Orange Crush: NDP victory in Alberta
May 6, 2015 5:54 PM   Subscribe

"I think we might have made a little bit of history tonight." Alberta, Canada's most conservative province, the home of the oil/tar sands, and most of Canada's oil and gas industry, has elected a majority NDP government. And one run by a woman, at that.

Given that the NDP is a left-wing social democratic party, the traditional third party responsible for nationalized health care and other social programs, that's rather like Bernie Saunders becoming the Governor of Texas. The victory has been noted in the US and the UK, and has caused some palpitations in the financial press, and a drop in the Toronto Stock exchange.

This is the first win in Alberta for the NDP, but it's even more of an upset than it first appears: Alberta has been ruled by right-wing parties for 85 years. The exiting PC (Progressive Conservative) government has held power for 44 years, since 1971 , and prior to that, from 1935 to 1971, the province was run by the Social Credit Party, a right-wing Christian populist outfit.
Alberta is usually seen as a right wing paradise: the home of cowboys and cattle ranchers, fundamentalist homeschoolers, creation museums, gun racks on pickup trucks and truck nutz . But it's changed in the last decade, due to immigration and in-migration from other provinces: Calgary's mayor, Naheed Nenshi, is a political moderate and Canada's first Muslim mayor, and 'visible minorities' now make up 30% of the city. And Edmonton has always been Redmonton.

The question now is how does this effect Ottawa? Stephen Harper's Conservatives are based in Alberta, the PM deliberately ties himself to the region, and most of the party's money and resources stem from the oil industry -- leading to some interesting links with Republican politicians and campaign strategies.
posted by jrochest (142 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is great news, but the shadow of Bob Rae hangs over everything. He also was a miraculous NDP win in the cusp of a massive economic slowdown.
posted by cacofonie at 5:57 PM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm hoping they don't wind up being the fall guy. Incredible, though, never thought I'd actually be around for something like this.
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:59 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you listened to the victory speech, something is clear - this is Alberta's NDP - aka right wing
posted by Yowser at 6:00 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow this is massive as Alberta has been the lynch pin to the Conservatives in Canada for ages. Does this mean that the balance of power between Alberta and Ottawa/Ontario has fully shifted?
posted by vuron at 6:01 PM on May 6, 2015


Yeah, I wanted to stick something about Rae in here too, but I've spent an hour on this already :). I liked Rae: the NDP is very effective when they're pragmatist but principled, which he was.

And I don't think right wing, Yowser, but more union-rooted than classically progressive in the Jack Layton mould. They have to work with the oil companies, but I think the model will be Norway, or even Lougheed.
posted by jrochest at 6:06 PM on May 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


cacofonie, Bob Rae is ancient history in Ontario, and irrelevant in Alberta.
posted by sneebler at 6:06 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is great news, but the shadow of Bob Rae hangs over everything. He also was a miraculous NDP win in the cusp of a massive economic slowdown.

People also remember what happened after Bob Rae which dramatically improved Bob Rae's appeal.
posted by srboisvert at 6:11 PM on May 6, 2015 [18 favorites]


The 'balance of power' is only in Harper's mind, although he's been doing his best to make it a reality for the last decade. Alberta is a single-industry province, and that industry is largely driven by American companies. The rest of the country has a more diversified economy, although the Conservatives have been doing their level best to burn Ontario's to the ground and sow the ground with salt.

Notley's plans for the pipelines are interesting: she wants to encourage refining and processing of the oil in Alberta, which would allow shipment of less toxic and vile goop in the pipelines. And she's basically said that Northern Gateway is toast and Keystone is in the hands of the Americans, and she's not going to spend time and money lobbying for either.
posted by jrochest at 6:12 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Bob Rae is ancient history in Ontario, and irrelevant in Alberta.

That's just not true. Ontario still hasn't recovered from the damage it's suffered at the hands of Harris' "common sense revolution", that was brought about largely by organized labor's abandonment of the NDP. Toronto's amalgamation and subsequent (and deliberately engineered) political paralysis, offloading, university tuition, the list goes on and on; unions and organized labor would do well to remember the enormous cost of their hubris and greed following his victory.
posted by mhoye at 6:14 PM on May 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


If you listened to the victory speech, something is clear - this is Alberta's NDP - aka right wing

Pragmatic centrism, more like it. It's exciting to consider what Notley is going to be able to accomplish, notably in changing Canadians' perceptions about voting NDP. I volunteered for both the provincial BC NDP and the national party about a decade ago, but switched to Federal Liberals mostly because of the NDP's economic platform (such as it is).

The Federal Liberals have never failed to disappoint of course, especially after Bob Rae's departure, and especially after Trudeau and his gang voted today for C-51.

So I'm hoping Mulcair's party is going to take some lessons from Notley in order to appeal to a broader section of the electorate. Social justice depends on prosperity, and prosperity must incorporate social justice. But we need prosperity, and I am not sure if the Federal NDP understands that.

But I think Notley does.
posted by Nevin at 6:21 PM on May 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


People also remember what happened after Bob Rae which dramatically improved Bob Rae's appeal.

During my government career I met a lot of elected politicians. A lot of them are very rude towards government staffers. Rae was a cordial, engaging personality. One of the greats.
posted by Nevin at 6:23 PM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love two lives most of the time. A strident social democrat in my personal life and neutral non-partisan public servant in my professional life. Both lives are wonderful right now. There was so much energy, positivity and yes, Layton-esque energy in both the rally on Sunday and the victory party last night.

And today, as a professional, I'm looking forward to a fresh set of leadership and the possibility that some of our best ideas will have the follow through to be realized.

Plus, maybe the practise among Easterners of assuming we're all hugely Conservative (I experienced this a lot when I live in Ottawa) will finally stop if Iveson and Nenshi haven't already ended it.

Finally, as a public servant, I'd had such high expectations of Prentice when he won the PC leadership. I'd worked under him in the federal government and he seemed steady and competent there. I don't know what the hell happened to him here. He stumbled and stumbled and stumbled again. He seemed arrogant. He retained some of the worst performing members of his cabinet while letting go of the better ones. And then last night, he resigns his seat before all the votes are even counted! He claimed to be returning to public life to rebuild his party, but clearly wasn't going to if it was a long haul project. What a petty, horrible little man. Being an MLA isn't good enough for the like of him.
posted by Kurichina at 6:29 PM on May 6, 2015 [16 favorites]


> Congratulations, Canada! I didn't even know you had a stock exchange.

Yeah, it's even housed next to the national igloo!
posted by Poldo at 6:29 PM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


My point was that the Bob Rae NDP took a lot of heat, and a large part of his reputation, was because of the rough economy.

This led directly to the subsequent government-that-shall-not-be-named -- which basically inflicted a gigantic, sucking chest wound, the after effects that Ontario is very much still dealing with today.

Oil is at 1.05$ a litre! There is no way that Alberta in four years will be a better place - irrespective of the government -- with that much less money flowing through.
posted by cacofonie at 6:30 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I follow Bob Rae on Twitter and he really shines on there with his smart, funny, good-natured comments and support of good causes. He was a Rhodes scholar and he seems like a genuinely decent man with a commitment to public service.

I giggled when a friend of mine posted a picture of flying pigs to her Facebook page today and then posted it myself to my Facebook page and Twitter account with the comment, "Meteorologists report strange flying objects in the sky over Alberta today."

