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Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has called a provincial election for March 3. It's the first time he'll lead his Progressive Conservatives to the polls since replacing Ralph Klein a year ago.

"These are very exciting times for our province," Stelmach, 56, told a press conference Monday. "This is Alberta's moment. We have a very unique opportunity to secure our prosperity and our quality of life for decades to come.

"It's the beginning of Alberta's second century, and we're faced with the same opportunities, the same awesome potential, that drew settlers from many countries to Alberta over a hundred years ago, including my grandparents."

What are the chances of the PC winning a majority again? 100%.

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What is the percentage of credible opposition parties? 0%.

I think I've said that Alberta will be a PC province for decades to come. It is simply a one party province.

Edited by jdobbin
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I think I've said that Alberta will be a PC province for decades to come. It is simply a one party province.

When your the richest, lowest taxed people in North America, perhaps the world, it's hard to see the justification for radical change. When you have it real good, you should be very very very cautious about wholesale change.

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When your the richest, lowest taxed people in North America, perhaps the world, it's hard to see the justification for radical change. When you have it real good, you should be very very very cautious about wholesale change.

That's why I think the same party will be elected long after you are I are dead.

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What is the percentage of credible opposition parties? 0%.

I don't think it's credible parties but what's the chance for change? 0%. It makes me wonder what's the point of even voting in the provincial election when even though seats may change parties nothing else will.

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Both the Liberals under Lawrence Decore and the NDP under Grant Notley had strong shots at government, Decore in particular in the early 90s. Politics in Alberta are far from being monolithic. This time we'll see some large cracks in the Tory facade, and notably in Clagary where th eLberals are stronger than ever. That should not be overemphasized, since they could not have gotten much weaker. Getting stronger was the only possible change, really.

Kevin Taft, Lib leader, has simply failed to catch the interest of the electorate, despite ample opportunity.

Brian Mason is not taken seriously by many, he overplays his hand constantly and shrilly.

\Neither has offered much that is positive or visionary, both content to generally yap at the heels of the big kids.

Ed Stelmach will likely lose some seats and some [popular vote, but he won't be around forever either.

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Both the Liberals under Lawrence Decore and the NDP under Grant Notley had strong shots at government, Decore in particular in the early 90s. Politics in Alberta are far from being monolithic. This time we'll see some large cracks in the Tory facade, and notably in Clagary where th eLberals are stronger than ever. That should not be overemphasized, since they could not have gotten much weaker. Getting stronger was the only possible change, really.

From the perspective of looking from the outside, Alberta politics is monolithic. I see PC governments for many years to come. Why would it change?

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From the perspective of looking from the outside, Alberta politics is monolithic. I see PC governments for many years to come. Why would it change?

Monolithic: Constituting or acting as a single, often rigid, uniform whole

2004 election results:

The PCs won 61 of 83 seats in the provincial legislature, with 47 percent of the popular vote (CBC, Alberta Votes). This represented a decrease of 13 seats for the PCs from the previous election in 2001, although the Party edged up slightly in the popular vote. The win represented the tenth consecutive Progressive Conservative government in Alberta, beginning in 1971.

The Liberals won 17 seats and 29 percent of the vote, returning to the legislature as the province’s Official Opposition (CBC, Alberta Votes). This represented a sharp increase from the Liberal Party’s seven seats in the 2001 general election, and a slight increase in popular support. The other major political party, the Alberta NDP, won four seats and 9.8 percent of the popular vote (CBC, Alberta Votes). In contrast, they won two seats and eight percent of the vote in 2001.

That is why. As you can see, they have less than 50% of the popular vote, and that will drop this time. They will lose both popular vote and seats this time.

What will cause them to lose power eventually? The combination of an articulate Opposition leader, and a sharp downturn in the economy.

There, now you have a correct perspective.

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Monolithic: Constituting or acting as a single, often rigid, uniform whole

It also means invulnerable. The PC party may lose seats. It is invulnerable to losing power.

2004 election results:

The PCs won 61 of 83 seats in the provincial legislature, with 47 percent of the popular vote (CBC, Alberta Votes). This represented a decrease of 13 seats for the PCs from the previous election in 2001, although the Party edged up slightly in the popular vote. The win represented the tenth consecutive Progressive Conservative government in Alberta, beginning in 1971.

The Liberals won 17 seats and 29 percent of the vote, returning to the legislature as the province’s Official Opposition (CBC, Alberta Votes). This represented a sharp increase from the Liberal Party’s seven seats in the 2001 general election, and a slight increase in popular support. The other major political party, the Alberta NDP, won four seats and 9.8 percent of the popular vote (CBC, Alberta Votes). In contrast, they won two seats and eight percent of the vote in 2001.

That is why. As you can see, they have less than 50% of the popular vote, and that will drop this time. They will lose both popular vote and seats this time.

It will be another majority government as far as I can tell from the polls. Probably will be next time and next time after that. Only something dramatic will change that. Do you see that happening?

What will cause them to lose power eventually? The combination of an articulate Opposition leader, and a sharp downturn in the economy.

There, now you have a correct perspective.

From my perspective, given demand for oil over the next 50 years or more, I will likely be dead before there is a change in which party is in power in Alberta.

