They just don’t get it.

 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.

Wildrose #1 in Alberta, poll finds.

 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.  

6 thoughts on “They just don’t get it.

  1. WRAP will have to make policy choices before the next election, which will affect support. Right now it’s riding the anti-Stelmach wave but to win an election WRAP will have to lay out a platform that appeals to a wide range of Albertans, not just the grumpy and upset.

  2. The Liberals were dead in the water the minute they chose Swann instead of Taylor, who is much more moderate. Swann is to leftist/activist to attract anyone who might have drifted of the PC’s.
    I agree with first poster, right now Stelmach is driving people away, The WR is going to have to float some good policy to hang to the vote till the next election.. The electorate has a short memory.

  3. Actually Altaind, the WAP has a comprehensive policy set available to all Albertans at the party website. It would seem that those policies are resonating well.

    There certainly is always more work to do. Considering that the WAP is currently leading the province in support though, I would say that we are well along on the right track.

  4. Wrap policies appeal to those who are already party members, such as proposals to role back royalties and so on. I’m not saying that your policies aren’t good, just that they are boring in the sense of attracting enough of the electorate to win an election.

    Everyone talks about when political change comes to Alberta it’s a sea change with the broom sweeping out the old and bringing in the new. WRAPpers have that on their brain, look at the polls and start deciding who should be in cabinet. Look at political history.

    The socreds swept out the UF by proposing a radical economic policy to end the depression. With hindsight it didn’t work but what was offered was new and fresh.

    The Lougheed team promised modernity and urbanized government; another sea change from farmer Strom. And as all billboards proclaimed, it was a team of young, educated, successful people who typified what Lougheed was promising. Maybe not all panned out as cabinet ministers that is another story.

    WRAP doesn’t offer radical change; in fact, it stresses rolling back PC decisions, not much new and different. Maybe the policy is good and solid but there is no pizazz, no here is the new Alberta. That is why when push comes to shove I don’t think WRAP will win the next election.

  5. Sometimes radical and new come back to bite parties in the ass. I think what you are really looking for is something just headline grabbing that appeals to the masses that are not that politically engaged. Often it can be just as simple as reversing a governing party’s decision.
    I can think of a couple right off the bat, get rid of photo traffic enforcement, reduce the number of MP’s or redraw the boundaries, make recreational camping free again, get rid of the provincial Toll collectors(sheriffs). Just simple policy that gives people some freedom back and give the average joe the idea that you arent in government just to rape peoples wallets, but headline worthy enough to attract interest.

  6. Hmm, let’s see. The party is polling at nearly 40%. I would say that the current party policies are resonating well beyond the membership. Rest assured, we have not signed up 40% of the province yet.

    I see no indication that the PCs will recover. Stelmach is nothing short of a disaster and he will only take the party further down in the next couple years. The remaining PC loyalists gave Special Ed 77% support. Despite Ed’s inept ways, there is no getting rid of him.

    As Ed and the remaining handful of PC supporters spend the next couple years destroying their dynasty, I see nothing but further growth and refining of the WAP.

    The PCs will be lucky to have a minority in the next election.

    I simply don’t see how they can recover from such a terrible administration. People are trying to claim that the inexperience of the WAP is a reason not to support the party. Uhh, have a look at what the “experienced” PCs have pulled off. Clearly the electorate have had enough of that experience.

    The wise and the skilled are pouring into the WAP. The remnants are remaining with the PCs and it shows.

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