alberta election day 1: campaign kick-offs and legalizing prostitution.

With hours of the election being called yesterday, Premier Alison Redford kicked-off the Progressive Conservative campaign at the campaign office of Edmonton-Glenora MLA Heather Klimchuk.

First-term MLA Ms. Klimchuk is facing one of the most hotly contested races in the province, with strong challenges by former public school trustee and Alberta Party candidate Sue Huff, former Liberal MLA Bruce Miller, former NDP MLA Ray Martin, and past mayoral candidate and Wildrose candidate Don Koziak. The central Edmonton constituency has become a swing-riding in recent elections, but it was once held by Tory MLA’s Lou Hyndman and Nancy Betkowski.

After the campaign launch, Twitter reported her having visited a Tim Horton’s on the way to visit the campaign of new candidate Steve Christie in Lacombe-Ponoka. Last week, Mr. Christie replaced two-term MLA Ray Prins, who resigned after it was revealed he was being paid to chair a legislative committee that had not met in four years.

Eager to grab a scoop, two major television networks released the results of polls they commissioned in recent days. An Ipsos Reid online poll commissioned by Global News reports that the PC and Wildrose Party are tied at 38% support. The online poll surveyed 890 Albertans participating in Ipsos Reid’s online household panel (I am unclear how big the pool of Albertans in this online panel is). A CTV News commissioned ThinkHQ survey shows 44% of Albertans surveyed say the PCs don’t deserve to be reelected. No details of how these results were collected, sample size, or margin of error were included in the online news report. Poor reporting of these polls aside, these results could represent a shift in attitudes over the past month.

Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman will kickoff his party’s southern Alberta campaign at MLA Kent Hehr‘s Calgary-Buffalo campaign office this morning. Continuing to focus on health care and Premier Redford’s decision not to hold an independent judicial inquiry into health care issues, Dr. Sherman will be joined by a guest speaker who will talk about the issue of bullying and intimidation.

The Liberals are quickly filling their slate of nominations and I will update my list as I become aware of the new candidates.

Alberta Party Election 2012 Kickoff Calgary

The Alberta Party kicked off their election campaign in Calgary (photo from the Alberta Party Facebook Page).

Fresh from launching their election platform, the Alberta Party held campaign launches in Calgary and Edmonton. Leader Glenn Taylor, who is running in the West Yellowhead constituency, joined candidates at Ms. Huff’s campaign office in Edmonton-Glenora.

NDP leader Brian Mason is visiting the campaigns of Edmonton-Calder candidate David Eggen and Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview candidate Deron Bilous today, and will make an announcement about his party’s health care platform.

Danielle Smith Wildrose Alberta Election 2012 Day 1

Danielle Smith, with Link Byfield by her side (photo taken from screenshot of video).

Danielle Smith kicked off the first day of the campaign surrounded by Edmonton area candidates, and with Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock candidate Link Byfield by her side (Watch the video here).

Perhaps a sign of things to come in this election campaign, the PC’s launched their first salvo against Ms. Smith yesterday afternoon on an issue that no one would have predicted. Following the Ontario Appeal Court’s decision saying that prostitutes’ rights are violated by some criminal law, the PC’s released quotes from a Calgary Herald column penned by Ms. Smith in 2003 where she advocated legalizing the sex trade.

Some of Ms. Smith’s libertarian views may pose a threat to the conservative coalition of like-minded libertarians and social conservatives that she has worked hard to build. I have little doubt the Tories will take every opportunity to expose these types of cleavages in Ms. Smith’s record, with the purpose of breaking her coalition, as well as pushing wavering moderate conservatives back into the Tory camp.

Opinions that politicians have put out into the public sphere are fair game for use by opponents and are a cautionary tale for columnists, bloggers, or even tweeters with electoral ambitions. Loose tweets sink fleets and columns supporting the legalization of prostitution will be used against you.

13 thoughts on “alberta election day 1: campaign kick-offs and legalizing prostitution.

  1. On the defensive

    Alison opening at Klimchuk’s office says to me like she is trying to save the furniture. (Insert joke about PC MLA’s with wooden personalities here)

    If I were Redford I would have opened my campaign at a place of strength like in front of a whole bunch of education professionals that she bought off or the UN Building in New York or a HRC tribunal or a car impound lot.