Edited by jdobbin
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Why are Manitoba politics so monolithic? The NDP has a third consecutive majority with the same 48% the Tories have in Alberta.

All this despite a grim and thin record of performance, and an economy that largely depends on the welfare and kindness of others.

Do you have an explanation for this?

The personal popularity of Gary Doer is what carries the NDP party. It is the same personal popularity of Gary Filmon that carried the PCs through a few governments before that. In recent decades in Manitoba, a political party gets three kicks at the can in power before losing it.

As for poor performance, at the time of the election and continuing now, the province has had growth both in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. That growth has been fueled by rising commodity and consumer spending and not by handouts.

As for jab about transfer payments (if that is what it is), it is not welfare no matter how much some Albertans believe. It is also not done out of kindness. It is a constitutional obligation and one that nearly every other industrialized nation does in the world.

I don't disagree that Manitoba needs to do better. I do not support the NDP and think that were it not for Doer who gets along with many people including Harper, the NDP would have lost the election.

The multi-billion dollar sale of hydro power this week to Minnesota will trigger two multi-billion dams in the north. It remains to be seen whether Doer will try for a another win after that. Like Filmon, personal popularity eventually runs out.

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Eddie will get an even slimmer majority (hopefully the extras are picked up by the Wildrose Alliance). The Libs will gain 2-3, the NDP will gain 1. Just my prediction.

Pierre Elliot Stelmach, however, will get his his ass handed back to him well tanned at the annual leadership review. I think his support within the party will be in the 55-65% range. He's done after this election's term.

Thank god.

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Pierre Elliot Stelmach, however, will get his his ass handed back to him well tanned at the annual leadership review. I think his support within the party will be in the 55-65% range. He's done after this election's term.

The PC voting system of one person, one vote seems part of the problem in terms of electing a leader. I wonder if Stelmach would have won a delegate convention.

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Would it be possible for another right wing party to shake things up in Alberta? Would it be a good thing for the province? I know Sask had to form a new right wing party, would Alberta put up another right wing party if the province is going to pot as some would say? There's two left wing party's there, why not two right wing partys?

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There is another right-wing party (actually, the only one in the province) now called the Wildrose Alliance. They don't stand a chance in hell of getting many MLA's in this election, but give them time.

The Alberta PC's are Liberal Light. Pierre Elliot Stelmach has been pushing, pulling and dragging them to the left since he took power. Even at the risk of the Libs and NDP gaining seats, I hear a swell of anti-PC sentiment in the oilpatch (and they run this province). It wouldn't surprise me to see a PC minority and that would probably be the best outcome we could hope for. The PC's would punt PES in two seconds flat if he screwed up 36 years of PC majority rule.

If you want to be left wing, go to Manitoba or the east coast. There is no place in Alberta for the left's BS.

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There is another right-wing party (actually, the only one in the province) now called the Wildrose Alliance. They don't stand a chance in hell of getting many MLA's in this election, but give them time.

The Alberta PC's are Liberal Light. Pierre Elliot Stelmach has been pushing, pulling and dragging them to the left since he took power. Even at the risk of the Libs and NDP gaining seats, I hear a swell of anti-PC sentiment in the oilpatch (and they run this province). It wouldn't surprise me to see a PC minority and that would probably be the best outcome we could hope for. The PC's would punt PES in two seconds flat if he screwed up 36 years of PC majority rule.

If you want to be left wing, go to Manitoba or the east coast. There is no place in Alberta for the left's BS.

In Manitoba, it's more like Winnipeg that is left wing. IMO Winnipeg should be the Capital of Northwest Ontario than Manitoba. There is a huge split of rural and urban voters in MB.

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In Manitoba, it's more like Winnipeg that is left wing. IMO Winnipeg should be the Capital of Northwest Ontario than Manitoba. There is a huge split of rural and urban voters in MB.

Winnipeg changes its vote from PC to NDP to Liberal. Southwest rural Manitoba has voted nothing but conservative in every election in its history. Even the PCs call it a "yellow dog" area because it wouldn't matter if a yellow dog was running for the Tories, rural Manitobans would vote for it. The same could be said of northern Manitoba and the NDP.

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So, should Eddie then change his name to Pierre Elliot "Yellow Dog" Stelmach? It probably fits.

<kneels to pray>

"Please God, let the PC's get a minority!"

"And make Brian Mason go back to driving a bus. And tell Kevin Taft that there are voters in Red Deer that want to talk to a Liberal."

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I like the Wildrosealliance Policies as well. Entrenched property rights, a made in Alberta Constitution. Recall a lot of big moves towards real Democratic Choice. Maybe Alberta will lead the country again. I see NS is taling electing Senators and so is Sask. Maybe Canadians should quit lecturing 3rd world countries all over the world and clean up their own 3rd world undemocratic mess, and join the new century.

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Bingo!

I think it would be tv-news-worthy to see how the Harper "Liberal Light" Tories would deal with an actual conservative government in Alberta if the WRA ever got into power. Now that would be funny (and expose Harper for what he really is...a liberal).

It will take a very, very, very long time to happen...but I can wait.

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