Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A little of this and a little of that: My late take on the Wildrose loss.

It is a day late but here is my take on what the hell happened on Monday in Alberta vote.

The Wildrose lost. < true.

The 'pundits' lost. < 99% of them did anyway. 

The pollsters lost. < not really. The polls showed tightening and the trend lines were there. The number didn't lie, but pollsters like to go into interpreting those numbers, it is their job right?, rather than just producing the data, and in this they ALL got it wrong.

The MSM lost. < true. See above on the pollsters.
The Albertaardvark lost. < true. I got sucked into believing the numbers as much as the next guy.

Strategic voting worked. < partly.

The fear campaign worked. < yes it did, but it wasn't enough to cause the loss on its own.

The power of incumbency.  < Huge contributing factor. see below of lack of experience.

The PC's won. < that depends on what your definition of 'won' is.

Lack of experience of the Wildrose. < another huge factor that IMHO was the determining factor with the demographic known as the 'undecided' voter who made the decision most likely last weekend or at the ballot box.  I am sure many saw the fear mongering for what it was, a political ploy to drive wedges between Albertans, but it left that seed of doubt, and with the lack of experience/familiarity with the Wildrose, many went with the incumbent devil they know and have been voting for for 41 years.

Bumper stickers that read: "Don't blame me. I voted Wildrose" < might turn out to be a great investment.*

The loss will make Danielle Smith a stronger leader and a better premier. < true. FTR: Dean called the election outcome a month ago.

"I am having a muffin. Sorry, I thought I was on Twitter". < from a brilliant video commentary that nails the fear campaign as the ploy it was.

Alberta won. < Yet to be determined, but I have already seen signs to the contrary from the PC's showing that they haven't learned a thing. (That they won with their great campaign and the collapse of the Wildrose had nothing to do with the result. This arrogance does not bode well)

*If you are getting financial advice from a political blog written by someone who still has 3 boxes of  "Team Lou" t-shirts in PC orange and blue to unload, you might be better of using that money for some professional help.


CanadianSense said...

35% popular vote is a significant victory. They need to target support in cities to win more seats.

Perspective, the Wildrose is a new player on the political landscape in Alberta.

As partisans we may have been too dismissive to the obstacles on winning the hearts, minds.

Wildrose will have the next 4 years to develop, reach out, find issues that will resonate with more Albertans.

Brett said...

I can understand that everyone is disappointed that Wildrose lost; myself included (I was born in Calgary). However, in looking the numbers from the results, there are a whole lot of positives to come out of this.

Using the numbers of this and previous elections provided here:

Wildrose received 64,400 votes in 2008. This year, they received 442,429; a 700% increase.

The PC's on the other hand received 501,063 votes in 2008 and 567,060 this year. Although it is more in terms of actual votes, it is a decrease in the popular vote from 53% to 44% give or take. It is even more interesting when you look where the votes came from.

In the past from 2001 on, the Liberals consistently receive 250-275K in terms of votes. This year according to the Wiki page it dropped to 127,000 giver to take; a loss of around 125,000, which coincidentally is how much the PC's won by. The NDP actually gained votes to it seems very likely that it was Liberal voters moving to the PC's that made the difference. This is especially true in Redford's own riding.

In 2008, she won with 6130 votes over her Liberal competitor with 5711 votes and Wildrose only getting just over 900. This year she won with 11,181, but the Libs dropped to 1065. The NDP gained votes, but Wildrose jumped to 5523. Clearly most who voted Liberal in the past voted for Redford. Also voter turn out was also higher and it seems that most went to Wildrose.

Overall voter turn out was higher; I think it was 50% as opposed to 40% with the majority going to Wildrose it seems. The main problem is vote distributions as it was concentrated in Southern Alberta. Apart from most of Calgary and 3 other seats, Southern Alberta went Wildrose. Only one riding in Northern Alberta elected a Wildrose MLA. Nevertheless, a 700% increase in total votes and elevation to official opposition isn't too bad and something to be proud of.

Bill Witzke said...

The fact that people were so quick to leap at conclusions on hunsperger/leech tells me they were just waiting for an excuse not to vote wrp. The vote against the status quo was romantic at first, but as my dad said to me'Is it really so bad?' I initially thought if they would have released the blog of pastor H, instead of trying to hide it, had him on radio to explain himself then it may have diffused it all. But in the end no one believed in free speech or freedom of religion. All parties, including wrp, quashed his right to say it and to explain himself. What was written about him and his blog were out of context, untruthful, misleading, but it gave everyone who wanted to believe he was a hater, the chance to hate him back. I feel bad that a good man has been unfairly dragged through the mud. Did anyone actually read what he wrote?

Herbert B. Patrotage said...

Brilliant PC campaign strategist Stephen Carter summed it up perfectly after the election when he said, “There is nothing more powerful than a fact to confirm a myth.” Vulnerable because of their culture of corruption and entitlement, the PC party shifted critical focus to the challenger by promulgating the myth that the Wildrose party was scary and intolerant. Initially this smear campaign had little traction; however, the bozo eruptions of Hunsperger in Edmonton and Leech in Calgary fed perfectly into the PC war room’s simple narrative and turned the tide, enabling Wildrose to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Ian Berg said...

The 10% gap between the PC and WRP totals translates into 40+ seats. WRP came in a strong second place in most ridings won by PC in only their second election. The 17 WRP MLAs will have more freedom to represent their voters than 30+ PC backbenchers. What is key now for the WRP during the next 4 years is to remain united, listen to and build trust with Albertans, and hold the PCs accountable. They are in a position similar to the Sask Party during the early 2000s: a brash new party facing a formidable political opponent considered to be the province's "natural governing party" for decades. Brad Wall won in 2007 and Danielle Smith can win in 2016.

Mike said...

I read an interesting post that fits into this thought from Herbert", “There is nothing more powerful than a fact to confirm a myth.” Vulnerable because of their culture of corruption and entitlement, the PC party shifted critical focus to the challenger by promulgating the myth that the Wildrose party was scary and intolerant. Initially this smear campaign had little traction" The talk was called " The power of Fear in Networked Publics" here's some links.

Redford has now won two elections by preying on the fears of liberals. shame on us if it happens again.

bartinsky said...

And after a cute and intelligent leader, and a slime smearing galavanting lawyer, what did WRP have Ardvark? Albertans have seen one Gordon Kessler, the WRP is just a bigger herd of Gordons and Albertans, at least in the north were smart enough to see through the stunts and pranks of these juveniles, thank God. Oh its so cute to park in the Premiers spot at the Leg. for some cheap publicity, and so cool to hire a jobless lawyer to contort himself into unbelievable positions, that, does not run the greatest province in this dominion and you should have seen that.

Jen said...

Get ready for the NEP which Alison plans to impliment. But like she said she isn't going to rush things through' which I find she started already on her second day as elected premier.
I do not know for now, how many pc mlas are going to remain silent allowing her to do such a thing or how are they going to handle phones calls from their constituents asking their mlas to stop Alison.

Before the election, Alison brought in a lot of ideas of hers like: pst, higher taxes, nep and more then back track when the albertans let out steam.
But now that those same voters who were against her ideas, voted for her are going to get a good taste of who Alison truly is. IMO, Alison will institute exactly what she intended in the first place.