A view into the mind of Jason

Welcome to Evilness
Thursday, May 23 2024 @ 12:16 MDT

Alberta Tories down by one

Jason ramblingAny day there's one less sitting Tory in the world is a good day. The Alberta Liberals have taken Ralph Klein's old seat of Calgary-Elbow. Unfortunately the Tories retained their hold on the rural riding of Drumheller-Stettler. The result in Calgary-Elbow was a bit of a surprise , given the predilection of Alberta and specifically Calgary voters to vote for Conservatives like sheep. The question is what does this defeat for the Tories mean?

In terms of government policy, probably very little. The people of Alberta have sent the Tories messages before, e.g. the loss of 10 seats in the last provincial general election, but this didn't seem to even phase the Tories. It is unlikely that this loss will phase them either. First, they still hold a sizable majority in the Legislature, the loss of one seat isn't going to affect them there. Second it's only a by-election. If it had been a loss during a general election it would have meant the people of Calgary-Elbow wanted change. As it is there's a strong possibility that many of the people who voted against the government in Calgary-Elbow would change their vote back to the Tories if it were a general-election. After all the government was in no danger of falling if they lost the seat, so people would feel free to vote for a non-Tory to send a message of discontent to a party that is often insensitive to it's own membership, let alone the voter. If all the chips were on the table as during a general election, the outcome could have been a Tory victory, as people would fear a non-Conservative government in Edmonton and vote accordingly.

With the by-election proviso above aside, it does show the urban/rural rift that appears to be forming inside the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. With the Stelmach government clearly favouring rural areas over urban ones, they play a dangerous game. The two large cities in Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton, contain 2/3rds of the population and despite Tory efforts to the contrary, contain about half the seats in the legislature. Failure to hold on to the big cities is a problem for the Tories as it could send them into minority territory next general election. Specifically losing Calgary would do that for sure, as Tory fortunes in Edmonton have never really been great. The fact that there are now four Grits from what was once a Tory stronghold would not be good if it is a sign that Calgarians are ready to shift provincially.

If the Stelmach Tories are smart, they'll take it as a sign and quit the "business as usual" attitude that seems to make them look just like the old Klein Tories. If they don't, the Calgary voter may just want to try out a significantly smaller Tory government.

Alberta Tories down by one | 0 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.