I wonder if we're beginning to see the turning of the tide, if North Americans are beginning to push back against the war-mongering, social services-gutting corporate interests and turn to a more progressive, responsible style of government. Because, bless you, if this can happen, the world moves.
posted by orange swan at 6:34 PM on May 6, 2015 [20 favorites]


There's some serious paper shredding going on right now at PC offices across Alberta. Four decades worth.
posted by gman at 6:36 PM on May 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


I think one unintended effect of this victory might be another federal election victory for Harper. We still have the problem of a divided (majority) left versus a unified (minority) right. The NDP have been weakened since the loss of Layton and advent of Trudeau, and it was looking like the Liberals would win the next election (most likely a minority with NDP support).

Now we'll have an emboldened NDP, splitting the uncommitted strategic voters, and giving the Conservatives the lead. The issues faced by the provincial PCs in Alberta don't translate to the federal Conservatives (a competing right wing party like Wildrose, a strategically inept leader like Prentice, a nonexistent Liberal party, etc.).

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this. This is a wonderful change for Alberta and for all of Canada (although we will need to come up with a new target for our political jokes; I nominate BC). But I can also see how this might play out badly as well. Harper is too good a strategist not to turn this to his advantage.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:43 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Prentice resigned his seat in the legislature? So he's forcing a by-election immediately after the election? What a jackass and sore loser.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:43 PM on May 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


A typical "vote the bums out" election. Congratulations, Alberta, you have reached your True Canadian milestone. T-shirt and bumper sticker to arrive shortly...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:45 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


THANK YOU, OPEC!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:46 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bob Rae is ancient history in Ontario, and irrelevant in Alberta.

One would think so, but in Ontario I meet a lot of conservatives who treat Rae as a disaster we were crippled by three or four months ago, not a one-term premier from a quarter-century ago. It is as baffling as if left-wing voters in Rae's term were incensed by Premier John Robarts and his creation of community colleges and OHIP in the sixties.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:48 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I giggled when a friend of mine posted a picture of flying pigs to her Facebook page today and then posted it myself to my Facebook page and Twitter account with the comment, "Meteorologists report strange flying objects in the sky over Alberta today."

Those are the long term PC staffers and contractors. What do you expect when the trough is empty?
posted by benzenedream at 6:51 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ghostinthemachine:Now we'll have an emboldened NDP, splitting the uncommitted strategic voters...


Not sure I agree: there's not a single liberal MP from Alberta, so there's no vote to split! This could mean a very direct threat to conservative home base and there's no calculus where Harper benefits from this.
posted by cacofonie at 6:55 PM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Alberta has never been a "conservative" province. If you study the actual history, it's a centrist province that experiments on the side.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:57 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I do my best to ignore politics back in the homeland because it just fills me with pointless fury these days, but I've been an NDP supporter since I was old enough to know what that meant. This is a pretty amazing turn.

I don't envy them taking power in the midst of economic meltdown, but it does give me some small hope that Harper and his gang of shitlizards will be similarly ousted in the federal elections to come.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:06 PM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Alberta has never been a "conservative" province. If you study the actual history, it's a centrist province that experiments on the side.

Awesome article. But 85 years of Socred/PC one-party rule is only 'centrist' in a world where Lougheed is a flower child.
posted by jrochest at 7:09 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


We still have the problem of a divided (majority) left versus a unified (minority) right.

I hate this trope on how the left is a mess and the right isn't. It just isn't true.

Trudeau is a right-wing politician with cosmopolitan left-wing values when he thinks they poll well and match his young, handsome image. You can get a progressive pot stance from him (along with the NDP and the Greens), but you also have to choke down the C-51 bill support with it. That's not the left. He's competing for the right vote as much as he is for the left and his power base is the old, rich, entitled Liberals who've always been there. They aren't the left either.

A united left doesn't fix the problem that 55-60% of the electorate are actually suburban centrists unless it folds into the centrist Liberal party, which it turns out won't actually be a leftist party at all. Instead, like the Conservatives, the federal NDPs have gotten a lot better at running a more consistently strong candidate in every riding, strategic riding targeting, securing Quebec, and edging into a frustrated Atlantic Canada.

If they can keep putting Trudeau in a position like he's been lately where he has to go right to get votes, that works - he edges at Harper's base, they edge at his centre-left base (who I actually am as I worked the last 3 federal elections for the Liberals, but the last 6 months have made sure I will definitely be voting NDP this election) and it is progress towards a lefty government.
posted by buoys in the hood at 7:09 PM on May 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Seriously, though: suck it Stephen Harper, you cancer on the Canadian body politic.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on May 6, 2015 [19 favorites]


ABC!
posted by sety at 7:16 PM on May 6, 2015


Alberta has never been a "conservative" province. If you study the actual history

...you see exactly the opposite of the first sentence. Ralph Klein was premier for like 14 years man
posted by Hoopo at 7:18 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Blue_Beetle, that's a great article. I'm not sure it really argues the point in its title all that effectively, but is certainly worth a read!

The truth is, Alberta isn't that right, and the provincial NDP isn't that left. The NDP is a breath of fresh air in a province that desperately needs it. But once they take office, look at the books, and start playing the long game, I'd give them two years max before they start going around breaking hearts like every other provincial NDP government of the past 25 years.
posted by cacofonie at 7:28 PM on May 6, 2015


One would think so, but in Ontario I meet a lot of conservatives who treat Rae as a disaster we were crippled by three or four months ago, not a one-term premier from a quarter-century ago.

I know many non-Conservative Ontarians who feel the same way about him. He left a bitter taste for a myriad of reasons. Mike Harris also did not fare well and neither did Dalton McGuinty. Ontario has its split personality: Toronto and Rest of Ontario, as well as Civil Servant and Everyone Else, and finding a premier here that can keep all sides happy, well, good luck with that.

Not entirely Rae's fault, but he was a far better opposition leader than the one holding the reins of power. He was not expecting it and it showed.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 7:31 PM on May 6, 2015


One would think so, but in Ontario I meet a lot of conservatives who treat Rae as a disaster we were crippled by three or four months ago, not a one-term premier from a quarter-century ago.

Rae is a bogeyman to the conservatives in Ontario, I find. The time of his leadership gets mythologized as used as a cautionary tale, which then gets reinforced and told again and again. It's the same way that the "universities are losing their free speech" story always goes back to a couple of incidents, mainly from the 90s. Or how Newfoundlanders (of which I am a proud one) hates quebec because of Churchill Falls. There are so many better, newer reasons to hate them, why get stuck in the past?

Back on topic of Alberta, I find myself annoyed by all of my friends' victory comments on social media talking about how Alberta is leading the way in the prairies for the NDP, and things like that. I agree that this is exciting, no question about it; but c'mon, either know your history or don't complain when gently corrected.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:35 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


As someone who was born in Alberta and lived there for many years, I'm not terribly surprised by this. The NDP has always had an undercurrent in Alberta and it has a lot in common with the so-called 'small c' conservatism. I agree that it's a fairly centrist NDP in Alberta.

On the other hand, I don't think this was a vote for the NDP so much as a rejection of the Wild Rose and PC parties. Both have angered the electorate in myriad ways recently - Wild Rose with their crossing of party lines, and the PC and Prentice with the overt combination of arrogance, laziness and the gutting of the heritage fund. Throw in Redford's ridiculousness, $50 oil and a recognizable, charismatic NDP leader from a well-respected political family and you have the perfect storm for an NDP victory.

Lougheed had it right - the Alberta voter is centrist. They look for honesty and an appeal to the common man. I think this is true. Klein was good at appealing to that. Notley said it well, too, in that the national myth that Alberta is a hotbed of conservatism just isn't true. There's some really cool, progressive stuff going on in the province - stuff I was sorry to leave. Hell, Calgary Center voted 25% Green in the past federal by-election.

