24 April 2012

Albertans reject retreat

During her concession speech last night, Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith stated that Albertans just needed more time to get to know her party. In fact, that was why Wild Rose lost so surprisingly—Albertans got to know her party.

Midway through the campaign, Wildrose was sailing. At 40 per cent in the polls, majority territory, it appeared Albertans were indeed in the mood for a change of party, the first in over 40 years. And then voters took a closer look at what kind of change Wildrose represented—and decided they did not want to go there. The fresh young face of Danielle Smith, a bright and vivacious woman, was hiding the reality of old-time fundamentalist Alberta—Social Credit freshly packaged. Albertans are an urban people now—two-thirds live in Calgary and Edmonton—and have no interest in returning to rural values. Indeed, as I have blogged previously, they are rapidly developing more progressive views on social issues.

Wildrose's roots were apparent in the election results. Out of the party's 17 seats, only three were urban—two in Calgary and one in Medicine Hat. Even the smaller, more conservative cities of Red Deer and Lethbridge went PC. As the campaign progressed, Smith had an increasingly difficult time concealing the party's fundamentalist core and spent the last week trying to whack-a-mole her reactionary candidates.

Premier Redford also promised change, and she is indeed a refreshing change from the Klein/Stelmach years. We are now about to see how Progressive her Conservatives are.

No comments:

Post a Comment