Opposition New Democratic Party Leader Rachel Notley on the campaign trail shortly before the May 29, 2023, general election (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

It would be a pity if the coming NDP leadership race got sidetracked into a silly fight about whether Alberta Opposition party should change its name. 

Former Calgary-Currie NDP MLA Brian Malkinson, who thinks the NDP should change its name (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

But exactly that could happen when former premier Rachel Notley announces her intention to retire from politics, which I hear will happen soon after the fall sitting of the Legislature ends on Dec. 7.

That’ll be the 82nd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbour, by the way, and if Ms. Notley pulls the plug on that day, we’ll all remember what we were doing at the exact moment we heard the news. 

Just kidding. But it is true that New Democrat circles in Alberta are abuzz with speculation about who will run to replace Ms. Notley, who has firmly said no to campaigning for the job, and who is already recruiting campaign managers and campaign volunteers. 

So the last thing Alberta New Democrats need to be spending a lot of time debating is what they should call the party if they don’t call it the NDP – because, of course, calling it anything but the NDP is an extremely bad idea. 

So let’s deal with this silly idea and dispatch it quickly and hope the largest Opposition in Alberta history can get down to the serious question of figuring out who can lead a party that Ms. Notley fashioned to a significant extent in her own image.

Calgary-Currie MLA Janet Eremenko (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

And not just who can hold the party together, or just beat Danielle Smith in the next election, but who can defeat whoever replaces Ms. Smith as leader of the United Conservative Party and premier. 

Because, let’s face it, politicians and the strategists they hire alike are famous for picking the best general to fight the last war. 

Ms. Notley stuck around after the debacle of the 2019 election because she accurately saw that in a short time Albertans would come to despise Jason Kenney, the smart-arse little Laurentian elitist who rode in from Ottawa in a fake-populist Tory-blue pickup truck.

She called that right, and had the May 29 election this year been a contest between parties led by her and Mr. Kenney, that very well could have tipped the balance in the NDP’s favour. 

But the UCP, its base unhinged by the inconvenience of obeying the rules during a pandemic, didn’t stick with Mr. Kenney, did they? They sent him packing and chose Ms. Smith, the glib populist who gaslit her way to a narrow victory.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who no matter how many times the UCP repeats it is certainly not Ms. Notley’s “boss” (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

So the NDP needs a leader that can deal with the threat it faces in 2027, not just the one it faced in 2023, because they’re unlikely to be the same.

Meanwhile, we have former NDP MLA Brian Malkinson’s bright idea to defuse the constant references by the UCP to federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh as Ms. Notley’s “boss,” and their claims there is a “Trudeau-Notley-Singh alliance,” distracting everyone from the task at hand. 

Mr. Malkinson was elected in 2015 as the MLA for Calgary-Currie. He was defeated by the UCP candidate in 2019 by fewer than 200 votes. He might reasonably have expected, therefore, to be NDP candidate in 2023, but he was defeated for the nomination by Janet Eremenko, who handily won the riding in the general election by more than 3,000 votes. 

By setting up a group called Alberta’s Progressive Future, getting half a dozen former NDP candidates to clamber on board, and publishing a poll that suggests about half of Albertans think the federal party has some influence on the Alberta NDP, Mr. Malkinson is repeating and lending credibility to a corrosive UCP talking point that dates back to the days Jason Kenney ran the UCP. 

It may not bother anyone else, but it bothers me that Alberta’s Progressive Future seems to have been getting advice from a lobbying firm run by a former Wildrose MLA.

Be that as it may, it obviously wasn’t the NDP’s name that lost the 2023 election, it was “the Alberta NDP’s scattershot messaging and futile game of political whack-a-mole against Smith,” as political blogger Dave Cournoyer put it

Former UCP Premier Jason Kenney, the perfect foil for Ms. Notley – too bad he didn’t stick around (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

If the NDP wants to win the next election, it needs to focus on strategy, not tactics – and that strategy needs to zoom in on no more than three or four issues and hammer the UCP with them day after day. 

