03.23.2016 11:00 AM

Yesterday ends happily

Brussels was a horror, Rob Ford was very sad, Hillary lost Utah and Idaho, Justin Trudeau didn’t get credit for making the biggest contribution to the welfare of First Nations in generations.  Yesterday was therefore an unhappy day. 

Until the end of it, that is. Late – too late – the results started to come in, in an important Calgary provincial by-election. The Calgary-Greenway contest saw the once-mighty PCs returned, but not by much. Wildrose came second, but not by much. And, nipping at all their heels, was the Alberta Liberal Party. 

Whose candidate, Karbani Khalil, beat out the Alberta NDP. You know, the government.

I know I shouldn’t read too much into a by-election result, I know, I know. But the Alberta Grits were the first political party I belonged to, and the one to which I will always be loyal.

The PC win will effectively put the brakes on the unite-the-right efforts currently underway in Alberta. The results also mean the Alberta NDP is a one-term aberration – because it is. And all of that creates opportunity for my party.

I will be in Calgary next month for a series of meetings and seminars with my Alberta Liberal friends. When I have more details, I will share same here for those who wish to attend. In the meantime, forgive me for the lengthy post. 

Yesterday was a crummy day, for lots of reasons. But it ended not badly, if you are an Alberta Liberal like me!


  1. Matt says:

    I know people need to look for silver linings in things, but, dude – it’s a second place finish……………………. in a by-election.

    The Ontario Liberals lost quite a few by-elections only to win a majority in the general election.

    I know, I know. Just call me Captain Buzz Kill. 🙂

  2. Richard Besserer says:

    You know Warren, I’m sure some people said the same about Social Credit, especially after it became clear that the Socreds couldn’t deliver on their promises of dividends for all.

  3. bza says:

    It’s probably the most exciting thing to happen to the Alberta Liberals in a decade so any positive is worth celebrating for a Liberal. That being said it is a by-election, Trudeau’s popularity probably had something to do with it, and the NDP is governing in the worst economic downturn since the mid-80s. So a lot can change in 3 years as they say. I wouldn’t count anyone out at this point. Except the Wildrose since Edmonton and Calgary are still not warming up to them.

  4. Mark says:

    I should preface this comment with a recognition of the horrible circumstances under which the voters of this riding had to go to the polls. Manmeet Bhullar was an incredible person and his untimely death was unfortunate to say the least. Having said that, I’m not surprised the PC were able to retain the seat. What does surprise me, however, is that the NDP found itself finishing fourth. This is following the 2015 election where the ABNDP finished second place with around 36% of the vote share. The by-election has essentially served as a litmus test for the future of this party and its brand resiliency.

    Consequentially, if Notley becomes the Bob Rae of western Canada (with no disrespect to Bob) it would really devastate the NDP’s viability at the federal level. We could actually be observing the catalyst for the demise of the NDP in Canada –at least in its current form, anyway. With the catastrophic loss in 2015 and the possibility of Mulcair remaining leader into the next election; the NDP in Manitoba possibly being booted out of power after 15 years; Brad Wall most likely holding onto power; the lethargic existence of the Ontario NDP being over dominated by the Ontario Liberals and the diminishment of the east cost NDP… the reality is pretty grim for Dippers.

    • Doug says:

      I agree Mark, not many bright spots for the NDP. Perhaps they can put some hopes into B.C. where the Liberals have been in for quite some time, but even there they have blown campaigns before and are threatened by the Green’s in certain locales.

      In Ontario at least they are stable but haven’t really grown much even while they have a popular leader in Horwath.

      In Sask. I think they might win back a marginal seat or two which isn’t very good when facing an opponent who has been in for so long. Manitoba is about saving some of the furniture and finishing 2nd ahead of the Libs. Barring a miraculous turn in oil prices(and posssibly not even than) Notley is a one term and done in Alberta.

      In the Atlantic the party seems stillborn effectively.

      With the Liberals moving to the left could we be seeing an effectively two party system (re)emerging. I’m sure the CPC will win back some of those moderately centre right voters with these very large deficits and left leaning direction of the Trudeau government.

      Despite it being dumb to make predictions so far ahead of time I could see the vote% breakdown in 2019 being something like….

      LPC 43%
      CPC 39%
      NDP 10%
      BQ 4%
      Green 3%
      Other 1%

      • Mark says:

        I agree with your assessment on the NDP in the various provinces;

        I think BC and Ontario both serve as a good microcosm of the fundamental problem facing the NDP of Canada. In both situations the NDP were staged to make big gains in their respective provincial campaigns but produced dismal results on election night. I would also point to both Olivia Chow’s and Judy Wasylycia-Leis’ mayoral campaigns. It appears the NDP have an obvious braintrust failure when it comes to winning elections.

        Alberta may well be an anomaly. Which as I previously said, would devastate the NDP’s confidence and viability at the federal level.

        Prospect wise, it doesn’t look good and if Mulcair retains leadership, I think your predictions for 2019 may be more or less correct.

  5. Jon Evan says:

    The PCs are generally not liked, and the provincial election proved that. Likewise the WRP are too right of center. The Liberals have a chance only I think as happened in Sask. Perhaps an Alberta Party with a mixture of center right conservatives and liberals would be more favored?

  6. Glen says:

    A couple of things of note: Your statement “Justin Trudeau didn’t get credit for making the biggest contribution to the welfare of First Nations in generations” would have been a lot more accurate had it read “for the biggest contribution to the welfare state of First Nations in generations”

    As a status Indian, I can assure you that the chiefs and their ilk at AFN are smiling broadly inside while saying “this is not enough” now that the flow of unaccountable money has been restored back to the old ways. After all, handing over bags of “shut up” money to the chiefs for many decades has worked so well so far, has it not?

    Also, as an Albertan, the PC’s ARE the liberal party in Alberta – the Liberal brand here is DEAD, FINITO, KAPUT, full stop. If it were possible to be even more dead, check it again at the end of this federal term.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.