Green is the new Orange
April 12, 2019 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Four years ago, Alberta's NDP won a historic election. This year's Canadian election surprise looks like it might come from Prince Edward Island.

In Alberta, a record number of 276,000 voters have already cast their ballots in advance polls, with election day coming on April 16th. The newly united United Conservative Party leader (and former Harper cabinet minister) Jason Kenney has faced allegations of fraudulent voting and a puppet candidate in his recent leadership campaign, and a blistering interview on his horrible history on gay rights. One star UCP candidate had to drop out because of white supremacist comments; another didn't remember his homophobic sermons and stayed on. NDP leader Rachel Notley, who lead her party to the historic 2015 win, has been jokingly called "the best Progressive Conservative premier Alberta ever had" and compared to Alberta saint Peter Lougheed by former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith. Despite all this, the Conservatives have a comfortable lead in the polls, and only magical thinking seems to give the NDP a chance to hold on to power.

P.E.I. elections have been disturbingly regular for the past 50 years, with Liberals and Conservatives trading places every three elections or so. In 2015, the Liberals won for the third time in a row, choosing Canada's first openly gay premier, Wade MacLauchlan. After chewing through five leaders since the last election, though, with the latest being former comedian Dennis King, the Conservatives don't seem to be ready to take their turn. Instead, the Greens under Peter Bevan-Baker, with a message of Genuine Progress Indicator over Gross Domestic Product, have been leading in the polls. With first-past-the-post and a close race, nothing is certain, but "the whole country is watching Prince Edward Island."

The whole country is watching P.E.I. for a second reason: Also on the April 23rd ballot is a referendum on switching to a mixed-member proportional system. They already voted yes once, but they're being given a chance to say yes one more once more.

Feel free to add additional informative links.
posted by clawsoon (91 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for pulling this together; I have not had the heart to bring together links about the Alberta election since I'm living in the midst of it.

Some additional material:
How NOT to Fix Alberta's Hurting Jobs Economy

Alberta's Rage has rendered Jason Kenney near bullet-proof

Alberta then and now: what's changed since the last time we headed to the polls (overly focused on the budget as a factor in 2015 IMO; 4 years ago there was a lot of anger over what was perceived as an arrogant, overly-entitled party as captured in this thread, and the Orange Crush one linked in the main post)
posted by nubs at 11:58 AM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I grew up on the Island, though I haven't lived there in years, so am watching this with great excitement.

(Btw, to all our American friends - this Prince Edward Island election started just over two weeks ago, and there is now less than two weeks to go before election day.)
posted by Mogur at 12:06 PM on April 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

Is The Narwhal an answer to The Walrus, or a coincidence of names?
posted by clawsoon at 12:08 PM on April 12, 2019

Is The Narwhal an answer to The Walrus, or a coincidence of names?

I honestly have no idea.
posted by nubs at 12:14 PM on April 12, 2019

I would love more links for PEI. I found what I could, but I'm coming into it as an ignoramus. What's up with Wade MacLauchlan, in particular? It seems like the province's economy is doing great, but he keeps being described as putting people off with his arrogance. What did he do? (Or not do?)
posted by clawsoon at 12:14 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Interesting stuff. I didn't know this was going on in PEI. I'm a lifelong Albertan and was happy to see the NDP win last time (I voted for them after all). This election I'm voting Green and hoping that they make a good showing, although I fully expect a return to the fascist pipeline maniacs that I grew up with.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 12:24 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Will PEI Start a New Green Wave?

posted by JamesBay at 12:29 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

A few other Alberta links I found insightful over the campaign, both from Jen Gerson:

Governing this province should be an honour, not an inheritance

Are we really ok with Jason Kenney?
posted by nubs at 12:32 PM on April 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Then, again, maybe. Here in B.C., the Greens are a center-right party. Elizabeth May, the leader of the national party, is the sitting MP an affluent riding made up of upper middle-class suburbanites, wealthy retirees and hobby farmers. Adam Olson, one of the provincial MLAs, also represents this riding.

In the last B.C. provincial election, in the Greater Victoria region, where the Greens are strongest, Green candidates typically stole provincial Liberal (a center-right free enterprise party) vote share; the center-left NDP's vote share did not decline compared to previous elections in Greater Victoria ridings.

Andrew Weaver, the head of the B.C. provincial Greens, represents Oak Bay-Gordon Head (where I grew up and my parents still live). Both Oak Bay and Gordon Head have voted Liberal for years and years in B.C. provincial elections. The riding is made up of wealthy upper-middle class households.

