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March 4, 2008

From The Amazing Kreskin School Of Journalism

Reader "Ward" in the comments;

Apparently "widespread" and "appetite for change" must mean something different than I have always thought they did. Maybe I've also been wrong about the definitions of "bias" and "sore losers" as well?

from the Globe and Mail reporting on the Conservatives capturing (at this time) 71 of 83 ridings.

"Liberals were never able to exploit widespread sentiment in the province that it was time for a new government."

From the CBC at the same time (cons leading in 71 of 83)

"Despite an apparent appetite for change, voters in Alberta stuck with the tried-and-true, giving the Progressive Conservative party an unprecedented 11th consecutive majority government."


I predict a flurry of opinion columns along a similar vein from other members of the Carnack the Magician set in the coming week. Because, you know - nobody they know voted for the Conservatives.


Posted by Kate at March 4, 2008 8:42 AM
Comments

Those silly Albertan voters...
Didn't they know what they wanted???

Posted by: Paul at March 4, 2008 9:11 AM

Conservatives gained 11 seats. Liberals lost 7.

Works for me, Alberta!

Posted by: BB at March 4, 2008 9:14 AM

You almost hit it dead on - nobody they knew voted conservative. It's actually; nobody they knew SAID they voted conservative. In certain circles, it's not allowed. Say you're a conservative, and you may as well say you're a neo-nazi. I'm not exaggerating.

I think a lot of us in Alberta openly distrust and dislike polls, and especially the way they're reported. I, for one, always lie when a pollster calls - especially a national one. I'm thinking of starting a "lie to the pollsters" movement. Any takers?

Yeah, the media apologists are going strong now. Should be interesting.

Posted by: Jimbo at March 4, 2008 9:15 AM

CBCpravda has their story titled "Follow the entrails of an Alberta Election"


entrails is usually associated with disembowelment , but the story isnt about the gutless libs.

Posted by: cal2 at March 4, 2008 9:18 AM

I know, the election was stolen!

Posted by: grok at March 4, 2008 9:21 AM

F.U Libs HaHA HA HA HA HA HA

Posted by: john at March 4, 2008 9:23 AM

The MSM are pretending it didn't happen; they are reporting the facts, that the PC gained 11 seats; that the Liberals lost 7, but the analysis is that it's 'all a mistake'.

According to Reason (the MSM) the voters of Alberta were 'ready for a change' but were somehow, passive robots that they are, tripped up by mechanical failures of the opposition parties. Words used were that the Liberals were never able to 'exploit widespread sentiment' for change; but the electorate were 'swayed by 'Stelmach. And, of course, 'irregularities' at voting stations.

So, according to the MSM, it's not really that Albertans made a decision last night; it's a mechanical problem in getting their Real Desire to Go Liberal past those defective switches.

Posted by: ET at March 4, 2008 9:24 AM

Nooooo...... remember, the Libs (both provincially and federally) are poised for a "breakthrough' in AB.

LMAO... anyone who actually believed that is just plain disconnected.

It's too bad I'm stuck with the only Con that lives in Ontario, but... that's the way she goes. When faced with a choice of a Con that doesn't live here vs. a Liberal... the Con won. What does THAT tell you?

Posted by: annie at March 4, 2008 9:24 AM

I would LOVE to see this repeated at the federal level. I would LOVE to see the Lib leader lose his seat. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see the whole GTA split their vote Lib/NDP and end up shut out in Parliament. For like 30 years.

That's how long its going to take to clean up their mess.

Posted by: The Phantom at March 4, 2008 9:29 AM

Looking at the data thusfar it seems the key difference from 2004 was turnout - 5% higher than in 2004.

Alberta's reserve of centre-right support is like the tarsands - vast and much of it is untapped. Only 50% of eligible voters voted but that is up from 45% in 2004 and it looks as though they all voted PC. This also is evidence of something I and a lot of others can bear witness to - that people move to AB from places with much more leftist politics and within a very short time (6 months) become fire-breathing conservatives.

It seems that especially in the last few days there was a growing concern that the LP/NDP might get the balance of power. This fear of radical change - the electorate wanted change but not that much change - provided for the first time in the campaign motivation for some of the untapped centre-right to get to the polling station. When I get time I will look to see if the numbers for the other parties really fell or whether the PC simply were the only ones that increased.

