I have been in the Sultanate of Oman since early February, watching Alberta politics from afar. Even from this great distance across the oceans it is still painfully obvious that the Alberta Liberal Party continues to delude itself into a false belief that there is a relevance to their current incarnation.
My perspective is reinforced by the voters in the Province who have strongly expressed their opinions about the future of Alberta politics.
The polls have the Alberta Liberal Party mired in 3rd place at 23% according to the local conservative pollster, Environics, placing them out of shouting range of the Tories and the Wildrose.
They are a distant memory in Calgary at 22% and barely hanging on at 28% in Edmonton. In rural Alberta the Liberals are a no-show.
In the disaster of the 2008 general election the Alberta Liberal Party gained the support of 26.4% of Albertans and in the recent Calgary-Glenmore by-election they received 34% of the vote.
The Party should be building on that momentum. Instead, they are heading in the opposite direction despite the obvious opportunities.
The response from the Party can best be described as immature and out of touch with reality. This scribe read in a recent Herald article that the Party leader is attacking rural Alberta for getting extra seats assigned by the new boundaries commission. Wouldn’t it be a better strategy to try and encourage support from those folks since the Party does so poorly outside of the urban centres?
Effective political leaders usually look to gather votes, not drive them away!
I also read that Rob Anderson has offered to resign his newly minted Wildrose seat in Airdrie-Chestermere. This represents another great opportunity and the Party should rise to that challenge. However, again they are letting it slip away as the Party fads in popularity.
They should be searching for a suitable candidate to contest this seat? This is a battleground the Party needs to show well in since it is a rural/urban constituency. So rather than screaming at the poor folks in rural Alberta and treating them like an enemy they should choose a candidate who potentially represents them and get on with the business of garnering support.
To its credit the Party did return to the mainstream values of Alberta voters with the Energy Policy release early this year. At that time this person suggested that they should have been followed that with effective policy positions on health care, education and agriculture.
So far the response has been deafening silence. If they had acted then perhaps we would not see the Party so far behind at this critical stage.
Meanwhile we have the curmudgeon-elf from the Herald fancifully floating the extreme possibility of a Liberal Government in a recent column. He must be drinking the same Kool Aid being passed around by the communication folks surrounding the Liberal leader who have convinced those few hunkered down in the ‘red bunker’ they can come up the middle in the next election.
What if 3rd place in the current polls turns out to be 3rd place in the next election???
The Alberta Liberal Party would then self destruct, going from the official opposition to a non-factor, both in the Legislature and more importantly in the consciousness of Alberta voters.
The reality is they will finish a distant third unless drastic changes are implemented STARTING AT THE TOP!
One Person's Opinion