Weaver and the provincial Greens rarely if ever address social issues, notably affordability; Weaver's big hobby horse at the moment is ride sharing (Uber, Lyft).

Over in Vancouver, city council has three Green councillors. All of them regularly vote against housing affordability, instead supporting low-density neighbourhoods and the incumbent, house-rich middle class.

Soooo... assuming P.E.I. is a conservative kind of place, maybe it's fertile territory for the Greens. "Save the trees, not the people, etc"
posted by JamesBay at 12:41 PM on April 12, 2019 [9 favorites]

Or, heck, even if you don't have PEI links, tell us some PEI stories. :-)
posted by clawsoon at 12:43 PM on April 12, 2019

For Alberta, I'm really not sure how things are going to go. It seems like wishful thinking to dismiss the polling, but political polling hasn't been very consistent with outcomes in the last few elections. The very high turnout for advance polls seems like it shouldn't favour the incumbent party, but it also might mean a high youth turnout which would lean NDP. Or it might mean a polarised electorate and motivated voters on both sides. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I really just want a repudiation of the common wisdom that Alberta will always vote for the right, and the harder right the better. That's probably true federally, but provincially we would have already been through two terms of a Wildrose government at this point.

Elections Alberta has been very impressive. The advance voting this year has expanded the number of locations, and you no longer need to cast your advance ballot from within your riding, which is great!
posted by figurant at 1:28 PM on April 12, 2019

From the "Alberta's Rage..." piece:
in their roiling hatred of the incumbent NDP government, most Alberta voters are willing to overlook a remarkable amount of race-, gender- and sexuality-based animus
Oh, fuck you, guy. The words you're looking for are racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. They're bigots, man. Get it right.
posted by klanawa at 2:00 PM on April 12, 2019 [18 favorites]

Polls show the race tightening. The NDP is orange crushing it in Edmonton, and it looks like a good old Stampede photo finish in Calgary. The NDP has cemented itself as the main alternative to the Tories.

Rachel Notley has done the party and the province proud. She brought the Left to power after being in the wilderness since 1935. She has made important progress in green energy and diversification.

It brought a tear to my eye as a native Calgarian when she went to a ranch in Nanton yesterday and had a Heartland moment. Win or lose on Tuesday, it's great to be an Alberta New Democrat.
posted by No Robots at 2:52 PM on April 12, 2019 [8 favorites]

I thought the electoral math was a party needs to win 2 out of 3 for rural Alberta, Edmonton and Calgary. The assumption is NDP will win Edmonton, the white nationalists will win rural Alberta, and Calgary is a toss-up. Downtown Calgary has something like an eye-watering 26.5% vacancy rate for commercial spaces (Vancouver, although it is a provincial city with a less sophisticated economy, has a 4.5% commercial vacancy rate).

How pissed off are people in Calgary?
posted by JamesBay at 2:57 PM on April 12, 2019

she went to a ranch in Nanton yesterday and had a Heartland moment

I scrolled up and saw, "Gardner says he's 'not a political animal'" and thought, wait, they're interviewing the horse?
posted by clawsoon at 2:59 PM on April 12, 2019

^She started the meeting with a joke about an equine vacation plan.
posted by No Robots at 3:00 PM on April 12, 2019

I'm excited to be voting for the first time here in Alberta this week, but not so much by what the polls are saying. The argument (made here and around the world) that center right parties are fiscally responsible and center left parties spend and blow up deficits is deeply entrenched in (many) people's psyche, even though the evidence is often to the contrary... Many Albertans want to go back to 2007 when oil prices were high and somehow have convinced themselves that a (UCP) provincial govt can achieve this even though the price of oil is largely dictated by a global market in reality. I do think the NDP made the mistake in this campaign of not selling themselves on their record, since they've done a lot of great stuff.
posted by piyushnz at 3:11 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

While the worst case would definitely be a UCP majority, the stupidest possible outcome would be NDP 43, UCP 43 and a pissed-off and capricious Derek Fildebrant holding the balance of power.
posted by figurant at 3:17 PM on April 12, 2019

@piyushnz: The problem world-wide for the Left is how to combat the histrionics of the Right over economics. It's hard to conduct a rational discussion with people who say over and over that you are ruining the economy.