It should go without saying that the LP in particular ran a dismal campaign with fiscally implausible platform and a boob as leader. One wonders what might have happened if Dave Bronconnier had been leader.

While I am no fan of Mr. Ed, I can take solace that the knobs in Eastern Canada who claim that AB is going to become left of centre because of all the in-migration have been repudiated. the Alberta advantage can be restored.

One last point: This election is a classic demonstration of why fixed election dates should be the law. Ed and co. timed it perfectly - the WRA was only 35 days old, the downturns in the O & G and real estate sectors have yet to really become evident (and will not until after spring break-up) and the inter-provincial wars have yet to heat-up (which will happen after it becomes official that Ont is a have-not province).

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 9:31 AM

"I think a lot of us in Alberta openly distrust and dislike polls, and especially the way they're reported."

That is why I believe the national polls are not actually true, I believe many who will vote conservative in the next election are not reflected in the polls and the federal conservatives are actually higher than reported.

Posted by: Alberta Girl at March 4, 2008 9:43 AM

Oh rats, there is one other thing:

There were a very high number of sitting MLAs who retired this time - 15(?). And while this is usually a bad thing, in the case is seems to have been a shot in the arm in those districts as the newbies ran scared and worked much harder than their predecessors.

Case in point: the District just north of me had an MLA in 2004 who didn't even open a campaign office and won by just 700 votes. His successor had a very sizable campaign team (bigger even than the federal candidate) and worked non-stop knocking doors and telephoning. He won by 2 to one over the LP candidate.

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 9:48 AM

Only stilted elitist hubris questions a democratic mandate this decisive...and only a bruised limping intellect will attempt to deconstruct it into self serving partisan sophistry.

We will be able to play spot the "snot" in the coming weeks with our 4th estate "betters". ;-)

Stelmach's mandate was pretty uncomplicated...Alberta wants the security of a caretaker government and they believe Stelmach provides that more so than the other political options...it's that simple.

Posted by: WL Mackenzie Redux at March 4, 2008 9:55 AM

The Alberta Liberals made one BIG mistake in Alberta - the name "Liberal." As soon as the name "Liberal" is mentioned almost all Alberta thinks about the "LIEberals under DeYawn."

They will never have a chance in Alberta unless they change their name to: "NOT the LIEberal Party of Canada"

Perhaps this will tell the LIEberals what Alberta thinks of them and DeYawn - not a chance in Albeta. This is the future "have" Prov. while Ont and Que are finally realizing that they atre not the Center of the Universe. This is why DeYawn promised to bring back the CWB if elected - providing the Conservatives give the Western farmers a choice to remain part of the CWB.

Posted by: Clown Party of Canada at March 4, 2008 9:55 AM

The Alberta Liberals made one BIG mistake in Alberta - the name "Liberal." As soon as the name "Liberal" is mentioned almost all Alberta thinks about the "LIEberals under DeYawn."

They will never have a chance in Alberta unless they change their name to: "NOT the LIEberal Party of Canada"

Perhaps this will tell the LIEberals what Alberta thinks of them and DeYawn - not a chance in Albeta. This is the future "have" Prov. while Ont and Que are finally realizing that they atre not the Center of the Universe. This is why DeYawn promised to bring back the CWB if elected - providing the Conservatives give the Western farmers a choice to remain part of the CWB.

Posted by: Clown Party of Canada at March 4, 2008 9:56 AM

The Liberals campaigned on a platform of destroying the Alberta economy, although evidently they were too stupid to realize this is what they were doing. The NDP are widely seen as well-meaning idiots. The WRA was nearly invisible. What other voting choice was there?

For the Liberals to gain any traction in Alberta they will have to change their name, colours and disassociate themselves from their federal counterparts. Every time Daft stepped in front of a podium with the big red and white Lib signs behind him, he tied himself to the hated legacy of Trudeau, Chretien, Martin et al.

Posted by: Belisarius at March 4, 2008 9:57 AM

As a “Progressive” Conservative in Ontario (actually a closet neo-con), there are some surprising comments on this thread.

