wildrose, and somehow the PCs got votes from a magical voter land, perhaps this was the voter turnout difference.

Who are these magical out-of-nowhere PC people?  Several theories:
  1. PC went begging to all the former PC voters in some old list that haven't voted in a decade
  2. Slew of public union gov't workers, teachers, and their families.  Don't forget how much the unions went on a  push poll rampage.
  3. I also think in the final four days, there were about 100,000 PC supporters who'd previously said in polls that they'd vote Wildrose, and chickened out.  

Alberta election - quick analysis

Voter turnout was crap again albeit a tad higher. Liberals simply abandoned their own party for the PCs and a chunk of PCs were chicken. Nothing that Redford did... a terrible campaign with a scorched-earth strategy. It worked.  In the last few days, especially after the debate, the Wildrose campaign fizzled and seemed to hide and retreat when they should have gone on the offensive on fiscal policy.  I think they were hoping to ride the momentum from early in the campaign.

More later...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Alberta election seat prediction 2012

WR 45, PC 37, ND 2, LIB 2, AP 1

9 minutes to go!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Strategic voting and "progressives"

I've never done it.  I've always voted for who I wanted to win.  It's primarily the left that promotes strategic voting, proportional representation, and all these other voting schemes.  Why?  Because they won't admit that all those parties are essentially the same and so they don't have the guts to merge into the "Progressive Party" like the federal PCs and Canadian Alliance did into the Conservatives.

So here we are in Alberta, with essentially five parties on the centre and left vying for a lot of the same votes and now a website called "Change Alberta" to help "progressives" decide which of the "progressive" candidates in their riding has the best chance of beating a conservative (although I would argue the PCs are not conservatives anymore).  With under 300 likes on their Facebook page, it looks like revolution, folks!

Strategic voting may work in a couple ridings with great focus and rigorous team work and if there's a minority gov't, these "progressives" could hold the balance of power, but there's so many parties on the centre left that it's not just NDP or Liberal to choose from.  As well, they just don't have the numbers, except, like I said, in maybe a few ridings in Edmonton.

The big problem with strategic voting is it is not a true reflection of the electorate and who they really want.  True NDP supporters went nuts for many years while their soft support continually went to the Liberals.  So I believe many of these strategic voters are fence-sitting liberals who've pitched themselves in the "progressive" camp.  The NDP federally and provincially in Alberta have moved to the centre.  I fail to see why Alberta "progressives" don't just vote for NDP candidates straight-up.  Look at what the NDP did in Quebec last federal election.  Shouldn't that be an example enough for them to see what they can accomplish?  To my friends on the NDP team, don't be fooled by these strategic voter schemes and continually promote your NDP candidate as THE candidate to challenge the PCs or Wildrose and support what you truly believe in, not what you are against.

As well, you've read my arguments on this word "progressive" that the left liberals use all the time now to describe themselves and their "beliefs".  Essentially, just when you thought the government couldn't get any bigger and our taxes couldn't be higher, they want the government to "progressively" grow with higher taxes to pay for it.   HA! Joke's on me!

And now, just like Alison Redford, they want to "Change Alberta".  Well, I like Alberta the way it is a lot actually.  That said, I and a heck of a lot of conservatives despise the current government who are progressively intruding into our lives and freedoms while ransacking the public purse and sneakily raising taxes.

Is it any wonder why in Q4 of 2011 compared to other provinces where people are leaving in droves that over 6000 net new people now live in Alberta for better paying market jobs, a lower cost of living, and lower taxes in Alberta?

Apparently, "progressives" want to change that.

Alberta leaders' debate - Holding On

My quick take on last night's TV debate:

General Comments:

  • At least it was somewhat exciting as compared to the other debates in the last million years
  • Great to see two women debating--how many other provinces, states, and countries can say that?
  • All four leaders were poised and articulate
  • Too bad Glenn Taylor wasn't invited--he could have syphoned even more votes from the PCs
  • Podium positioning with the cameras was off.  One camera angle showed the back of Brian Mason's head while he was talking to Redford, but we only saw Sherman's face. The podiums should have been in more of a semi-circle with better camera angles
  • What's with calling each other by their first names?  Only Smith called each by their last name.
  • The panel questions were good but lots of issues weren't even brought up--energy, environment, infrastructure, cities, transportation

Brian Mason (NDP):
How can you not like this man?  His policy positions were clear--you know what you're gonna get.  I was texting live with his son, who's a friend of mine, and said he should be proud of his dad.  During the open debates, I liked the way Brian interrupted right at the end of each leader's talk so as to not give them the thunder but not seem rude.  I liked how he attacked Raj Sherman's Liberals as well and had Redford step into a contradiction on health care.  His steadiness may continue to peel some Liberal votes to swing 1 or 2 ridings to the NDP in Edmonton.  That's about it.  I think after this election, he'll step down as leader and Rachel Notley will take over which will mean three party leaders in the Legislature who are women.

Raj Sherman (Liberal):
I also like Raj.  He's a good man with good intentions.  He seemed a tad awkward at times but carried himself well.  I thought the "This is Alberta not Alabama" comment wasn't necessary, albeit a bit funny.  He then asked Redford to step down right there which seemed odd.  If  public health care is your issue, Raj did a good job in convincing you that he's your man.

