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Alberta Politics

communications problems.

2012-04-10 Maureen Kubinec Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock PC Election Candidate 2012
A half-page advertisement promoting PC candidate Maureen Kubinec in the St. Albert Gazette.

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.

Alison Redford Not Your Father's PC Party
Not your father's PC Party (via @hatrockscave)

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.

32 replies on “communications problems.”

I like the “Not your father’s PC party” though it reminds me of something a friend of mine who works at an ad agency once told me.

If you’re advertising as “not your father’s car”, it’s because you have research that shows buyers see you as “your father’s car”.

The one thing I’m curious about with the “Not Your Father’s PCs” ad was the context of the advert. Was it from say the Gauntlet or the U of A paper or was it just something in the Herald/Sun.

If it’s for a student newspaper I think it’s a sharp advert. If it’s from a more mainstream paper, then I think it’s a risky advert.

Not your father’s PC party? Well gee Alberta did pretty well under those old ideas of goods governance and accountability. I think we lead Canada in economic growth, we have been pretty good at small government and spending what we have, and even managed to save some.

Seems the ” fathers PC Party” has gotten off track culminating in the election of the most irresponsible liberal leader they ever have welcomed – or right accidental premier- into the fold.
putting my x beside WR – going back to accountable and good governance. A great province was made – let us not let this current lot of liberals ( oh sorry PC. ) ruin it.

Alison Redford’s photo sure seems like it is out of the era of my father’s generation. Can she appear any more old-fashioned? She looks like a mom from Leave it to Beaver.

This is probably indicative of why my father, who’s pounded signs for the PC party since ’71, is voting Wildrose.

My PC father’s WR lawn sign disappeared and he was miffed until he realized it was moved to his formerly PC neighbors lawn.

Given that Redford is probably the most capable PC leader since Lougheed, I think the ad is apt. I’m not a regular PC voter, but now that they’ve ditched the football players, reporters and farmers as leaders, the PCs have a chance to get back to their roots – which was a party that led Alberta through some of its biggest challenges.

Kubinec wrote to much… it’s like a presentation, any more than 5 minutes and people snore out. Anymore than a paragraph or two, and they turn the page.

What really strikes me is there is a “the lady dost protest too much methinks” ambiance to the PC message.

I would have had a lot harder time making my decision not to vote PC if Redford had rushed headlong into dealing with the problems in the party, and clearly overthrown the pigs in the trough, but she didn’t.

Instead, she waffled, she wavered, and basically looked like a deer in the headlights.

That put paid to me. I watched Klien decline, Stelmach never get out of the gate, and now Redford.

No thank-you, I prefer my politicians to make concrete decisions and stand up to them come hell or high water.

Rural Gal, once the Wild Rose get in, they will be booted out so fast in four years from now. They are not just a conservative party but a reactionary party. I agree with other commentators when they say Redford is the best leader we’ve had since Peter Lougheed, she’s smart and has good ideas. If you support the Wild Rose, conscience rights aside, it would indicate to me you haven’t done any research. Their party is funded by, and supports big business initiatives at the expense of public works and health care. Half the thing Danielle Smith is promising will not be kept, they violate the constitution as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The WR platform has so many contradictions as well. This is not the U.S, unless you have federal approval from the supreme court you can’t legally hold a referendum. Hasn’t the potential next leader of this province even looked at how legislation works? I guess not, considering she’s never even been an MLA before. She wants a “no deficit” law but won’t be raising taxes for big business, meaning as soon as we fall in the red there will be a)slash and burn from the healthcare and social sector b) no Dani dollars like she’s promised as that money will have to go to make sure we are not on a deficit c) raise taxes for the everyday person. Her stance on health care violates the Canada Health Act and would actually cost Albertans MORE money than just sticking with a government administered health system – even though she touts a Alberta insurance plan. Private, for profit health insurance funded with public dollars is a recipe for disaster. She’s Ralph Klein incarnate, and that’s the last thing most Albertans want. It’s certainly not the Alberta I invasion.

Given the massive PC war chest, it is quite remarkable that their campaign images and photo-op choices are so amateurish. If I were in charge, I’d fire the lot.

Her picture is missing the tyres.

Since the get go this campaign has been about tyres. The Liberal tyres are bald, the ND’s had theirs taken by the PC’s, the PC’s are a set of very poorly done retreads that are coming apart. The WR is the newest set of wheels on the block with any traction.

The PC ad was in an “alternative weekly” paper, like FFWD in Calgary or whatever its equivalent in Edmonton is, I’m not sure. Either way, it was designed for the right audience.

L.F : you do not need federal approval to run a referendum – see BC – that is next door and last time I looked is in Canada. And the WR platform says would not hold a referendum on anything whose results may CONTRADICT an existing law

Not private health care: PUBLICLY funded, privately delivered health care is not private health care. The world famous Gimbel Eyecare Center was an example.

Slash and burn public sector – I think not. Suspect you have not read platform.

Better than $6 billion in promises ( about $5 billion over the BUDGET she just said was for all Albertans and we could be confident in her management, Well I do not run my household like that, and I doubt that you do. It looks like crisis management, not leadership. Cannot have a budget made and then make a new one on the fly!

