Alberta Politics

no knockout punches as candidates give it 110% in alberta’s leaders’ debate.

Alberta Election Leaders Debate 2012
Four of the main party leaders at last night's televised debate.

After watching last night’s televised Leaders’ Debate, I am left wondering whether it will even have an effect on how Albertans vote on April 23. In many ways, the Leaders’ Debate felt like a microcosm of the entire election campaign. Here are a few of my initial thoughts on the leaders debate:

Alison Redford leaders debate alberta election 2012
Alison Redford

Progressive Conservative leader Alison Redford performed well while spending the bulk of the debate on the defensive fending off criticisms from all three of her political opponents. The other parties leaders honed in on issues like the MLA Committee Pay fiasco, which has proven to be a significant weakness for the PC Party in this campaign.

A skilled debater, Premier Redford handled her opponents criticisms well, though I am not convinced her own message was successfully delivered. If this was a big opportunity to turn around her party’s electoral fortunes, she surely did not make it worse.

Danielle Smith Wildrose Party leader debate election 2012
Danielle Smith

The main challenger, Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith, was on the offensive and kept her eyes focused on the camera during the debate. She performed well, but floundered when providing some shaky and confusing responses to questions about her party’s positions on education and support of citizen initiated referenda.

Ms. Smith is a talented politician and an untested governor, and last night it showed. The debate was her opportunity to make the sales pitch to voters leaning towards her party and undecided voters. I do not think she did that.

Brian Mason NDP Leaders Debate Alberta Election 2012
Brian Mason

He has experienced two previous televised Leaders Debates and in his third NDP leader Brian Mason was a secondary character. He succeeded in clearly differentiating himself from his two (or three, depending how you count) conservative political opponents on policy issues, but the debate steered clear of the issues most important to the NDP in this election (health care and electrical bills being two examples).


Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman was the wild-card entering this debate. I initially believed he was doing well, but as the debate went on, his over-rehearsed soundbites began to fall flat and his body language turned stiff. The Liberals have presented a good platform, but this debate suggests to me that Dr. Sherman might not be their best salesman.

Not invited to the debate, Alberta Party leader Glenn Taylor live-blogged his responses to the questions posed during the televised program.

The debate was exciting because we are in the midst of a rare competitive election, but it was not the battle of the titans that it was hyped to be. from the perspective of a viewer it suffered from the sterile television studio format. The set was devoid of life and the entire debate would have benefited greatly from the kind of energy that only a real life audience can create.

My call: There was no clear winner in this debate.

Watch the debate for yourself here.

63 replies on “no knockout punches as candidates give it 110% in alberta’s leaders’ debate.”

Good blog Dave.

My stance is the same pretty much, very disappointing debate. I wish they spent less time attacking one another, and giving rehearsed answers. And more time being honest and talking about what they actually have planned in more detail.

And also very sad that the Alberta Party was not allowed to attend. I really wanted to hear what they stood for and what they were about, they look like they have a new way of thinking.

Ipsos Reid:

An exclusive Ipsos Reid poll, commissioned by QR77 and Global News, shows Danielle Smith as the front-runner after Thursday’s debate. 37% of respondents believe the Wildrose leader won the debate. 28% chose PC leader Alison Redford, 13% indicated Raj Sherman and 10% picked Brian Mason. Another 13% didn’t know who won.

Polls immediately after debates don’t show who won. They show who people wanted to win. When the dust settles there will be no question that Sherman outperformed and shifted votes.

If voters planned to (or in fact did) have the debate influence or change their minds in terms of voting, they simply have not be paying much attention for basically years. It is the PC dynasty of 41 years that is being judged in this election. Many of the current PCs (including Redford) have been instrumental at best or at least complicit in terms of perpetuating of the dynasty. The 40% voter turnout last time was pathetic – let’s hope it is hugely better this time around. Whether or not this election will finalize a takeover of the PC party by the progressives is about to be decided.

In last year’s federal election debate polls didn’t show that Jack won the debate, but there was a big improvement in their impression of him as a leader. And the rest was history.