Danielle Smith (Wildrose):
Very poised and articulate--her TV experience shining through no doubt.  Some bloggers say there weren't knockout punches, but I felt Danielle had two on Alison Redford.  One was calling her out to rollback the MLA and cabinet wage hike and the other was when Redford attacked her on the Wildrose paying off floor crossing MLAs but Smith quickly spun it back by saying Elections Alberta is too busy investigating over 50 cases of illegal donations to the PCs.  Zing!  Overall, more importantly, if you were thinking of voting Wildrose and weren't sure about Smith, you're more likely to vote Wildrose now after seeing her very good debate performance.

Alison Redford (PC):
She did a lot better than I expected in fending off attacks from the left, centre, and right.  Her body language at times looked like she got tripped up but she remained steady.  You have to admit that she was in a very difficult position to begin with in dealing with PC ghosts of the past, and her own recent record which was rightfully the bulk of the focus.  The PC attack regarding the Wildrose transferring money to the constituency when PC MLAs crossed the floor is a terribly desperate and weak argument.  There were so many other things she could have attacked Smith on to hold Edmonton seats--airport lands, LRT, museum but she didn't.

In summary...

All that said, I think all four leaders did a good job of solidifying their base, although the PC conservative base is gone.  The Wildrose may get a couple more points over the PCs as a result and the NDP may get a one point bump.  Redford failed in making anything stick to Smith.  With the Wildrose riding high in majority territory, Smith wins the debate by holding the party poll standing and with two knockouts on Redford.

With nine days to go until the election, I think the odds of a Wildrose majority are slightly higher than a minority with the NDP holding the balance of power.  Many Edmonton ridings are in play now and I'm hearing that Redford might not even keep her seat.  If that's the case, the PCs will have a lot of self-reflection to do.  A Wildrose gov't will likely discover a lot of questionable practices that the PC gov't had but we didn't know about... call it a hunch I have.  PC support will dramatically drop.  Progressive support might corral around the Alberta Party if and only if Glenn Taylor can get out there (and only if he wins his seat).

And then I'm going to make a "wild" prediction (pun intended) where in a new leadership race, a PC candidate will look at merging with the Wildrose but they'll propose to drop the "Progressive" name--much like what happened federally.  Just throwing it out there!

Now who said Alberta provincial politics was boring?

Wait, I think we all did at one point.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Long Gun Registry? Scrapped!

Finally.  That only took, what 17-18 years?  And 6 years with a Conservative gov't.  Promise kept.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Wildrose announce Energy Dividend -- a.k.a. "Danielle Dollars"

Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Party have released their next platform plank -- The Energy Dividend (hereafter now referred to as 'Danielle Dollars').
The Alberta Energy Dividend will:
  • Send 20% of all provincial surpluses generated by oil and gas revenues directly to Albertans, providing every Albertan with an estimated $300 in 2015.
  • Ensure Alberta remains well-positioned to meet economic challenges by only paying out energy dividends when the provincial budget runs a cash surplus.
  • Help Alberta families and seniors meet the rising cost of living during times of economic prosperity and rising inflation.

In this bold policy announcement, they can be sure they've shored-up the old Social Credit vote and the old "Ralph Bucks" crowd.

So, after Week #1, we've had the most exciting campaign period in recent Alberta history.  Here's what I've read, seen and heard off the top of my head:
  • Health care inquiry?  What health care inquiry?
  • I'm wondering how many Alberta Party folks wished they had Dave and not Glenn Taylor as leader.  If the PCs get dumped bad, will the AP be able to attract the PC-liberal and Liberal defections?
  • PC leader Alison Redford backtracks and orders all PC MLAs to return the "Money For Nothing"--a month after she said they only had to return the money earned since she's been premier because she "can't change the past".  I guess she found her flux-capacitor.
  • Danielle Smith calls out Alison Redford saying the PC leader "doesn't like Alberta much" because she wants to change it.  A bit confusing to some considering if you vote Wildrose, then aren't you changing it?  Ok, the government, yes, but the essence of the province, no, or maybe change it back to how it was.  Something like that.  Ok, can we move on now?
  • Liberal leader Raj Sherman then interrupts a Redford campaign stop.  An odd move.  He also announces they'll put in more rural hospital beds and doctors.  Raj is a good guy, I've spoken to him.  Politically erratic, but he's certainly drawn attention to the management problems in the health care system, hasn't he?
  • And you've all heard the now fired PC staffer who tweeted about Danielle Smith not having kids. Redford gracefully apologizes. 
  • Veteran NDP leader Brian Mason then rightfully sends the other leaders a letter an asks everyone to calm down and focus on the issues.   Thank you, sir.  Alberta election campaigns are supposed to be boring.
  • The Wildrose then announce a return to balanced budgets, a $200/child/year tax credit, and to eliminate school fees.  Basically, a two-child home could save up to $600.  Add the $300 in Danielle Dollars and a family is now getting back almost $1000 a year.  That's pretty significant.
  • Redford's PCs are now trailing the Wildrose in polls with the Wildrose at ~37% and the PCs at ~34%.
At this point, my guess on the outcome is a Wildrose or PC minority.  I'm getting the feeling that Albertans might want to put a check and balance on a larger rookie Wildrose caucus or give Redford a check with the Wildrose holding the balance of power.  I think a lot of liberal-progressive vote is propping up the P in PC and the Cs have moved to the WRP.

Or, it could be your typical Alberta 30-40 year mass change of the old, in with the new.

At least so far it's been interesting.