PR Politipost – Alberta Election

Disclaimer: I am not a member, nor have I ever been a member of any political party in Canada. I’ve not even donated to any party, ever. I have voted for all parties at some point in my life, red, blue, green, orange, rhinoceros purple, and independent grey. I could care less who wins this election. I think it’s more important to see improved voter turnout. I will admit, after many years of the same thing, change is always a good thing. This is an analysis of the way I see this campaign for the three leading parties.

We PR folk like to watch politics and elections closely. A good chunk of us work/ed in various government roles creating many of the words government officials and politicians speak. However, don’t ever believe we control politicians. We try to help them, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Hence, governments change, and people choose a different path.

mathishard Edm Journal

The 2015 Alberta election, appears in pre-election, to be one of the most interesting in recent (pretty much what anyone working today)  would remember. After all, for nearly 44 years, it’s all any Alberta worker has known. Three generations of workers have only known the Tory dynasty. Crazy thought, eh? What else is crazy? The latest poll has the NDP at 44% support.

What’s different this election is the impact multiple recessions have had on the current workforce. I myself have worked through six recessions or slumps (early 90’s, mid 90’s, dot-com bubble burst of 2000, post-9/11, great recession of 2007, and again in 2015 for just Canada). This includes two in my five years in Alberta! To say the least, I’m kind’ve tired of being beat up each time, and I know I’m far from alone. 25% of my working years have been in a recession, and considering I’m just leaving my younger years, it’s had a much greater impact on me and others under 40 as we take the brunt of layoffs, student loan costs, cutbacks, bank fees, the rising cost of living and taxes.

For those younger than 40, they are getting tired of being treated like crap. “Times are tough” is never said to an executive who makes $16 million a year plus $32 million in options when he doesn’t do a good job and people – 10,000 of them – lose their jobs. In elections, we voters can send a message to politicians that “times are tough,” resulting in them being cut. If only we could take a shot at the executive.

That may be happening now in Alberta. On the other side of the spectrum, the lobbyists are trying to buy votes in any way they can. They’ve planted economists like Jim Mintz high in the org chart for advisors to the sitting government and even Wildrose opposition.

It appears that strategy is not working so well at a time when Albertan’s are forced to foot the bill of nearly all budget problems while corporations and their executives funnel cash from Alberta to the US and other countries – and executive’s blooming bank accounts. This reality is at the expense of Albertan’s who must foot extra taxes while government AND official opposition fight for no change in taxes for corporations.

Mix in the small story in the news this week that 761 workers were killed in Alberta so far this decade, and you can kind of understand that common folk are paying ultimate sacrifices while the elusive “man” walks away with full wads of our cash – and 761 lives. You could say, we’re paying the money to ensure executives (and double-double Mintz) get more money in their pockets. So, we’re running a corporate welfare program.

Check that! The middle and lower classes are running a corporate welfare program?! Wrap your head around that one! How socialist of us.

And, it appears, we’re done.

We voters want to cut the program, lower expenses, and reduce overhead. We also want trust and accountability. 

Enter the Alberta NDP. This is not appearing to be your typical NDP party. Known for supposedly destroying economies in other provinces, Notley’s Crue is pledging balance. They are pledging improvements for workers, incremental increases to corporate and high-income taxpayers, and an oddity in Alberta politics – protection of the environment.

Cough cough! Did I just hear environment as a leading issue in an Alberta election? I must be breathing coal-polluted Edmonton mountain air!

I can’t even believe I’m writing this. It all seems fake and unreal to me. Crazy Klein, Stubborn Stelmach, and Redfaced Redford all survived, but Prim n’ Proper Prentice may be the fall of the dynasty? To the NDP?


Sweetjumpingjimminyjeepers this isn’t the first time Alberta’s flipped!

The last four governments prior to the PCAA dynasty: Social Credit, United Farmers, and even the Liberal Party – all who held social values, and also ran governments for consecutive decades.

Math moment: Four governments lead us in 110 years of voting. My home province of Nova Scotia had 10 governments in as many years. Average governments last 11 years in Nova Scotia, but 27.5 years in Alberta. 

Here’s what the PCAA have taken for granted:

  • People under 40
  • Immigrants from other provinces that have voted for nearly every other party in their home province
  • Working people who they thought cared about the corporate executives
  • Their association to the Wildrose Party due to an almost complete merge and use of the same economic advisor Mintz

The Wildrose is another piece. While people quickly forget, they don’t easily forgive. The last election had an ugly end for the Wildrose. Then, a short time ago, a number of Wildrose defected and crossed the floor to the PCAA.

Voter newsflash: you are both now all one in our eyes (to be clear – you means the PCAA and Wildrose Parties.)

Cue the music from JAWS. And here come the NDP.

Spooky experiment + Scary policies for business + Not in this province + Risky experiment. We’re hearing it now…in equal tone…from…wait for it…both the Wildrose and the PCAA, oh, and even the federal Conservatives (after all, they lose Alberta, Quebec, and split the rest of the country – they are doomed.)

If you managed to stick with me through all of this, you now know why the NDP looks so refreshing, leading, and ready for a chance. They aren’t the same, but they are something Albertans are considering giving a chance at guiding our communities into the next decade. Honestly, I never thought I’d ever say that.

How have they done it? Their focus is on listening to the people under 40, people from other provinces that have voted for nearly every other party in their home party, working people, and those who see the association with the Wildrose Party. You can hopefully now see why they are looking so appealing to many Albertans – they listen to key groups. If I’ve learned anything about the NDP, I’ve watched them out-research any party. In this case, market research about their demographic, issues, and competition.

It’s what PR people have as their most important tool: research. It starts everything for us. Strong research, combined with proper analysis, planning and execution, almost always turns into results that meet goals. The NDP party has done that. The PCAA has not listened, not changed, and by running a terribly executed campaign, looks to fall on the sword. At the end of the formula us PR folk use, is evaluation. An election is an evaluation of a campaign.

I’ll be glued to the results on May 5. I love watching elections, analyzing every result and seeing Canadians exercise their right to vote. Take part, it’s the most important thing you can do as a Canadian, and thanks in advance for your decision, no matter what it is. You’re awesome, we’re awesome, when we vote.


Other links – including a couple examples of many implosions which are happening within the PCAA:

NDP Surge in final poll from Mainstreet + Second Story

Angie Klein, daughter of Ralph Klein, supporting NDP (weird video warning!) 

Very damaging blog from ex-PC minister (and very good education minister) Dave King. Says PCs are corrupt.

PC business donors want PC party to be elected: NDP

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