I'll be interested in what happens, but I'm pretty sure the sky isn't going to fall. Oil in Alberta is driven by the price of it, not by the ruling party. This will mean more heritage fund contribution, more corporate taxes, more social programs. I'm guessing that the low oil will continue for some time (this might be the beginning of the end of big-bucks Alberta), the PCs may learn their lesson, and will probably get back in the next time around. We'll see.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:38 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


There is an older open thread about this …
posted by scruss at 7:42 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Bob got his butt bit bad by both his friends and enemies, but that's old 20th century Ontario history now. Rae's a nice guy, and I liked him, but he really couldn't ride that crazy whirlwind.

This story is a different place and time. Notley now has the opportunity to frame a new approach.
posted by ovvl at 7:44 PM on May 6, 2015


Fourth generation Albertan here, and not surprised at all. The only reason this didn't happen last election is because anyone left of the Wild Rose Party was scared shitless that Danielle Smith might actually win the election. Imagine how things would be different (and worse) now.

Hardly anyone (besides cacofonie) has mentioned that the main reason the NDP won so decisively last night is because the AB Liberals didn't field a full slate of candidates. In my riding there were only three parties: PC, NDP, and Wild Rose. Anyone wanting to vote left of Wild Rose and say fuck you to Prentice pretty much defaulted to the NDP, which fielded a full slate of candidates. That said, Notley did an amazing job running her campaign, especially at the debate.

The Redmonton half of my family is really happy, while the redneck half ('berta!) describe the NDP as about to reach into their paycheques, which is funny considering the NDP said they'd raise corporate taxes two percent, something the PCs wouldn't do.
posted by furtive at 7:51 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


This has happened before. Immediately before the 80 years of conservative rule, Alberta was governed from 1921 to 1935 by the pro-labour and progressive United Farmers of Alberta
Party. But according to Wikipedia: "the United Farmers' fall in politics was as rapid as its rise. The party was wiped off the political map in the 1935 election, losing all of its seats and tallying only 11 percent of the vote."
posted by Flashman at 8:06 PM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Amazing. I'm jealous over here in BC. Good luck, Alberta! I have high hopes for your influence on this fall's federal election.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:14 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not entirely Rae's fault, but he was a far better opposition leader than the one holding the reins of power. He was not expecting it and it showed.

No one was, really. That election was on September 6, 1990, and I was living with a woman who worked for Elections Ontario. It was her birthday, and as she was a devout Liberal supporter, she pulled some strings to get us tickets to the celebration shindig at Liberal HQ, where David Peterson and his party were fully expecting a second majority. For me, with no horse in that race, it was an entertaining evening, which tested my knowledge of classical literary theory: there was at the very least hamartia and hubris and catharsis to be experienced that evening.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:22 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a pretty excellent article about the pressures that Bob Rae's NDP felt when they came to power.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/the-hidden-history-of-bob-raes-government-in-ontario/article1314254/


Ontario was the economic heart of the country it rattled the powers that be in a BIG way.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:30 PM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been digging through some of the riding-by-riding data, and an interesting question has come up for me. In the one riding I'm closely familiar with, Wetaskiwin-Camrose, I see that a full 49% of the NDP's margin of victory was given to it by overwhelming majorities (a total of 837 votes to 50) at the three polling stations on the Cree reserve.

A number of the closest NDP wins were in northwestern Alberta. How many of those wins, I wonder, were made possible by successful Aboriginal get-out-the-vote efforts?
posted by clawsoon at 8:50 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just a pointer to a previous thread, wherein the recent political history of AB and the twists and turns of the campaign and the election night reaction are. I tried to build it to give context to anyone who doesn't live in AB and who wouldn't know the who, what, whys of the situation leading up to yesterday's end of a dynasty.

So if you need a bit more context or want to scratch that itch you have about reading about the strange political maneuverings of a Canadian province, it might be there for you.
posted by nubs at 8:59 PM on May 6, 2015


I've contacted the mods and asked them to delete this post: I couldn't find the earlier thread and it didn't come up when I was writing this one, either.

The other post has 200 plus comments and is currently active, so we're all better off there.
posted by jrochest at 9:02 PM on May 6, 2015


The other two polling stations on the same Cree reserve, but in a neighbouring riding (Drayton Valley - Devon), votes 610 to 21 in favour of the NDP. That's 92% turnout among the 686 registered electors in those two areas, with 97% of the votes cast going to the NDP. The vocal support that the NDP has given to Aboriginal rights - a complete contrast with the right-wing provincial parties - may have made a material difference for the election.
posted by clawsoon at 9:06 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


And one run by a woman, at that.

Don't make too much of that; remember, in the last election, the winning party and the runner up - both right-wing parties - were lead by women. Keep in mind that, despite all the fundamentalism, Alberta has a long history of women in politics.
posted by clawsoon at 9:11 PM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


cacofonie, Bob Rae is ancient history in Ontario, and irrelevant in Alberta.

I'm pretty sure that Bob Rae is still mentioned at least once in every Calgary Sun comment thread about the NDP. It's Godwin's Law of Canadian Politics.
posted by clawsoon at 9:17 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]




The question that interests me is will the PCs survive as a party?

There's some precedent. The SoCreds before them died on the vine without ever retaking power. The Wild Rose could stomp a PC resurgence in the election. I suggest that what matters most for both right wing parties is good leadership, something WR seems to lack, and the PCs, well, who wants to be their Jean Cherest?
posted by bonehead at 9:47 PM on May 6, 2015


The question that interests me is will the PCs survive as a party?

I did riding-by-riding calculations, and it would've taken about a third of the PC vote shifting to Wild Rose to get a Wild Rose government, an NDP opposition, and the PCs completely eliminated from the Legislature.

That seems like it could be well within the realm of possibility for the next election.
posted by clawsoon at 10:08 PM on May 6, 2015


Finally, as a public servant, I'd had such high expectations of Prentice when he won the PC leadership. I'd worked under him in the federal government and he seemed steady and competent there. I don't know what the hell happened to him here.

I think Prentice spent too much time in Ottawa, and came back here with the attitude that Alberta had made a mess of itself and had to be cleaned up. His basic idea seemed reasonable - rely less on oil revenues and more on taxation, so we're not so vulnerable to oil price shocks. But the way he communicated it was tone deaf. That whole "look in the mirror" to see who's responsible thing made it sound like ordinary Albertans had gone hog wild and spent up a storm on on fripperies like hospitals and schools, and Papa Prentice had to set things right by taking away our credit cards. That's actually more of a Wildrose position, but listening to him he gave the impression that the PCs were about to cut, cut, cut.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:16 PM on May 6, 2015


Am exceedingly happy - for the first time since I have been voting and calling this province home, I finally feel like my vote made a difference.

Raising some corporate taxes and perhaps re-thinking how taxation of non-renewable energy companies are handled in this province desperately with a view to how other jurisdictions handle things.

Oh... the fear-mongering has been hilarious today... "They" (energy-sector) will take their investments, and go to other jurisdictions before they will accept higher taxes... A couple things are completely crazy about that mentality... Resource extraction depends on... access to the resources... Next... it's helpful to do that in a generally stable country, without uncontrollable, unknown and unplanned issues always looming... (i.e. poor quality labour force, terrorism/extremism, etc.)

But finally... "they" have already been doing that... Energy prices down? Layoff everyone, shutdown all investment... Well, perhaps when oil was $140/barrel, our government should have been taxing it accordingly...

Yep... Look in the mirror PC's...
posted by jkaczor at 10:20 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh... And I am a small business owner - I can afford a 2% tax increase to my corporation, so that my kids (and others) can have a better future in this province, instead of constantly catering to publically traded companies whose only long-term planning is what their next couple quarterly reports are like...
posted by jkaczor at 10:31 PM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


The question that interests me is will the PCs survive as a party?