Alberta’s Progressive Future and Mr. Malkinson seem to have forgotten what the New Democratic Party has accomplished in the past decade. In the 2012 election, it had four seats and was the fourth party in the Legislature.

In 2015, it won a majority government, and in 2023 it came close enough again to put the fear of God in the UCP. It is on a track not just to win again, but to win sustainably. 

Changing the party’s name would divide the party’s supporters, drive away a significant portion of its base, and hose away much of the hard work done to implant the idea in Albertans’ minds the NDP is the only Alberta party that offers government by grownups.

I’d suggest that the survey by Janet Brown, a respected pollster, is a sign of the party’s growing credibility, not evidence of a popular prejudice it can never overcome. But, of course, no one thought to run a similar poll in 2012, so we have no benchmark against which to measure change in public perception of the provincial NDP’s relationship with the federal party. 

I’d be willing to bet that trying to rebrand the party as the Progressive Originals, or whatever forgettable name Alberta’s Progressive Future has in mind, would be a marketing disaster on the scale of the now-defunct New Coke. The party would have to reintroduce NDP Classic just to hold four seats in the Legislature! 

That the NDP has the same name as a federal party isn’t “creating confusion for the average Alberta voter,” as Alberta’s Progressive Future patronizingly claims on its website, any more than the fact the UCP and the CPC both call themselves Conservatives is confusing anyone. 

Such connections are a strength for the UCP and a strength for the NDP. 

Mr. Malkinson’s worst idea, though, is that the NDP should give itself a new name, but not bother to formally split from the federal party. 

Talk about trying to eat your cake and have it too! 

If that happened and I were a UCP strategist, I’d mock them for it mercilessly and accuse them of trying to hide their relationship to the NDP – which would be fair.

The New Democratic Party has won before and can again. Alberta’s Progressive Future is a brand that has no future. The NDP needs to forget about it now. 

Henry Kissinger, war criminal, is dead at 100

Only one news organization seems to have summed up the life of former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger accurately and appropriately in a headline, and that was Rolling Stone: “Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies.” Mr. Kissinger was 100. He is said to have the blood of at least three million people on his hands. Literally no more needs to be said. 

CORRECTION: None of the former NDP candidates who have supported Alberta’s Progressive Future were elected on May 29. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier version of this story.

Join the Conversation


  1. I agree the name change idea is one of the worst ideas in a while and surprisingly not from the usual source of bad ideas here, the UCP, who now must be quietly overjoyed at the thought of their opponents potentially shooting themselves in the foot or somewhere far worse.

    Why is this bad? Two examples. First the party formerly known as the BC Liberals who decided to change their name to the innocuous sounding BC United as they sensed the Federal Liberals were becoming more unpopular. Well the second part came true, but interestingly that renamef BC party’s poll numbers have fallen even more than their former namesake.

    Second example, there is a party in Alberta that has a great name, so innocuous and seeminly perfect – its the Alberta Party. However, for many years it has struggled to get much support and got no seats in the last two provincial elections.

    Voters don’t expect perfection and they may not agree with all the positions of the party they support. But they do want it to have at least some courage of its convictions and not to try and hide or run from them.

  2. The Alberta NDP doesn’t need to change their name. Peter Lougheed had a cabinet minister who compared Rachel Notley to him. Under Rachel Notley, we would have had been collecting the proper oil royalty rates, and tax rates, which Peter Lougheed got. Power and insurance costs would have been cheaper. The public healthcare and public education systems would be looked after. Poverty issues would have been addressed. Under the UCP we have the highest power prices in the whole country, poverty has increased, the environment isn’t being looked after, the public healthcare and public education systems are being damaged, to foster privatization, the bad tax polices and very costly shenanigans, are costing us billions of dollars, mass layoffs have happened, municipal property taxes are soaring, and there are many more other problems. When these phony Conservatives and Reformers are in power, this is what we can expect. With Danielle Smith and the UCP in power, it’s as if we have Ralph Klein back in power again. He did make a horrific mess, and Peter Lougheed knew that. The UCP are doing the very same thing. I’m not even sure if people regret letting the UCP have a second term, as their first term was bad enough.

