My big takeaways from the Alberta result

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
My big takeaways from the Alberta result

1) Any Alberta government elected in 2015 would have had trouble being re-elected in 2019.  As was the case in Venezuela, the slump in oil prices made hard times inevitable and no government could have done anything there to make itself popular enough to win this year.  The same question hurled at the Chavista government , "why didn't they diversify the economy?", could be asked of the Alberta NDP, as it could have been asked of every government in Alberta and Venezuela that governed before the PSUV and the Alberta NDP

2)Governments presiding over a continuing recession at election time are almost always defeated, wherever they come to power.

 3)It was always going to be futile for the Alberta NDP to try to out-pipeline the Right. Nobody can out-pipeline that crowd.  It was pointless, as well, for Notley to go to war with every non-Alberta wing of her party over the Leap-nobody who hates the idea of the Leap was ever going to start voting for her party.  The only hope she had for any chance of re-election was to focus on turning non-voters into voters by carrying out policies that actually inspired enthusiasm from those alienated from politics.  It isn't possible to win over voters who traditionally vote for the right by appeasing their conservatism-the only way to connect with those voters is to have a strong, coherent set of ideas for the future and to speak out for those ideas with conviction and without apology.  That approach CAN win over some traditional right-of-center voters, because it comes across as leadership.

4)The Alberta NDP has a strong base to build from, but it can only build on it by reaching out to those its leader spurned and directly addressing the fact that Alberta cannot remain an "all that matters is the oil" province much longer.  At some point in the next few decades, the oil will run out.  The voters will be looking for a party that commits truth on that and that conveys hope for a future grounded in diversification away from extractive industries and the building of a sustainable economy for the post-oil days to come.

 

 

JKR

I think once the right united in Alberta under UCP it was inevitable that the UCP would form a FPTP majority government. I think the only way the left can be competitive in a FPTP Alberta against a united right is for the left to also the unite under one banner. I wish it wasn’t so but I think this is just how FPTP works in a province that leans to the right.

Martin N.

There is no dispute about transitioning away from an oil economy, the dispute is simply the timing and severity of the disruption to the economy. Those without a vested interest in Alberta but and emotional response to the threat imposed by climate change prefer a drastic solution that affects others but not themselves while those who prefer a logic based solution that ameliorates the economic disruption are vilified as "deniers".

As A BC resident, I think Jason Kenney should direct oil exports through the existing TransMountain to a dedicated tanker at Westridge Terminal and tell both Us refiners importing through Sumas and BC purchasers of refined products that supply is available but at world Brent pricing.

This approach negates both any NAFTA or constitutional complaint and will lead only to John Horgan being exposed in his hypocracy as a spotlight is shone on the effect of taxes, rather that Horgan's bleat of 'profit gouging' as the cause of high prices.

The problem with oil exports to Sumas by pipeline and California by tanker is that US corporations control the entire value chain and have no interest in diverting product to Asia because they get to sell cheap Canadian crude to themselves in the US and take the profits there.

The world still needs oil and why should Canada take a discount when no one else does?

Martin N.

Kenney has quite a few policy options in his 'toolbox' simply because he isn't afraid to use them. Unlike Notley who naively thought Justin Trudeau was not gaming her.

NDPP

why should Canada take a discount when no one else does?

NDPP wrote:

For the same reasons it agrees to NATO, outrageously bad 'free trade'deals or cutting its own throat on trade with China if Washington wishes. It's a vassal and a submissive one and its own priorities are almost always subordinated to the dictates of others. Which is why virtue-signalling and propaganda politics rather than grass-roots based action and change are so popular here.

Pondering

Martin N. wrote:

Kenney has quite a few policy options in his 'toolbox' simply because he isn't afraid to use them. Unlike Notley who naively thought Justin Trudeau was not gaming her.

None of which can force a pipeline through. Trudeau was not "gaming" her. He bought a pipeline for Alberta than the grand majority of Canadians were against buying. 

Court decisions are decided by law not by who has the biggest temper tandrum. There are cases before the courts now. They are not nuisance lawsuits because the courts do not accept those. 

Alberta has had the solution to getting world prices for decades they just refuse to use it preferring to allow international oil companies to run Alberta. 

WWWTT

Not all bad news for this loss. Notley is still leader! And the NDP are the official opposition with a good solid base to build from. 