Ontario’s turnout was a dreadful 52% but Alberta’s was worse at 50% even though it was up from 45%. That really surprises me.

Jimbo “Say you're a conservative, and you may as well say you're a neo-nazi. I'm not exaggerating.”

Wow. Jimbo can you imagine what it’s like to say “conservative” in Toronto? I’d be safer wearing a baby seal fur coat in Paris.

Posted by: nomdeblog at March 4, 2008 9:57 AM

WLMR is pretty much bang-on. Were there a better option than Ed things would have gone differently. (that is why the undecideds were so high in the run-up to the vote)

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 10:05 AM

As usual, the whining on the G&M comment board is hilarious. The usual left wing lunatics are going apoplectic....you know, the usual drivel...."One party rule in Alberta is terrible, bla bla bla". But what I find REALLY funny is that the comments come from the same brain dead morons who posted about how Castro has outlasted "numerous US Presidents and has been in glorious power for 49 years for the Revolution, bla bla bla". So, the "logic" of the obviously demented leftist mind is that political power is okay if it is communist and held by virtue of the AK47, but it is not okay in a democracy and held by virtue of the ballot box. Go figure.

If you need a laugh, go over to the G&M comment section. What a bunch of clowns.

Posted by: John Luft at March 4, 2008 10:05 AM

Mr. Ed made a bunch of promises. Let's see what he does with them.
Health Care Premiums will be one item that should be gone come next election.
OTW, watch out for the Liberals! LOL

Posted by: puddin and pie at March 4, 2008 10:06 AM

Well .... that's the way the pundits crumble!
Good for Alberta voters .. that 50% or so of Albertans who have the integrity to go out and do their public duty.

As for the rest .... will they be shooting their mouths off about the results now?
Probably.

Posted by: OMMAG at March 4, 2008 10:09 AM

The NEP is still much too fresh in the minds of Albertans. Wait a hundred or so years and then maybe...... no... make that 200 or so years before Albertans get stupid enough to elect Liberals to lead them. Good job, Alberta!!!!!

Posted by: a different bob at March 4, 2008 10:22 AM

Good for Alberta!

Now, where did I see that poll asking people how many FEWER seats Stelmach was going to win this time around? Seems most comments had him squeaking in with a bare majority, they were as wrong as the pollsters.

Albertans did the sensible thing and voted for the party that has overseen a prosperous Province for a long time. Alberta may not be perfect under the Conservatives, like Ontario is under the Liberals, but there's nothing like having a steady job to soothe the pain. Many Ontarians are about to face that reality if the layoffs in the auto sector continue.

Perhaps Albertans also remember what happened to their B.C. neighbours, who opted for change in the 1990's, which turned out to be an economic disaster.

Nice going, Alberta, your citizens have demonstrated more common sense than the citizens of many other Canadian Provinces. Congratulations! :-)

Posted by: Dmorris at March 4, 2008 10:26 AM

Jimbo: "I'm thinking of starting a "lie to the pollsters" movement. Any takers?"

Don't lie outright (100% support for the Greens would be too unbelievable), just answer 'don't know' or 'undecided'. Keep 'em guessing. :)

Posted by: Kathryn at March 4, 2008 10:40 AM

Actually, discussed this with some neighbors yesterday. Everyone said they voted conservative. None of us were too happy about it. The phrase "the lesser of two evils" was brought up a few times.

I was polled once during the election campaign, and I said I was undecided, even though I knew that in the end, I would support the conservatives. I think many people had the same attitude as I did.

I am still disappointed that Mr. Manning didn't throw his hat in the ring for leadership of a party. I'm pretty certain he would be premier now if he had done that. The PC's will be in power until a center/center-right party comes along that doesn't promptly drag religion into politics, AND that has a dynamic leader.

Posted by: mecheng at March 4, 2008 10:42 AM

How is it that all we heard about the Alberta election was how the Liberals were about to make huge gains and the Conservatives were about to fall from power? I can't confess to having spent hours reading dozens of news reports, but all the coverage I read and heard never wavered from this line. Is the media really so dominated by liberals? Or is entire media just too lazy to do any leg work whatsoever? Some combination of both?