Fuck no. They'll slowly suffocate on their own and Jean would need some kind of of severe perceptual defect to even entertain the idea of a merger. The PCs are done. He can just wait four years and allow the supporters, voters, and money to slowly bleed over to his party and avoid the massive PR problem that a formal merger would bring. The right-wing in Alberta will coalesce behind the WR for a while, lacking any other alternative, without a doubt.

I have high hopes that they're dead in the long term, but I'm not naive enough to not expect to be burned by this province. Oil money and desperation can buy a lot of lunacy.
posted by figurant at 10:32 PM on May 6, 2015


Was thinking of investing in husky after their CEO came out and said he was just fine with the NDP win, thanks. He said something to the effect of business doesn't steer the ship, we adjust our sails to take advantage of prevailing winds.

Sounds like someone who can do in in business without cronyism.
posted by chapps at 10:34 PM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


Here's something, too, and it's had plenty of mention in the coverage linked above - Quebec is pretty important to carrying a federal election. Jack Layton managed to carry it for the NDP federally for a variety of reasons. Moreover, the NDP managed to carry alot of ridings in Quebec with young people - 18 of Quebec's current nDP MPs are 35 or younger. A surprising number are under 25. The NDP just did the something similar in Alberta provincially - the median age of MLAs in the Alberta legislature just dropped by 10 years.

Don't know if you can extrapolate that to what young people might do or not do in the next federal election, but it's a hopeful sign for those of us who aren't fans of Harper et al, and who think Justin Trudeau is a lightweight poseur.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:21 AM on May 7, 2015


Oh, Trudeau. The bloom went off that rose right quick, didn't it?

I'm in a very very very solidly L riding, although with the boundaries being redrawn for October, it's remotely possible (doubtful) that it's up for grabs. Most likely I'll be free to vote my conscience, thankfully. And I'd had such hopes for him. I mean, I understand why he says he voted in favour of C-51, it makes sense. Can't help but think he's talking out both sides of his mouth, though, since the groundswell of opposition to the bill would probably nullify any benefit Harper can get out of caning the issue during the actual election. (And as a side note this fixed election date crap is for the birds. Makes a mockery of the 'no campaigning' rule).

Yay Alberta, though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:36 AM on May 7, 2015


Hell, Calgary Center voted 25% Green in the past federal by-election

*ahem*

25.7%
posted by gompa at 1:53 AM on May 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm curious... what does this mean for the oil/tar sands industry?

Or those poor old Koch boys on Struggle Street?
posted by Mezentian at 2:56 AM on May 7, 2015


cacofonie: The vote split I mention wouldn't be in Alberta, but elsewhere. Some Ontarians, for example, might look at it and think, hey maybe I'll try the NDP this time, splitting off just enough votes from the Liberals to give ridings to the Conservatives.

buoys in the hood: I was just using the left/right shorthand. Maybe it would be better to say the minority right and the majority not-right, or minority Harper supporters (who'll vote en bloc for the Conservatives) and the majority Harper haters (who come in a variety of political shades and will split their votes among NDP, Green, and Liberals). It was looking like they were going to mostly coalesce around Trudeau this time to at least end Harper's majority, but at least some may be shifting to the NDP (oh, and hey, look at that! "I worked the last 3 federal elections for the Liberals, but the last 6 months have made sure I will definitely be voting NDP" It's happening already).

Just look at the numbers over at threehundredeight. You've got the Cons and Libs at 31-32%, and the NDP at 23%. You swing ten points from the Libs to the NDP, and they just trade positions, with Harper still on top.

This is great news for Alberta, but I'm afraid it means more bad news for the country.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:35 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some Ontarians, for example, might look at it and think, hey maybe I'll try the NDP this time, splitting off just enough votes from the Liberals to give ridings to the Conservatives.

Given that the NDP are the Official Opposition, I think it's only fair to say that the Liberals will split off enough votes from the NDP. Or we could just go with "no party owns voter intentions and they can't be siphoned from one to the other."

Chapps, that is essentially what Husky said in 2007 or so after Danny Williams raised the royalty rate on offshore oil in NL, while all the other players complained and threatened. It lead to the development of White Rose by Husky, which I think did pretty well.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:00 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a commenter elsewhere pointed out, the oil industry manages to keep doing business with every corrupt, violent, unstable regime in the world without a problem. It'll keep doing business in Alberta after this minor shift left, so long as oil prices stay high enough to make it profitable.
posted by clawsoon at 4:10 AM on May 7, 2015


You've got the Cons and Libs at 31-32%, and the NDP at 23%. You swing ten points from the Libs to the NDP, and they just trade positions, with Harper still on top.

This is great news for Alberta, but I'm afraid it means more bad news for the country.


You're assuming that the Tories aren't going to lose any votes, and I don't think that'll prove to be the case.
posted by orange swan at 5:10 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm sure the NDP will draw some support from the Conservatives, but it'd be crazy to suggest they'll draw more from the Conservatives than they will from the Liberals.

Look at the current seat projection:
Con 141
Lib 116
NDP 76
Bloc/Green/Other 5

Take ten seats from the Cons, twenty from the Libs, and give them to the NDP. All that does is maintain Mulcair as official opposition, under Harper yet again.

There's still five months to go, and really anything could happen. But the "alternative to Harper" position has to decide on Mulcair or Trudeau. Either one is fine with me, for very different reasons, but that's part of the problem. Non-Harper voters have two attractive choices, which will keep them divided and allow the Cons to hang on for another round.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:49 AM on May 7, 2015


Non-Harper voters have two attractive choices, which will keep them divided and allow the Cons to hang on for another round.

Well, non-Harper voters who care less about the personalities involved and more about the policies have one choice if meaningful security, foreign and broad-level social policy differential from the Harper government mean anything at all to you.

This whole notion of strategic voting implies a significant block of voters will only choose one of two parties. It is a false choice. The Liberal Party is not a party of lefties - if you promote it to Liberals and it takes shape, a bunch of their right-wing folks vote Conservative in the next election rather than see an NDP government rise to power which further relegating them to obscurity.

There's a reason Mulclair is willing to work with Trudeau, but Trudeau is not willing to work with Mulclair - because he loses a significant block of voters for whom a true left party is a worse-case scenario than a Harper majority. Presenting the left as a disorganized group of (currently) 192 seats who just need to get their ducks in a row is not presenting what is actually the political landscape in Canada.
posted by buoys in the hood at 6:11 AM on May 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Welcome, friends comrades, to #NewAlbertastan. Some re-education is apparently necessary:

Our capital is Notleysburg (I had hoped for St. Notleysgrad, but you can't have everything). Our other major city is Petrolgrad. Stand by for further name changes. For those enjoying the hockey playoffs, the Red Mile remains open, now with 50% more Red.
posted by nubs at 6:40 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the other thread: How many hours until the "Alberta economy sucks because NDP, it's just like Bob Rae" drumbeat starts? posted by clawsoon

On Facebook my oil industry friends are posting paeans to Jim Prentice and stuff like: "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man. -Mark Twain". (I guess Alberta is the dog.)
posted by sneebler at 6:46 AM on May 7, 2015


non-Harper voters who care less about the personalities involved and more about the policies have one choice

Sure, you've just defined "core NDP voter". That's also a small percentage of actual voters. There's also a similarly small "core Liberal voter", and a similarly small "core Conservative voter". These numbers are augmented by those with an affinity for the individual leaders, and then there's the general public. Which way this last group breaks will decide the next election.

