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Sunday, January 20, 2008 

Yet Another Extreme Right Wing Party Born In Alberta

"Alberta got a new political party on Saturday as the right wing Alberta Alliance and Wildrose Parties agreed to merge to form the Wildrose Alliance Party. The party will be led by former Alliance leader Paul Hinman, its only MLA."
CBC


Alberta has been like a conveyor belt creating new right wing political parties over the years. There was the Social Credit Party, The Reform Party, The Alberta Alliance Party and The Wildrose Party.

Over the weekend a threat to the Alberta Progressive Conservatives became a bit more realistic with the merger of these two fringe parties.

As Alberta prepares for the next provincial election, due this year, it will be interesting to see if the new Wildrose Alliance Party can steal enough votes from the PC's to allow the Libs and New Democrats to win a few more seats.

Merged parties take aim at Stelmach Tories - Edmonton Journal

Agreed they could act as spoilers.

It should be noted however that Alberta is also where left wing parties have been born, like the United Farmers and the NDP forerunners the CCF - in Calgary no less. Even the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, when they replaced Social Credit, were the progressive alternative to an entrenched far right government.

A lot of right wing columnists argue that the next big political shift in Alberta could be even further to the right - to something like the Wildrose Alliance - but that isn't really the historical pattern and it really flies in the face of the likely result of the huge influx of new Albertans who know from experience in their former provinces that left of center governments coming to power don't mean the end of the world.

Expect the PCs to campaign to the left this spring. They can tell which way the wind is blowing.

Hmmm... the new Wildrose Alliance could be a threat to the PC's in rural Alberta. But I'm confidant with Ed Stelmach and his farmer friends, that they'll take another majority should an election come around.

It's the urban population that, I believe, is of the biggest threat to Stelmach's Progressive Conservatives. If the NDP and Liberal parties in Alberta merged - now we're cookin' with gas.

My feeling is that Albertan politics is being pushed by the urban centers, Calgary and Edmonton, and the rural political scene (and, unfortunately, their issues) are merely pawns in getting a majority or not. The new Wildrose Alliance will need to siphon a hell of a lot of votes before the pressure on the PC's sends them into minority territory - and even if that happens, the NDP and Liberal parties aren't organized enough to cooperate together in putting enough pressure on the Progressive Conservatives in the cities to make one of THEM the minority government.

The first seat the new Wildrose Alliance wins in Calgary or Edmonton is when Stelmach should start sweating.

Dylan - I see it more that the new party will steal urban votes from the PC's - not enough to win the constituency, but enough for the Libs (or in some Edmonton seats) the NDP to go up the middle. I think Stelmach is in worse trouble than he thinks.

Leftdog, rural Albertans will not come out to vote for the NDP or Liberals no matter how much they don't like Stelmach (and from what I understand, they do like him).

In the cities, I think the Wildrose Alliance will finish third, or maybe even fourth in a contest between the PCs, Liberals, and New Democrats. If they finish second, it'll be to the PC's which will have their votes boosted due to the fear of moderate Albertans that the Wildrose Alliance could sneak up the middle. As much as Calgarians and Edmontonians complain about the Progressive Conservatives, they'd like even less to have the Alliance (or any variation) in power.

I just blogged about this, and realistically, a Liberal/NDP united party along with the PCs and the WA in an election might spell the end of the PCs and the rise of the Liberal/NDP party in power.

The Wildrose Alliance won't get there on rural votes, and there won't be enough Urban votes to split the vote towards the favour of the Liberals and NDP - remember, having an NDP and Liberal candidate in every urban riding also means that the "left" vote is being split too.

And hey, why am I helping my enemies win an election in the first place?!

Tell me Leftdog: was this all a clever rouse to get me to spill the secrets to success against the PC dynasty in Alberta?

Some advice for Leftdog, if you ever do a poll an Alberta politics never put the Communist Party as a option. People are screwing around with my poll and voting communist.

Either that or your readers are a bunch of Communists in their 60's.

ha! yea that could be Dillon.

I have been getting a lot of flak from Alberta Alliance supporters and Wildrosers for being extremely outspoken about their "merger" (it's not a merger: AA swallows Wildrose whole).

A new party would have been good, if not interesting, for Alberta politics (no matter where you stand ideologically). Wildrose had a chance, but instead decided to be eaten alive by a party that has never polled higher than the proverbial bottom of the barrel.

In province that is supposedly so conservative, it should be noted that the Alberta NDP regularly polls higher than the Alberta Alliance (AA = Alcoholics Anonymous?).

Even all the Tories I talk to regularly say that they have more respect for Brian Mason (NDP leader) than for Hinman (AA leader).

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