Posted by: mark peters at March 4, 2008 10:44 AM

mecheng is right re the holding-noses and mrking an 'X' scenario. There is a great desire for change in AB - tighter fiscal policy with a ecological - conservation-minded - attitude - which is what PM has been talking-up for sometime now. However, this big a mandate has ended his (and Ted Morton's and Jim Dinning's) political leadership ambitions for good. The question going forward is - who will take up the cause?

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 10:53 AM

The reason pcs keep winning, is this province naturally attracts people with this kind of a mind set. why would someone who likes the public teat want to come to this province. there are much easier marks in other parts of canada.

Posted by: adrian smits at March 4, 2008 10:54 AM

the NEP is still fresh on the minds of Alberta.


lets remind folks that 100s of thousands lost their jobs and houses in that period just because a liberal federal government decided they didnt like Alberta having wealth or power. Is 20 years. 30 years over even a century enough to forget the purposeful grab of provincial resources and purposeful trashing of a strong economy just for political gain. they forget there are still people living that remember the depression and use it to gauge their decisions.

Posted by: cal2 at March 4, 2008 10:54 AM

"Liberals were never able to exploit widespread sentiment in the province that it was time for a new government."
That's rich!
After the La La'tario election I was saying the same thing...insert PC for Lib.But hey...I'm not MSM and so what would I know.

Posted by: bluetech at March 4, 2008 11:01 AM

cal2:

this why this burgeoning development:

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=d1b2c809-e890-48ed-b421-e0274deb1671&k=42400

is going to be the biggest challenge Mr. Ed will face, and going on my personal contact with him as well as his public statements relating to inter-provincial affairs and equalization, I don't think he is up to the task.

Let's hope he appoints a inter-provincial affairs minister who has some starch in his jeans and doesn't take a "can't we all get along" approach. I'm not holding my breath, however.

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 11:01 AM

Being an Ontarian, I turned on the CBC News this morning to find out who won the election and by how much. Imagine my surprise (not!) when the pretty but vacuous newscaster read out the news headlines...5 different headlines and NONE of them about the Alberta election. The TOP headline...the upcoming balloting in the Democratic race between Obama and Clinton!

The Alberta election wasn't mentioned until about 7-10 minutes into the broadcast, almost as an afterthought.

An historic 11th straight majority, a landslide, where Liberals had been "poised" to make huge in-roads...and that just wasn't important enough news to CBC to make it one of the 5 top headlines.

John Cruickshank, this is just another reason why we KNOW CBC is biased.

Posted by: Eeyore at March 4, 2008 11:02 AM

The silent majority has spoken and found a premier who is much like them ... not too slick, but an honest God-fearing man.

Stelmach's major appeal is that he is not some know-it-all academic or a pie-in-the-sky utopian.

His practicality apparently touched something in enough Alberta voters to ensure Alberta remains the only province east of Quebec to never elect a socialist government.

B.C. and Saskatchewan also have oil/natural gas resources, but Alberta led the way in encouraging the development of the resource.

Good for Saskatchewan for turning its back on the fellow travellers of Socialist Internations, but I'm becoming perplexed by B.C.'s direction, especially with their misguided carbon tax increase/income tax decrease dichotomy.


Posted by: set you free at March 4, 2008 11:11 AM

Alberta.

The entire eastern half of the country plus Ontario doubled bows down to your superior wisdom.

Posted by: easternhalfofcanadaplusontariodoubled at March 4, 2008 11:12 AM

Remember the old saying, winners like winners, well all that influx of people to Alberta are winners, they leave the losers behind to whine and complain. Alberta is substance over symbolism not the other way around. It must really be a blow to these little media mind types that they can't bully a strong and independent person. Back to the whine factory ants, follow the scent ahead of you now.

Posted by: Western Canadian at March 4, 2008 11:13 AM

Ontarioooo??? Remember prosperity? The Big Blue Machine? 42 years of prosperity? See Alberta? Conservative.Prosperity. Remember?

Jim Flaherty does:

""Mr. McGuinty, you may want to portray this as a personal attack or somehow 'undermining' the economy," Mr. Flaherty wrote in his letter. "My comments are nothing less than a wake-up call."