This isn't about strategic voting. I'm not suggesting anybody should vote a particular way, I'm just predicting how they will vote.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:49 AM on May 7, 2015


Kevin O'Leary on the AB election: "When you get an NDP government, you get disaster."

Other gems:
Alberta was the shining light of capitalism in North America, and now it's fallen of the cliff into a socialist... bog.

We saw this before in Quebec.... within 24 months it was a complete collapse of the business cycle... no capital went there, deals fell apart... it was just a disaster.
His hyperbolator is stuck on 11.
posted by sneebler at 7:44 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd had such high expectations of Prentice

Yeah, I'm pretty disengaged from CanPoli these days, but Prentice always seemed solid/decent. Maybe that was because compared to Baird, McKay, Van Loan, etc., a used condom would seem solid/decent. I assume he went to AB with the expectation that a good term as premier could translate into a legit bid for Prime Minister down the line, but he shit the bed and good on this one.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:48 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


The CBC, looks ng to the UK keeps noting that reform was the key inspiration for UKIP, and I keep adding in my head, and the reform are our current conservative government and shudder.
Someone from Alberta, are Alberta conservatives more like the old PCS OR Reform?
posted by chapps at 7:49 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I dug a little further into the Aboriginal vote in northwestern Alberta, and didn't find the clearcut results that were there in Wetaskiwin-Camrose, where the NDP completely dominated the Aboriginal vote and gave them half of their margin of victory. ("Aboriginal" tab on spreadsheet.) This is possibly because I don't know the other ridings as well, so I had to blindly include any electoral districts with reserves without knowing whether the Aboriginal vote was dominant in them.

There were two additional interesting results, though: In Stony Plain, the Paul and Enoch reserves went 87% NDP, but only had the raw numbers to contribute 22% of the NDP margin of victory.

In Peace River, the various districts with reserves went 71% NDP and contributed 138% to the very slim (282 vote) NDP margin of victory.

So in at least two ridings (Wetaskiwin-Camrose and Peace River), the NDP willingness to talk about Aboriginal issues made a definite difference.

(Data sources: Maps, results.)
posted by clawsoon at 8:00 AM on May 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Holy shit, I didn't know about the beard on the Leduc-Beaumont NDP winner.

Seriously, check out that epic beard.
posted by clawsoon at 8:10 AM on May 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sure, you've just defined "core NDP voter".

No - people who are moving around right now in polls are not core voters - they're people for whom the platform, votes (like Bill C-51) are shifting the landscape.

This isn't about strategic voting. I'm not suggesting anybody should vote a particular way, I'm just predicting how they will vote.

You've presented this as a unified right and a divided left, and then as Harper vs. non-Harper voter, and as the NDP splitting the uncommitted strategic voter in your first comment. All I'm saying is those are not breakdowns that reflect the actual landscape at this point in time. You can't have a small core of Conservatives at the same time you have a unified right, which are two things you've said here.

Most people who present the strategic vote scenario as one we should be concerned about are centrists who believe the left should just give up the fight and become non-Harper voters for Trudeau. It's a tired redress of the former "natural governing party" shtick which painted lefties as doing something wrong for not compromising relentlessly on their principles, which is again why Trudeau refuses to work with Mulclair and the reverse would.
posted by buoys in the hood at 8:18 AM on May 7, 2015






I'm pretty sure a beard like that hasn't been elected in Canada since the 1890s.
posted by clawsoon at 8:25 AM on May 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


chapps & Alvy, I don't think it's an extreme view to point to the well-established links between Alberta's Reform Party, the provincial PCs, and think tanks like the Manning Centre for Democracy, the Fraser Institute, the U of Calgary's economics school (where Stephen Harper did his Master's) the U of C's school of public policy, the Canada West Foundation, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and the National Citizen's Coalition. Gutstein's argument in the book linked above is that there's a network of well-funded organizations who exist to promote a pro-business political climate, and they're intimately connected to the people who have run the PC & Reform parties over the last several decades. If the proof is in the pudding, they've been wildly successful in Alberta: lowest corporate taxes in Canada and some of the lowest oil royalties anywhere.

My impression is that Prentice, his conservative business credentials, is still the tool of the Reform party politics in Alberta. He did ok by being the nice-guy senior executive, but I think his behaviour on Tuesday shows his real colours, and he's not willing to be the leader unless it's business as usual.

More interesting commentary from Andrew Nikiforuk.

posted by sneebler at 8:27 AM on May 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh good lord, buoys. Wilfully obtuse doesn't even begin to describe your response. Where, in ANY of my comments, did I suggest people should just give up this NDP flirtation and come back to their true home with the Liberals? Was it when I said, "Either one is fine with me", or when I said, "I'm not suggesting anybody should vote a particular way"?

Full disclosure: I've voted Liberal, PC, NDP, and Green.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:32 AM on May 7, 2015


Thanks sneebler!!! That is really helpful, and I will have a look at those links.

Re:
Holy shit, I didn't know about the beard on the Leduc-Beaumont NDP winner.
Over here on Vancouver island, local media is proudly proclaiming the beard as one of our own -- a graduate of Cowichan High (along with another new MLA, actually). The Principal is all over the news with fond memories!

On facebook friends of friends knew him and were all "OMG Shaye just got elected dudes!". (Best of their facebook comments: " I thought that slogan said shave Anderson!"). So of course I liked his page and he has the best campaign fundraiser poster. The beard wins it.
posted by chapps at 8:47 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


re: NDP in Alberta implications for upcoming Federal Government: Non-Harper voters have two attractive choices, which will keep them divided and allow the Cons to hang on for another round.

Looking to the UK it seems likely that come tomorrow morning, they will have another coalition government except this time Labour-SNP. Despite Trudeau's rejection a month or two back, might the Liberals form a coalition with the NDP?
posted by standardasparagus at 9:52 AM on May 7, 2015


Where, in ANY of my comments, did I suggest people should just give up this NDP flirtation and come back to their true home with the Liberals?

You said up front "Now we'll have an emboldened NDP, splitting the uncommitted strategic voters, and giving the Conservatives the lead." News flash - they finished second federally last time. They were emboldened by the voters.

The notion is that the strategy would be to not split these - for which the NDP actually agree with you, and is why Mulclair has stated publicly he's open to a coalition. The Liberals are the ones who don't want that, at least not with Mulclair, but they weren't the ones you identified as splitting things.
posted by buoys in the hood at 9:59 AM on May 7, 2015


MacLeans: The Death of the Alberta PC dynasty - long read, but good.
Lougheed and Klein were the opposing poles of Alberta politics for quite a while: patrician and populist, uncommon man and uncommonly common man, large-P Progressive and large-C Conservative. The Alberta PCs have finally, it seems, been torn apart between the two tendencies that they were created to reconcile. Nothing will ever be the same—and yet everything will, for whatever particular sort of government crawls out of this magnificent mess of an election, there are still mountains to be skied down, cattle to be fed, rivers to fish, and bitumen to dig up.
posted by nubs at 10:20 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, I said voters will split their vote between NDP and Liberals. Exactly where did I say they shouldn't do that?

As for their second place finish in the last election, who gives a damn where the NDP support was in 2011? Quick news flash for you - Mulcair is not Layton, Trudeau is not Ignatieff. What are the numbers today? Let's take a look...

(from threehundredeight.com, May 7) Federal projection updated: CPC 129-164 (33%), LPC 94-128 (31%), NDP 64-88 (23%), GPC 2 (8%), BQ 1-4 (5%).

