Alberta Politics

Recap: #abvote Google Hangout with NDP leader Rachel Notley

It is day three of Alberta’s 2015 Provincial Election and the campaign is already getting interesting. Two polls released in the first days of the campaign show an unprecedented three-way race between the Progressive Conservative, New Democrat and Wildrose parties, with the NDP looking to sweep Edmonton. But a lot can change in the 25 days left until voting day and as we saw in the 2012 election, voters can and do change their minds.

NDP leader Rachel Notley says with confidence that she’s running for Premier, and if that came true it would be a first for our province. First elected as MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona in 2008, she became leader of the NDP in October 2014 and is now leading her party in her first campaign as leader.

We were happy to have Ms. Notley join us on the #abvote Google Hangout tonight to talk about the campaign, her chances of becoming Premier and what she would do if she does win the election. In the first half-hour of the hangout, we discussed health care, breaking our province’s dependence on oil revenues, education, taxes and what it is like to be the leader of the NDP in Alberta.

Watch our previous hangouts with Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman and the Wildrose leadership candidates.

13 replies on “Recap: #abvote Google Hangout with NDP leader Rachel Notley”

Thanks for doing all of these. You should organize a hangout with all the leaders – it will look like the old Brady Bunch intro.

I won’t be voting NDP, but she did have some good answers. I thought the “chaos cost” in dismantling regions was an interesting point. I liked that she at least talked about getting out to rural areas and northern regions, although I doubt we’ll see her north of St. Albert much (for some of the reasons Ryan mentioned). She should at least make a token stop in her dad’s namesake riding. Her first response of “Create a commission of experts and workers….” left a bad taste in my ears. I’ve got nothing against talking to professionals in their subject areas, but I’m not a fan of creating more bureaucracy.

Ryan made interesting points about campaigning in rural ridings. He said “You can drive 10 hours and not leave the province” but federally at least, you can drive 10 hours and not get from one end of the riding to the other. I also think that it’s true what he said about the twitterverse and pundit classes making a big deal about things that won’t be on most voters’ minds. I think the large majority of Albertans wouldn’t know what you were talking about if you said Brian Jean was from #yym, yet a few hard-core politicos will argue on twitter for hours over the relative merits of that day’s photo-op (Campaign bus wheel placements notwithstanding) that no one else will care about or even hear about, throwing around #abpoli, #ableg and #yyc like so much glitter at a Nickelback video shoot. I had to include Nickelback in there somewhere – that was a great example used by Ryan. (for the record – I like some of their stuff, but I don’t own an album)

I also think that a leaders debate with every possible leader is more entertaining but less valuable for democracy. Giving equal time to the leader of the Separation party and the Communist party means you hear less from parties that actually have a candidate in your riding. There should be a clearly defined threshold if it’s going to be in any way taxpayer funded – like having candidates in at least 50% (2/3rds maybe?) of the ridings. But a private organization or broadcaster should be able to run a debate however they choose. As for your slogan, you still have time to purchase before the Alberta Party beats you to it.

Thanks again for your continued contribution to democracy!

Rachel’s policies are so far to the extreme left she should merge with the communist and marxist-leninist parties.

Great job. Thanks for keeping us simple voters well informed. I’m not an ND voter but I’m impressed with Notley, she’s smart and well spoken. Might change my mind befote the election and give her my vote.

Just finished watching the first half hour, and while I have a great deal of respect for Rachel and wanted to hear what she had to say, I found the bandwidth glitches very distracting. Do you folks do a test run before going “on air”, and make every attempt to resolve those kinds of issues before “taping”? I found her end of the conversation very hard to listen to.

Thanks for posting this video. I wish more voters would see them.

I have been an NDP supporter for years (never seen one of my reps elected yet as I live in Alberta). The NDP have had some really brilliant candidates over the years, both provincially and nationally.

I am tired of the same old rhetoric from the PC’s. The message is always the same; “We are the only ones who can steer the economy”, and “The economy is in a shambles, it will only be worse if you elect someone else now”. It’s kind of a brilliant strategy if you think about it.

Well here we are 40+ years of a Conservative government in Alberta, and for my entire life I have watched rich people get richer and poor people stay poor, and rampant destruction of our environment and tourism and healthcare industries. I have watched a continuance of a sense of entitlement from the Alberta PC’s (and not just from our previous Premier). I for one am ready for a change, and maybe Rachel Notley will be the one to do it, if not in this election, then the next.

Some more substantive comments on the content of the discussion. Firstly, I wholeheartedly support what Rachel Notley said about re-restructuring Alberta Health Services. As someone who works in the system as a front-line health care provider, I can certainly endorse her observations about change fatigue and “chaos costs”.
Secondly, I’d like to pick a bone with some of the panellists’ characterization of “The Rest of Alberta” as a monolithic entity. There are significant differences between the smaller cities, like Lethbridge, Grande Prairie and Red Deer, and truly rural areas. There are also significant cultural, economic and demographic distinctions between the southern, central and northern regions of Alberta; as well as between Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo in particular, and the other parts of the North, like the Peace Country. Fort Mac, for example, has a much higher proportion of “fly-in/fly-out” workers than places like Grande Prairie or Peace River.

April 10, 2015 at 9:33 am
Rachel’s policies are so far to the extreme left she should merge with the communist and marxist-leninist parties.

Hey, Comrade … I mean, Conrad! Would you care to elaborate and cite some specific examples of how Rachel Notley’s policies are Communist and/or Marxist-Leninist in nature? I for one would really like to know. For serious!

To Conrad et al:

I feel pretty comfortable describing myself as a communist, and while I’m certainly on good terms with many people involved in the NDP, and in other parties I disagree with, the NDP’s policies are no way communist, and barely register as “socialist.”

Imagine this, everyone: a whole Alberta election free of red-baiting, with citizens weighing policy choices and the government’s record rationally, based on evaluating who will benefit and who will pay from the sitting government’s and opposition’s proposed policies… rather than reacting out of a belief in economic fairy tales (such as, ‘when times are bad, only austerity can save us from collapse,’ or ‘Alberta has a spending problem’).

Alberta does have a spending problem. I agree with Conrad, if Notley was in power we’d have an investing problem, a jobs problem, a spending problem…the list goes on. Keep communism out of Alberta!

I’m not falling for the lip-service idiots on the right pay to my religious beliefs any longer. NDP for me.

It’s interesting that Ms. Notley would return health care back to a regonalized system. I remember when the PC’s under Ralph Kline introduced the regional health plan. The front line workers were up in arms over that decision. The progressives under Stelmach went back to a central board. Notley isn’t introducing something new. She hasn’t told us how she is going to reduce our taxes. She hasn’t said she will reverse the taxes from the Prentice budget. She’s a nice lady, her dad was well respected, I just can’t support the ND’s or any other Progressive party.

I will be voting NDP , because they are the only ones that put’s all Albertans in it together. No favorite child , nobody get’s off the hook . If you believe in Alberta and you believe were all in this together you’ll vote NDP too.

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