A vote for the NDP is a vote for change; a vote for the Wildrose Party is a vote for the same old Tory dynasty

Posted on May 01, 2015, 1:25 am
8 mins

PHOTOS: Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley. Below: Premier Jim Prentice, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, neoconservative godfather Preston Manning.

With five new polls yesterday showing Alberta’s New Democrats approaching minority government territory and the “ooga-booga” fear campaign against the NDP beginning in earnest, perhaps it’s time for Albertans who urgently want to rid our province of this stale and entitled Tory government to think seriously about pushing the NDP to a majority.

PrenticeA poll by Ipsos for Global News showed Alberta’s NDP under the remarkable, charismatic leadership of Rachel Notley in the lead with the support of 37 per cent of decided voters. Both the Return on Insight survey done for the CBC and the Leger poll for Postmedia’s Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal indicated 38 per cent of decided voters supported the NDP. A ThinkHQ poll placed NDP support at 39 per cent. And, finally, a survey by EKOS suggests support for Ms. Notley’s NDP is at 42 per cent!

The pollsters’ interpretations of how this might play out vary, because support for each of the NDP, the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservatives seems to be concentrated in different parts of the province.

But clearly, if those numbers hold until Tuesday and voters make it to their polling stations, they could propel the NDP in minority government territory, which clearly accounts for the highly organized fear campaign now under way to keep this election from turning into Unlucky No. 13 for the Tories.

To be blunt about this, under these circumstances, a vote for the Wildrose Party is a vote to continue the nearly 44-year-old Progressive Conservative Government.

Many Wildrose supporters will have trouble imagining that this is true, and we can feel a lot of sympathy with them about that. No one wants to believe that the political leaders they have put their faith in could just walk away and join the government their own supporters desperately want to replace?

B_JEAN-2Yet we Albertans have all already watched that movie, not that long ago, and we know exactly how it ends.

Readers of this blog will know that I am no supporter of the Wildrose Party, but I liked and admired Danielle Smith and consider myself a friend of several people who are or were active in her former party.

So I was as shocked and dismayed as many Wildrosers when she walked across the floor with the majority of her caucus to join Premier Jim Prentice’s PC caucus in the Legislature. What an astonishing betrayal!

And apparently all it took was a phone call from Preston Manning, the godfather of the neoliberal/neoconservative right in Canada.

While I deeply disagree with Ms. Smith on many issues, I know her to be an intelligent and thoughtful person, so what this tells me is not that she lacked political sense or insight, but how much weight Mr. Manning really throws around on the political right in this province and country.

Given what has just happened, how can anyone believe the same thing won’t happen again if the Legislature is left in minority territory?

I flatly didn’t believe it when I first heard the rumours a mass floor crossing was about to be led by Ms. Smith.

Can anyone seriously think that the same phone call won’t be made to Mr. Prentice, or to Wildrose Leader Brian Jean? Of course it will be – although our chances of finding out about it this time will be considerably smaller that they were last December.

ManningAnd can anyone doubt that the result won’t be exactly the same as last time?

Of course, some cosmetics would have to be applied to make the PC-Wildrose coalition appear to be something different and new. And it’s true that some Wildrosers and some Tories will never trust or like each other again. But the fact remains, the pressure for a movement to unite the Alberta right will be strong enough that a vote for the Wildrose remains a vote for more of the same.

As for what Calgary Herald political columnist Don Braid, who coined the ooga-booga line above, cleverly called the last-minute PC “fright-wig campaign” against the NDP – something of a specialty for the Tory Party since it used it to good effect in 2012 to give Alison Redford her unexpected come-from-behind victory – brace yourselves, because we’re going to be hearing nothing but fear itself for the next few days.

The people behind the fear campaign understand, as readers of this blog should too, that the Wildrose Party and the PC Party really are the same thing, financed by the same corporations, led by people who have worked together and will again, motivated by the same principles, and certain to unite their parties sooner or later no matter what happens on May 5.

For their part, NDP voters must be committed, resolute and unshaken by this onslaught. Above all, this time, they must make it to the polls.

The Tories have the money and the machine to move their diminishing numbers of supporters to the polls. Don’t imagine for a moment that simply because their support is at unprecedented lows they are not still in the game.

Even before the election, polls like yesterday’s have been telling us clearly Albertans desperately crave change – less cynicism, more democracy.

In a minority Legislature, the chances are high they will not get it, because the Wildrose and PCs will make common cause – just as they have already done once.

So while it doesn’t have to be a huge majority, without an NDP majority, Albertans can easily be cheated of the change they desperately want.

Albertans need to make it a clear majority for the NDP in the only poll that really matters!