That's the situation you have to work from. Of course Mulcair is open to a coalition... he's looking at a third place finish if an election were held today. The NDP has been hovering between 20-25% for months. Of course Trudeau won't talk about a coalition... the Liberals have been in the lead in polls as recently as two weeks ago, and are 8-10 points higher than the NDP. What exactly do they gain?

You're arguing about the situation as you want it to be, I'm talking about what it is now.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:24 AM on May 7, 2015


I am interested to see if there is a shift in support for the NDP post Alberta election (I think there might be, but I am from Vancouver Island where the Liberals are usually third) .. and also if the C-51 vote pushes soft left toward the NDP. I can't imagine that citizens who support traditional Liberal values will like that vote.
posted by chapps at 10:40 AM on May 7, 2015


Postmedia may have forced the Journal to run an endorsement written in Toronto, but it doesn't look like the corporation has much influence on day to day editorial content. This article is the clearest explanation of the PC loss that I've seen yet: Analysis: How the Alberta Progressive Conservative dynasty fell.
“This was not about 2015,” Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said.

“This was about the last 10 years of Alberta politics all catching up to them.”

The stunning collapse can be traced to 2007, when then-Premier Ed Stelmach called a controversial royalty review into the energy sector. The expert panel concluded Albertans weren’t getting their “fair share” from energy development and recommended an increase in royalty rates...
(Watch out for autoplaying video.)
posted by Kevin Street at 10:42 AM on May 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Quick news flash for you - Mulcair is not Layton, Trudeau is not Ignatieff.

Five months before the last election, Layton wasn't Layton. Mucair is five points up on where Layton was (and had been for considerable time) at this stage of the game last time. Since then, the NDP provincially has done a lot of work and now has a legitimacy in Harper's own province among others.

Trudeau is down seven points from his own peak. It's not been roses since he took over and he hasn't found a way to sustain his popularity yet. But regardless - the writ hasn't dropped yet, and last election proved that treating politics five months ahead of time as a set thing isn't sensible.

The NDP has been hovering between 20-25% for months. Of course Trudeau won't talk about a coalition... the Liberals have been in the lead in polls as recently as two weeks ago, and are 8-10 points higher than the NDP. What exactly do they gain?

Trudeau called it a non-starter from moment one. He's since re-clarified it to be a non-starter with Mulclair in charge, but when he took over the Liberals were still third and he wasn't interested.

But - regardless - he gains sniffing at a majority as a partner vs. needing a big surge to be a minority government right now or adopting a prominent role as an opposition leader again.
posted by buoys in the hood at 10:50 AM on May 7, 2015


This article is the clearest explanation of the PC loss that I've seen yet

Yeah, it is good. It also mentions the Bill 10 debacle, which I think everyone else has ignored so far. That moment was interesting, because it showed that the party wasn't reading the mood of the province on issues and it also showed that the public was ready to fight back and that they could do so, successfully.
posted by nubs at 11:00 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although this bit: "Somehow, the two-year-old saga of PC MLA Mike Allen’s prostitution conviction surfaced and made headlines once again." is a little weird - it's obvious to me:

That came back up because Lall was disqualified from running because at one time, 8 years ago, his ex took out a restraining order against him; said order is no longer in effect and nothing else happened. So the logical question becomes if a an 8 year old legal issue that resulted in nothing is enough to disqualify a candidate, why is someone who is convicted of soliciting two prostitutes while on government business still an acceptable candidate?
posted by nubs at 11:06 AM on May 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well put!
posted by Kevin Street at 11:09 AM on May 7, 2015


If we want to make Ignatieff comparisons, Jim Prentice could be a great parallel: Party flails around for a few years, going through a series of disappointing leaders; finds a saviour from out of town with impressive credentials; the high and mighty of the party push the saviour into place; saviour gives off the sense that his commitment to being a humble servant of average folks is weak; saviour delivers worst party result in decades.
posted by clawsoon at 11:10 AM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


The pre-election thread had a pre-election pundit podcast that was very interesting. I'm listening to the post-election pundit podcast from the same guys, and it's equally interesting.
posted by clawsoon at 11:12 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mulcair is five points up on where Layton was (and had been for considerable time) at this stage of the game last time.

Right, and what happened last time? Layton got an amazing late surge, overtook the Liberals as Official Opposition, and gave Harper his first majority government - exactly the point I've been making.

As for coalition, it doesn't matter what place the Liberals were in before Trudeau took over; since he was chosen leader the Liberals vaulted ahead of all parties and held that position for almost two years.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:16 AM on May 7, 2015


Of course Trudeau won't talk about a coalition...

He certainly shouldn't have said anything at all about a coalition. Very unfortunate that he's widely quoted as saying "I’m unequivocally opposed to any sort of coalition" and "The fact is, I’m opposed to coalitions." I'd rather see a Liberal government despite its leader's habit of saying stupid things, but it would be a sort of prosaic justice if he finds himself in opposition to a Conservative-NDP coalition.
posted by sfenders at 11:43 AM on May 7, 2015


One of the most interesting things that the NDP might do in Alberta is ban corporate donations to provincial political parties. It could be a popular move (if the Vote Compass results are to be believed) and it would turn off the flood of corporate money that has a) kept the PCs alive for so long, and b) boosted Wild Rose when the PCs went off-corporate-message with the royalty review.
posted by clawsoon at 11:45 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


And - smartly I think - the proposal is to ban both corporate and union donations, so the NDP won't be accused of playing favourites here. The Wildrose has made similar noises.
posted by nubs at 11:56 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kevin O'Leary on the AB election: "When you get an NDP government, you get disaster."

Also: "We can get rid of this government, as we did the government in Quebec."

He doesn't make it sound like that "we" is "we the people".
posted by clawsoon at 12:33 PM on May 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Another random thought: My assumption up until a couple of seconds ago was that the vote-splitting on the right would go away in a couple of years and the NDP would be a one-term government.

However, the result of the floor crossing by Danielle Smith and friends was so disastrous that it may keep the right from uniting for a long time. Who in Wild Rose will want to raise that stench of sleazy backroom politics again? Combined with Wild Rose being too hard-right to win in the cities, the NDP just might win a second term. That would be an even more fascinating result.

Alberta conservatives, whatever else you might think of them, proved with the early years of the Reform Party that they were willing to vote for losers for a decade so long as those losers stuck to hard principles. If you only have experience of Harper - an Ontario boy, I might point out - you might not realize that conservative Alberta voters are willing to spend time in the wilderness to stick with their principles.
posted by clawsoon at 12:56 PM on May 7, 2015


For a look at how the ban on corporate donations might effect the different parties, you can examine the financial disclosures on Elections Alberta's website. The annual contribution reports are all scanned from paper documents and are not easily amenable to scraping and manipulating, but all the quarterly reports for parties and constituency organizations have a standard format and are presumably produced by Elections Alberta from electronically submitted records.

Unfortunately, the quarterly reports don't have a nice simple field that says if a contributor is an individual or an organization, so it's hard to get totals automatically. But you can still examine each contributor to classify them manually. Disclaimer: this may not be perfectly accurate.

For example, I've gone through the PC's 2014 Q3 party contribution report (i.e. receipted contributions directly to the party, rather than a constituency org) to get some totals . I've picked this one because it was a comparatively uneventful period for party donations. The leadership campaign was going on, but most of the activity from supporters would have been donations to the candidates and membership purchases to vote for the leader. I'm not sure if it's especially representative, but it was shorter and I'm lazy.

I count $195,736.75 in business/union contributions and $141,679.51 in contributions from individuals where the total amount of contributions from the individual/organization was over $250.00 (if it's below that amount, parties don't need to include the contributor's details in their quarterly reporting to EA, although they do need to include the total of all contributions received). So yes, on the face of it, a ban on non-individual contributions will probably hit the PCs pretty hard. If anyone wants to try running the numbers for the NDP or WR for comparison, I'd be interested. The WR has publicly released their election contributions before they're required to by Elections Alberta, but elections can be a special case and difficult to compare with normal support levels.

