Shock and dismay

How did so many get it so wrong in Alberta – especially the pollsters? That seems to be the question that everyone is asking today.

Was it the strategic voting, crude videos (Kinsella alert!), or fear-mongering?

Or all the above?

But speaking of the Flintstones, a side story to this disaster is the crystallization of the fact that print media is a dinosaur in the age of the internet.

Today’s print edition of the National Post is a snapshot of what could have happened if the Wildrose had won. All the stories seem to be running with that premise. Obviously the deadline approached before anyone there had any inkling that the Alberta PC party would defy the pollsters and march to victory.

So the front page boasts a column by Andrew Coyne“Wildrose changed political game”. It begins, “Unless something astonishing happens, the Wildrose Party will form the next govenrment of Alberta.” Well it did and they didn’t.

However you won’t find that online. Only in google cache does it survive.

But whereas the print media may be a dinosaur today, Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Party may actually be ahead of their time. Perhaps a little smoothing out the rough edges is in order, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.

And perhaps next time the good people of Alberta will realize that real change means kicking the bums out.


*   *   *   *


John Ivison:  ‘Devastated’ federal Tories should look on bright side of Wildrose loss – Full comment:

Yet under Wildrose, the imbedded constitutional principle of provinces providing roughly comparable services at roughly comparable levels of taxation would be under threat.

“Equalization and other wealth transfer programs are failed Trudeau-era reforms that are clearly not working as originally intended and do not treat Albertans fairly,” the platform states.

Could this possibly have been one of the reasons that Ontario seemed to get so involved in the Alberta election?

Andrew Coyne: Why I’m no longer making election predictions after Alberta – But will this actually end up in tomorrow’s print edition of the National Post?

Contrast that with Gerry Nicholls who seems somewhat humbled – Read it here first — how I got the election wrong.

This entry was posted in Alberta, Big Bureaucracy, Big Unions, elections, Have-Not Ontario, Media Issues, Nanny State. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Shock and dismay

    • Fay says:

      Did anyone else catch Kady O obvious support of Adam Caroll’s arrogant defence of his vikileaks on tonights CTV national news?
      I am guessing there will be many repeats of this behaviour by Liberal staff members all with kady’s blessing.

  1. fh says:

    Canada united we stand but not according to Former Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff

  2. Alberta Girl says:

    And apparently voting percentages were only at 50%…so much for people caring. So that probably made the difference. Redford’s people (unions & liberals she courted) were motivated – throw in a little strategic voting and voila – surprise.

    It was a VERY depressing night. Shows that fear & smear works and media being on your side plays a very big part. They overreported the silly comments and hardly touched the issues. And Albertans fell for it.

    I agree with you Joanne…the internet is the place where people get their news and those will an agenda can sway people far more than media.

    OK my rant is over.

    • old white guy says:

      one can never underestimate the wisdom or lack thereof of the average voter. too bad, albertans have shown that just like the rest of canada they want more government money in their pockets and don’t care if they have to borrow it from future generations.

  3. Michael Harkov says:

    Redford in her victory speech, saying that Alberta has proven that it is “Conservative AND Progressive”. Yep, black is white, and up is down. Alberta, you now will start to feel Ontario’s pain.


    • Joanne says:

      That’s right. The small-L liberals won in Alberta. Nanny State #2.

      So, the big unions, the big spenders, the social engineers and the nanny statists finally have won power in Alberta.

      The big difference now, compared to years past, is there will be a strong opposition party on the right holding this government to account.

      • Joe says:

        Don’t we all wish there will be strong right wing opposition holding the socialists to account. Red Ali can do what ever she likes and NO ONE will be there to stop her. At least Special Ed had a remnant of rightists in his caucus to point him in the right direction when he caused a recession with his royalty review. No such constraints or sage advice (not that she’ll take advice anyways) are on Red Ali. I guess all those Saskatchewan immigrants that haven’t moved back already should start packing their bags. Alberta is about to go into another recession.

        • old white guy says:

          i have said it before and will say it again. 60% of canadians are socialists. the rest embrace some form of socialism, even those who at times say they are conservative.

      • Michael Harkov says:

        Exactly! 😀 And to put things in perspective –

        2008: PC 52.7, Lib 26.4, NDP 8.48, Wildrose 6.78

        2012: PC 44.1, Lib 9.8, NDP 9.9, Wildrose 34.6

        So it is not ALL bad. There are some federal parallels here; reminds me of the Tories in 2004, coming out strong and fizzling. Now look at where we are.

        And Smith has four years to shine and learn in her new role. She will be like a pitbull. Redford has the same four years to stumble. Albertans were lulled to sleep, they will have those four years to wake up.