Ontario taxes manufacturers at 12 per cent, while other corporations pay 14 per cent. Among the 10 provinces, only P.E.I. and Nova Scotia have higher general corporate income tax rates.

Businesses in Ontario must also pay a capital tax, employer health tax on payroll and business education tax. Toronto Dominion Bank chief economist Don Drummond recently said Ontario's tax rates stuck out "like a sore thumb" and predicted the province's overall tax rate on new business would be 30.17 per cent by 2012, versus 18.8 per cent for Quebec."

Posted by: bud at March 4, 2008 11:16 AM

I think this was a bit of a "hold your nose and vote" election. It was for me. I suspect the timing may have had to do with the arrival of the WRA which had some pretty credible candidates, (as well as a few duds, given the short time frame). But there was certainly no appetite for the Liberals and a Dalton McGuinty repeat. Unfortunately there were a couple of NDPers elected so we're still struggling on our claim of being a rat-free province. But we'll work on it. Finally, it's no surprise that the MSMers didn't know anyone who voted conservative -- they'd have to speak to someone outside the academic cocktail party set and that would mean showing solidarity with the workers down on the shop floor as opposed to up in the faculty lounge -- shudder!

Posted by: DrD at March 4, 2008 11:16 AM

Big headline in daily rag the other day stated that over 280,000 people had migrated to Ab over the last few yrs and they had no connection to the PC party traditions.

How would they vote?

Well, I guess that's been answered in spades.
Alberta does not attract whiners.
Alberta attracts 'doers', thanks to the vision of Peter Lougheed.

Most of the newcomers probably never knew that life could be so great, after having lived in the other doom and gloom parts of country.

In fact, some of these new Albertans have become the staunchest and most vocal supporters of the Alberta Advantage.

Posted by: rockyt at March 4, 2008 11:23 AM

Perhaps the liberal brand is tarnished by Mr. Bean & Company???

Posted by: Sounder at March 4, 2008 11:23 AM

Very happy that the Lieberals didn't win. Even in leftard Saskatchewan the Liberals haven't won a seat in two elections. The Sask Party I hope will have the legacy of the Alta PC's for the future of sask is dependand on this.

Ya gotta love the Deer in the Headlights look that the leftard MSM had last night. I gotta kick out of how the CBC reporter sitting at her computer in the Leg, only was quoting the negative emails she was receiving. MSM is such a joke.

Good on you Alta, for doing what is right for the Province. I hope the future is bright for Sask. as well.

Cheers

Posted by: Swill at March 4, 2008 11:25 AM


DrD
"Unfortunately there were a couple of NDPers elected so we're still struggling on our claim of being a rat-free province."
I read that line ten minutes ago, and I'm still laughing.
I wish I could say the same about the Libs in Ontario. But there's always hope.

Posted by: Ed at March 4, 2008 11:30 AM

I had a sign for PC incumbent Jack Hayden in my store window in Oyen. Not a single one of my customers complained or chastised me for having a PC sign up in the window.

Not. A. Single. One.

Now. I did have a few political discussions as a result of the sign being there, and many of us all agreed that it would be nice if the PC party was less progressive and more, y'know, conservative. Nobody that I've talked to (other than my wife who happens to be a teacher) thought much of the teacher's pension buyout. Many of us were also horrified to turn on the TV and see Steady Eddie blathering on about daycare spaces. So, I'd say there was appetite for change, albeit not the kind of change the wonks at the CBC have wet dreams about.

Problem was, no one wanted a change that would be demonstrably worse. I don't think the WRAP will get traction going until they eject Link Byfield. Too many people know about his shenanigans at the Citizen's Centre for Democracy. I personally refuse to throw a vote their way until they toss the bum out. There's also the other usual charcters involved with said party. WRAP is like the Oh Henry of Alberta politics and most Albertans have a nut allergy.

As to the rest: a vote for the SoCreds, Dippers, or Fibs? Gotta be kidding. I'm a small business owner who is somewhat averse to fiscal suicide.

So I voted PC. Again.

