04.23.2012 11:03 PM

Centrist politics ain’t dead – in Alberta or elsewhere

Sarah Palin North got beaten, badly.  The PC leader who impressed me so much, months ago, won big.  Quick takes:

  • Rod Love has gone into hiding.
  • A hole has been kicked in a wall at 24 Sussex.
  • That viral vid urging youth to vote PC wasn’t so bad after all, eh?
  • I guess gays won’t burn in Hell after all – and white candidates aren’t always better than non-white ones!
  • My family weren’t the only Alberta Grits urging people to vote for Redford, looks like.
  • Never, ever underestimate Stephen Carter.  Redford and Nenshi don’t.
  • Tom Flanagan has now lived through Week Four Bozone Layer eruptions twice.  Ouch.
  • Gord Tulk, kiss my ass!

Much to say about all this in the days ahead.  But the pundits and the pollsters don’t look terribly good, tonight!


  1. Scotty Rowe says:

    I have never seen such shockingly wrong polls before. This weekend’s reports had a Wildrose majority as a done deal. It was as certain as a Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup victory.

    • Conservative Socialist says:

      It was a bit of wishful thinking and an upstart party that hadn’t fully vetted their candidates.

      I am glad that there is democratic competition however.

  2. Bruce says:

    Can’t wait to hear what Funnyman Flanagan has to say about this.

  3. Jon Adams says:

    To quote Flava Flav, “don’t believe the hype.” Especially if it happens to be your own.

  4. Attack! says:

    There’s hope for Canada, yet: the majority do NOT want to go backwards.

    Thank you for turning your attention to this campaign and helping to blow the whistle to wake to people up to what would’ve been a real goon squad, Mr. Not-a-blog-ger.

    Too bad you didn’t make a bet to get your money back from the Incredible Bulk Commenter

  5. KP says:

    I’m glad Albertans were pragmatic enough to avoid putting Wildrose in government. I look forward to the next few years proving my hypothesis of unflinchingly ideological parties being best in opposition. Hopefully in 2013, BC makes the same choice with the nutbar Conservatives.. although as a BC’er I’d prefer they get no seats at all.

  6. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Mr. Kinsella…….you beat me to the punch with your last point……but I would like to reiterate for his viewing pleasure…..Mr. Tulk…..you can kiss my ass too……

    Never in the history of Alberta politics has so much been owed to so many by so few(Pastor Hunsperger, Ron Leech, Link Byfield, et al)……w/apologies to Sir Winnie….

    This calls for a tall frosty beverage!!!

  7. Richard Besserer says:

    Danielle Smith didn’t seem all that heartbroken in her concession speech, honestly. She now has four years to get real experience in provincial politics and to purge the kooks and Keegstras and fundies from Wildrose. I suspect she’s well aware she dodged a bullet tonight.

    She wasn’t the only one.

  8. tOM Trottier says:

    Alas, I think a lot of libs and newDems got scared into voting PC.

  9. Conservative Socialist says:

    Sorry, you Won’t get to kick Gord around anymore!

  10. Dan says:

    Wow. Well, I’ll admit to being wrong. But then I was relying on (apparently) terrible polling.

    I also wouldn’t call the PCs centrist. Up until Wildrose came along, THEY were the party that you could count on to defend homophobia, xenophobia, and whatever bigotry is fashionable among the far right.

    If the PCs are moving into the centre, it’s not their choice. They suddenly found themselves there when Wildrose sprouted up, apparently pissed off that the PCs talked a good game about abortion, gays, and Muslims, but didn’t have the stones to do anything about it.

    The PCs have enough time that they *can* rebrand themselves. But they have to do so consciously. They have to repudiate their efforts to de-insure abortion in 2009, their raging against gays and feminists, and the like.

    It’s not an easy task. Reputations die hard. And trying to change your reputation has a way of looking shady.

    And even if they succeed in re-branding, it’s not to say it will actually help them win. The province already has a Liberal party. They haven’t exactly been major players.

    They’d be smarter to stick with the right-wing bullshit that got them to power in the first place, and make Wildrose into a non-factor.

  11. Conservative Socialist says:

    Well, since the oilpatch had bankrolled Wildrose, my hope is that the PCs aren’t as beholden to them. I was one of the few who thought that Stelmach’s attempts at implementing higher royalty fees was actually a _good_ thing (the Liberals did their usual partisan sniping and attacked that as not being good enough without looking at the overall pragmatic picture).

