Being stranded in New York for the last while, my blogging lagged somewhat.
I can’t think of a better story to get back in the swing of things.
Now the Wildrose Alliance Party reaching the status of government in waiting is certainly worthy of discussion on it’s own. What I am finding more interesting at the moment though is the hysterical commentary from Liberal/Progressive Conservative stalwarts in light of these numbers. Blogs and the comment sections in newspapers are great places for insight into the mindset of the fast-dwindling supporters of the traditional Alberta parties.
Liberal supporters are acting predictably. The number of commenters calling the electorate stupid and labelling Albertans as a collection of slack-jawed yokels who are too stupid to embrace what they consider as a good progressive alternative is appalling. I understand that the general concepts of democracy are often lost on those who embrace the left but come on guys, think about this. Whether you like it or not, those slack jawed locals have the power of the vote and they exercise it. Try to peek outside of your ivory tower for a moment and understand why your party has not been able to gain an inch in decades. Here is a political tip that I will offer for free, try listening to the electorate instead of constantly berating them as being a collection of fools. You may finally see a one point jump in the polls.
I can understand the Liberal rage in Alberta. This is a party that has been in Alberta since the province was founded. Currently we have what appears to be the most inept provincial government since Harry Strom and an electorate that is salivating for change. Despite this situation, the Liberals simply can’t gain an inch in Alberta. This was reflected rather well in the Calgary Glenmore by-election. The Liberals pulled in every possible volunteer from across the province and poured every nickle that they had into the campaign. The NDP sat out the campaign and the Green Party no longer exists. The outcome was that a brand new party passed the Liberals and took the seat while the Liberals were mired at the exact same support levels that they enjoyed years ago.
The writing is on the wall. Alberta is simply not a Liberal supporting province and never will be. Get over it and move on guys.
Now the reaction from the few remaining PC diehards is telling as well. Currently we are still seeing denial. Shallow and short comments regarding their current status show that these folks still do not realize just how threatened their position of power is. Dismissing the Wildrose Alliance Party as irrelevant is sort of pointless now isn’t it? Well that seems to be the best the PCs can come up with. Firing out terms such as “bigots, rednecks, extreme” has not been too effective either particularly in light of all the socially conservative actions of the Stelmach regime in the last couple years. Here is a tip for you guys, pretending that the Wildrose Alliance Party will simply fade away is not a good strategy on your part.
What I see from the party stalwarts in both the PCs and the Liberals is a stubborn insistence on staying the course. Despite the astronomical plummeting of support for the PCs and the flaccid state of support for the Liberals, neither party is even considering making large and real change. The electorate is simply leaving the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives behind.
Historically Albertans have always been ready to embrace change. From giving women the right to vote to creating entirely new political movements Alberta has led the nation consistently.
The people of Alberta are ready for another wholesale change and the traditional parties will not let themselves realize this. It is clear that the Wildrose Alliance Party has become that vehicle for change and I don’t see this trend stopping. The membership is still seeing explosive growth, an increasingly skilled set of people are involved in the management of the party and our ground organization is coming along excellently. I suspect that even Stelmach is not foolish enough to call an early election at this point and with two more years of organization the Wildrose Alliance Party will be quite a force in the next general election.
Let the remaining supporters of the Liberals and Conservatives continue to fiddle. Alberta has discovered an option and Albertans are embracing it. The future looks bright for the Wildrose Alliance Party and Alberta itself.