@figurant: Whereas the balance of power held by the pretty reasonable Stephen Mandel would be alright.
posted by No Robots at 3:21 PM on April 12, 2019

[reads Wikipedia on Derek Fildebrandt]
On August 9, 2017, various news outlets revealed that Fildebrandt was routinely renting out his taxpayer-funded Edmonton apartment on Airbnb which allows him to receive public money while generating revenue from the private rental market. Fildebrandt had openly advertised that he was letting out his apartment on Airbnb and confirmed its compliance with government rules while noting that several other MLA's had done the same thing but had not publicly disclosed this information.
That's allowed? Seems a little weird.
posted by clawsoon at 3:22 PM on April 12, 2019

It 100% is not, much to Derek's surprise. And that's not even the worst of his adventures in office.
posted by figurant at 3:23 PM on April 12, 2019

^Filde got in hot water over renting out his apartment, especially when we learned the renter made a porn movie in the place. We need a Filde post.
posted by No Robots at 3:24 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Let me guess: Editing his own Wikipedia page?
posted by clawsoon at 3:25 PM on April 12, 2019

I was misremembering. It was technically allowed, but this case was egregious enough to update the rules.
posted by figurant at 3:37 PM on April 12, 2019

JamesBay: Here in B.C., the Greens are a center-right party.
Exactly. It is seldom that you hear this from the press, though, which assumes the NDP and Greens are capable of merging. It is interesting to watch the Green Party in the rest of Canada -- will it trade environmentalism for lower residential property taxes, like in BC?

Oak Bay, represented by the BC Green leader, is a wealthy enclave near Victoria, populated by doctors and academics. It once had the only Conservative member in the BC legislature, Dr. Scott Wallace. And, once, an NDP doctor represented the area.
posted by CCBC at 3:41 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've added something that was missing (his hit-and-run) to Fildebrandt's Wikipedia page. Curious to see how long it'll last.
posted by clawsoon at 3:43 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

I saw a link to an updated number of 400,000 advance turnout (I guess including today?), but when I tried to follow it I got an Elections Alberta "Error establishing a database connection".
posted by clawsoon at 3:58 PM on April 12, 2019

...was happy to see the NDP win last time (I voted for them after all). This election I'm voting Green and hoping that they make a good showing

I'm sorry, but this sounds crazy. Why would you not vote NDP again?
posted by Flashman at 4:35 PM on April 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

Digging more into PEI politics (with apologies to any Islanders - please feel free to correct/expand/explain anything I said), it looks like MacLauchlan's ignoring of the result of the first mixed-member proportional referendum was one of the things that soured the province on him. The decision of one of his cabinet ministers to "shove a stubby middle finger in the air" at someone yelling "Honour the vote" seems like it didn't help.

He also ignored a vote against a municipal amalgamation, and there's a something-something about e-gaming that I, being ignorant, haven't found much about yet.
posted by clawsoon at 4:38 PM on April 12, 2019

So the breaking news in Alberta is that the RCMP executed a search warrant at a UCP candidate's office. No clarity on what it was about.
posted by nubs at 4:43 PM on April 12, 2019

How pissed off are people in Calgary?

I'm posting from mobile, so I'm not going link hunting, but Calgary is where Notley is spending pretty much the whole last week of the campaign. I'm seeing a real mix of orange and blue signs here, but from what I'm picking up from the polls is that while the NDP is gaining ground here, its not happening fast enough to catch up to the lead the UCP had coming in.
posted by nubs at 4:58 PM on April 12, 2019

If you liked to hate Derek Fildebrandt, you’ll love to hate Keean Beexte.

Beexte is working for the Rebel, a notorious outfit headed up by Ezra Levant.

Beexte has taken to following NDP candidate Ann McGrath around Calgary-Varsity with a bus that emphasizes that McGrath was once a communist.

Beexte does have his detractors.
posted by No Robots at 5:48 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Islander here. The Greens are still holding on to pretty substantial poll leads and the PC party, which was at historic lows due to a leadership vacuum, has mainly gained at the expense of the Liberals.

The thing that prompted me to look further into the Greens when I first moved back to the island was a Tweet thread by Hannah Bell, their other sitting MLA who won a by-election by surprising the other party machines by campaigning door-to-door pretty relentlessly. Anyway, we have been experiencing a housing crisis for a few years now, with AirBNB operators buying up houses and leaving them empty over the Winter, or subletting during the Winter and then evicting tenants before the Summer starts. So a lot of people on social assistance have been extra squeezed lately. In a panel discussion on the topic, the former mayor of Charlottetown asked 'if so many people had trouble renting, why don't they just buy houses?'. That prompted her to write in reply with this thread
THREAD: an evidence-based response to today's panel discussion on affordable housing on @cbcpei - specifically the comments "what's wrong with home ownership for some of these people?"