    Alberta has a resource that the world needs. Are the big oil companies going to pack up and leave because the cost of doing business is a bit higher? Having slightly higher royalty fees is hardly draconian as the nationalized oil producing states of Venezuela and the Middle East. Alaska has a far higher royalty scheme, and they’re hardly a bastion of liberalism.

    Everybody is saying that it was the so-cons of Wildrose that did them in. That might explain a couple of percentage points, but I think it was their economic policies that turned off potential voters who were looking for change.

    • kenn2 says:

      I was one of the few who thought that Stelmach’s attempts at implementing higher royalty fees was actually a _good_ thing

      Alberta has a resource that the world needs. Are the big oil companies going to pack up and leave because the cost of doing business is a bit higher?

      Yes! This.

      Why subsidize and coddle private industry to dig up and sell the world’s most demanded resource?!? This stuff won’t last forever. Also, let’s budget for the inevitable cleanup.

    • Shaun says:

      When it comes to the profits of the tar sands, there will always be more than one goose ready to take over. Why can’t the right understand this?

    • GPAlta says:

      Surviving in a world where the effects on the climate that this extraction, production, and consumption have already set in motion finally appear will be much riskier and much costlier. You do not strip mine the earth, when you want her to give you air to breathe. Why can’t the profiteers understand this?

      • GPAlta says:

        I use far less energy than the average Canadian does, and yes, I’m proud of that, I’m proud to tell my kids that. I do advocate for conservation, and for higher gas prices, with everyone I meet.
        I’m not at all opposed to you making a profit, providing that you are paying your bills in the process- that is the definition of a profit, having a surplus after paying your expenses – oil companies, and trucking companies for that matter, do not pay their own expenses when selling their goods and services, they make us and to future generations pay all the bills while they get all the revenue- that is the definition of theft.

      • GPAlta says:

        The most important cost of oil production is the loss of a habitable climate for us to survive in. Oil companies are paying nothing at all towards that cost, which we will all pay. They are keeping that most substantial cost off of their books. If they paid it they would not be profitable. Their profitability is a fraud, and we are all the victims. Whether you choose to believe that you are being victimized in this way or not does not change the fact that you are their victim too, and you will pay dearly for their profits.

        I didn’t mean to say that they don’t pay any of their expenses, I meant to say that they don’t pay all of their expenses. My apologies for the misunderstanding. Expenses and revenues don’t usually appear on the balance sheet, they usually appear on the P&L, at least in my financial statements.

  12. 308.com prediction for Calgary Mountain View on April 22 – WR: 33.7, PC: 27.3, Lib 23.5

    Actual numbers on April 23: Lib: 41, PC: 30, WR: 22 – Dr. D Swann holds Mountain View for Liberals inspite of intense pressure to vote strategically for the PCs.

    Don’t vote stategically if you don’t have good data. 308.com – pulling numbers out of it’s butt.

  13. Dennis Hollingsworth says:

    WAY TO GO W.K. … You called it early AND You called it bang-on; while the so-called Professional Pollsters missed the Train, pretty much altogether.
    Allison Redford’s Gravitas, High Empathy (Credibility) and Downright Sincerity (Integrity) REALLY Mattered, to Alberta’s Modern, Urban Voters AND Even Rural Voters, Too.

    DANIELLE SMITH; Petro-State Bought & Paid For; DANIELLE SMITH !!

    Even in her concession speech, I found MS. SMITH overly SANCTIMONIOUS, Too Pious, Too Holier Than Thou, DULL and Certainly Lacking anything remotely close to ALISON REDFORD’S Genuine Enthusiasm For Alberta.

    Perhaps the favourable Vote Outcome for the ROC (rest of Canada) has something to do with the SMART ALBERTA VOTER Just Having Had Enough Of Being CONSTANTLY Bull-Shitted Into Oblivion, By The Lies And Deliberate Distortions of The Reforma-CON Harper-CONS, which Let’s face it are fully interchangeable with Danielle’s Wild Rose Neanderthal, Wrecking Crew Clowns.

    I Still Like This CalgaryGrit analysis, from mid last week :

    “RATHER THAN PRESENTING A CREATIVE LONG TERM PLAN FOR ALBERTA, Danielle Smith has attacked Redford for not loving Alberta, resorted to VOTE-BUYING GIMMICKS, AND ABANDONED THE NOTION OF EVEN PRETENDING HER MATH ADS UP. MORE TROUBLING IS HER REFUSAL TO REPUDIATE OVERTLY HOMOPHOBIC AND RACIST COMMENTS FROM HER CANDIDATES. That says all I need to know about Danielle Smith’s values and her ability to represent all Albertans.”