Posted by: Sean at March 4, 2008 11:31 AM

Bud, I think McSquinty's response to Flaherty says all you need to know about the Liberals:

canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=913ecac0-dbe7-44fd-b3de-35f491b1853a

"Mr. McGuinty gave no indication he would heed Mr. Flaherty's call in his upcoming budget. Instead, he acknowledged "philosophical differences" in the two governments' approaches to economic growth.

"They champion corporate tax cuts above everything else, and I say you've got to invest in skills and education, you've got to invest in innovation and strategic partnerships and infrastructure and the like as well as tax cuts," Mr. McGuinty said."

The article ends,

"Ontario's flagging manufacturing sector, which accounts for one-fifth of the province's output, has shed 180,000 jobs since 2002."

So now you know where those 200,000 odd new Albertans came from, eh? A province who's official answer to a Canadian dollar at $1.02US and a manufacturing sector bleeding red ink into a looming US recession, which is off-shoring everything we've got to escape the obscene taxes, is to RAISE taxes and spend more money.

I live in the Steel City. Bigtime manufacturing is OVER in this burgh. Everything is small shop, custom work, mostly autoparts related. Car makers are on the skids.

The pay is crap, the jobs are shrinking in number every week. I see no new industrial construction around town, very little expansion. I see quite a few empty buildings down town.

Thank the Liberals. They didn't do it alone, but they sure sped things along. Before you go "investing", aka "spending", aka "pissing away" billions on social programs you need to stop making it impossible to make a buck here legally.

Tax cut. Now please. Biiiiiig tax cut.

Posted by: The Phantom at March 4, 2008 11:45 AM

Eeyore, the mission of the CBC is to unite the country under utopianism. Hill-Bama meets that objective more than Conservatives getting elected in Alberta. So the CBC is simply living up to its mission.

We should not extend the CBC mission past 2009.

Posted by: nomdeblog at March 4, 2008 11:46 AM

I'm just curious as to where the statistics here are coming from. Everything I've seen shows we had the lowest voter turnout in our history (~41%), yet several people here have said it was up from last election.

What am I missing?

Posted by: Sitsonsix at March 4, 2008 12:00 PM

Sitsonsix,

According to canada.com, there were 2,252,104 eligible voters and 951,451 votes cast per Elections Alberta, for a pathetic turnout of 42.24%.

Posted by: Kathryn at March 4, 2008 12:38 PM

I was not happy with the conservatives over a number of issues. My big problem - no reasonable alternative.

The liberal platform was to regulate everything in site. The Wild Rose candidate in my riding wasn't a serious contender. He was just filling out the field. An "independent conservative" candidate was too socially conservative for my tastes. And don't even get me started with the Greens and NDP.

Had there been a solid libertarian-conservative alternative, I would have voted it in a second. Maybe next time.

Posted by: rabbit at March 4, 2008 12:48 PM

I considered not voting as a measure of protest against the options I faced. The Liberals, NDP and Green party essentialy proposed putting a sign on the lawn saying, "Alberta is Closed for Business" The Wildrose Alliance had no chance of forming a majority and little chance of gaining offical party status. So what to do?

In the end I voted Alliance, not that I thought my candidate would win (in fact I didn't know he existed until I saw his name in the list of candidates at the voting booth) I thought by registering my vote with the Alliance the Conservative party would recognize that they have moved too close to the center-left instead of being the center-right.

By not voting my message would have been that I did not care, and that is not the case, but by voting I do earn the right to complain, and that is something, and who knows, maybe the Conservatives will tread more carefully on the path to the left.

Posted by: Cardstonkid at March 4, 2008 1:11 PM

Cardstonkid:

Huh?

After electing 72 members, I'm sure the Conservatives are running scared now.

Posted by: set you free at March 4, 2008 1:20 PM

I too voted for the Wildrose Alliance. My riding is a safe Tory seat, so I figured I'd throw a bone to the conservative alternative. I was hoping they'd gain a few rural ridings.

Posted by: RM at March 4, 2008 1:35 PM

Ed can make it a democracy by having every vote and open vote.

Does anyone thing that Taft will use that new Dion tactic of walk out of every vote?
You think it tizzy being hoposition? wont be in Alberta.

