Friday, February 1, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines

Well we're almost out of the gate, Alberta.

All signs are clearly pointing to an election call from Premier Stelmach next week. Conventional wisdom says that the Premier will visit the L.G. after the Speech from the Throne is delivered on February 4th. I've heard some rumblings that they may actually wait a day and allow the house to sit on the 5th in order to allow for a much-deserved tribute to former NDP Leader Pam Barrett. I really don't have a hunch one way or another as to how its going to unfold.

I do have a hunch, though, about how things are going to unfold for Kevin Taft.


Kevin launched his campaign earlier this week in front of the friendliest audience he's likely to find... a bunch of Torontonians.

He droned on about making Alberta a "western tiger", no doubt leaving many in the room to wonder what he thinks our red-hot economy has been thus far. He also tried to strike an anti-American chord by suggesting that more of Alberta's resources should be upgraded in Canada. He, of course, conveniently forgets that the new royalty framework (which the Liberals oppose) has built-in incentives for this kind of upgrading. He also conveniently forgets that, in order to spread the "oil love", we need to knock down regressive interprovincial trade barriers. To address this, the Alberta Government negotiated a successful agreement with British Columbia (TILMA) and has been promoting the negotiation of similar agreements with other provinces. Kevin Taft and the Liberals also oppose this.

(Incidentally, some Liberals have gotten so paranoid that they actually thought that the Premier was going to call the election while Kevin was off preaching to the converted in order to catch them off guard)

Anyway, Kevin Taft came home and kicked off the Liberal campaign with a rally in Edmonton today. In the Edmonton Journal's coverage, both he and a party candidate express a desire to tap into the pool of undecided voters. They apparently plan to do this by rolling out the same pledges that they've been making since the 2004 election, plus a promise to increase your utility bill. These would be the same pledges that have yet to move ANY of those undecided voters into their camp. Perhaps that would explain why the Liberals got only half the turnout they were expecting at this rally.

The theme of the Liberal campaign this election is "It's time".

I suspect that, as the campaign unfolds, Liberal supporters will agree that it's time.

Time to get a new Leader, that is.


  1. I like having Taft as Lib leader.

    He's kinda like Dion, a weenie that noone pays much attention too. I guess that's a little harsh on poor Kevin, at least he's coherent. Personally I think a lot of the undecided voters are Conservatives who think that Eddy is governing a little too far to the left. They certainly aren't going to vote for Taft, if anything they'll vote Wildrose or not vote at all. The Libs only real chance of increasing their seat count is right vote splitting and voter apathy. There is a small chance we'll end up with a minority but there is almost no chance that Taft will be running it.

    If he's dumb enough to say the word Kyoto during the campaign then Eddy will cruise to an easy majority.

  2. I love how the Liberals in Alberta have promised everything that the AB Govt is already doing, has already done or has clearly decided would be a bad idea, and then thrown in a bunch of spending promises (but don't actually have enough to pay for them).

    I really love how when it's Liberals plans it is considered "spending" and when it is actually real money govt spending its called "novelty checks."

    They won't boot out Taft as long as they continue to be Alberta's Liberals, as I suspect no one else wants to run as Liberal Leader.

  3. It's now $1.26 billion on the Ed spending meter and counting. He is the Premier who can't stop spending. But he is spending my money and he doesn't have a mandate to do so!!!!

  4. When is "Ed the Spender" going to cut taxes?

  5. Cut taxes? Hell, I'd settle for him scrapping health care premiums.

  6. You should vote Liberal then. Get the original authors of the idea in power instead of those who just rip it off.