James you might note that PC candidate Kubinec lists her being a farmer in the introductory sentence. I guess the PC party is being infiltrated. Probably the odd Christian and Muslim and an Agnostic or two mixed in with the Lawyers and Political Science Professors that make up the PC party. (likely the same basic mix in most parties, heck the Liberals had an MD as their leader)

The blog was about the ads but it always gets reduced to mindless fear mongering. The ad could sell in the right place and time. I’m not sure anywhere in Alberta right now or in 2012.

Alison Redford delayed the election so she could run on “Her Budget”.

Said budget is now irrelevant as PCs have made $7 billion in promises on items they didn’t think 2 weeks ago were all that important.

Would someone please mind telling me where this $7 billion will come from and why the PCs didn’t think to budget it?

“Well I do not run my household like that, and I doubt that you do.”

You know what? Running a government, or a province, isn’t SUPPOSED to be run like a household! It’s actually a lot more complicated, because the outcomes are longer term, and of significantly more importance, and more situations for more people have to be addressed.

Cutting at the bottom line without planning is part of what got us to this mess. Cuts to health care and education in the 90’s means that today, we have to “import” nurses, trades people, and engineers (amongst others) at a premium.

If our government is making decisions that will have an economic and social impact 10, 20, or 30 years from now, I would expect them to do so with a bit more research and sophistication than one would expect from a “household” whose main long-term planning involves the mortgage on their house!

I’m sick of this canard that governments should be run like households. I realize it’s temptingly simplistic, but “simplistic”, in the 21st century, doesn’t cut it.

Imagine a minority win by the PC’s only to be reclaimed by a coalition of Wildrose and Liberals!

But then again it could be a PC loss and since Liberals played a large part in electing Alison that infamous coaliltion can still have merritt in Alberta especially, on a human rights issue such as abortion.

Finally, politics is not about rural Alberta choosing one party; they now have 2 parties to choose from.

No, Martin, a government isn’t supposed to be run like a business. It should be run EXACTLY like a household. Households need to take into account long term planning and living within its means.
A household that doesn’t live within it’s means soon finds itself bankrupt and without a house. A household that doesn’t make sure the home is well maintained will find that the building will expire long before the mortgage does.
You talk about long term planning but I suspect you’d be one of the first people to complain if the government actually engaged in true long term planning because it would involve some unpopular choices.
Long term planning would involve diverting a percentage (20 to 25 per cent) of resource royalties into the HTF right off the top, before any programs are funded, not a percentage of any surplus. We’re not running out of oil but we are running out of cheap oil and that has serious ramifications for royalty revenues over the long term. Long term planning would also recognize that you can’t simply keep pouring more money into health care and education, you need to look at changes to the system so that your funding goes further. That is unless, you can get doctors, teachers and nurses to work for free, any expansion of health care and education will cost money, money we may or may not have. What’s simplistic is the notion that just not throwing more money into health and education is not long term planning.

Darren, you made my point(s) beautifully!

“A household that doesn’t make sure the home is well maintained will find that the building will expire long before the mortgage does.”

Hence the provincial infrastructure deficit that we’re still having to pay for. Simple-minded cuts to transportation bottom lines don’t work: you pay now, or you pay more later.

“Long term planning would also recognize that you can’t simply keep pouring more money into health care and education, you need to look at changes to the system so that your funding goes further.”

Exactly. I don’t think I said the health and education system need more money, I said that if you’re going to cut funding, you have to do so judiciously, with appropriate planning.

“What’s simplistic is the notion that just not throwing more money into health and education is not long term planning.”

Okay, I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to say, it’s a bit convulated. Are you saying that NOT “throwing” money into health and education constitutes “long-term planning”? Because it doesn’t, and furthermore, is irresponsible with respect to future generations who are going to legitimately question what the heck happened to Alberta’s windfall oil revenue, and what it was used for.

I don’t advocate “throwing” more money into any portfolio as a “solution”. I advocate effective and responsible planning to make the best use of the resources we have at our disposal. I don’t think the PC’s have done that, and I don’t think that the “cast-off” PCs (aka WRP) are likely any better at that.

I like the ad. I do see the difference in what Redford represents compared to the past PC and she did shake things up. Not too many familiar faces in her cabinet, some back benchers getting their turn. I like it. As far as the costuming goes, Redford looks responsible in her attire. I have never quite figured out the WR thing. Not a fan at all of fly by night politics with people who have absolutely no experience commenting or budgeting my tax dollars. Fly me to SK or MO for health care because my wait is too long? How would that be better?? How is giving me $300 going to help things? I am sure it will buy more booze and smokes for some people. The WR armchair quarterbacking has no substance because to me they are looking through their Wild Rose colored glasses and not being real.

Here is a comment I got from someone when I gave FACTS, not just an Opinion. “facts won’t change my view.”

How many other voters have that same attitude. SCARY!

The worst flaw of the voter is not necessarily his ability to overlook the truth, but his ability to see it, comprehend it, and then shrug it off anyway because it is contrary to his mission to fulfill his private delusions.

For the voter, the truth exists, but is no longer useful. Lies make his universe turn, and facts are a tool to be used or cast aside at his leisure.

The worst flaw of the voter is not necessarily his ability to overlook the truth, but his ability to see it, comprehend it, and then shrug it off anyway because it is contrary to his mission to fulfill his private delusions.

For the voter, the truth exists, but is no longer useful. Lies make his universe turn, and facts are a tool to be used or cast aside at his leisure.

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