Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Red-Green Disaster

A couple of news items worth comment caught my attention this morning:

First, the Premier announced the Government's new Green Plan yesterday. Naturally, the left-wing and the environmental lobby are unhappy. They're always unhappy. They'll be unhappy until we shut down industry and send ourselves into a massive economic tailspin.

Well at least they've got an elected advocate, now.

Liberal Environment Critic and Kyoto Crusader David Swann reacted angrily to yesterday's announcement. In interviews, Dr. Swann said that a Liberal government would "slow down the growth of oilsands activity."

Naturally oblivious to the realities of the Alberta economy, Dr. Swann suggests that "it might have some impact."

MIGHT have SOME impact?

And this guy wants to be an Alberta Cabinet Minister?

The Premier got it right when he shot back that the plan would "create enormous economic devastation, massive job losses, and so on."

To add insult to injury, the Liberals would also scrap the natural gas rebate program.

This is important for you to know, Alberta: A Liberal government will put you out of work, then they'll drive up your cost of living.

That's not a risk anyone in their right mind should be signing up for.


The second thing I wanted to point out is how ridiculous Don Braid's column is getting lately.

He wrote a while back that the Wildrose Alliance is a serious threat to the PCs and that we obviously recognize that since we're thinking of changing the slogan on the Alberta license plate from "Wild Rose Country". That was an impressive feat of logical gymnastics, but I decided to leave it alone.

But today, Don and U of C windbag David Taras go on about how Premier Stelmach should call off the election because of a bad poll. Except, its not.

The poll isn't a ringing endorsement of the government, of course, but it isn't a ringing endorsement of any other political party in Alberta, either.

Don and David read a lot into these numbers without factoring in the undecideds. That's poor journalism and poor comment from a political scientist.

What I think some Albertans (more than in previous elections, anyway) are saying is that their votes are up for grabs. If this election is to be about a contrast of policies, visions, and abilities to lead Alberta, I think the best thing for Ed Stelmach to do is CALL the election.

And in the spirit of giving advice, Don... stick to City Hall from now on.


  1. Blind partisanship at its finest.

  2. Interesting in that buried well into the Herald article (news article, not Braid's column) is the fact that it was an on-line poll. The Globe & Mail poll earlier this week - which had a much more favourable result for the Tories - was phone-based.

    You're loved... you're hated. These competing polls look like the stock market lately.

    The greatest proportion of non-voting comes from undecided. If you can't even be bothered to come out and vote - when across the world people die just in the attempt - who cares what undecideds think. The Herald/Leger poll included undecideds, the G&M stripped them out. Pretty wide differences in results, as a result.

    But interesting that the gap remains. People don't shower him with undying devotion, but they clearly like Stelmach a lot more than the leader of the supposed "government in waiting", almost 3 to 1. And they see him as more trustworthy than Taft and even Brian Mason, the supposed "man of the people".

    Given Taras' record of prognostication, as a PC I am thankful he passed along the comments he did. As a contra-indicator, he has done well in the past.

  3. Actually, the G&M poll was flawed. The first question was whether the province (not the government, but the province) was on the right track. Most people generally say that their home is on the right track unless things are really really bad. That explains the ludicrous number of 63% right track vs. 9% wrong track.

    With that question in front, it's pretty hard for anyone who does the poll to respond after that they want a change in government. It's all about structure. The G&M poll was designed in a way that suppressed anti-Tory sentiment.

  4. And the Herald poll was likely designed to compel anti-Tory sentiment. My wife was the recipient of a phone solicitation for a poll on Alberta politics. As someone with experience in survey methodology (she has a Ph.D in one of the social sciences), she was quite shocked at the leading questions. Order of questions, choice of adjectives embedded in questions... all can be used to solicit a wanted response.

    While you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear, you can make a leather handbag out of it, if you try hard enough.