Alberta

hobbyguy
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Re: Alberta

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fluffy wrote: Oct 23rd, 2021, 10:44 am UCP threatened on 2 flanks as NDP leads and support surges for Wildrose Independence Party, poll suggests

"A new poll suggests Alberta's governing United Conservative Party is running 11 points behind the NDP while a new threat is emerging on the right as support for the Wildrose Independence Party surges to 20 per cent."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/ ... -1.6059130

While an election may be as much as a year and a half away, the surge in support for the Wildrose Independence Party could be setting the stage for a replay, where the splitting of the Conservative vote opened the door for a takeover by Rachel Notely and the NDP, who are at this point in time polling well ahead of all other parties.

A big question facing the UCP caucus right now is whether or not Jason Kenney can repair his reputation well enough to be a contender for the Premier's chair, or failing that, can a replacement be found soon enough to gain a sufficient measure of support in the time remaining in this term.
Kenney himself is not the key. Yes, Kenney is the face of dysfunction - he always was incompetent on the governance side of the equation (not the political side), but Conservatives in general tend to rally 'round when push comes to shove. Just look at how they did so for O'Toole despite him being less popular in Alberta than Jagmeet (and even slightly behind Trudeau at one point!).

So if Kenney can navigate the herding of cats within the UCP, all will be well for Kenney and the UCP despite their obvious incompetence. Yup, they might lose a seat here or there to the NDP, but not enough to matter.
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fluffy
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Re: Alberta

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hobbyguy wrote: Oct 23rd, 2021, 11:11 amSo if Kenney can navigate the herding of cats within the UCP, all will be well for Kenney and the UCP despite their obvious incompetence. Yup, they might lose a seat here or there to the NDP, but not enough to matter.
The nature of politics in Canada for some time hasn't been to elect a new government as much as it has been to fire the old one. Politicians have become more and more willing to play the game of giving voters something to be angry at and convincing them that they are the only ones able to deliver them from evil. Elections are often won without a platform of any substance other than "let's get 'em". With the forecast of a nine billion dollar shortfall in oil tax revenues in the 2015 budget year Progressive Conservative Premier Jim Prentice bit the bullet and suggested that Albertans might have to help the province through the slump with things like medicare premiums and sales tax. The Wildrose Party latched on to that and made Prentice the "enemy", making the mistake of not considering the NDP as a significant threat as they only held four seats at the time. Notely's NDP campaigned on a plan to boost taxes to both corporations and high income earners, not bowing at all to the temptation of negative campaign tactics. With the vote on the right effectively split, a significant number of defections from the right to the left, and by sweeping all the major population centers the NDP came out with a majority government. Fast forward to Kenney uniting the PCs and Wildrose Party and making Notely and the NDP the "enemy", the 2019 election went to the UCP. But, like their federal counterparts, the Alberta conservatives are split ideologically and that is costing them. The farther right Wildrose Party has rebranded into a separatist party, giving Albertans a new enemy in Ottawa, and playing Kenney off as ineffectual in representing Albertans. Albertans in general still want somebody to blame. The oil & gas industry will never regain its former glory, producers have found that streamlining operations and reducing expenses to be more than effective in making up for lower prices, resulting in fewer jobs and lower wages. Many Albertans are no longer eating up the story of woe that producers are pedalling as profits and stock prices no longer support it. This makes them a prime target for a left leaning campaign that will "take the fight to the rich". I don't think the NDP are out of the game by any stretch of the imagination, and while Rachel Notely might not be playing dirty to the extent that Kenney did last time around, she's not missing any chances to shine a spotlight on his blunders.
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Re: Alberta

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I agree with you on "the enemy" stuff. It ought not be the case, but that is a reality.

The UCP is an odd duck, with many "deals with the devil" just as the CPC is. The selection of Jason Kenney as a "savior" was always weird given his obviously buffoonish handling of the TFW issue while a federal cabinet minister. Kenney's lack of judgement (including supporting the invasion of Iraq) was always on display from the get go.

I still think that right won't split the vote, not that the Wildrose bunch won't try. The voters themselves may rally behind the UCP as the UCP will use the NDP as a bogeyman. Assuming Kenney is still there, Kenney is very adept and shrewd at that kind of stuff.
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The Green Barbarian
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Re: Alberta

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hobbyguy wrote: Oct 23rd, 2021, 2:11 pm

I still think that right won't split the vote, not that the Wildrose bunch won't try. The voters themselves may rally behind the UCP as the UCP will use the NDP as a bogeyman. Assuming Kenney is still there, Kenney is very adept and shrewd at that kind of stuff.
And yet unlike man-made climate change, the NDP aren't an invented "bogeyman", Albertans already know the sloth and evil that the NDP bring. While I agree that Kenney is a dinosaur that needs to go, replacing the UCP with the NDP would be like chopping off your head because you have a minor ear-ache. It makes no sense.
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Re: Alberta

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hobbyguy wrote: Oct 23rd, 2021, 2:11 pmI still think that right won't split the vote, not that the Wildrose bunch won't try. The voters themselves may rally behind the UCP as the UCP will use the NDP as a bogeyman. Assuming Kenney is still there, Kenney is very adept and shrewd at that kind of stuff.
I've been listening to some interviews with Paul Hinman, the current leader of the Wildrose Independence Party and there can be little doubt that he sits at the far right end of the political spectrum, a prime spot from which to stir the pot of voter anger.