  3. IMHO– Mr Malkinson should take into account;
    1. Dani changing party ,not just the name, and how well that turned out (tic)
    2. Kevin Falcon changing from Liberal to Bcup , so they’re not associated with the federal party, and now listening to- him, he made the mistake of not going all the way with the name change, because he’s sounding more and more like Skippy. * cue the ‘common sense ‘ wording.

    About that campaign advisor–if you’re looking for ‘advice’ from the opposition party, you need to reevaluate your own direction, I would think.

    Off topic, I guess, for today, interesting news about “Dow” coming to Alberta, and really interesting timing just as DS is getting ready to toddle off to COP-28. Hmmm??

    Thank you for giving us the credit to know what and for whom “E-times” stands for ,it’s just too bad that Skippy’s media adviser SSKAMski , didn’t tell his boss that he got his news from Fox, not CTV,
    unless PP is now working outright on his “fake news ” MSM campaign, which would not surprise me.

  4. Ex-Wild Rosers certainly don’t look out for the best interests of progressives. Focusing on a new leader capable of carrying a focused and driven message in the world of divisive, gaslighting, MAGA conservatives might be a better idea. The NDP took 44 percent of the popular vote in the 2023 election. Deceptive Danielle and the UCPisTBA dingbats are destroying the province. A win next time is possible. Why change names now? Ride the brand to victory, please, and stop those kakistocrat kooks before nothing is left of Alberta.

      1. Ok so, I know you’re not supposed to talk about them because it makes you sound like a “conspiracy” theorist (a term literally invented by the CIA) but the Rockefellers, and their legacy have as much or more to do with why alberta is like this than the woefully ineffective Republican Party, or the Kochs, of which only one is still even alive ? Koch industries processes a lot of bitumen from what I remember, but Albertas oil industry (and regulatory framework) was basically a whole cloth installation by the interests of standard oil, going back to the very beginning. Reagan Boychuck did a really great series on this history (the research is great, his prose could be better) everyone who visits this blog should read it at least once.

  5. There is ample ammunition for the NDP to now counter the UCP/TBA charge of Federal and Provincial NDP linkage. Why are the current NDP MLA’s rolling over when these stupid responses are given to them as an answer to a valid question. Just for starters:

    “The leaders come and go, folks,” he tells the crowd. “We need to control the party that’s in power.” https://globalnews.ca/news/9697493/take-back-alberta-david-parker-may-2023/

    “These are the people [UCP] that Jason Kenney said were the inmates taking over the asylum.” https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/like-a-coup-concern-mounts-over-growing-influence-of-take-back-alberta-1.6338984

    “We are coming for you, and we will not rest until your evil communist ideology is eradicated from the face of this province. Sincerely, -Take Back Alberta.” https://albertapolitics.ca/2023/10/take-back-albertas-david-parker-maga-rabble-rouser-or-establishment-elitist/

  6. “But it is true that New Democrat circles in Alberta are abuzz with speculation about who will run to replace Ms. Notley, who has firmly said no to campaigning for the job, and who is already recruiting campaign managers and campaign volunteers.”

    I had to read that twice.
    “But it is true that New Democrat circles in Alberta are abuzz with speculation. Who will run to replace Ms. Notley? Who has firmly said no to campaigning for the job? And who is already recruiting campaign managers and campaign volunteers?”

    About the name change, Notley’s party is not your father’s NDP.
    Not Jagmeet Singh’s NDP, either.
    Notley repeatedly attacked her federal colleagues over pipelines. Notley’s NDP also attacked environmentalists and pipeline opponents.
    In the Oct 2019 federal election, Notley initially refused to publicly support the federal NDP candidate Heather McPherson in Edmonton Strathcona. Notley had nothing to gain. The AB NDP had already gone down to defeat in April.
    You can support Notley’s energy/climate policies or the federal NDP’s. You cannot do both. They are mutually inconsistent. Irreconcilable.