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

9 Comments to: A vote for the NDP is a vote for change; a vote for the Wildrose Party is a vote for the same old Tory dynasty

  1. May 1st, 2015

    I have downloaded the top 70 political Donations in Alberta for the years 2004 and 2010.. Of special interest is the very fat and shallow donations that went to the Wild Rose Party. I’ll type them up here they all appear to be the same company.

    Thorstein, Randy 92,000.00
    Thorstien, Kathleen 60,000.00
    “” Kathleen 90,000.00
    “” Carl 90,000.00
    Cascadia Motvation 90,000.00

    Perhaps Mr. Brian Jean showing his acute interest in Education in today’s news could tell us what a Motivation company expects back from these very nice donations if he should win???

    John Clark ·
    This spread sheet is up http://albertathedetails.blogspot.ca/2015/04/top-political-donations-2004-to-2010.html

  2. Chris

    May 1st, 2015

    Looking at polling numbers and such, I have to disagree with you Dave. If the Wildrose vote falls it will mostly go to the PCs. Many potential NDP seat gains in Calgary and rural Alberta will be lost without right-wing vote splits. A lot of right-wing voters may drift back to the PCs in fear of NDP economic policy.
    Also, after the floor-crossing fiasco the remaining Wildrose Party viscerally dislikes the PC Party. I think the greatest potential for co-operation in a minority house is between the NDP and Wildrose. Together they have a foot on the PC throat. Several accountability measures could be taken to permanently weaken the PC machine like outlawing corporate political donations and a purging of PC bagmen from the various boards and ministries under provincial control.
    The best thing for the NDP would be for the Wildrose to maintain their support.

    • Athabascan

      May 1st, 2015

      An NDP minority government with Wildrose co-operation? Now I’ve heard it all. Beam me up Scotty!

      David is absolutely correct in his analysis. He’s simply making it clear that if the NDP don’t win a majority, then the PCs and Wildrosers will jump into bed as soon as they can to annihilate the socialist/communist hordes at the gates.

      A vote for the Wildrose is a vote for the PCs and vice versa. As the saying goes, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

    • political ranger

      May 2nd, 2015

      spoken like a true, and truly terrified PC’er

      • Chris

        May 4th, 2015

        Please re-read my post and re-consider yours. Please take special note of where I suggest the NDP and Wildrose can finish off the PCs by outlawing donations and removing conservative bagmen (& bagladies) from boards, ministries, and the public service. Do you still think I am “PC’er”, terrified or otherwise?

        • May 5th, 2015

          Chris, I think you will find the new politic will clean house on their own with no help from you and I. Thoes bag people are the ones trying to save the PC on the net.

  3. pogo

    May 1st, 2015

    The best outcome is a majority NDP. The distant second best is the NDP leading a minority such that the Alberta electorate would scorch the earth if the government was brought down on it’s first budget. The third best is the NDP in opposition to fubar of WRP led minority, with all the attending backstabbing and revelations quelled by the hand of Preston, but not before the PCs lose a few to independent or floor crossing eventually ending in tears.

    We definitely need electoral reform as well as the obvious more sober (here’s lookin’ at ya Ralphy boyo) approach to fiscal responsibility. In my fantasy life I see all the ills since Premier bobble head Getty salved and repaired. Is it possible? Yes! And by the way, the editorial board of the Globular Fail can kiss my hairy…#[email protected]!!!

  4. Tom in Ontario

    May 1st, 2015

    You Albertans will be delighted to know that the Toronto Globe and Mail has decided that Jim Prentice is the best choice for your fair province. Just do what you’re told, willya?

  5. political ranger

    May 2nd, 2015

    As you know, David, I have been disappointed, discouraged and disgusted by any number of events in my time here in the province that time and good sense has forgotten, but last nite on TV was the most … ??? … words escape me.
    To see those puffed-up fat-cat local corporate titans warning all Albertans to ‘vote the right way’ just took my breath away. And pissed me off. And scared me.

    This truly is the Alberta way; do as you’re damn well told and no lip back either, or else.
    One says that he can’t afford a tax hike. Basic economics tells us that if a product or service is desired people will demand it, and supply and demand will determine it’s price in a free market. This spoiled and entitled person is not a businessman; he is just another Tory crony sucking up the wealth from the massive exploitation of public natural resources.
    Another says that this is not the time to experiment with government. We have run a governance experiment for the last 30 years and failed and tried again and failed and failed time and time again. It’s long past time to recognise that an ignorant, myopic and irresponsible governance model simply does not work.

    But I can’t forget that this Tory dynasty wasn’t taken ‘from the people’; it was made possible ‘by the people’, an expression of their collective will. Recent events are certainly not the first time that PC leadership has screwed up or screwed the electorate … but they just keep getting elected. Very sobering, very scary.


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