Does this sound like the sort of guy who will bow to the greater good of UCP victory or is he in it for himself ?
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Re: Alberta

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No surprise that more Albertans are ready to vote for Notley and the NDP than either the UCP or Wildrose Party. Albertans now know what dysfunction and self-serving corruption to expect from these conservatives and realize how good things were going for everyone by comparison under Notley's leadership, even grateful for her forward thinking in committing to infrastructure projects that kept many people working through Kenny's disastrous management of the economy. Most Albertans now realize that re-electing an extremist right-wing government would be like hitting your face with a hammer to stop the sniffles. It makes no sense.
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Re: Alberta

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As hobbyguy mentioned above, Kenney is a skilled politician, and I mean "politician" in the worst sense of the word. Notely and the NDP did an excellent job given the hand they were dealt, with the double tap of the oil price crash and the Ft. Mac wildfires. I highly doubt a business-friendly conservative government could have achieved anywhere close to the level of recovery that the NDP did. In stark comparison, Kenney's handouts to oil producers achieved nothing, and the oil patch workforce has been shrinking steadily even as oil prices and producer profits soar. His gross mismanagement of the pandemic, seemingly taking page after page from the Trump play-book of pandering to the far right base, has been exposed by record high infection rates, and a medical system that he gutted upon entering office has been strained to the max. I really can't see how he will make it through the next election, if he even gets that far. The chances that he can run the same scam on voters that he did in 2019 are somewhere between really slim and really, really slim.
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Re: Alberta

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Wow, the wheels are falling off Jason Kenney's decrepit Used Car Party.

This would translate into 60 seats for the NDP, and 27 for the Used Cars.

UCP would be wiped out in urban areas. (Sound familiar?)


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Re: Alberta

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fluffy wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 7:24 am As hobbyguy mentioned above, Kenney is a skilled politician, and I mean "politician" in the worst sense of the word. Notely and the NDP did an excellent job given the hand they were dealt, with the double tap of the oil price crash and the Ft. Mac wildfires. I highly doubt a business-friendly conservative government could have achieved anywhere close to the level of recovery that the NDP did. In stark comparison, Kenney's handouts to oil producers achieved nothing, and the oil patch workforce has been shrinking steadily even as oil prices and producer profits soar. His gross mismanagement of the pandemic, seemingly taking page after page from the Trump play-book of pandering to the far right base, has been exposed by record high infection rates, and a medical system that he gutted upon entering office has been strained to the max. I really can't see how he will make it through the next election, if he even gets that far. The chances that he can run the same scam on voters that he did in 2019 are somewhere between really slim and really, really slim.
If you look at Paul Hinman's background you will see that his political and family roots go back to the Ernest Manning Socreds (Ernest Manning used to host a radio program "Back to the Bible" while sitting as Alberta premier) and politically that means "Bible Bill" Aberhart. The political attitudes within that are "unique" and have a lot of bias in them, including a very strong dislike of Catholics and therefore Quebec. The rejection of Raoul Couette as the federal Socred leader is an informative incident in the evolution of a very "different" Alberta Socred group.

That strain of politics has always contained an element of reactionary rebellion against collective action/responsibility, modernity and change. "Back to the Bible" is symptomatic of a fixed outlook that rejects a priori reasoning and rationality in government. In fact it has elements of anti-government ethos sprinkled liberally throughout.

It is informative to consider that while the BC Socreds and WAC Bennett were forming BC Hydro, building dams and electrifying all corners of the province, the Ernest Manning and the Alberta Socreds rejected government involvement and left it up to farmers to form co-ops to build electrical grids to feed their farms. It is also informative to consider that up until 1959 Alberta used STV to elect their MLAs and it was the Alberta Socreds who killed STV (it is said because too many opposition MLAs were being elected). That gives some flavor to the differences.

Hinman's grandfather was a cabinet minister in the Ernest Manning Socred government. We all inherit some of our worldview from our parents and grandparents. That thread of political worldview is in the background of many Alberta families.

