Alberta Politics

worthwhile ideas from the alberta liberal party.

Raj Sherman MLA Edmonton-Meadowlark Liberal
Raj Sherman

The title of this blog post will sound like an oxymoron to many Albertans.

Launching an election campaign early, PC MLA-turned-Liberal leader Raj Sherman released his party’s 2012 election platform yesterday. After reading the platform, I was surprised that the Liberals were actually able to pull together such a well-presented document.

The platform continues to emphasize the Liberal Party’s focus on health care (also a key issue of former leaders Kevin Taft and David Swann) and includes some interesting ideas, such as the creation of a post-secondary endowment fund to eliminate tuition by the year 2025.

The creation of a Municipal Heritage Fund to provide direct funding to neighbourhood projects is an interesting idea that could help alleviate the pressure put on cash-strapped municipalities to fund projects.

Looking to change the way Albertans vote in elections, the Liberal platform calls for the introduction of a preferential ballot system and the consolidations of constituencies that would leave the Assembly with 66 MLAs.

To their credit, the platform calls for an end to Alberta’s unfair flat-tax system and would introduce fair tax brackets for individuals who earn more than $100,000 annually. I do believe that there needs to be a larger focus on decreasing taxes on middle income earners, but this is a good start.

Sitting as low as 12% in public support according to some recent polls, “go bold and go for broke” may be the best strategy that Alberta’s official opposition party has left.

With the Spring sitting of the Assembly beginning this afternoon, Dr. Sherman will have this platform to hold up against the Progressive Conservative budget, expected to be tabled on Thursday. Whether the Liberals will be able to compete with the media onslaught that the PCs and Wildrose Party’s will unleash in the upcoming weeks is a completely different question.

17 replies on “worthwhile ideas from the alberta liberal party.”

Stupid move, releasing their election platform early before the writ. The marginal coverage it got/gets will be all gone and forgotten about when the budget drops or a squirrel runs by or the election is called and Danielle starts cat fighting with Allison.


I have some advice for Raj on how to run a campaign, because I really question his ability to do anything competently.

Step 1. Join the leaders tour.

Step 2. Develop a simple message to bridge the gap between your platform and something that can easily connect with voters. Hint: Average voters hate politicians who drone on about complicated policy planks. Keep it simple.

Step 3. Make daily policy announcements in various locations that relate to your policy and preferably in front of cheering sign waiving supporters at times that allow the media to file a story for the daily news cycle. Tailor your message for the secondary audience ie: the people listening on TV and radio and not your hard supporters.

Step 4. At your campaign stops Stay on that message and make sure the leaders tour stops and campaigning candidates also understand and stay on that message.

Step 5. Release a coherent platform towards the end of your campaign that recaps the policy announcements and your message

Step 6. Don’t panic and make stupid random Kevin Taftisms at the end of the campaign like a surprise announcement on holding legislature sessions in Calgary.

Step 7. Learn how to do a proper and professional GOTV

It appears he is trying to out-NDP the NDP. It isn’t going to work. He is going to drive the centre-right Liberal voters over to the PCs, and the centre-left voter to the NDP. People will think, “why should I vote NDP-lite, when I can just vote real NDP?”

As for free post-secondary tuition, I think it’s a bad idea. Yes, tuition is too high, to the point where it can be a barrier to advancing one’s education. But some investment by the student serves to focus his or her attention to the work required. How many of us have seen young people who skated through high school decide to really buckle down when they start college or university, because it is costing them (their) hard-earned money to go? I think tuition should be reduced significantly, but not eliminated.

Just a stupid move in releasing it before a campaign has even been announced. What kind of coverage does Raj think he’ll get during a campaign when all of his platform is already public knowledge?

Get ready for 4th party status Alberta Liberals.

Wow Scottie! you are a political strategic genius, I can’t believe that they never thought of that, it took your amazing insight and brilliance to put that out there. I assume that scottie is the nickname of Karl Rove, Warren Kinsella, Tom Flanagan or perhaps even Stephen Carter.
And some guy…you too are a genius, of course the leaders tour is whereever Raj is so I am not sure how he “joins” it. Your other points are as well pretty fricken obvious (if you run that style campaign, one style among many but one that worked well for Harper, yes). The tough thing is COMING UP with those ideas. Your insight is not anything that even the Alberta Party doesnt know. The trick is in executing. You might be showing insight if you gave say an example of any ideas instead of just cribbin from “Harpers Team”. Geez Dave, can you institute some kind of IQ moderation.

With Raj not able to find candidates in 50+ ridings, what happens to the Liberal vote in those areas, small as it is? It either goes PC or NDP. Either way, one thing is for sure. The big loser here is the Wildrose, any way you slice it.

How about some sort of insightful comment moderation. It might cut down on the amount of comments that add nothing to political dialog, but instead simply are meant to insult the people who make comments that you don’t agree with.

And why would you assume that I am a conservative? I made one comment that criticized the Alberta Liberals and you automatically assume that I’m from the right wing. Also, I might want to point out to you that Warren Kinsella is a Liberal, and not a conservative.

Think before you throw insults around buddy.

Mr. Scottie

Sir. I’m guessing by the tone and some wording you used that you’re closely involved with old General Sherman.

It sounds to me like you’re a little sensitive that the prevailing thought in the world of political hacks that releasing a Campaign platform before an election is stupid.

It also seems like you’re less than confident that anyone in the Alberta Liberal Party is at all competent enough to execute even the most basic political strategy.

Well if I were you and I had no one competent to run and execute a campaign I might be a little mad at the world too.

Oh woe is you and such.

They say politicians and generals are always trying to fight the last war. Based on the above, I’d add blog commenters.

It’s pretty clear the Liberals have decided against the “announcement a day, say little, put it in a bow at the end” strategy that has become prevalent over the past couple of campaigns, and whether or not that works out, or what their Step 2 is remains to be seen. But the assumption they simply do not know how a campaign is “supposed” to be run draws little water with me.

What’s most telling is that the criticism seems to be able to the tactics, and not the content – which is really impressive. This is a bold platform, I like it.

Some Guy,

Sensitive? I agree with the prevailing belief regarding platform release timing. Go up in the comments, I had already stated that releasing the Liberal platform at this time is stupid.

Scottie: Again where did I say you where a conservative, never said that I just said that you are obviously brilliant and yeah, I know Warren is Liberal, I think you kind of prove your dense here.
My point is as Chester J says they have decided to do a full frontal early definition campaign. It is a valid choice and has worked well for say Mike Harris. My point is that your comment shows little understanding of tactics or strategy. You dont consider the pros and cons of the approach, you just assume it can’t work and that is based on….What exactly? It has worked very well in the past.
Some Guy, not attached to Raj at all, I have met him and talked to him a fair bit but I have nothing and will have nothing to do with the campaign, so nice try, not even sure who I am voting for at this point.
What I am tired of is armchair geniuses who think that when they write basic campaign stuff down, they think they are saying something interesting and insightfull.
Someguy, if you want to impress us, lets see some of your brilliance in real ideas, not boilerplate.
Chester J
Could have been and should have been waaaaay more bold. I was expecting more, I mean recall….sheesh.

Some Guy: Sorry about the last post. You corrected who your comments were directed at in the meantime as I was writing my response.

Given that Raj stole his Twitter bio from the Alberta Party, I suppose it was only a matter of time until he grabbed the quote bubble. Yes! Yes!…

“Step 7. Learn how to do a proper and professional GOTV”

You mean rallying the troops at the seniors centre won’t get it done?

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