  14. Skinny Dipper says:

    The PCs won in the urban areas and northern Alberta; Wildrose won in southern Alberta. There seemed to be an ethnic division in the vote as northern Alberta was settled by immigrants from different parts of Europe while southern Alberta was settled mainly by immigrants from Great Britain and the United States.

    It is interesting that the people of Alberta supported diversity over the monotone view of Alberta by the Wildrose Party.

  15. Skinny Dipper says:

    The Alberta election is a warning to the BC Conservatives that it is not guaranteed to take the BC Liberal (Conservative) vote.

  16. pomojen says:

    You know, when I heard they won this morning I felt like flying.

    And my next thought was “Tulk”, accompanied by the urge to check out his “money and the ethnic vote” type excuses over morning coffee. But now that he is kicked out, I would have to go looking for him in other blogs/ non-blogs and I don’t really have the time or sufficient interest for that. So… ditto.

    Have a feeling this was one of those threads he would have remained silent on though. With a few others calling out plaintively, “Gord?”

  17. fritz says:

    I watched a bit of the SUN coverage last night and it reminded me of the boxing match a few weeks ago; lots of bragging about the beating the PC was going to take followed by confusion then blaming it on a left wing conspiracy (liberals voting PC). Very entertaining.

  18. Conservative Socialist says:

    The WR people seem to be upset:


    I gave them some kind words of sympathy:
    I see a lot of gnashing of teeth. But the sun will rise again, and all I can counsel those who are upset with the results is that they should enjoy life. Because life is good, especially in Alberta.

    I am admittedly one of those damned Easterners who moved to Alberta who may or may not be changing the political climate somewhat.

    I like it here. Alberta produces a commodity that the world needs and there are good opportunities for almost everyone. And I would continue to live here even if WR had won. Ontario has a sweatshop economy in comparison.

    I can sympathize and understand why Alberta votes Conservative federally considering the history of the NEP. Sometimes voting is an act of self-defense.

    Take heart that the combined PC-Wildrose center-right vote approached 80%. Don’t worry–Alison (Red Tory) Redford will not do anything to endanger the oil sands industry. She needs the tax base to fund all of those goodies she promised 🙂

    And all Albertans will benefit from those promises. If not, you’ll get a chance to vote against her again. Perhaps with better and more properly-vetted candidates.

    Let’s celebrate the dismantling of the one-party state that exists here. I enjoy seeing more democratic competition. Regardless of the winner, it’s a victory for democracy.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      The NEP bogeyman is a sad joke on Albertans. Here they are, no less than 40 YEARS after NEP, and anytime any Conservative needs to obfuscate and divert attention all they need to do is shout NEP. It is kind of like the Serbs slaughtering Albanian Kosovars because of what happened at Mohacs many hundreds of years ago. Politics of hatred and division stinks. NEP has passed into legend now. How much do you want to bet that one day, 50 years from now Easterners will be thrown into prison by brown shirts chanting ‘NEP’, lol?

      • We literally watched rig after rig go South down Hwy 2. I personally had two friends lose everything – even their own lives. Those of us that were left swore NEVER to forget the callousness of the NEP and those who perpetuated it. Of course Trudeau didn`t help when he gave the farmer`s in Salmon Arm the finger from the train window going by.

        If you weren`t here those long years have no idea.

  19. Paul says:

    In my opinion, global economic uncertainty is also playing a significant role in incumbents winning in these elections. Harper, McGuinty etc. Obama next?

    Did the market downturn yesterday affect this result? No one seems to be talking about this….

    • Tiger says:

      Yesterday’s market moves weren’t mentioned, but Andrew Coyne did point out that the Albertan economy is doing well and that makes it much more difficult to unseat an incumbent government…

  20. How is it that so many of the professional commentators got this wrong?

    I read an Andrew Coyne piece at around 7 pm eastern last night – can’t find it today, ‘404’ error. He was calling for a WR minority or majoriy.