Of course, the PCs aren't likely to be looking at the same level of financial support for the foreseeable future, and the NDP is going to be awash in donations simply by virtue of being in power. And there are ways of getting around bans and donation limits, with varying degrees of success (see Daryl Katz or Stettler County). All this is to say that looking at old records isn't going to be necessarily predictive of how a corporate/union ban might effect the topography. But it certainly looks like the PCs will get it in the neck.
posted by figurant at 1:38 PM on May 7, 2015


Danielle Smith says Wildrose floor-crossing not sole reason for Alberta PC defeat. The venom in the comment section toward the opportunism of Smith and Prentice goes some way toward explaining the election result.
I mean, seeing our official opposition fold their tent was pretty darn humiliating to all Albertans.
posted by clawsoon at 1:42 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


The NDP doesn't accept corporate donations and periodically makes a show of returning them if they receive them (thanking the corporation for their intention of support). So it you'd only have to look for union donations and the analysis would be pretty quick.
posted by Kurichina at 1:42 PM on May 7, 2015


Yeah, since the NDP quarterly contribution reports weren't that sizable in 2014, I've checked the numbers for the same period. It looks like $36,323.47 from organizations (exclusively unions) and $36,270.78 from individuals. A bit more of an even split.
posted by figurant at 1:45 PM on May 7, 2015


Kinda a non sequitur but apparently Stephen Notley of Bob the Angry Flower fame is Rachel's brother.
posted by juv3nal at 2:32 PM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Post-election joke (not mine):

Notley: Knock knock.
Prentice: Who's there?
Notley: Orange.
Prentice: Orange who?
Notley: Orange you glad you called an election?
posted by clawsoon at 2:54 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I thought this comparison was kind of funny.
posted by Kurichina at 8:13 PM on May 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Kevin O'Leary on the AB election: "When you get an NDP government, you get disaster."

It's a pretty safe bet that anything that venomous dollar-sucking machine says is bad is actually good for most people.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:40 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


And, Global has poll by poll maps that give a more granular geographic detail about how votes split. My two arm-chair poli sci observations:

1. You can see an urban rural split way more in these maps than in riding level maps. A lot of the smaller (i.e. not Calgary and not Edmonton) cities were NDP in the centre, even though sometimes it was offset by rural areas being in the same riding.

2. Almost all of the large (i.e. rural/remote) area that went NDP are majority aboriginal, if not reservation.

3. Both of those populations are the fastest growing in the province.

I'd love to do an overlay of those poll by poll maps with education level, % aboriginal and median income, but I don't have too much time for that thing any more and we don't have recent, accurate census data anymore (fuck you very much Stephen Harper).
posted by Kurichina at 10:23 PM on May 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


That poll by poll map is awesome, thanks Kurichina!
posted by clawsoon at 5:45 AM on May 8, 2015


O'Leary, memeified.
posted by clawsoon at 6:45 AM on May 8, 2015


Looking more at the map Kurichina linked to, it's interesting that in PC country (Grande Prairie, Whitecourt, Camrose, Vermillion, etc.), the towns went NDP, while in the heart of Wildrose country in southwestern Alberta, the towns went PC (Oyen, Consort, Coronation, Provost, Bassano, etc.) Living near other people makes you shift a bit left even if you're in the heart of conservative country.
posted by clawsoon at 8:02 AM on May 8, 2015


Dear UK,

Those of us wishing for OneTermTony are a little disappointed in you.
But enjoy those cuts.
The ones that were not talked about before the election, that will no longer be tempered by the Lib Dems.
Yeah, you think about that.

Regards,
The Colonies.

PS: WTF? How did the polls get it so wrong? The Beeb suggests Tory voters are ashamed of voting Tory. Which, if true... Jesus.
posted by Mezentian at 8:05 AM on May 8, 2015


Dear UK,

Um, I think you're looking for this other FPP. I know, you thought searching for "20 year old student defeats long-time establishment figure in major northern city" was specific enough, but it turns out, it wasn't. You were looking for this, but wound up here.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:25 AM on May 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Damn. I have too many windows open.
Thanks.
I did indeed type this into the wrong window.

I will take my shame and go.

(Or I could make some lame "British Colombia" joke to hide my shame....)
posted by Mezentian at 8:28 AM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The times, they are a changin'...
posted by clawsoon at 8:30 AM on May 8, 2015


MeFi's own gompa has a piece up in the New Yorker about this.
posted by nubs at 8:59 AM on May 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a pretty safe bet that anything that venomous dollar-sucking machine says is bad is actually good for most people.

The other thing about Kevin O'Leary is that there are even a lot of people on Bay Street who think he's a fraud. Here's why: just after the post-2008/2009 crash in stock markets, he launched a series of funds, most of which have crashed and burned mightily. All of this happened during a time when all you had to do, if you had the capital, was scoop up a smattering of blue-chip dividend-paying stocks that had been beaten down with the rest of the market. Or even just buy the TSX, NYSE or NASDAQ indices.

Three to five years later, you'd wind up with a tidy profit on the sale of those stocks that, in the meantime, would have paid you to wait with dividends.

Not Kevin O'Leary, oh no -- as the Globe and Mail noted in this piece, Kevin O'Leary: He's not a billionaire, he just plays one on TV.

But wait, there's more. Mattel's purchase of his software company turned out to be a complete dog, and forced them to eat $300 million in losses.

Mark McQueen, who runs a private equity fund and is therefore far from being any kind of lefty, made it a personal project to track what O'Leary was up to, and created his own shadow portfolio to compete with some of the O'Leary funds. There's a roundup of some of his O'Leary blog posts here. The tl;dr on those is that anyone with basic portfolio management experience, given the prevailing equity and fixed income markets during the period in which O'Leary's funds were getting into trouble, would have had to go out of their way to shit the bed as badly as they did. Of course, O'Leary wasn't personally managing these funds, but it's his name and brand on them. You'd think that he would've at least batted average if he was the financial genius he touts himself as being.

All of this is a long way of saying that FFFM is exactly right on KO.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:16 AM on May 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


I was listening to a fairly right-leaning radio station because they were doing an exit interview with MLAs Lukaszuk and Laurie Blakeman and right after that ended the host brought up O'Leary and said something to the effect of:
"If there's one thing dealing with wildly successful business men has taught me it's that money talks but wealth whispers.

O'Leary talks a lot."
Monied interests might be careful about provoking a backlash in Albertans of all leanings if they keep shitting on this election outcome because, ultimately, they're insulting the ability of the people of this province to make good decisions or to work hard and succeed under challenging circumstances.
posted by whittaker at 12:54 PM on May 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


On the same theme - Canada West Foundation Blog: Oil Patch could benefit from NDP win
posted by nubs at 3:38 PM on May 8, 2015


Monied interests might be careful about provoking a backlash in Albertans of all leanings if they keep shitting on this election outcome because, ultimately, they're insulting the ability of the people of this province to make good decisions or to work hard and succeed under challenging circumstances.

This is what I think is most stupid about McKay's Albertastan remark, and the other Tories who fear-monger by talking of capital flight. If they really support the business interests of ALberta, they will not invoke fear or suggest wise investors will stay away.