Same thing for Mason here.

Brian’s inability to play into NDP strengths, like on utility rates and keeping oil sands jobs in the province, was mostly because of the format: they all had to respond panel questions, and the panel simply didn’t ask about those points.

While I felt Sherman’s delivery was stiff and hesitant, he did get in what I thought was the best one-liner of the night, when he went after Danielle Smith on “conscience rights”, saying “This is Alberta, not Alabama”.

I agree Sherman had the best one-liners, but he was poor at presenting Liberal policy ideas (as usual). As for Smith, I can’t imagine why anyone thinks she did well. Redford was sharp, although given the PC handling of the no-meet committee fiasco and Cabinet pay issue, there isn’t much she could have said that would help.

I thought Sherman came across a bit too over-rehearsed (you could tell exactly when he started working from memorization again).

I’d give Mason the best one-liner (calling out Raj’s education platform – “if you win the next three elections”).

The studio format was a bit weak – they should have cut the number of questions and put more time into the debates (particularly the one-on-ones). Every time they finally got past talking points and started *debating*, they got cut off. (And you could tell by the second round that candidates were fighting just to get a chance to say something, much less rebut).

One question that only an insider could answer – were the studio cameras not using the red light on top to tell the candidates which one to look at? I’m not sure what’s worse – that Raj spent most of his opening statement looking at the wrong camera, or that it took the studio forever to switch to the one he was looking at.

Sorry to break it to you Alison, but freakish googly eyes and facial contortions do not win debates. You had the burden of trying to defend a guilty party, and it showed.

From the HBP decision desk, with 10 days left in the campaign and 0 of 87 ridings reporting, it’s time to call this one: for only the second time since 1935, Albertans are going to do what virtually no other democracy on the planet has so much trouble doing — we’re going to honor the values of integrity and accountability by turfing the incompetent incumbent and giving someone else a chance to govern. Stick a fork in ‘em; the PC dynasty, with their culture of corruption and entitlement, is done like dinner.

This leaves centre-left Alberta voters with two options: you can abandon the Liberal/ND/Alberta/EverGreen parties and scramble aboard the Tory Titanic, recreating the 1993 provincial election when the “massive cuts” and “brutal cuts” parties literally shut out all other opposition in the legislature. Or you can visit and take advantage of an opportunity that seems to come along, oh, once every dozen or so Alberta general elections. Your vote, your choice. And that’s all I have to say about that. 🙂

While she appeared hesitant in the first segment, in my obviously biased opinion, I thought Danielle exceeded expectations last night. She did well in bringing any mischaracterizations of Wildrose position back to her talking points. People have said she lacked details of policy but I think thats more a result of the 30 second format than her inability. She appeared to be more than competent, and I think she was the only leader who smiled during the debate.

As for the Premier, who clearly had the most difficult position, I think she came across as cold, and annoyed. She wasn’t able to paint the Wildrose as scary, and failed to articulate her vision of the future. I dont see how in any way she would be happy with the results. Her displeasure with the attacks on her governments record clearly showed.

While I don’t think anyone was a clear winner, in the segment where Danielle and the Premier went one on one there is no question who got the better of it, and I think that will stick with a lot of Albertans.

Mason did well in seeking to portray as calm and statesman-like. And give him points for spending less in election promises than Alison Redford.

Likewise with Raj Sherman, including offering less spending than Redford.

But – easy to be above the fray when you have no chance to win and as such aren’t even remotely in the cross-hairs. The real question was between Smith and Redford. And most commentators and virtually every poll suggests she was at best tepid.

Deafacto win to Smith. A non-lawyer, non-career politician who gave at least as good as she got. Redford had to distinguish herself and she didn’t.

What did we learn from the debate? The price of turn coats like Anderson and Forsyth is $20 grand apiece. No wonder Danielle Smith is in favour of legalizing prostitution.

Raj Sherman’s suggested new Wild Rose theme song: “Oh I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee…”

Hmmm. I am certainly no fan of the conservatives, but I must say those of you posting that Redford came across as irritated were finding what you were looking for.

