One of the most interesting features of the first two weeks of Alberta’s election campaign has been just how different the messaging of the two main campaigns have been.
The challenging Wildrose Party has presented a campaign with clear messaging with their five pledges to Albertans, consistent branding, and leader Danielle Smith has had much better photo-ops than her opponents. From the very beginning of the campaign, the Wildrose campaign was able to put the 41-year governing Progressive Conservatives on the defensive, a position that the big blue party is not used to playing.
It has been difficult to dissect what exactly is the message that the 41-year governing Progressive Conservative Party is trying to communicate to Albertans. While Premier Alison Redford has made numerous policy announcements in the first two weeks campaign, including investments in education and health care, but the committee pay fiasco and scuffles with voters seem to have been the dominant stories coming from their campaign.
The half-page advertisement (above) from the campaign of Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock PC candidate Maureen Kubinec may be an indication of the difficulty that some campaigns are having in communicating with voters. In many rural constituencies, like the one that Ms. Kubinec is standing in, it has been decades since the Tories have faced a real challenge.
With still two weeks left in the campaign and a hotly anticipated Leaders’ Debate later this week, there is still time for the Tories to catch up. They may have to pull out all the stops, but I would not count them out yet.