In the CBC footage where McKay and other conservatives were interviewed I was impressed by the two Alberta Conservative MPs starting at 1:54 (Hon Tim Uppal and Hon Deepak Obhrai)... I thought they were both gracious and thoughtful, not suggesting panic for business at all, and such a contrast to the final interview (MacKay) who is, as usual, a total jackass. (Oliver looks like a even more dreary than average zombie). Though I am an NDPer, I wish the Uppal and Obhrai footage could have been headlined, rather than MacKay's silliness.
posted by chapps at 6:22 PM on May 8, 2015


(nonetheless, I wouldn't mind a Notley Crue shirt plus this one, as a commemorative set)
posted by chapps at 6:23 PM on May 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


That Kevin O'Leary video is pretty outlandish. He actually comes right out and says, "Now we have to bring Alberta to it's knees." Then he goes on to say "...we can get rid of this government as we did the government in Quebec." I see our federal government is big on "conservative values" - is that what he's talking about?
posted by sneebler at 3:21 PM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]




The sunshine list for projects and the campaign finance reforms should be easy wins for this new administration—it's not something that their opponents in the establishment can easily criticize directly.
posted by whittaker at 12:41 PM on May 11, 2015


WR and a number of the other parties campaigned on some of the very same issues, so campaign reform should be dead easy.
posted by bonehead at 12:53 PM on May 11, 2015




Regarding my comment about people criticizing the election result possibly getting a backlash from Albertans.

Survey data suggests that Albertans don't have any Monday morning hangover regrets over the outcome.
posted by whittaker at 1:59 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's some interesting data, whittaker. The visualization of how voters switched (or didn't) parties between 2012 and 2015 is quite fascinating to me.
posted by nubs at 2:33 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


From whittaker's link:
Fully 73% say that that “if the NDP does a good job, I could see myself voting for them in the next election”. This includes 47% of those who voted PC this year, and 49% of those who voted Wildrose.
That's even more shocking than the election result itself.
posted by clawsoon at 8:07 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


clawsoon:

I think this really speaks to my theory that Albertans are not really all that conservative in the ideological sense but their voting choices have been informed more out of a desire for continuity, stability, and a sense of self-identification. I think a key line from this whole election was captured in one of Jen Gerson's articles leading up to election night:
Lewis’s response is extraordinary, even baffling, considering the company — he and the other men at the table are here for a Wildrose event, a speech from new leader Brian Jean: “There’s nothing wrong with a socialist government if it’s run right.”
             –Gerson, Jen. "Government Just Not Being Run Right: Why after 43 Years Alberta May Finally Be Tired of the PCs."
posted by whittaker at 7:28 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Defeated Prentice Apologies at Tory fundraising dinner. I know I saw one wag on Twitter calling him "The Phantom Prentice" for the fact that he has been completely out of sight since resigning the night of the election. I think the man figured that a few years in the Premier's office here was his ticket to the leadership of the federal PCs and the PMO; instead he's now forever going to be tied to the end of the PC dynasty in Alberta.

I think whittaker has a very good point; I know I saw a comment from an anonymous Tory strategist somewhere in all this analysis which basically was to the effect of that their polling on issues was revealing that Alberta was an NDP province years ago, and that strategy had to be keeping the population from realizing it.
posted by nubs at 9:32 AM on May 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm of two minds about Prentice. He is clearly utterly tone-deaf to the public and a clod in front of a microphone. He was also saddled with a party that probably should have lost the last election or even the one prior to that. There were no compelling reasons for voters to elect him back to power, and lots of reasons not to.

Yet, he was the most effective federal minister of the Environment we've had since David Anderson back in Jean Chretien's day, by far the best the Tories have offered. He was effective, and perhaps surprisingly strong on environmental protection. He was behind saying no to a major mining project, the Prosperity mine, in northern BC. Rumor has it that he was fired from cabinet for getting the major oil producers in Canada to agree in principle to carbon limits to meet our international commitments.

His main crime is that he rode in as the anointed savior of the party and Alberta and never got off that high horse. He is clearly terrible at talking to the public and showed aweful judgement before and during the campaign. I think the voters absolutely did the right thing, and seem to have in Notley someone much better in the job. But someone who has the balls to piss off Harper in his own cabinet on climate change, and get industry to go along with it, can't be all wrong.
posted by bonehead at 10:14 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


He sounds like he'd make a great deputy minister, a great civil service head.
posted by clawsoon at 12:36 PM on May 15, 2015




A couple of links-to-links from figurant's link:
The lone employee remaining is Evan Legatt. "He's going to have to wear a lot of hats," according to Smith.

...

A transition committee has been established, drawn from the PCAA executive. Smith says it will assess the financial position of the party and make necessary decisions about its long term viability.

...

The next board of directors meeting of the PCAA is scheduled for May 30 when more belt-tightening measures will likely be discussed.

The party is also not going to hold its annual general meeting this spring, as it announced it would do at the last meeting held in Banff last fall. Smith says there's no point in having one right now, given the results of the May 5 election.
Wow, it seems like they're folding up their tents and going home pretty quick. Discuss its long-term viability? Only one employee is being kept on? No point having an annual general meeting?

This reminds me of that fake reverse-merger Chinese company I invested in that went bankrupt.

Where did all the money go? Surely the PC party has a war chest of some sort put aside... surely?
posted by clawsoon at 2:21 PM on May 15, 2015


That's crazy. If we're not in charge we're going home? If we're not the government, we have no money (seriously, that kind of sounds bad). This does nothing to change my impression of them as sore losers. Forty years wasn't enough. If they don't get to be in charge forever they don't want to play the stupid game and what's the point of this game anyway?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:27 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe they managed their own finances just as well as they managed the province's finances? The gravy train of high oil prices and corporate donations was going to continue forever, right?
posted by clawsoon at 2:32 PM on May 15, 2015


It does seem insane to have the two leading national parties seemingly writing off a province.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:36 PM on May 15, 2015


Where did all the money go? Surely the PC party has a war chest of some sort put aside... surely?

See here for some interesting analysis of the PC party financial position: Alberta PCs using undisclosed trust fund
posted by nubs at 2:52 PM on May 15, 2015


Note that article is from April 2014, hence the dated references to leadership races. But the fact remains that according to the disclosure at that time shows a negative position of almost a million dollars, and since then they've done 4 byelections and a general election that involved some pretty heavy TV and other media buys.
posted by nubs at 2:57 PM on May 15, 2015


It does seem insane to have the two leading national parties seemingly writing off a province.

It might be the reverse: Has Alberta written off the two leading national parties?

And note, too, that the Progressive Conservatives no longer exist nationally. They were absorbed by a party that started in almost exactly the same soil that Wildrose did.
posted by clawsoon at 12:34 PM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]




An interesting follow-up on the Drayton Valley-Devon split, which was noted by Homeboy Trouble:
Candidate Faced Hate on the Campaign Trail

...

Swampy said most of the racism came from smaller towns, and tended to get worse the further she got from Edmonton.

“The closer you get towards Drayton Valley the more that sort of thing happened,” she explained.

“I’ve had doors slammed in my face,” Swampy added.

But Devon was different, according to Swampy, who had only positive things to say about the town.

“Devon was the most supportive of all the areas,” Swampy stated.

After what was clearly a difficult campaign, Swampy had a positive story to share. Swampy said she was picking up some of her NDP road signs in Devon when a car full of young girls pulled next to her, jumped out of the car and ran up to her.

“At first I was scared, I was like ‘oh my God what’s going on?’” Swampy recalled.

But as it turned out, the girls were just excited to see her and actually asked if they could take selfies with Swampy, who was happy to oblige.

...

posted by clawsoon at 1:07 PM on May 24, 2015


« Older Wellness is New Age for the Instagram era   |   "It’s a class I teach once a year; it fills within... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments