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Friday, December 11, 2009

Wildrose Would Form Government

In which we see Mr Stelmach looking nervously over his shoulder:

The surging Wildrose Alliance party would form the next provincial government in Alberta if an election were held tomorrow, according to a new poll of decided voters that gives the right-of-centre party a double-digit lead in popular support over the long-ruling Tories. A new Angus Reid Public Opinion survey of 1,000 Albertans suggests 39% of voters would cast a ballot for Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Alliance. 
 The fledgling party is pulling away from Premier Ed Stelmach's Progressive Conservatives, who were tied with David Swann's Liberals for second place with the backing of 25% of decided voters province-wide, according to the poll.
This is just one poll. A general election is some time off. Yet the party is only two years old and is already being considered a plausible party of government. They have only one MLA in the Alberta legislature. The party leader is a television journalist and ex school board trustee. At first glance this is akin to a AAA ball club beating the New York Yankees. 

Wildrose has benefited enormously by defections from the ruling Progressive Conservative Party, giving it unusual bench strength for such a young party. Incumbency has its downsides - the electorate blames you for everything - but its key advantage is money and organization. The canvassers, the poll workers, the riding executives, the grunt work of politics few know about yet is essential to winning seats. Nearly forty years of electoral dynasty, the longest in the province's history, seem to have made the ruling Conservatives sclerotic. Their response to this poll, and more widely to the increasingly credible threat of the Wildrose Alliance, will give Albertans a sense of how nimble the Tory giant remains. The Ontario PCs ruled for an unbroken 42 years (1943-1985). Their Albertan cousins are only about four years away from that mark.

Posted by Richard Anderson on December 11, 2009 | Permalink


This is what happens when Conservatives stop being Conservatives, and its not the first time we've seen this. First the base sits on its hands for awhile hoping things will get back to normal, when it doesn't they organize a new party that actually is centre-right.

I'm not an Albertan but three cheers for the Wildrose Alliance. We could use a party like that in Manitoba.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2009-12-11 9:09:20 AM

I'd have to take a closer look at the candidates, but at first glance, the Wildrose party looks pretty good.

I made the jump to the Reform party, back in the day. Thank Joe Clark for that one. Looks like Joe and Ed might share a spot on the conservative wall of shame.

Posted by: dp | 2009-12-11 11:07:02 AM

Ed Stelmach, meet Harry Strom.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-12-11 11:33:10 AM

I strongly suspect 85% of people couldn't tell you two or more ways in which the Wild Rose Alliance platform is different than the Progressive Conservative platform…

Posted by: Pete | 2009-12-11 1:32:17 PM

The difference that dwarfs all others:
we've got Danielle Smith
they've got Ed Stelmach

Posted by: Brian Dell | 2009-12-11 5:50:44 PM

I see some things in the Wildrose Alliance that I like. However, there are still some areas that I would like them to tackle. One, if a referendum is called would Wildrose support a move to reinstate the death penalty in Alberta for murderers(like the majority of both Canadians and Albertans do)? Two, would a Wildrose Alliance pass laws allowing for concealed carry or a castle doctrine law? Three, will the Wildrose Alliance support any restrictions on abortion or abortion funding? Four, would Wildrose implement a province-wide school voucher program? Five, would Wildrose support the reinstatement of corporal punishment as a disciplinary tool in Alberta's public or private schools? Six, what will Wildrose do to ensure that fathers have a level playing field in custody disputes? Wildrose has some nice things to say about economics but their policies on education and crime seem rather skimpy. I would like to know if a Wildrose government is going to help me protect my family from criminals or juvenile delinquents or if (like with the PC'S) they will force me to stand alone against the local criminal element. If the Wildrose won't back me up then why should I take time out of my busy schedule to back them?

Posted by: Ed | 2009-12-11 6:56:53 PM


1. Wildrose is not a pro-death party. I know of no movement to lobby for the death penalty. I doubt there will be one, either. Most Albertans and Canadians do NOT trust government enough to support the death penalty.

2. I know of no movement afoot to support carry/conceal, but would certainly support same. What I am not sure of is where federal-provincial jurisdiction would break down on it. I also doubt this issue is anywhere near to being on anybody's radar, and consequently is unlikely to rate as a platfrom issue.

3. Wildrose is not a pro-death party. Abortion will not be funded.

4. I don't support school vouchers myself as they are still socialist in essence. But I believe this will be a big plank of the WA education platform.

5. Wildrose is not a pro-violence party. Spanking/caning/strapping should be, barring flagrant assault-causing-bodily harm, a purely parental decision. Government has no business in the violence-against-children business, and corporal punishment for other people's children is none of YOUR business. Cane your own if you must, but such a matter should never be the subject of public policy.

6. I am unaware of a fathers' rights type policy from WA -- that said my suspicion is there would be support for pruning back most if not all feminist encroachments in this area. Doubt this will be a big campaign issue, tho.

7. Wildrose Alliance is the ONLY party in Canada with a sophisticated and iron clad committment to PROPERTY RIGHTS -- the only "crime" perspective needed by a political party.

Posted by: JC | 2009-12-11 8:34:16 PM

History lesson.

When Peter Lougheed won in 1971, he took Alberta's political climate LEFT from the Social Credit Party.

If my memory is not failing, it seems Lougheed won because he presented a more exciting vision than the old fuddy duddy Socreds.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-12-12 9:54:51 AM

SYF, how true in that Lougheed "presented a more exciting vision".

People, or sheeple, are like lemmings and like shiny things.

While Alberta prospered under Lougheed, remember he's the guy on who's watch succumbed to the NEP.

With the exception of "Ralph" the PC's have damaged Alberta's place in history.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2009-12-12 11:11:21 AM


It's true that Ralph had very favourable policies toward oil companies.

Posted by: set you free | 2009-12-12 12:13:08 PM

Ralph's hands-off approach to the oil industry here was an excellent start. less regulation and more or less unfettered capitalism is better, as long as in the end they clean up the mess. laws will ensure they do.

Stelmach f:)cked it up. we all know why.

Posted by: shel | 2009-12-12 2:08:27 PM

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.

Posted by: cyberclark | 2009-12-12 3:22:56 PM

I like much of what Wildrose is saying though I wish they would take a harder line on crime like the Republicans in the U.S. The sad fact is that Wildrose while conservative by Canada standards is middle of the road by non-western european standards. There is not much difference between Australia's Liberal Party program(short of opposition to gay marriage and support for some abortion restrictions) and Wildrose. The main difference is that Australia's Liberal Party has governed at the federal level while Wildrose's effectiveness is limited to Alberta. The same thing is true in New Zealand where the Wildrose Alliance would be positioned slightly to the left of the governing ACT(libertarian economic policies, strong gun ownership supporters, but support increasing military numbers and passing a 3 strike law for violent offenders) and National(similiar economic and firearm policies, leans pro-life and has a social conservative base) parties. The sad truth is that both countries have for years ranked higher in the Heritage Foundation's yearly review of economic freedom worldwide than Canada. These two countries have lower levels of debt, lower tax rates, and less government involvement in the economy. Also, unlike Canada, they have successfully whittled down the unions. What success have right-wing Canadian parties had in reducing union power? Wildrose may have an effect in Alberta. I don't see anything about stupid transfer payments in Australia. Heck, I don't even see anything about Human Rights councils in the other two countries. However, on the national level, we will still remain behind those two countries because of the anchor that is the Canadian left! Where is a man or woman in Canada who change theleft-wing tide? America had Reagan! Britain had Thatcher! Australia had Howard and now Abbott. New Zealand has thier current prime minister! We are left with the sad fact that Harper is our best prime minister in 100 years(which says a lot about the crappy choices we have made with the aid of the Quebecers.

Posted by: Jason | 2009-12-12 8:02:05 PM

cyberclark; lay off the oxycontin for a while and read some history. The NEP was a spawn of a certian stinking liberal friend of Peeairs, the great lieberal saviour that took Ontario Hydro from no debt to 36 billion, the same fellow that bought 31,000 acres of Costa Rican rain forest, where did that money come from, the same fellow that owns over 200,000 acres of Colorado that sits atop a huge aquifier, where did that money come from, the same scum that was in on oil for food over at the UN, the same dirtbag behind global warming, catch up boy, One other thing follow Loughheeds education trajectory and you will see it mirrors Peeairs, they were never enemys, he was in the NEP up to his ears.

Posted by: bartinsky | 2009-12-13 9:09:15 AM

The Wildrose Alliance has the potential to gain a large chunk of seats in the next election but forming government seems to be way off.

I question the idea of pushing a never elected individual so hard as a potential premier. She has not done anything to show she can win major elections. I'm sorry but winning a leadership race against Mark Dyrholm and Jeff Willerton is not proof you can win a big election.

Her own personal views on social issues fits perfectly with the Progressive Conservative party so I'm waiting for the party to go through the awkward ward between moderates and social conservatives.

Posted by: Rider Fan | 2009-12-14 8:14:13 AM

If people will remember, the libs and the NDP were pushing for far higher royalty fees, and pushing for MORE government spending. The only party that was going against these items, before we saw how stupid they were, was the Wildrose. So, when the libs and NDP point fingers, they are even worse offenders. Taft and Ed tried to outdo each other at spending, the numbers flying were in the billions. The libs and NDP chided the Tories for only increasing the Royalties by about 20% - Just remember back to what Taft said on the Radio the day they were announced.

So, the only party that has any credibility is the Wildrose. The Liberals and NDP are simply opportunistic liers.

Everything stupid in life comes from a socialist, or a right wing trying to act like a socialist.

There never has been a good or useful left wing, and never will be. Lets get rid of the Libs, NDP, and Tories if need be, and pass laws to safe guard society from these freaks of nature.

Posted by: Vince | 2009-12-22 9:35:10 AM

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