"these people" in this case referenced islanders on social assistance from the provincial government to help them meet basic necessities of life, including housing. Social assistance housing rates are administered by the Dept of Family and Human Services.

The 2018 Auditor General report found that shelter rates had not been adjusted since 2013 (ref p 12-14 …) and even though $ was added this year the housing allowance is significantly less than actual rental rates - additional stress for those in dire need.

But even if it was possible for a social assistance client to somehow save money towards the dream of home ownership - they are not allowed to do so. The social assistance policies explicitly prevent clients from building assets and equity.

Remember - it was only in June of this year that the province changed income threshold levels to allow social assistance clients to keep more than $50 of their own money without clawing it back. Think about that for a minute. $50! (5/8)

The limits now start at $2500 (ref: …) which means an emergency fund or saving for a deposit payment is possible - but saving for a down payment is not. And, clients will not qualify for a bank mortgage if on social assistance as you cannot use it as income.

Anyone who is or has been on social assistance, or worked with Islanders for whom this is reality know these rules and restrictions. I would suggest that before we start talking about "these people" and what they could or should be doing we educate ourselves about their experience and work to remove the unnecessary and punitive barriers that we have put in their way. I've made it clear that I have and will continue to make this my priority. Everyone deserves to live in security and dignity. Everyone.
Aside from her being leagues ahead in social media savvy and willingness to talk policy on Twitter in detail compared with other MLAs, that last statement really caught my attention. I met her the next day and asked about being so blunt in saying that last bit, something that even social democrats tend to hedge around by saying things like "No one who works a full time job" etc. and she said she meant every word. So I think assuming that the actual core of the party is just Sierra Club libertarians like the Federal party has been painted as is not a helpful comparison.

One wildcard in the race is Dr. Herb Dickieson, who was previously the only NDP member ever elected as an MLA in his rural district. He's been practicing medicine since then, but the party's finally managed to talk him in to coming back, and on PEI rural doctors will often win whatever party they run for because they are often pretty well-known and liked in their districts. The Green leader, Peter Bevan-Baker is a dentist which gave him a similar leg up. If he wins his seat and the margins come down to one seat like in BC I'd expect some interesting politicking around where he'd go.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:41 PM on April 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

A much better writer than me who's been blogging about local PEI topics also wrote about being a socialist sentimentally but feeling out-of-place in local politics coming to the greens:
On an ideological level, I still had some distance to travel: I was raised by progressive parents, and I developed a deep belief in the NDP and its approach to politics. And a deep suspicion of capitalism. Last March I found myself in an NDP-heavy crowd in Ottawa, and their disdainful view of the Green Party didn’t help clear the air for me. I found myself at a loss to map my belief in the fundamental unfairness of our economic system with what I perceived as a Green Party that didn’t appear to concern itself with ideology as I typically understood it.

My resistance was eroded in part by two Green actions in the Legislative Assembly: the introduction of the Well-being Measurement Act in 2015 and the motion Encouraging government to adopt a “Health in all Policies” approach to governance in 2018.

The bill and the motion both reflected an ecological, systems-thinking approach to government that had enormous appeal to me (that they were greeted by government members with dismissive disregard troubled me deeply).
On the island we are lucky that since the ratio of sitting MLAs to total population is so small, government is incredibly accessible. This post and the people Peter described meeting represent a huge departure from the perception that our politics is captured by networks of people who havne't been challenged to do anything more than manage our neoliberal decline period with as little fuss as possible.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:58 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

(There's a lot more in the last blog post I linked that you should go read to get an idea of what the very best version of intimate local political participation could potentially look like.)
posted by Space Coyote at 9:06 PM on April 12, 2019

Space Coyote: Not meaning to attack the PEI Greens -- if they are the Good Guys this election, then I'm all for them -- just cynical after watching BC Greens.
posted by CCBC at 9:15 PM on April 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Last couple of times i went home (to Alberta), I got an overriding impression from a lot of people who claimed they were on my political side that "it can't happen here" (giving levers of power to out-and-out racists, misogynists, abusers, polluters of clean air and water and the planet, and loathsome bigots of all stripes). "What actions are you taking to make sure of that?" I asked. I suggested a bunch of concrete possible actions. They waffled, deflected, changed the subject.