Posted by: cal2 at March 4, 2008 2:42 PM

Cbc news at noon 45 mins hillary vs obama'At 1245
a 3 min piece on Con party landslide in Alerta then right back to whats happening in USA.Why are we paying for this sh##?

Posted by: madasl at March 4, 2008 2:50 PM

Global Calgary had a political science professor on their newscast last night. I think his name was David Tarras.. He deduced that the pollsters were so out of touch because of the number of people that now use cellphones and therefore they could not reach as many as they would have liked.Sounds good until one realizes that most of the people who rely exclusively on landlines are the old farts(like me),and we tend to vote conservative.I would suggest that the pollsters slanted their questions and then analysed the info until they came up with the completely wrong answer.

Posted by: wallyj at March 4, 2008 3:16 PM

One of the three or four messages that the Lady With the Laptop on CTV read out last night was from some disgruntled woman who claimed that she was about to move to BC post haste and would shortly be joined by about 800,000 others. That's not possible since there are only a few thousand dippers in Alberta and most of them live in comfortable and expensive homes within half a mile of my place. They aren't likely to leave because they have tenure at U of A.
By the way, if you want a few laughs, read the Sound Off area on the Edmonton Journal website. The usual suspects are really suffering from next day hangover. The predominant theme is Alberta = USSR, though I'm sure that most of them don't object at all to the Castro regime's 49 year tenure.

Posted by: itlog95 at March 4, 2008 3:28 PM

You know, it really isn't a good thing to have ANYONE in power for 11 straight governments. Don't get me wrong, the Alta PCs are way better than the other choices, but they have gotten awfully comfortable and, thanks to gushers of oil dough, they haven't had to make a lot of hard dscisions (I know, we should all have such problems). Still, sooner or later there will be a crunch, and then we'll see what they are made of. I would just hate to see a lefty takeover because the Tories got too incumbent. Every government needs a good opposition - preferably a loyal one - but in Ottawa that's tough to get. God needs the Devil. The Beatles needed The Rolling Stones. Even Diane Sawyer needed Katie Couric. Will you be my...Katie Couric?

Posted by: holdfast at March 4, 2008 3:30 PM

I no longer live in Canada so my Canadian news is a little less than when I lived in Alberta. Yet, I am surprised by the responses I see here and on the Shotgun. I am certainly not surprised by the election results.

Consider the analogy of a consumer that has a 5-8 year old vehicle and considers it time for a change. I am simply choosing a time frame that is considered old enough by many to require a change and yet at the same time not yet quite old enough to be a true wreck. The consumer has lots of time to shop. Presumably he is an experienced owner and knows both a good price and a good vehicle when he sees one.

Albertans decided last night that they are going to continue shopping. This is what a wise and prudent shopper does. The Liberals/NDP are the used car dealerships. The WAP may look promising but Albertans need to do more due diligence before purchasing and read more Consumer Reports articles. Now is not the time for the WAP and the time may also not be in the next election. Albertans will revisit the issue next election. Until then, they will use the old vehicle to take the kids to soccer, hockey and piano and get themselves to work.

Posted by: Brent Weston at March 4, 2008 3:54 PM

I've been busy today so I haven't had much time to surf.

I have two things to say on this post:

1) The media are pitiful. They really, really, don't get it.

2) God damn I love Alberta. I'll have to email a few relatives out in Calgary and thank them. Too bad for me out in the land that brains forgot (better known by the media as "Home" or Ontario as it is officially called.)

Posted by: Warwick at March 4, 2008 3:57 PM

Sorry about the 50% estimate earlier. I got that off of Rutherford about 9:30 pm last night. the lower turnout may have to do with the #of people moving into the province (approx 20% have been here for 10 yrs or less).

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 4:56 PM

I did the "hold your nose" vote for the PC's as well. My better half was braver and voted WAP. I didn't see the WAP as strong enough to do anything but weaken the PC vote, and I even overestimated that. If we want a more conservative presence in Alberta politics we will have to start supporting a more right wing party like the WAP long before the next election so that by then they are a viable choice.

Posted by: Gus at March 4, 2008 5:52 PM

You are right Gus, of course another alternative is to become an active member of the PC party and try to change it from within.

