Meanwhile in Alberta - is a once-in-a-lifetime electoral shift in the offing?

I’m curious - what’s the polling in Alberta? the Wild Rose Party seems to be generating a lot of buzz, even the aside from the [del]boobs[/del] bus issue.

Election is April 23rd, right? Is this shaping up to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime elections where Albertans actually change their government? Since Alberta joined Confederation in 1905, Albertans have only changed their government three previous times, in 1921, 1935, and 1971 - is this going to be the fourth time?

(It strikes me as totally bizarre that only someone who was old enough to vote in 1967 (i.e., born in 1946 or earlier, so currently 66 or older) can say that they voted in a government that was not Progressive Conservative, but that’s Alberta.)

It is indeed the 23rd. (have to take the Sparks elsewhere - our usual meeting place is a polling station)

According to the media, the Wildrose is in the lead.
I would say we are headed for a minority government, with a female leader. I don’t think I’d like to wager on which female though.

IMHO the last thing this province needs is a more conservative party.

This article has been making its way around Facebook.

I would agree. I was cautiously impressed by Danielle Smith, but the latest thing about “conscience rights” has caused me to flee quite firmly away.

(Hope the link works - I’m not real savvy at this…)

I live in the Edmonton-Rutherford riding, which is apparently a swing riding. I’m not fully decided how I’ll vote, except that it’ll be against the Wild Rose. That probably means voting for the PCs, but I’d better keep an eye on the polls in case the Liberals squeak ahead of them.

Smith really rubs me the wrong way. First she talks about fiscal policy in very ideological (perhaps even naive) terms, and then she talks about conscience laws and whatnot.

I’ve been reading the platforms for all the parties, and I am not comfortable with the Wildrose Party or the Liberals at this point. My next reading will be the Conservative platform - I don’t expect any surprises, since they’ve been in power as long as I’ve been in Alberta (22 years), and I think I have a fair idea what they stand for. I like the Alberta Party, but there doesn’t seem to be a chance of them winning.

The Wildrose Party actually has a good platform, but the social regressive stuff bothers me too much to vote for them. Smith says they won’t go there, but I have my doubts. The idea of sending every Albertan an oil rebate cheque strikes me as a terrible idea - the oil will run out some day (in my lifetime, I believe), and that money could be put to better use to hedge against the day when we don’t have riches of natural resources. But that doesn’t give the average citizen his Bread and Circuses. :rolleyes:
The Alberta Party platform. (PDF.)

Progressive Conservative Party platform. (I guess. It’s hard to tell.)

NDP Party platform. You can apparently download the NDP Party platform from here - it isn’t working for me.

Wildrose Party platform.

Liberal Party platform. (PDF.)

Find out where you fit on the political landscape.

According to a simple reading of the Vote Compass Cat helpfully provided, me and Danielle are best buds.
Going further into it - I can see why my answers arrive at that, which makes me feel a bit better.
Wild Rose and I share similar opinions on the oil industry and a couple of other places, but their “social values” talk in the last week or so is a total deal-breaker.

Lucky Canucks . . . living in a riding sounds way cooler than living in a district.

Thing is that social conservative issues are mostly federal jurisdiction, not provincial. There’s not a whole lot that provincial governments can do to limit gay rights and such. Allow marriage commissioners to refuse to marry gays? Whoop-de-doo. The United Church marries gays, and they’re all over the place. Not that I support allowing marriage commissioners to refuse to marry gays, but doing so amounts to a mild hassling of gay rights, not any significant restriction.

I guess they could try to de-fund abortion services.

I do like a lot of their platform, but their social values don’t align with mine, either. The whole thing about public referenda and “conscience rights” makes me uneasy.

I agree with these points, but I don’t like the idea of Alberta electing a party that seems to confirm the reputation Alberta has for being full of right-wing rednecks that want to do away with abortion and same-sex marriage.

Oh hell, I wouldn’t consider voting for them based on their social conservatism, myself. I’m just saying that the damage they can do is limited.

And our ridings have names, not those bland numbers you guys use!

I’m not sure that’s the best criteria for picking a party to vote for - “The federal government and the laws of Canada limit the damage this party can do.” :smiley:

Well that and they require support from the public.

I’m a believer in direct democracy, yet it’s entirely likely that no reasonable person* will support it for decades, despite how simply it could be conducted online.

  • Yes, I include myself in lack of reasonableness.

The problem is that Wildrose is playing to that part of the electorate which doesn’t know that a Wildrose government simply cannot deliver on some of their platform because they’d be stepping into the federal government’s territory. For example, here in southern Alberta, where you find many very religious and conservative people (fundamentalist Christians and Mormons) who seem to be extremely ignorant of the division of powers as mandated by the Constitution, it is a persuasive platform. And Wildrose doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to tell them that what they want is something they should take up with Ottawa, not Edmonton. Right now, Wildrose’s job is to get elected as the government, so if these people will help them achieve that goal, then Wildrose will tell them whatever they want to hear. Not exactly kosher, perhaps, but a reality of politics, it seems.

There are a few things to like in the Wildrose platform–let’s face it, the Alaska government has been handing out oil revenue cheques to its residents for years, so why can’t Alberta? But there is a lot I don’t like either, and I’m not sure if the pros outweigh the cons.

If you’re absolutely swimming in cash, it might be a good idea, but we have schools and roads and hospitals to build.

Also, Alaska (last time I looked) didn’t exactly hand out oil revenues: what got distributed was a percentage of the previous year’s dividends. The principal — the revenues themselves — were never touched.

That may have changed, and probably will change as royalties decline. But the idea was to build a solid foundation for the time when oil revenues weren’t there anymore.

We do have the Alberta Heritage Fund, aka the Rainy Day Fund. I’d prefer throwing it in there versus just handing out cheques, but best of all would be building infrastructure with it.

I can agree with you on that one, but I’d like to see more than just roads, schools, and hospitals. For example, I’d like to see a passenger rail link between Edmonton and Calgary, with future expansions to Fort MacMurray and Lethbridge. Right now, if you don’t want to drive between cities, your only choices are buses, which aren’t as frequent as they could be; and air travel, which is expensive–and in the case of Edmonton, inconvenient, as the Edmonton airport is so far out of town, it may as well call itself “Leduc International.” And two of those three choices are impractical if weather closes Highway 2, as happens a few times each winter.

Having lived in southern Ontario, and having experienced how inexpensive and how convenient train travel is (no snowstorm ever stopped a train I was on from getting to Montreal, Ottawa, or Windsor; or for that matter, to downtown Toronto on a commuter train), I am surprised that such a thing does not exist here. Instead, there are calls to widen Highway 2, which does nothing to address the winter closures.

I’d be willing to forego an oil revenue cheque if a rail link was part of any party’s platform. But it doesn’t seem to be.