    Clearly, the vision and principles of the AB NDP and federal party ARE in conflict.
    It’s Notley who has fallen off the climate map, not Jagmeet Singh. It was the Alberta NDP who turned their backs on the federal party, not the other way around.

    I, for one, am glad to see Notley go. Her petro-progressivism was a strategic failure. Notley’s shift to the right on energy and climate both abandoned and damaged the progressive movement in Alberta.

    How about the “Not Danielle” Party?

  7. Back in the day, when the privatizers in Klein’s and Harper’s circle of filth wanted to neutralize an organization so it could not defend itself, they diverted the leadership with useless meetings to “modernize” its mission, mandate, and rebrand itself.

    Compared to the alternatives the worst criticism of both flavours of the NDP is their inclination to be distracted off-message by chasing the latest trendoid nonsense. Which is typical of high functioning intellectuals that get easily bored with the daily drudgery of focused political work. This rebranding idea does not even have the dubious virtue of being new.

    1. Might I add that Rachael Notley is packing them in in Edmonton, Red Deer and other places where the NDP has held meetings on the idea of an Alberta Pension Plan? So, I’m not sure she is actually the spent political force some may wish. She is being proven correct by the UCP quickly enough that people still remember her.

      Although I agree completely with Mr. Pounder’s views on the critical nature of getting off fossil fuels, we have to meet people where they live, so, I’m not sure the NDP’s “petrol progressiveism” was such a bad idea. After all it got them elected in 2015 and I think more people are ready to listen to real progressive energy policies, especially after the manifest idiocy of stopping renewable electricity and battery storage projects. This is another area where the NDP have some easy pickings.

      As Mulroney is reported to have said: “you’ve got to dance with the one that brung you” and it is Rachael that brought us here.

      1. I believe in the “Willy Sutton rule” of electoral politics: look for votes where the voters are.

        (For those who don’t know, Willy Sutton was a famous bank robber who, when asked why he robbed banks, replied, “because that’s where the money is”).

        In politics, this means sticking with mainstream policies that a plurality of voters can go along with. In the context of Alberta politics, advocating a radical shift away from fossil fuels is an absolute non-starter, and would condemn Alberta to decades more of one-party conservative rule. If the NDP were to follow Mr Pounder’s advice, it would be political suicide.

        1. So if the majority of Albertans do not subscribe to progressive values, no political party should defend progressive values?
          Politics is also about standing up for values you believe in. Selling the policies you believe in to voters. Otherwise, why bother?
          What does Notley’s NDP believe in? What values do they stand for?
          What principles are they willing to defend? What policies will they abandon in pursuit of power?

          Jerrymacgp embraces Ralph Klein’s philosophy: See which way the parade is headed and get in front of it. That’s not leadership. That’s followship.

          Jerrymacgp: “look for votes where the voters are”
          Call it “selling out”.

          There are more important things than power. Principles.
          If you sell your principles for power, what have you gained?

          What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul?
          What does it profit a political party to gain power if it must sacrifice its principles?
          Now that’s political suicide.

          “These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.” (Groucho Marx)
          “Politicians are weathervanes when they are supposed to be compasses.”

          Besides which, chasing the UCP to the right is a losing strategy.
          Notley tried to outconservative the conservatives on pipelines. A pipeline project became the rallying flag for Albertans, whose sense of grievance against Ottawa burns eternal. Fuelling the right-wing rage machine.
          Pandering to fossil fuel dinosaurs just fed the right-wing frenzy. Stoking Albertans’ perennial resentment over pipelines and everything else under the sun only helped the UCP. Most pipeline boosters would not vote NDP if Notley built a billion pipelines.
          With no hopes for re-election against a united Conservative party, the NDP had nothing to gain by shifting right. Stoking Albertans’ perennial resentment over pipelines and everything else under the sun only helped the UCP. Albertans who support neoliberal energy policies will just vote for the real thing.
          Notley’s pipeline hysterics only inflamed Albertans against the NDP and alienated her own supporters. Notley’s shift to the right was a disaster for the NDP and the progressive cause in Alberta. A major blunder.