Don't get me wrong the PC's are not THAT bad, but there are some troubling problems and let's face it the Tories are not going to be accountable to an effective opposition.

I may choose to become an Wildrose Alliance Party member or join the PC swarm and try to tend the garden that is prospering for the forseeable future.

Posted by: Cardstonkid at March 4, 2008 6:01 PM

Looks like all those undecided voters were liberals who stayed home.

Posted by: MaryT at March 4, 2008 6:21 PM

Further to cardstonkid's point re: change within. As I noted above, there were a lot of new candidates for the PCs this time around and many were elected (obviously) this fresh blood may go along way towards reinvigorating the party. Certainly the one I know personally is very much to the right of Mr. Ed.

Posted by: Gord Tulk at March 4, 2008 6:24 PM

Although the MSM will never report it, the vast majority of those "undecided" voters were former conservatives who were abandoned when Stelmach moved the party substantially to the left. It was therefore ridiculous to frame it as a nebulous "appetite for change". The only "change" wanted en masse was a return to conservatism. As a result, the popular vote for the Liberals and other fringe socialist parties remained unchanged. The undecided former conservatives stayed home, and the tories still won. Alberta is the only province where the conservative vote could be split in three, and they would still waltz away with a majority. Had Stelmach waited for a real conservative party to organize, the results may have been very different.

Posted by: Dave at March 4, 2008 6:43 PM

When Mulroney lost his way, I like many others had to bite the bullet and join the Reform Party in '88. We spent what seemed like an eternity in the political wilderness to make a point. The question still remains, was it worth it? The federal Conservatives seem to be having difficulty sticking to their knitting. Perhaps it will be better if/when they get a majority. In Alberta can we save the conservative movement and get it back on track before it loses its support and we end up governed by Liberals or worse for a generation?

Posted by: Gus at March 4, 2008 7:01 PM

Well, I've been out of the province since before the election was called, so I didn't get a chance to vote. Had I thought it was going to be a real cliff-hanger, I'd have made an extra effort to get relief for a few days.

I would have liked to see Ed get spanked from the right. I'm rather afraid he will take this mandate to mean that reneging on contracts with resource companies is acceptable behaviour.

Still, we could have done worse. A lot worse.

Posted by: gordinkneehill at March 4, 2008 7:07 PM

W3.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080304/cadman_questions_080304/20080304?hub=QPeriod

More crackerjack journalism from the "developmentally challenged" investigators at bell globemedia

Posted by: mike at March 4, 2008 8:03 PM

I couldn't believe the news reports. What was the evidence of "appetite for change"? Was it wishful thinking? Or was it an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with Ed. Looking at the results from afar, it sure looks like the latter of the two. That means that Ed will have to tread carefully and the Conservative party and caucus will have to keep him in line with conservative principles. I hope that there is enough interest and sense of civic duty remaining in Alberta to motivate people with conservative values to remain/get involved and keep Alberta the shining example of what a properly run government can look like.

As to Alberta being run under a single party system, that is hogwash. There are other parties and if the population wanted to support them they could. The fact that Alberta votes conservative year after year just shows that most people there support the conservative principles. There has been a clear difference between what the conservative promise is and what the promise of the other parties is. Apparently, under Ed this difference is changing. Very dangerous I would think.

Posted by: rroe at March 5, 2008 12:43 AM

Cardstonkid,

"...let's face it the Tories are not going to be accountable to an effective opposition."

Sadly, you are correct. The media is just not that effective anymore ;)

Posted by: Warwick at March 6, 2008 10:22 AM

rroe: I think the media was making an assumption that if the Tories dropped at all in the polls leading up to the election, there would be an "appetite for change".

They were wrong, mind you, but that is likely the assumption that was made.

Posted by: Andrew at March 6, 2008 2:38 PM

Well I too voted for the PC's. A hold your nose vote. There was no WAP candidate to vote for. So I stayed with the PC's. I did however e-mail my MLA to say that I thought the PC's had better puff up the conservative part of their name. All in all, I am happy. I mean really who in their right mind would vote for a dolt who's party line is shut down the Economy.

Posted by: Tewchip at March 8, 2008 11:33 AM
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