If you paid attention to only the mainstream media, you might think that the PCs were the only campaign with a rough start this week. Thankfully, it seems that the newsroom sensationalists are beginning to realize that we're taking this campaign seriously and, thus, maybe they should be covering it as such.
Given this, I expect we'll be hearing a lot more about Kevin Taft's ongoing campaign of error.
The CBC's Scott Dippel has an excellent piece in Reporters Notebook (arguably my favourite MSM campaign feature) about the ongoing practice of recalling news releases by the Liberals. These recalls aren't just to deal with typos. In the latest one, they eliminated the immediacy of funding for a new hospital in Medicine Hat and completely removed mention of the police college in Fort McLeod.
My first thought was that maybe they're recalling these releases so that Taft can read them first. Apparently this isn't the case because, in Hinton today, he was completely blindsided at a news conference by a question about a policy on urban aboriginal health centres. This might not be so astounding if the blindside didn't come at a news conference DEDICATED TO ABORIGINAL ISSUES.
What's worse is that, when the Liberals do finally get their story straight, its pretty bad news for Albertans. Liberal Environment Critic and Kyoto champion David Swann has finally costed their proposal for a hard cap on emissions at 1 billion dollars a year. That's billion... with a "b". Naturally, some of us are wondering exactly what the Liberals propose to do for the hundreds of thousands of Albertans whose jobs are in jeopardy under the Liberal plan?
Its becoming painfully clear that, while the Premier and the PC Party are ready and able to campaign on the Stelmach government's record, the Liberals are running on nothing more than a campaign of "the big bad tories have been in power too long and you should all smarten up and vote for us". Even worse, they've clearly taken no consideration on the economic consequences of their shoddy platform.
It seems that, after a rough start by everybody, the media is now on notice that we're ready and willing to fight this election. I think that over the next few weeks this campaign will become a lot more focused on the policies of all the parties. If and when that happens, Kevin Taft and the Liberals should be mighty worried.