In some other provinces and federally, a strong 3rd place showing was the best the NDP could scrape together.  It’s always a hard road for the NDP thanks to the icm.  

Aristotleded24

Ken, to the list of points you made, I would add a couple of things that are applicable to elections generally:

1) The left cannot rely on social issues alone in order to win. Sure call out bigotry in all of its forms, but it's not going to get you over the finish line. Whether you are needlessly repeating that someone is a reprehensible human being when that is obvious and does not need saying, or it's a completely different value system, it's not going to resonate. I remarked earlier that I became tired of hearing about the latest bozo eruption from the Kenney team and I would have never even considered voting for him. This leads me to my second point:

2) The attack strategy where you try and demonize your opponents works well for the right, but not so much for the left. There's a couple of expressions that this reminds me of. The first is that you should never fight with a pig because you'll both end up muddy and the pig will love it. The second is to never argue with an idiot because from a distance people will not be able to tell the difference. That's backed up by the numerous complaints I read on public discussion boards where people said if Notley had an actual record she wouldn't have had to resort to a smear campaign. The solution to this problem is to ALWAYS lead with your public policy platform, even if you are down in the polls by 95%. If you are the incumbent government, defend the ways it has improved everyone's lives. If you are an opposition party, defend the ways it will improve people's lives. This helps to frame the campaign around the issues you feel are important, and can make an effective challenge to your opponents. To use a few phrases that accomplish this (which is by no means exhaustive) "we are the only party committed to building a particular hospital in this city." "We are the only party committed to raising wages and ensuring equal pay for equal work." "We took over in tough times, and here is the progress we've made. We know challenges remain, but we are committed to doing the work to meet these challenges. All that work is at risk, so carefully think about this before you vote." You see the difference there? You see how phrases like that (and I'm sure everyone else here can come with many more) tilt the scales in your direction and force your opponents into difficult spots?

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Thanks for those.  Notley actually DID have an actual record, but she didn't seem to publicize it in the tv ads, from what I've heard-and the tv ads are where most of the non-political junkie voters get their info.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
Thanks for those.  Notley actually DID have an actual record, but she didn't seem to publicize it in the tv ads, from what I've heard-and the tv ads are where most of the non-political junkie voters get their info.

Also, the news section of the Alberta NDP website was dominated by articles about why Jason Kenney was evil.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
Thanks for those.  Notley actually DID have an actual record, but she didn't seem to publicize it in the tv ads, from what I've heard-and the tv ads are where most of the non-political junkie voters get their info.

Also, the news section of the Alberta NDP website was dominated by articles about why Jason Kenney was evil.

It's as though they took their cues entirely from the '16 Hillary campaign-and the obvious question is, why on earth would anyone see anything that campaign did as some as something to be imitated?

Aristotleded24

She also had a clear plan to improve health care services for people in Red Deer and central Alberta, which has been a longstanding concern for people in that region. She should have made that point clear every time the issue of health care came up. Why she didn't is beyond me.

Aristotleded24

More on the point of defending your record. Consider this ad from the 2011 Manitoba NDP campaign. It hits on all the themes that are strong for them. At the end it asks if you want to risk all this progress on someone else. I'll also point out that at various points in 2011, the Manitoba NDP were down in the polls, sometimes by a great deal. Look at this ad objectively. Doesn't it make you feel great? How can you possibly run against something like that?

quizzical

Aristotleded24 wrote:

She also had a clear plan to improve health care services for people in Red Deer and central Alberta, which has been a longstanding concern for people in that region. She should have made that point clear every time the issue of health care came up. Why she didn't is beyond me.

she did. just do an internet search. it was even in the spring throne speech. 

people made the choice between healthcare vs "economy"

Aristotleded24

quizzical wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

She also had a clear plan to improve health care services for people in Red Deer and central Alberta, which has been a longstanding concern for people in that region. She should have made that point clear every time the issue of health care came up. Why she didn't is beyond me.

she did. just do an internet search. it was even in the spring throne speech. 

people made the choice between healthcare vs "economy"

Was Red Deer ever specifically mentioned in the debates?

Policywonk

quizzical wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ignoring that health care is part of the economy.

She also had a clear plan to improve health care services for people in Red Deer and central Alberta, which has been a longstanding concern for people in that region. She should have made that point clear every time the issue of health care came up. Why she didn't is beyond me.

she did. just do an internet search. it was even in the spring throne speech. 

people made the choice between healthcare vs "economy"