Credit to the people who did something(s). They're the only ones I'll voluntarily spend time with any more.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:03 AM on April 13, 2019

If the Alberta NDP changed their name to “the Conservative party” and didn’t change a single policy they’d win in a landslide.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:39 AM on April 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

JamesBay: Here in B.C., the Greens are a center-right party.
Exactly. It is seldom that you hear this from the press, though, which assumes the NDP and Greens are capable of merging.,

Worth noting that within the NDP itself there's a lot of confusion over whether it's a liberal party or a socialist party or a labour party or something else. It's really the only option for anyone from disenchanted (federal) Librals to hard-core anarchists (should they condescend to vote). Quite a bit of the tension within the party stems from anger over leaders who are perceived to be too extreme in one or another dimension. A Green could blend in with certain sects within the party easily.
posted by klanawa at 2:13 PM on April 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm still more pleased than I should be that Rachel Notley's brother Stephen is the creator of Bob the Angry Flower
posted by scruss at 7:54 PM on April 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I met him once and I think he was annoyed that all I asked him about was if he knew Adam Thrasher.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:31 PM on April 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this post, clawsoon.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:40 PM on April 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

A Green could blend in with certain sects within the party easily.

I agree the B.C. NDP is a coalition of social democrats (who identify with Tony Blair and Bill Clinton's Third Way), democratic socialists, and urban environmentalists.

Having had a front-row seat on NDP-Green interactions in municipal politics here in City of Victoria and then in BC politics -- a person I went to university with, and who coaches my kid at soccer is now a cabinet minister; a friend organizes and runs elections for the Greens here, I've canvassed in local elections, and frequently connect with city councillors to spout off my annoying views -- I can say that, no, there is little compatibility between the Greens and the NDP.

Notwithstanding the confidence and supply agreement in the Leg, there is mutual loathing and mistrust at a grassroots level.

Lisa Helps, the mayor of Victoria, is probably the most successful quasi-Green politician in the country. But she's a neoliberal, and on council she is balanced by a slate of elected NDP councillors who do not embrace free market economics.

Which is not a bad thing. The biggest issue in the 2018 municipal election in City of Victoria was housing affordability, and the NDP slate (Together Victoria) is focused on getting housing built for renters, and damn the condo developers. About time, and this is in contrast to how the three Greens on Vancouver city council vote (they vote in support of low-density, single-detached status quo).

Which makes me think that at this point in time in urban BC, anyway, affordability is still the #1 issue. It's what got the NDP elected by a whisker in 2017.
posted by JamesBay at 9:23 PM on April 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

low-density, single-detached

That's a Green voting priority??
posted by clawsoon at 4:47 AM on April 14, 2019

...after five days, 696,000 advance votes have been cast, according to Elections Alberta.

That's about 25% of the electorate, if I'm doing my math correctly. Impressive turnout.
posted by clawsoon at 4:57 AM on April 14, 2019

Can anybody tell me more about the "vote anywhere" thing they're doing in Alberta? Any experiences (first- or second-hand) with it? I've never heard of something like that before.
posted by clawsoon at 4:59 AM on April 14, 2019

Here's how it worked for me. I live right on the edge of an electoral district, and the nearest advance voting location was two blocks away in the next district over, so that's where I went.

The person I was with and I had both registered. They had their mailed voter card, and I'd just brought my photo ID. I went in, my ID was scanned, and a ballot was printed on the spot for me. The person at the desk verified with me that the names on the ballot were familiar to me and told me to use the sharpie at the voting station to color in a circle on the ballot. When I went to deposit the ballot there were two boxes, so I'm guessing one of them was the vote anywhere box.

Filling in the circle rather than making an X with a pencil might mean the vote anywhere ballots will be machine scanned, I'm not sure. The whole thing took about two minutes.
posted by figurant at 9:22 AM on April 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

That's a Green voting priority??

In Victoria, at least, you can't tear down a shed without a bunch of old Greens showing up to protest about "heritage". The real ecological issues like climate change are more of an abstraction for them; their real everyday concerns have to do with identity and lifestyle, and as such are essentially indistinguishable from those of suburban conservatives.

They're all for the poors and the coloureds, until someone tries to build affordable housing in Fairfield or Oak Bay, at which point they begin to sound like alt-right anti-globalist conspiracy theorists.

I'm not saying these folks are a majority of Greens, but they are a volcal and irritating faction.
posted by klanawa at 10:00 AM on April 14, 2019

So kinda the Garrett Hardin wing of the Green movement?
posted by clawsoon at 11:10 AM on April 14, 2019

* reads the Wiki on Hardin *

Uh... maybe not quite...
posted by klanawa at 12:52 PM on April 14, 2019

CBC Radio's The House spent its whole show this week on the Alberta election.
posted by clawsoon at 1:06 PM on April 14, 2019

>low-density, single-detached

That's a Green voting priority??

It's a Green constituency in Vancouver (or at least a constituency the Greens are trying to cultivate). There's a huge amount of NIMBYism on Vancouver's West Side -- Kitsilano is a prime example -- around rezoning and increasing density. Essentially, incumbent owners of single-detached housing oppose any effort to densify on the West Side. The three Green councillors on council generally have voted against densification and purpose-built rental.

Broadly speaking, municipal councillors who are aligned with provincial NDP in City of Victoria and City of Vancouver are proponents of increasing supply, notably PBR.
posted by JamesBay at 2:02 PM on April 14, 2019

Filling in the circle rather than making an X with a pencil might mean the vote anywhere ballots will be machine scanned, I'm not sure

So here's the interesting thing with the advance ballots: if people voted inside their riding district, those votes will be counted alongside the ones counted tomorrow. If you voted outside your district, those ballots will all go to Edmonton - where they won't start to be counted until Wednesday (and I am pretty sure I saw a demo a ways back of the machine scanners that they have for that).

We have nearly 700,000 advance voters this time, with 223,000 of those being "vote anywhere" ballots. This could mean we have a few ridings that we don't really know about until later this week.
posted by nubs at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

That's allowed? Seems a little weird.

It was then, but the committee in the Legislature tightened up the rules after the AirBnB scandal.
posted by Kurichina at 10:41 AM on April 15, 2019

Filling in the circle rather than making an X with a pencil might mean the vote anywhere ballots will be machine scanned, I'm not sure.

Apparently, they will be hand counted, the day after election day. Which means if there are any close races, we won't know the results until a few days after election.

Some people are irritated at this, but I don't think there's a good way around it. When you count ballots, you need to allow scrutineers from the parties to be present to supervise the count. But you'd also need that information to be totally confidential if you don't want to alter the results of the campaign. I think it would be far too tempting for a partisan scrutineer to use the information of advance ballot count for it to stay confidential for long.
posted by Kurichina at 10:44 AM on April 15, 2019

Some final news/editorial roundups from out here in AB:

A guide to the Alberta election - the most unlikely political showdown in Canada

Alberta's NDP gains slightly, but Kenney's UCP still sits on the brink of majority

Jen Gerson - What Alberta voters should know about Jason Kenney and the UCP:

...Being angry is the goal. Creating a perpetual culture of grievance and victimhood, one in which we can always blame Ottawa for our suffering, is the goal. All the better to ensure we always elect Conservative premiers—truly, the only premiers who are fighting for Alberta’s interests—to charge Don Quixote style at the distant eastern windmill.

Keith Gerein - Foul campaign filled with fear and fury finally coming to an end

But if the NDP is guilty of stoking fear, the UCP is, to a large degree, guilty of living up to it...UCP Leader Jason Kenny has said of his party that it is “well within the mainstream” of Canadian politics. But it has become increasingly hard to believe him when there is such a volume of intolerance, insensitivity and irrationality among his crop of potential MLAs, and only token efforts to root it out.

The Sprawl - This is no 1935 Alberta election

“You’ve got one party whose vision of government is to ensure that people have adequate health, education and social programming. Then you have the other party, the UCP, wanting to cut all that and claiming that the role of the provincial government is to lure investors at the expense of social programs.”
posted by nubs at 10:51 AM on April 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Looking at CBC's Alberta Poll Tracker, I suspect that people are trying to make a horse race out of what isn't a horse race at all. >99% chance that the UCP gets the most seats, <1% chance that the NDP gets the most seats. Alberta really does need a perfectly divided right for the NDP to have a chance.

The PEI election next week will be much more interesting from a horse race point of view.
posted by clawsoon at 12:35 PM on April 15, 2019

I suspect that people are trying to make a horse race out of what isn't a horse race at all.

I agree clawsoon; there isn't the "feel" that was present in 2015 (or even 2012) when the expected outcome was suddenly in doubt. This has just been the last set of steps in a grinding march towards Kenney's coronation. I'm left hoping there's an effective opposition.

Anyways. I'll maybe check in on Wednesday, after E-day has happened. Curious to see what happens in PEI.
posted by nubs at 2:01 PM on April 15, 2019

More than 13 per cent of P.E.I.'s registered voters cast ballots in the first advance poll on Saturday. I haven't seen an update yet on how the second day of advance polling (on Monday) went, but Elections PEI did retweet a report of an election sign being held down with a 50lb bag of potatoes.
posted by clawsoon at 9:46 AM on April 16, 2019

CBC vote compass results for Alberta this year. People who like filling out political quizzes in Alberta are very polarized this time around. 133,877 people did the quiz.
posted by clawsoon at 3:32 PM on April 16, 2019

CBC projects a UCP majority. A wee bit premature, I think, but they probably aren't wrong.

Ontario is now permitted to roast Alberta again.
posted by figurant at 7:41 PM on April 16, 2019

Rachel Notely's "concession" speech was the most emotional and inspiring thing I've ever seen in Canadian politics. Astonishing.
posted by figurant at 9:12 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Some jackass who's the next premier of this province is driving a Dodge Ram into his victory speech.
posted by figurant at 9:14 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I really had started to put my drinking habit behind me for a while. Not tonight it seems.
posted by figurant at 9:27 PM on April 16, 2019

figurant: Ontario is now permitted to roast Alberta again.

And by that I'm sure you mean "be bestest Conservative buds again, just like in the Harris/Klein days."

It seems like the past few years have basically been a purging of the centrist wing from the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta. Centrists realized that to get power in Alberta, they had to win within the PC party, since the PCs always won the elections. However, they didn't have the support of enough voters, beyond the party machinery, to get the power they were getting. The party convulsions of the previous couple of elections were about realigning the values of the party leadership with the values of conservative voters.

Is that a fair summary?
posted by clawsoon at 3:50 AM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Who would've been the second choice of most Alberta Party voters? I see they got 9% of votes, which seems like it would've been enough to swing a few ridings one way or the other.
posted by clawsoon at 3:53 AM on April 17, 2019

Ontario is now permitted to roast Alberta again.

I have too many friends in Alberta now for that to be fun :(
posted by quaking fajita at 5:12 AM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I plugged the unofficial results (as of right now) into a spreadsheet. If all Alberta Party votes had gone to the NDP, they would've flipped 7 seats to the NDP. If all Alberta Party votes had gone to the UCP, they would've flipped 8 seats to the UCP. In other words, it would've made no difference to the UCP's majority government either way.
posted by clawsoon at 5:19 AM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ontario is now permitted to roast Alberta again.

Really? Is Kenney actually worse than Ford? Aren't we all the same terrible boat? Why would this be the reaction?
posted by Kurichina at 7:04 AM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ontario is now permitted to roast Alberta again.

As an Ontarian? No, we're really not. At least the UCP appeared to run on something vaguely resembling a costed platform. The Ontario Tories did no such thing. I also doubt Jason Kenney's first priorities will be to detonate a policy bomb in Edmonton's city council elections or upload Calgary transit to the province because reasons. We'll see if Kenney decides to force Alberta gas pumps to display petty stickers saying how the federal Liberals will raise your gas prices by up to 11 cents a litre on pain of fines of up to $10,000 a day.

Has Doug Ford even been any better than Jason Kenney in rejecting homophobia and white supremacy? In what way can we roast Alberta, assuming this is even a competition we want to encourage?
posted by chrominance at 7:30 AM on April 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Has Doug Ford even been any better than Jason Kenney in rejecting homophobia and white supremacy? In what way can we roast Alberta, assuming this is even a competition we want to encourage?

I think solidarity in the face of these two assholes would be way more productive.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:15 AM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think solidarity in the face of these two assholes would be way more productive.

4000% agreed.
posted by chrominance at 12:22 PM on April 17, 2019

Apart from the "turn off the taps" thing to BC (can they even do that?), Kenney's only advantage over Ford is that he doesn't seem quite as vindictive. I hear from my (mostly former) colleagues in renewables that the Ford regime is going after contracted FIT wind and solar projects to audit them for domestic content compliance. In some cases these projects have been permitted for over six years, so the owners better have good document retention.

posted by scruss at 8:09 AM on April 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Every Ontario teacher we know says that we will likely have a strike in the fall. We'll see how that plays out.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:40 AM on April 18, 2019

I'm pretty sure Doug Ford hated school and loved beer. He's making class sizes larger so that kids like him can sneak a drink into class. It's for the kids.
posted by clawsoon at 12:47 PM on April 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


I would like to buy this t-shirt. Also, some stickers. Can we get Deco on the horn?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:10 PM on April 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was shocked — shocked! — to hear that Deco weren't making the gas pump stickers
posted by scruss at 2:04 PM on April 18, 2019

Oh, don't worry - soon there will be a bribe for everything!

Ford government introduces 'pay-to-kill' regulations

Ontario's Progressive Conservative government is proposing to allow developers to pay a fee to avoid complying with environmental regulations that protect endangered species.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips said on Thursday that the creation of Canada's first independent Crown agency would "allow municipalities or other infrastructure developers the option to pay a charge in lieu of completing certain on-the-ground activites" required by the Endangered Species Act.

The regulatory charge could be paid by those "who are permitted to carry out otherwise prohibited activities under certain permits, agreements and regulations," according to the announcement. The charge would be within the range of costs that a developer would have paid in meeting the requirements of the permit process needed to build in an area that is home to an endangered species.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:41 PM on April 18, 2019

Key takeaways from the #PEIpoli Leaders Forum this AM::

• Dennis King thinks Evangeline has the best rink fries.
• Wade MacLauchlan might not know what browser history is.
• Joe Byrne can’t exactly remember who he took to prom.
• Peter Bevan Baker has 2 inherited grand-dogs.
posted by clawsoon at 4:48 PM on April 18, 2019

It's funny how much MMP would change the PEI horse race if they go for it. As the polls stand in PEI now, FPTP will lead to... well, it could be a runaway Green majority, or it could be a Conservative minority, or...

But if they go with MMP, the job of predicting the outcome becomes much more straightforward. Or... the outcome of the vote becomes more predictable, and the unpredictability moves to the coalition-building stage.
posted by clawsoon at 5:02 AM on April 19, 2019

36% of eligible voters have cast ballots in the advance polls in PEI.
posted by clawsoon at 6:20 AM on April 19, 2019

P.E.I. Green candidate, son die in canoeing accident days before election
P.E.I. Green Party candidate Josh Underhay and his young son died in a canoeing accident in the Hillsborough River on Friday.

Underhay was the party's candidate in District 9, Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park.

Elections P.E.I. said, in accordance with the Election Act, a byelection will be held in his riding in the coming weeks. The election is set for Tuesday.
posted by rodlymight at 2:43 PM on April 20, 2019

Just came across this piece from Justin Ling.

Tragedy and politics on Prince Edward Island

P.E.I. is, really, a village with the power of a province. And folks from P.E.I. won’t let you forget that — they have four MPs, four Senators, and a seat among the 13 premiers.

Make all the jokes you want about P.E.I. and its tiny size, it is a small Island that matters. And just because their elections don’t have quite the same cut-and-thrust of campaigns elsewhere, doesn’t mean that they don’t take voting seriously. They have the highest voter turnout in the country, at nearly 75 per cent, and a grasp on policy and issues that puts other provinces to shame.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:45 AM on April 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

The results are about to start coming in. CBC live feed.
posted by clawsoon at 3:29 PM on April 23, 2019

P.E.I. … is a small Island that matters.

Its population is only 38% more than the Toronto city ward I live in.

Hey, good on the Greens being official opposition to a Tory minority. I'm sure there will be a cosy stitch-up: this is Canada after all, and PEI politics have a level of complexity and opacity the rest of us can't hope to follow.
posted by scruss at 8:19 PM on April 23, 2019

Looks like the final is:

PC 12
Green 8
Lib 6
(1 seat pending by-election)

The referendum on moving to mixed-member proportional also failed, fairly narrowly.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:31 PM on April 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm guessing the MMP referendum was broken-as-designed? I'm still not over the Ontario one, where the panel was stuffed with friends and family of MPPs and they eventually stated that the system would be too complicated for voters to understand.
posted by scruss at 7:14 AM on April 24, 2019

I'm sure there will be a cosy stitch-up: this is Canada after all

Fair point. Very, very fair point.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:42 PM on April 24, 2019

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