          Jerrymacgp: “advocating a radical shift away from fossil fuels is an absolute non-starter”
          That’s reality. Sooner or later, the world will shift away from fossil fuels. Failing to prepare Albertans for that eventuality is irresponsible. Doubling down on fossil fuels when the world is on the verge of turning away from them sets Albertans up for massive economic crashes and upheaval.
          Notley’s faithful need to face reality. Get with the program. Or get left behind.

  8. It’s a rare moment when I disagree with you, but changing the name of the New Democratic Party to something like Alberta Progressive Party has a lot more merit than you suggest.
    Because of the province’s inherent conservatism, the label NDP has been a red flag to countless Albertans with their knee-jerk voting habits. In my view, the NDP has a proud record here, but the majority of citizens here don’t seem to think so. You might reasonably argue that more recent arrivals here don’t carry the same prejudice against the name, but a substantial Anything-But-NDP crowd is going to be around for a while.
    Change in name is not the end of the world. The UCP is recent coinage that doesn’t seem to have hurt public recognition of that party.
    Obviously, in my mind, it has to be a formal change. And, if it means a widening between the provincial and federal parties, I think that is manageable, too. The sky won’t fall.
    The sky will fall, though, if the provincial party doesn’t get its act together and promote a sane and progressive alternative to the absolute insanity we’re going through now. During the past horrendous few months, the NDP, or whatever people want to call it, has been seriously MIA.
    I, like many Albertans, am extremely grateful to Rachel Notley for her contributions to our province. But, there are other talented people in the wings ready to take on a leadership role. Let some positive renewal take place. And, if that involves a change in name, let’s be open to and confident about ongoing evolution of the Party.

  9. If some people choose to run as “Progressives”, there will still be a New Democratic Party, and I will suppport it.

  10. The NDP needs to relentlesly hammer the UCP on heathcare. I tell anyone who complains about heath care to blame it on Smith and the UCP caucus. They took it over, they own it.
    Shows a lack of political sophistication. Former Alberta Governments at least put Boards in place so that Voters could not as easily draw a line from their concerns to Government policy. For example, School Boards working so hard to get the best outcome for students, when the real problem was chronic under funding. Parents will blame the Board or the Teachers but tend not to blame the Government.

  11. Notley won in 2015 by praising Peter Lougheed for what he had done for this province and promising to get our royalties and corporate taxes back up to his levels. She started by raising the taxes by 2% and because of the oil industry crash of 2014 couldn’t do it quickly and most people understood that. Yet in 2023 she completely blew it when she announced with no explanation that she had to increase taxes by 3% and it shot her down. If she had explained why she may have gotten away with it.

  12. If only the Alberta NDP would read this column and take it to heart. The NDP would save a lot of money and embarrassment and not be in the pickle they are in presently. As for a new leader, my fear is they will pick a dreamy eyed romantic and the NDP will be back to 2012 after the next election. The NDP need to bring Brian Mason out of retirement.

  13. It seems that this whole distraction flu that’s going around it hitting everyone.

    While the UCP are gaslighting and lying like the S.O.Bs they are, the ABNDP is thinking about changing the name of their party because of … Jagmeet Singh? Associations with PMJT are, for now, poisonous to anyone who comes up with the rational notion of WORKING with the federal government for the benefit of Canadians, rather than falling into frenzied partisan bickering.

    The notion of an ABNDP name change is just more and needless distraction. A superficial paint job instead of actually tabling better policy options than the grifting UCP.

    Maybe it time to talk about the 800 lbs gorilla in the room … it’s time for Notley to take a walk into the snow.

  14. The real reason the NDP didn’t win this year’s election is simple: they haven’t been able to crack the code of winning seats in “Otherland” — journalist Jason Markusoff’s term for those parts of Alberta outside Calgary and Edmonton. “Rural” isn’t the right word — by no stretch of the imagination can a city of over 100,000, such as Red Deer or Lethbridge, be called “rural” — but the small and mid-sized cities seem to vote as if they were.

    The UCP’s dominance of “Otherland” gives them a serious leg up on the New Democrats in terms of seat count before a single big-city vote is counted. Until the NDP figures out how to appeal to voters in the mid-sized and small cities, as well as genuinely rural areas, they have a huge hill to climb to win another election.

    1. jerrymacgp: Here’s what went down, and why the UCP got a second term. Rural Albertans are stubborn, and follow family voting patterns, without questioning it. They vote for anything Conservative, because that’s what their family had done for generations. Even though the Conservatives stabbed rural Albertans in the back, in so many ways, including the CPC selling the Canadian Wheat Board to the Saudis, even though 62 percent of farmers wished to keep it, the Alberta PCs did the $400 million BSE bailout boondoogle, the UCP wanting to pursue open pit coal mining in the Rockies, and so on, it doesn’t matter to them. Furthermore, the media was fully complacent, and never held the UCP to account for what they were doing wrong. That’s how the UCP won a second term.

    2. People vote their material interests, especially in the heartland.

      I will give you an example from a recent conversation I had with a friend who hails, like I do, what from where rural and urban meet.

      People in rural communities are much more active in their churches than folks who live in the city. Does this mean that folks who live in rural settings are all superstitious or overly pious, or are they advancing their material interests ? Let’s look!

      Obviously, it’s their material interests. Not only do they get the support of a community of likeminded individuals and a social network to gather in, the church represents the largest business network in the community, it’s the broadest social network as well, for finding a spouse, a best friend, or someone you can count on when your horse busts through the fence. Does that mean you get up every day and do your devotions or pray the rosary ? Probably not, and it’s not super common for these folks to all be teetotalers or culture warriors either.

      Will the NDP make any inroads in these communities until they make actual investment in the folks that live there, their community networks, and their material interests ?

      Hell no. Not a chance of a snowflake in hell.

  15. A rose by any other name…..not! A name is vitally important. For many, it is a touchstone, a reminder of why they vote. A name has history as well as a future for the first time voter. Please keep it as is: the Alberta New Democratic Party. Ok, shorten it to Alberta New Democrats. On second thought, leave it alone.

    1. I agree that changing the name is dumb. I kinda expect them to do it though, since I they seem out of ideas otherwise.

  16. When biotech giant Monsanto was identified as the paragon of corporate evil, it broke itself into subsidiaries and gave them different names—none even rhyming with “Monsanto.”

    When the Saskatchewan conservative party was outed as the pinnacle of political corruption in Canada, it changed its name to the least imaginative or identifying thing possible: the Saskatchewan party.

    When the BC Liberal party, stealthy saboteur of public enterprises and corrupt privatization scams, lost its minority in 2017 and its secret record of perfidy was revealed, it was soundly defeated in the 2020 election; facing their tattered reputation and failing to offer policy alternatives that don’t remind of their exposed crony-insider system of ‘pay-to-play,’ the only thing party members could successfully elect was a name-change—which is just as much a misnomer as “liberal” was for this far-right movement.

    When Reform founder and leader Preston Manning realized the impossibility of his party flying into power after chopping off Quebec’s conservative wing, he attempted to “unite the right” with what was ultimately a simple name-change to Reform-a-CRAP-a-Con Alliance. Its members decided to also change the name of its leader to Stockwell Day (or was it “Doris”?) who was so incompetent that a dozen Alliance MPs changed their name to Democratic Representative Caucus. The DRC formed a parliamentary alliance with the ProgCon rump—until Stephen Harper won the leadership of the Alliance —and the ProgCons terminated their alliance. When PC MP Peter MacKay won the leadership after promising not to amalgamate the party with Harper’s Alliance, he secretly agreed with Harper to fold the veteran ProgCon party into the Alliance but, to paper over this treachery the new party was renamed to CPC—appropriately since most loyal ProgCons quit the arranged marriage anyway. Ever since trying and failing to change Canada’s name from sovereign nation to 51st state of the Republican States of America, the CPC has changed the name of its leader four times without winning power (perhaps another name-change is in order).

    Changing a party name is done to disassociate it from its checkered past, an attempt to hide its sins and to fool voters into thinking it’s any different than the party which earned such disrepute. Alberta’s NDP, in contrast, relieved Albertans of a moribund government by winning an upset victory in 2015. Although admittedly winning by default, Rachel Notley surprised voters by her steady leadership and sensible governance. While her NDP failed to get re-elected, the party managed to hang onto several times more seats than it traditionally held and form a capable Loyal Opposition during very troubled times (K-Boy, Covid, Sasquatch, &c). The NDP substantially increased that number in last spring’s general election, the FPtP system typically obscuring how closely-run that contest was. None of that is something to hide or run away from; the NDP is in excellent position and trending to win back government in 3-1/2 years.

    Certainly this isn’t the time for the NDP to change names. That “Jagmeet’s the boss of Rachel” thing is twaddle even right-wingers understand.

    Changing one’s name is suspect and shows weakness in a political party. The Alberta NDP is neither of those in the absolute sense.

    But, if they have to, I’d accept New New Democratic Party Party (after all, why did Olivia Newton John marry Elton John, divorce him, then marry Wayne Newton? —Because she wanted to be called Olivia Newton Newton John John).

  17. Rural Albertans and a lot of seniors have this word conservative brainwashed into them and they would vote for a bale of hay if you called it a conservative bale of hay. Poilievre is going to win at the federal level thanks to these ignorant Canadians and you can bet he will be trying to destroy our Public Health Care system right where his pal Stephen Harper left off and once again who do we see praising him? Easy to fool seniors of course. Southern Albertans can’t wait to have him elected, too dumb to realize what he will do to them.
    I have a letter in the Calgary Herald today about how I feel about the stupid hiring of Jim Dinnig and Dr.Lyle O’Berg whom the former conservative MLAs that I knew blamed for the financial mess in Alberta and the destruction of our healthcare system.

    1. Nope, people everywhere vote for their material interests, this is ESPECIALLY true of small rural communities where everyone knows everyone else and it’s much more important to be seen as “in” the community than outside its interests.

      I spent some time living in a mountain community in this province, very much one of these places that is rural and urban at the same time.

      A new mine was proposed, the cost benefit analysis I will not get into because that’s not the illustrative part of the story.

      A successful retailer in the town wrote an impassioned op-ed against the mine. He went out of business within a matter of months and EVERYONE else in the town, small and chain businesses alike added a qualifier to their signs that they supported said mine.

      People felt their material interests were threatened and they used the material interests of their community members to browbeat them back into line.

      I’ve been out of touch with said community for a long time now, and guess what, the mine is already closed, the retailer was right ; it was permanently scarring, ecologically damaging, limited economic benefit to anyone other than the multinational that owned it, and was damaging to the very social fabric of the town.

      Not for nothing, all things an engaged and passionate oppositional party should have been pointing out rather than focusing all their energy on the cities; and handwaving that rural folks are all idiotic dupes.

  18. As a ‘Lougheed Conservative’ (social liberal, fiscal conservative) by temperament, who has willingly, and thankfully, parked his vote with the NDP in the recent past, I tend to look at the question of a name change more with cold logic than nostalgia. And cold logic tells me that if I were a UCP supporter I would be thinking to myself, how bad could UCP policies be if the opposition is spending its time basically looking in the mirror. C’mon NDP, there are a thousand and one serious issues to deal with these days, and if you’re not doing it, how on earth do you expect to win an election? As for a name change, set it aside. A time will come to look into it. But it sure as hell isn’t now.

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