That worldview, bolstered as it always has been by the Western Standard, has always meant that Alberta has an outlook that is far less cosmopolitan and secular society oriented than other parts of the country and it transfers through the region where lifestyles have commonalities. It has elements that say "do not look to government to do things" and are suspicious of any government. The Hillier family has those elements in their background, Randy Hillier having been found to have harassed government officials and being so far right that Doug Ford got fed up with him and booted him from caucus.

The Hilliers and Hinman's would be happiest in Idaho County, Idaho where there are no zoning rules, no building codes etc., and government is almost invisible.

The group that hold that political worldview are relatively immutable. What is changing is the political landscape that surrounds them. Population growth in all of Canada is not organic, in fact our population is shrinking from an organic viewpoint. Alberta is no different, with Edmonton and Calgary attracting a lot of immigrants both from other countries and other provinces. Alberta is becoming more more urban and cosmopolitan. That creates a tension in Alberta politics that is hard to read.

Jason Kenney is a very adept politician but useless at anything else (I would be surprised if he knew which end of a hammer to hold). Yes, the pandemic mismanagement has been incredibly bad. However, that's from a viewpoint of those in other provinces. The old "Western Standard" viewpoint may not see it that way, and may not punish Kenney and UCP at all for their mismanagement - except in parts of Edmonton and Calgary.

I suppose the key point is that for a BC boy like me, trying to understand Alberta politics is like trying to learn Russian, the alphabet, inflections, phrasing are all different. My bet is that Jason Kenney is capable of reading that foreign language world of Alberta politics much, much better than it appears.
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Re: Alberta

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crookedmember wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 7:26 am Wow, the wheels are falling off Jason Kenney's decrepit Used Car Party.

This would translate into 60 seats for the NDP, and 27 for the Used Cars.

UCP would be wiped out in urban areas. (Sound familiar?)


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If you look at the 2019 election that brought Kenney to power, the UCP vote was far, far more efficient than the NDP vote. That efficiency gap means the UCP can easily recover in time for the next election. My guess is that UCP voters "come home" and only about 8 seats flip (mostly Edmonton/Calgary seats). That would make it 50+/- seats for the UCP, and 35+/- for the NDP. The UCP can easily give up 5-10% of their vote share in most districts and still win handily.

The real threat to the UCP is not from Notley and the NDP, it is from the Wildrose et al on the right.
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Re: Alberta

Post by The Green Barbarian »

crookedmember wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 7:26 am Wow, the wheels are falling off Jason Kenney's decrepit Used Car Party.
LOL - more of this nonsensical stupidity. Quoting polls before the federal election blew up in the far Left's faces, and made them look like massive giant fools. And rightly so. And yet these same fools learned nothing. Trudeau blew a huge lead with a disgusting and stupid campaign, and there's no reason to believe that the dumb dumb Nutley will do the same. Kenney should step down, but even he doesn't, it would take a lot and I mean a lot of incredibly stupid people to vote the NDP back in.
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Re: Alberta

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The Green Barbarian wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 3:00 pm
crookedmember wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 7:26 am Wow, the wheels are falling off Jason Kenney's decrepit Used Car Party.
LOL - more of this nonsensical stupidity. Quoting polls before the federal election blew up in the far Left's faces, and made them look like massive giant fools. And rightly so. And yet these same fools learned nothing. Trudeau blew a huge lead with a disgusting and stupid campaign, and there's no reason to believe that the dumb dumb Nutley will do the same. Kenney should step down, but even he doesn't, it would take a lot and I mean a lot of incredibly stupid people to vote the NDP back in.
Wouldn't be the first time. If Kenney doesn't step down or is taken down, Notley will have an easy win. If Kenney is replaced with someone with even half a brain, then the UCP will be back in. I lived long enough in Alberta and know enough people there who will not cast a vote for Kenney, even though they will have to hold their noses and and vote NDP. He is not well liked or respected. I understand their frustrations, and these people have been blue all their lives.
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Re: Alberta

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Well, would you look at that......
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Re: Alberta

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Randall T wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 4:31 pm If Kenney doesn't step down or is taken down, Notley will have an easy win.
I don't know about that. The memories of what a disaster Nutley was the last time she had power is still pretty fresh.
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Re: Alberta

Post by Randall T »

The Green Barbarian wrote: Oct 31st, 2021, 9:08 am
Randall T wrote: Oct 25th, 2021, 4:31 pm If Kenney doesn't step down or is taken down, Notley will have an easy win.
I don't know about that. The memories of what a disaster Nutley was the last time she had power is still pretty fresh.
Could be true, but politics always seems to focus on the moment. The fact is there isn't much to choose from. The Conservatives lost a lot of support with Kenney. Glad I haven't lived there since the good years. I always vote but this time around I really don't know what I'd do if I was there. I'd probably call Stephen and Laureen and see what they think [icon_lol2.gif]
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