She was under attack the entire debate and yet did not lose her cool or go off message. Considering how she had to spend so much time defending what other people did I thought she came across very well.

I am still not going to vote for her, but the Smith supporters need to try to see this outside their preconceived notions.

I was not surprised Redford had to fend off attacks from the left either. She is trying to take their votes as the less scary alternative to Smith. I don’t think Mason and Sherman did enough to prevent that, because people who think Smith is scary are not going to change their minds based on last night.

As for Sherman, I think maybe he is benefitting from low expectations, because I thought he was stiff. He kept making mistakes and looked foolish doing so. I am still voting Liberal, but certainly not based on what I saw last night. I put it down to the fact he has less experience in these things than the others. Smith may have government experience but she clearly has a lot of public speaking experience.

All candidates performed well. These are my points of observation.

Alison Redford: lst time. No question the strongest debater and only a woman could make this arrogant party into half caring.

Brian Mason: 3rd time. Delivered the facts in a very clear and calmly manner. I did miss the younger Brian who was once on fire.

Danielle Smith: 1st time. Pretty voice and easy listening. 2 days of practise, won’t have that prep time in the leg.

Raj Sherman: Best one liners and most surprising–knowledgeable on all issues. Sherman’s Liberals reminded me of Ralph’s World–lose it.

The ability to craft and deliver a sound message is only a small part of leadership.Good leaders tend to surround themselves with competent people, draw out the best in them and create a team that can take coherent and effective action. Danielle Smith wasn’t a very effective leader on the Clagry School Board and lead a dysfunctional board that had to be replaced. While the debate may have been the big splash it is the ripple that has the greater reach.

They all won, if you define winning as not losing. Put less obtusely, all four performed well at times and none of the four had a John Turner “I had no choice” moment.

If, however, you measure winning by “whose performance will have the biggest positive impact on his/her party”, I think the winner was clearly Smith. What Smith needed to show was that she wasn’t the scary socon neandrathal the PCs in particular have been trying to paint her as. I’m sure those who truly view her as such won’t have changed their minds following the debate, but the vast majority of Albertans who hadn’t seen Smith in action before and were wondering about this issue will have come away wondering what Redford is so frightened about.

My prediction is that the next few polls, which will reflect debate performance, will firmly entrench the Wildrose as the front runners.

I was surprised that Redford did not once refer to the fact that her cabinet team has alot of experience while her opponents have very little. Indeed she seemed to often try to distance herself from her own party – ‘this is the Redford PC party now’ line. There are currently 66 PC MLAs and a few of them know a thing or two about politics. The way this campaign has been run you wouldn’t know it.

Karen Erickson wrote:

“Danielle Smith wasn’t a very effective leader on the Clagry School Board and lead a dysfunctional board that had to be replaced.”

Except Smith wasn’t the leader of that board – she was a rookie board member who ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism and it was the contempt the ATA-centric other board members had for her (sniping about her appearance, writing nasty notes about her to each other) that led to the dysfunction.

Reasons to say no

I already knew about Alison Redford’s application for South African Citizenship that was rejected. She applied because she became enomored with the African National Congress there and felt that she could be a part of that socialist (terrorist?) machine. In any event when her application was rejected she returned to Alberta. Apparently being Canadian is her default choice. ( Strike One. I learned that when Stelmach announced he was retiring, that Gary Mar was walking away with the candidacy to replace Stelmach as interim Premier of the Province. However Redford garnered the support of the Alberta Teacher’s Union by promising them all kinds of benefits and cash for their support, and much like Obama (the socialist) has done in the U.S., she was able to use this leverage to win the nomination. Strike Two. Redford is planning to buy all of the power lines in Alberta to the tune of 5 BILLION dollars. This would cause an unnecessary burden of the citizens of the Province as well as give the Provincial Government control of our power supply. That’s socialism. Strike Three. And the PC Govt. of Alberta in 2011 also brought in the Alberta Emergency Management Act. Section 19 of which clearly gives the Province and its agents unlimited power to ignore property rights and the right to mobility in the event of an emergency of any kind, once they themselves have declared it. All that and throw in the .05 Police State money grab…no charges, just penalties… and you have a PC Party that is definately leaning Socialist. Game Over. Alberta is traditionally a conservative Province with its roots in self reliance, freedom and free enterprise. Anyone of us who still believes that our PC Govt. reflects any of this should be very disappointed by now, if they’ve been paying attention that is… (by the way “Progressive” Conservative is an oxymoron) and GO WILDROSE!

While there were no clear winners, Danielle did what she needed to do, not make a mistake. She might not have won any new votes, but she definaty solidified her existing share of the vote.

All she has to do is stay out of trouble for the next 10 days and WR wins a majority. Spin away, but that is where it lands.

The fact that Smith isn’t a lawyer was definitely a detriment to her – she asked a question she didn’t know the answer to – about whether Pastoor received $. She fell into Redford’s trap, and that was the cincher of the night.

Game, set, and match for Redford against the inexperienced and extremist Smith.

Bang on, Joe Alberta. Smith showed her strengths last night- smirking into a camera and repeating memorized catch phrases. Her weaknesses were exposed by her inability to defend her party’s unconscionable stance on “conscience rights.” It’s crystal clear now the Wild Rose agenda is to re-fight battles already fought and lost. I’ll take a party with an actual plan to keep Alberta a strong player in the global economy over Wild Rose, who seem bent on making Alberta an American-style Republican wasteland.

Hey, apropos of absolutely nothing, did anyone else think that the podiums (podiaa?) looked like little jail cells? I had visions of our fearless leaders behind them, rattling a tin cup against them…

As former President of Lethbridge East PC Party Constituency, I can tell you that Bridget walked into a fully stocked war chest.

I can also tell you that moving money from one hand to the other is common practice in the PC Party, and we received money on more than one occasion when we were short… So, to try and make hay out of that by Ms. Redford is more than a little disingenuous.

I can also say that it’s slightly different for Anderson and Forsyth to move from the perennial power PC Party to the hinterland of the Wild Rose Party, compared to Bridget Pastoor who had nothing but venom for the PC Party (ignoring her previous love for PC hatchet man Dick Johnson) until she suddenly saw the light and crossed from limbo to power, from the Libs to the PC Party.. Again, hypocrisy at its worst.

But you keeping drinking that PC Kool Aid, Joe Alberta… Oh, by the way, Ipsos Reid says clearly Danielle Smith succeeded in the debate, gaining 10 points In “changed impressions”, while the only leader who suffered a worse impression ruling from the debate was Alison Redford, losing 15 points.

Rob H, Danielle Smith is the dictionary definition of disingenuous. Wild Rose cooked a deal with the turn coats Forsyth and Anderson, it was clearly a pre-condition to their move. It may not be illegal, but it’s unethical and speaks to the overall lack of character of those two prostitutes, the Wild Rose and their rookie leader. Add another WR candidate that’s under investigation for fraud (which he brags the WR party “knew about” and apparently endorse) and the stench from these pseudo-Republicans gets even thicker.

I come from a middle class family and I truly beleive that Raj is working for the benefit of all Albertans. He held the other leaders accountable, and surprised me with his knowledge and ability to debate.

With the conservative vote split watch Raj become premier!

I agreed exactly with your analysis of the leader performances. Smith did okay in some parts and was awful in others. I got the shivers when she looked in the camera and not the kind you get watching a youtube video of a baby petting a kitten!

Tom, I’ve read every one of your comments.
You are clearly bigoted against Americans and are doing you best to hang that same bigotry on the WRP.
Good luck with that, but it’s the same thing the PC’s are doing and it isn’t working for them either.
BTW, Alabama is a very nice place. 😉


Apply your same analysis to Bridget Pastoor… Except add to the mix that in addition to money, she received the benefit of being on the inside of power with a party she despised until she crossed the floor..


We’re waiting..