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  2. Marie

    Today a friend of mine tried to donate to the WR online but the program wasn’t working. Later today we find out WR Senate nominee Jeff Calaway is actually ineligible to be a candidate due to the fact he or his candidate didn’t file the required financials after the 2008 general election. If this party can’t even run a campaign properly, how the hell are they going to run this province? WR – not ready for prime time.

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  3. Marie

    Are you kidding me? The WR is all up in arms over the fact the PC’s brought out a 10-year old article written by Danielle Smith – what the hell did the WR think was going to happen????? Talk about naive.

    The WR has been goading the PC’s for the past 6 months. They started it. So, crying “they’re picking on us isn’t fair” doesn’t wash with most voters now.

    If the WR is going to be a bunch of whiny victims, I would suggest to you they won’t get very far in Alberta!

    WR – not ready for prime time.

    Again, WR – not ready for prime time.

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  4. Rural gal

    Do you not read newspapers. WR was the target of a false spam attack. Enough “people”notified the “spam “police that Wildrose.ca was a spam website so they are in the process of repairing it. Nice opening volley- so there will be no dirty tricks? Give me a break.
    About Jeff-he filed late. So he takes his lumps. Marie- you made it sound as though he did not file-that is inaccurate.
    Sorry if you have to go back to 2003 to find dirt-that becomes pathetic. I am sure if I went back to 2003 I could find some delicious stuff on a lot of people.
    So let us talk about issues today-like our over the top expenditures. About spending 181million dollars not in the budget just hours after passing the budget. I have a few issues for discussion in today’s world.

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  5. dontgive

    Marie said:

    “The WR is all up in arms over the fact the PC’s brought out a 10-year old article written by Danielle Smith – what the hell did the WR think was going to happen????? Talk about naive.”

    Er, if there were any arms raised by WR over the legalize prostitution salvo, I suspect it was to give each other high fives. Seriously, if Redford thinks she’s going to beat Smith by painting Smith as to the left of her on social issues, she’s already lost.

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  6. Joe Edmonton

    I heard the PCs had issues with their emails to reporters too – I know they changed how they came to my inbox a couple times since they started sending them. They are all fancy now!

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  7. Sam Gunsch

    @Daveb…re: these results could represent a shift in attitudes over the past month.

    More rural seats are in play and I think have been in play for a couple years… than polls would suggest – south and west seats.

    …the fundamentals for a switch from the Tories in rural Alberta have been building for 2+ years re landowner rights, and $14 B overbuild of powerlines for export via Bill 50…

    and now… recent $ for do-nothing committee is final straw?

    and recently: the two powerlines north/south approved by Tory rubberstamp review committee…

    ATCO, TransAlta, Epcor, SNC Lavalin(AltaLink)… how many votes can they hold for the Tories when AB ratepayers are being forced to pay for their powerlines?

    Stack Tories/Coal/powerline owners(SNC) against opposition from every opposition party, and every industrial power user association, consumer associations, and Calgary power providers.

    And the power-bill spikes everyone saw this winter?

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  8. Don Simpson

    Looks as though the PC’s aren’t ready for the prime time with there multitude of scandals. I would prefer just about any other party for government right about now. If that means the Wildrose so be it, I have no problem with a little bit of personal liberty and I wouldn’t mind some health care fixes from Raj and the Liberals.

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  9. ScienceOfficerSpock

    If the PCs think they can turn social conservatives against the WRA with this ploy, they are sadly mistaken. The indignant right wing in this case has already found in the WRA a champion that will repeal the Alberta Human Rights Act and amend the Education Act to their liking. Speculation about red light districts? No contest.

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  10. Don Mitchell

    So what’s the scandal over a 10 year old viewpoint? Alberta has never been “conservative”, its “Libertarian”. “Live your live as you please, just don’t tell me how to live mine, and don’t expect me to pay the bills when you kill yourself”. If that’s the policy of the WR, then I’ll support them all the way with campaign donations.

    Reply

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