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%.
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.