These allegations about Redford and South Africa sound a lot like the “truthers” in the US who still insist that Obama is ineligible to be President, although the objective evidence is that he is a native-born US citizen. Redford & the Tories deserve to be thrown out of office based on their poor policies, not on these sort of unfounded and far-fetched allegations.

JC, I respect Americans rights to foul up their own country. Just don’t try to import the same brand of “Repubican” (intentional misspelling) nonsense here under the Wild Rose nom de plume. I’ve never been to Alabama, that was a Raj line. It may well be lovely, for all I know.
Rob H, you remind me of an anagram for Danielle Smith: “Hint, made lies.”

Fair enough Tom. America has been screwed right up by Socilaism and Corporatism, I don’t advocate either one.

Jerry, that Alison Redford applied for South African citizenship is a “fact”, not an allegation.
I provided the link and it’s a matter of public record.

I agree with your analysis and I found all four leaders really didn’t give impressive performances beyond appealing to their committed bases. I would say Redford lost the most by failing to win when she had to and that of course is to the benefit of Smith.

I would also mention to the poster accusing Redford and Obama of being socialists: I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

I disagree with Dave somewhat.

To see how politicians win or lose debates, you have to see it from likely voters’ viewpoints and not about strength of debating style or answers to questions. Since most voters don’t spend countless hours on political stuff they usually come from only a few points of view.

Danielle was being closely watched to see if she was Premier material. I think she didn’t do anything to dissuade people of that perception – so she had the most to gain or lose. I think she won by not losing.

Redford had to stop WR mo and she didn’t do that. Some even had a mixed perception of her performance. So you can say she could have performed better – when you have 40 years of baggage though…

Licia says it best for me in her ed-op piece today.

Regardless, There are skeletons in every parties closet. I’ve watched the PCs for 40 years…. Trust that there is no shortage of dirt that the Wildrose could heap on the PCs, starting with The stupid comments Ron Liepert makes and going way.back from there.

None at that really matters.

We need new blood, new vision, and a party intrenched 41 years can’t provide that. It can t be the Libs and it will never be the NDP, so say hello to the new conservatives of Alberta.

Wildrose will do a good job regardless of any muck-ups. Why do you think all the parties are making promise after promise??? They make those promises because they all know the province will be in surplus… A $300 Dani cheque will require a $6 billion plus surplus, Redford has made $7 billion in spending pledges…. Mason, Sherman same thing.

Every economist going says the same thing… Short of an Einstein making sustainable fusion practicle, or someone inventing a way to burn coal cleanly, Alberta is the biggest game in town, and we’ll be pumping gas and oil long after the Saudis run out.

We are going to be posting surplus’ so big even Brian Mason could run a surplus were he in power.

The question is not whether we are going to be back in surplus, but who is going to make the best manager of those surplus’?

We know the NDP would take your chicken from its pot, split it in half and give the other half to another, and the. Hand you a flower in a plastic pot with a card saying “please be kind to the environment” and a bill for having to much chicken.

The liberals would have grand ideas and all the money to pay for them but no idea how to manage the people managing the money.

The PCs would be busy making sure the money got shoveled to all their friends who wrote donation cheques to them and then realize they spent all the money so they need a sales tax to finish what they started.

No, better a fledging party who needs transparency for wide spread acceptance to have a shot at a second term, and whose worst case scenario is being to cheap. At least that way if we do have to punt them most of the money will still be there for the next one in power.

Interesting take, Joe Alberta, but the “fledgling party” you describe is infested with parachute candidates, religious zealots, bald faced liars and kooks of all description. Danielle needs to put in some time leading something more commensurate with her experience. I’m sure there’s a high school somewhere that needs a social convenor. Visit antiwildrosealberta on facebook and learn all you need to know about this disaster of a party.

I find the Conservative’s whole attack on “conscience rights” very disingenuous. Were it not for the delaying tactics of the Opposition, the PCs would have succeeded in passing the following in 2005:
And Ms. Redford got the idea of using the notwithstanding clause from Wildrose, as she suggested in the debate, but her own party:
Why Redford would want to join a government that even considered such things speaks a lot about her willingness to put expediency and personal ambition ahead of the interests of the people of Alberta and her commitment to those vital rights.
One can make all the arguments one wants about Redford being a progressive, but if she does not have the political capital to keep folks like Ted Morton (an author of the “Firewall” letter) out of cabinet this is a signal that the PCs have as many far-right folks in their membership rolls as the Wildrose. That’s assuming that she wants Morton gone and who know she may not! There are more liberal voices in the government suitable for cabinet, but Redford has benched them. Sure Wildrose has nuts, but so does every party whether it is NDP, Liberal or PC. There are good and bad in every political organization.
At the end of the day, should the Wildrose win they are bound by the rule of law, the constitution, and will be mindful of judicial decisions like Vriend v. Alberta. I have faith in the system and in Albertans and do not fear the social conservatives of Wildrose anymore than I fear those in the PC party!!!!!

I find the Conservative’s whole attack on “conscience rights” very disingenuous. Were it not for the delaying tactics of the Opposition, the PCs would have succeeded in passing the following in 2005:
And Ms. Redford got the idea of using the notwithstanding clause NOT from Wildrose, as she suggested in the debate, but her own party, which attempted to do back in 2005:
Why Redford would want to join a government that even considered such things speaks a lot about her willingness to put expediency and personal ambition ahead of the interests of the people of Alberta and her commitment to those vital rights.
One can make all the arguments one wants about Redford being a progressive, but if she does not have the political capital to keep folks like Ted Morton (an author of the “Firewall” letter) out of cabinet this is a signal that the PCs have as many far-right folks in their membership rolls as the Wildrose. That’s assuming that she wants Morton gone and who know she may not! There are more liberal voices in the government suitable for cabinet, but Redford has benched them. Sure Wildrose has nuts, but so does every party whether it is NDP, Liberal or PC. There are good and bad in every political organization.
At the end of the day, should the Wildrose win they are bound by the rule of law, the constitution, and will be mindful of judicial decisions like Vriend v. Alberta. I have faith in the system and in Albertans

Sure, let’s leave the pot to the WR who will make sure the biggest players sit around the pot, elbowing out everyone else, poorer, middle class standing in the kitchen, salivating at the sidelines. After all, Libertarian politics means you pull up yourself by the bootstraps, even if you have no boots.

Worst case scenario being “cheap?” No, worst case scenario being totally irresponsible about environmental destruction and the sale of Alberta’s water, exploitation of a public resource paying only peanuts for profits to the real owners (Albertans), and charging those same resource owners for decent health care, to boot.
Thanks, but a firm N-O.

Bottom line, would you vote for a parrty who has no political experience running a province or a party that does. No brainier for me.

Would you vote for a party that has no political experience running a province or a party that does, and did it badly?
No brainer for me, either – I’d vote for neither of them, and it isn’t because the WR has “no political experience” but because of its harsh dog-eat-dog policies. We have better, third options.

Dave – apologies, if you judge this to be off-topic.
Wildrose is now promising to fulfill Raj Sherman’s demand for a full inquiry into “intimidation of doctors”, if they form government. I can’t find specific examples for this, so not really able to evaluate the validity of the complaints. Perhaps it is justified, although I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it amounts to a replay of an old demand – that medical personnel be granted a privilege no other workers enjoy, i.e. immunity from consequences for publicly criticizing their employer. That demand was hotly debated in the aftermath of David Swann being fired from one of his Medical Officer of Health positions for speaking out on Kyoto. Swann was eventually offered an apology and his job back, which he declined. To his credit, he matured and did the honorable thing – he took his advocacy to the proper, political arena and ran for office as an MLA. There was never an apology however, from Swann’s supporters in various medical professions, for the crass extortion and vile intimidation they attempted against not only provincial politicians but every citizen of Alberta: “Give Swann his job back or physicians will desert Alberta en masse” (summarized). I’d like to see David Swann & Raj Sherman demonstrate the same maturity and good faith…if there is ever an inquiry into “doctor intimidation”, I hope they will be honorable enough to request a parallel inquiry into the numerous instances (which I have the evidence to prove) of medical & health professionals in Alberta attempting to ‘blackmail’ and intimidate – (in some cases even violating the spirit if not the letter of the law) – elected representatives at all levels of government in Alberta.

You worry about political inexperience??? Hmm… Seems to me I vaguely remember the exact same statements being made way back when I was a lad.

Oh yeah, it was all the social credit stallwarts agonizing over a fledgling upstart party, the Progressive Conservatives, and how much damage an inexperienced party could do to the province.

Funny, for the better part of 28 of 41 years they gave us a decent government… But of course its just silly to think anyone else could.

Life is about renewal and change. Learn to embrace it or spend all your time screaming “the sky is falling” but surely you can do better than “they have no experience”.

I think the larger issue, Joe Calgary, is that the Wild Rose slate of candidates is not only inexperienced, they hold views that are narrow minded, homophobic, mysogynistic and morally repugnant. They bought two candidates (Anderson and Forsyth) so add completely lacking integrity. In the WR sphere, anyone who voices a dissenting opinion is immediately labelled a “bigot” or a “fear-monger.” Their PR team does a wonderful job of dodging the real issues through deflection, obfuscation and in some cases outright lies. Okay, you can call me a “bigoted fear-monger” now. I’ll knuckle under to the gospel of St. Danielle and “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

Having perused the listing I selected a fair bunch of people that could serve in the cabinet, being a snob I only selected those with university degrees or prior cabinet experience. I excluded a bunch of experienced local politicians on the basis they did not have a degree – but some of those would certainly be cabinet material. So here’s the list:

Stuart Taylor, Trevor Miller, Hal Tagg, James Burrows, Nathan Stephan, Kevin Kinahan, Shayne Saskiw, Guy Boutilier, Shannon Stubbs, Ian Crawford, Meagen Lafave, John Corie, Adam Corsaut,Rick Newcombe, Linda Carlson, Peter Rodd, Chris Bataluk,Rich Neumann,Don Martin, Bruce Mcallister, Andrew Constantinidis, Bill Jarvis, Shane Mcallister, Jeremy Nixon, Dustin Nau, Jeevan Mangat, Heather Fosyth, Mike Blanchard, and Rob Anderson.

P.S Folks should actually look at some of the Wildrose candidates themselves, before automatically assuming that: “the Wild Rose slate of candidates is not only inexperienced, they hold views that are narrow minded, homophobic, mysogynistic and morally repugnant” That statement lack empirical data to support such claims.

Thank you Frederick. Now for those who like ordinary ,Albertans- like the trades and the business owner and therancher – ank equally impressive list
So I haveno problem with the depth of experience – like Smith said- no experience earning money for nothing, voting in a raise, allowing intimidation of people. I like that lack of experience

Hah… Tom, if you think the slate of PC’ers is that much more laudable, well… Let’s just say I’ve a bridge to sell you.

People generally lean in to the needs of the constituancy that they live in and seek office in.

Check out the list of PC Candidates in Calgary… half of them don’t even live in the riding they are running in… people who could just as arguably be said to have sought the candidancy because they wanted on the PC gravey train, even though they don’t even live in the riding, or at least on it’s fringes.

Well, whatever mate, vote for the PC’s, vote for the Liberals if that is what you want to do… but don’t bullshit yourself with party generated crap and useless bias.

There will always be someone, be it Wildrose or PC who has something in their closets. Everyone has their Ted Morton, or Ron Liepert:)

Vote cause you like the man or woman running on their slate in your riding, if you that is the person who suits your sensabiliies and needs.

Just get used to the fact that it most likely will be a Wildroser winning the race in the Rural areas and Calgary. Edmonton, little different, but the split suggests a shot for the NDP to come up the middle.

Were I a betting man, and I am, I’d choose Wildrose as my horse. I’d say the PC’s might not even place, much less show.

There are few items that puzzle me in this campaign. One, is this very basic question , if you do not like the current Conservative gang why would you vote for a party that is even more rightist? That is like asking the guy who is beating you to please use a bat to increase the pain. The Wild Thorny Rose party is a mirror of the American Republicans. Can anybody see this? Look what they did to the U.S.A. Brought it to its knees .
My second amazement is that they say ( in regards to health care) that if the waiting time is too long, they would get patients to” out of country facilities” or “ independent” medical facilities in Alberta. The word “independent ” has no other meaning, other than private health care. No question, get ready for health care costs to rocket .And she also conveniently failed to tell us the particulars of this plan which fits into her deceiving agenda. The cost to heath care and the patient has not been revealed. The patient has to dish out more money when he gets to his destination, in order to live etc .I have an idea ,lets blow up another Hospital, that will help matters.
And lastly her 300 dollar give away is outrages, since it does not make sense. With the conditions that we have, much is needed to be fixed. For example the despicable senior facilities, their unhealthy condition, understaffing problems, and the long waiting lists.
Also 160,000 people visited the food bank only in Calgary alone. Feed the poor.Create more jobs.
Education , a bundle of problems there. Large class rooms, lack of schools , teachers that are stressed to the hilt, etc. But the Wild Rose will give 300 dollars to everyone, even the rich who do not need it, I am outraged at all of this. If she gets in ,she will make the Bushes look like Mother Teresa.

By Jo of Calgary at April 13th, 2012

socialist (terrorist?) machine

Sounds like Rob Anders talking now.

Are you aware that tribal law prevails there?
That people are still being “necklaced”?
That’s where someone’s hands are bound behind their backs, a tire wedged over their shoulders, filled with gasoline and lit on fire.

Are you aware that drug lords have taken over high rise apartment towers and force the elderly and everyone else to pay them rent or be killed?

Are you aware that more affluent people may come home to find they have a new maid that they can not “by law” evict. And that they become responsible for that family?

Are you aware that if you are a white woman in South Africa, it is not a matter of “if” you’ve been raped, but when…

Are you aware that people have installed propane burners pointing outward from the bottom of their cars to thwart car jacking and possible killing?

Are you aware that all of this is going on under the noses of the African National Congress and that they are doing nothing about it?

I’ve met more than a few who have immigrated (escaped) to Canada and it takes years to do so because that may only take 2000 Rand out of the country at any given time.

I find all of that to be be “quite terrifying”.

And I find your cute, flip “Rob Anders” comparison ridiculous. You should do some homework instead of getting your information in “sound bytes”.

Danielle Smith wants 2-tier health care or USA style private healthcare. We do not want to pay for healthcare with a credit card. We wish to pay with a healthcare card. many people will soon go broke if they need an operation – $30,000. Or heart operation $80,000. You may lose your farm/ house to pay for health needs. Vote for the Sherman’s Liberals who will fix the health care.

Alberta is PC-Wildrose combo deal. Both have the same healthcare privatization policies. Why should a family of 4 pay $1100/mo for healthcare? And even then only 50% covered and family pays $10,000 more of the deductible. NDP is not even rated. Only, Liberals under Dr. Sherman have credibility. Dr. Sherman is an emergency ER doctor and will fix the healthcare.
Healthcare privatization or 2-Tier will not work. WHY WILL ANY DOCTOR WORK FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE WHEN HE CAN DIRECT BILL THE PATIENT MORE MONEY. We are looking at eventual full privatization later on in the future. USA type tent cities and bankruptcies – here they come. 50% population on food stamps is next, if Wildrose-PC comes to power. Vote for the Alberta Liberals.

Joe Calgary: I’d suggest from your latest shambles of a post you were a might tipsy, except it’s abundantly clear you drink nothing but Wild Rose kool aid. You had one brief lucid snippet, “vote cause (sic) you like the man or woman running on their slate in your riding.” Given the pathetic slate put forward by Wild Rose, I hope that’s precisely what everyone in this province does. That would leave Wild Rose at zero elected.
As for your comment “…don’t bull*** yourself with party generated crap and useless bias” I’ll respond with a school yard taunt (keepin’ it simple so you’re able to understand). “I know you are, but what am I?”

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