  21. GPAlta says:

    The question has finally been asked and answered–which side of the Alberta PC party do Albertans really support? It turns out that it is the left side.
    I only hope the PC’s take that message to heart. With Redford empowered by this decisive victory and with Morton out of the caucus, they need to take this opportunity to represent the majority of Albertans who reject ignorance, bigotry, anti-science, and habitat destruction, rather than trying to win back the minority who support that nonsense the way Stelmach and Morton attempted to after September 2009. Everyone knows the PCs need to change, perhaps in a few more cycles they can pivot to becoming a truly Progressive party as more of the loons move to Wildrose. I don’t forgive Ralph Klein or his buddies for anything, but I think they should be discouraged and disempowered today, and women, gays, and visible minorities should feel empowered as never before in Alberta. I’m very hopeful for our future in Alberta today.

  22. Gord’s on a time-out.

    I dug out the Ouija board and summoned the ghosts of Tea-Party-Victories-Lost.

    Q. Why did WR lose?
    A. ‘Nonsense. Danielle Smith ran an outstanding campaign.’

    Q. But WR was way ahead in the polls..what happened?
    A. ‘Interference from the MSM media like the National Post, and certain eastern Liberals.’

    Q. What policies will WR support in opposition?
    A. ‘Probably double down on Dani Dollars.’

    Q. Will WR tact left, right or stay the course?
    A. ‘Will likely follow other great strategists like Tim Hudak.’

  23. jen77 says:

    I dont know about the methodology of the polls, which were taken, but I would hypothesize many of them were online polls. This methodology severely biases polls towards certain groups – angry white males primaily.

  24. Matt says:

    Redford certainly does appear to embody the second coming of Joe Clark, a fine Red Tory. Nice to see Warren is right.. centrist politics aren’t dead just yet, even in Alberta.

  25. bluegreenblogger says:

    Well Warren called it. Must be nice to go against the grain and be proven correct. This will prove a boon to the Alberta PC’s. (And the Liberals and Dippers).
    All the kooks will continue to gravitate towards Wild Rose for sure, now they know where their fellow haters are congregating. Long run, if Wildrose is succesfully defined as the kooky bigots party, then they will settle down with 20% of the electorate. The other 80%, who are relatively normal will be in play with an actual competetive range of political options on the table. Guaranteed this will breathe life into Political diversity in Alberta, which cannot fail to be a good thing for Albertans.

  26. SD says:

    WR’s Danielle Smith: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who will win this election after all?”

    Mirror: “The fairest one is in front of thee, the most victorious will be Princess Alison, the queen-to-be.”

  27. Torgo says:

    And the Missing Link just managed to lose. Even to an atheist like me, that might be proof that God exists :).

  28. Calvin says:

    So this is what it`s come to in Liberal Loserland.
    Kinsella`s Liberals is gloating about the win of the PC`s in Alberta.
    Guess desperate Liberals take any victory they can claim.

    • smelter rat says:

      You’re funny!

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Actually I think all progressives(whatever their political stripe) cross Canada today are celebrating a victory over ignorant, climate change denying, homophobic and racist troglodytes……
      But you can kiss my ass as well…….

    • Tim says:

      Speaking as a person who follows politics but isn’t particularly partisan, I’m happy this morning because a party running racist and homophobic candidates got the shit kicked out of them.
      And they probably still would have won if their leader hadn’t been so gutless in dealing with them.
      And now she’s working with a brand that clearly doesn’t sell particularly well.

      And Warren said all that in the Sun before election day.

      You are right, it’s still the same tired old, worn out, entitled bunch running the show. But your guys didn’t even come close to putting a dent in them.

  29. Michael S says:

    404 everywhere. Wow.

  30. Patrick Deberg says:

    I would like to offer my profound thanks to each and every Albertan that voted PC in last night’s election. You have restored my faith in Canada as a whole, dependant on the middle to vote in the interests of what makes this country great. I will continue to work at moving in the same direction so all Canadians benefit. A remarkable job, well done!!

  31. A. Cynic says:

    Bravo Mr. Kinsella.

    So are The Alberta PCs going to publicly thank The Alberta Liberals for this new-found friendship/support.

  32. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    Redford may throw the province into a recession with another royalty review but thank God she will defend supreme court protected gay marriage.

    • Jason King says:

      and your right to be a moron in public Lyndon.

      • Lyndon Dunkley says:

        If your definition of a moron is one who prefers a government that creates an environment that is the most conducive to economic success for the province, then guilty as charged. Who did you vote for Mr. King and why?

  33. smelter rat says:

    Is that all you’ve got? HaHaHa!

  34. Michael S says:

    Suits and Big Oil. The kooks were the price of entry.

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