        The PCs are now at the point where they obviously cannot survive without Liberal help, leaving the WR alone on the right. The PCs just bought themselves four more years, but at what cost to themselves (and Alberta)?

  4. Liz J says:

    Gotta wonder about how much the influx of people from the East, including Ontario has affected the voting dynamic in Alberta. The Liberals in these parts are ecstatic that REDford won, there’s a reason for that.

    • Joanne says:

      Yes indeed. There seemed to be an undue amount of interest and influence from Toronto especially.

      • Bec says:

        That gets my vote.
        Redford implied enough times that unless AB voted for them, we’d become a backward province. With the central Canadian media banging that REDneck drum, I believe that Albertans were afraid to be thought of as hicks.

        I can’t believe the pollsters ALL got it wrong though and I have a feeling that any media that supported WRA may be taken out to the woodshed by this Premier. She WILL shut them out as will her caucus which will make for interesting times on SNN and Rutherford.

        • frmgrl says:

          She WILL shut them out as will her caucus which will make for interesting times on SNN and Rutherford.

          Yup,it’s already starting. Rutherford said this morning on his show that he doubts whether Redford will come on his show anytime soon. Said he invited her but turn him down. She doesn’t like him very much. Don’t think she’ll accept any invitation from Ezra either, though a new member of Alison’s caucus, Calgary-Hays MLA, former Calgary city Councillor,Ric McIver appeared today. He agreed with Ezra to come back on the show whenever invited to keep us posted about what’s going on in caucus. Gotta feeling he won’t return, he’ll be muzzled.

  5. Calgary Junkie says:

    Well, I’m very disappointed with my fellow Albertans. I guess a whole bunch of them were watching a different campaign than I was. The PCs obviously found a way to lassoo a big chunk of the lefties and then herd them into the voting both.

    Looking ahead, I’m going to keep supporting Danielle, minimize my exposure to Redford’s extremely annoying gobbledygook, and brace myself for a long string of broken promises and governing chaos that is sure to come.

  6. Dirt says:

    Perhaps the WR loss is a good thing for now, they will be the official opposition and a couple of years of learning how to dig up the political bodies is valuable experience. Once the public gets to know them I doubt liberal media’s group slander of the WR will stick come another election.

  7. Liz J says:

    Wildrose can build a stronger base in opposition, they have the leader, the rest takes time.

    I think there was a lot of outside interference in Alberta, even Stop Sign DePape showed up to represent the Left.

    We need to keep watch, Alberta is the economic engine of the country, Quebec and Ontario already know it, it may have been a factor for their interest. The Green freaks were active, the mention of a firewall was put out, it all figured in the outcome.

  8. Jen says:

    A Northern Ontario MP has ended a long struggle to vote according to his conscience on issues like the gun registry by quitting the NDP caucus to sit as an independent.

    Bruce Hyer, the Thunder Bay-Superior North MP who once held the high-profile post of environment critic under the late Jack Layton, said the decision was precipitated in part by the fact he was left out of the shadow cabinet named last week by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.

    But mostly, he said in a telephone interview Monday, he is frustrated the existing system of government does not always allow elected politicians to speak their minds and vote as their constituents dictate.

    “I have always been an independent thinker and, I will be honest, it’s been a struggle for 3½ years,” Mr. Hyer said. “I don’t want to be controlled by any party. I don’t want to vote 100 per cent with any party all the time. And my first loyalty is to my constituents and the people who elected me.”

  9. Jen says:

    I plan to watch Danielle in opposition as she handles Redford; it should be interesting.

  10. Mary T says:

    Heard last night about some woman who based her vote on what party did not call her during the last days of the campaign. She was so upset at all the robo calls, leader calls, etc. She voted ndp.
    Wonder if any pc mps will be kicked out of caucus because they haven’t paid back their committee for nothing money. Notice Notley was re-elected, and kept her money.
    My prediction, in four years we will NOT have 150 new clinics, 50 new schools or 70 school renos.

  11. Bubba Brown says:

    So the people have spoken. I really like what Michael Harkov said at 9:01.
    Wildrose has come a long way since the last election.
    The vote spread is 10% so the PC have a strong opposition to hold them to account.
    The extreme opinions of both the PC and WR candidates saw both of them defeated, they are of course entitled to their opinions, voters are entitled to choose wisely.
    Wild Roses day will come.
    I see Mr Ignatieff is once again holding forth on the perilous state of Canada apparently hanging over the abyss.
    “he knows nothing, thinks he knows everything, clearly that points to a political career” G.B.S………….Oh wait a minute?

  12. Bubba Brown says:

    The morning after and you woke up next to who?
    Now that is really scary.

  13. Martin says:

    I think the biggest losers in this campaign were the pollsters, just think of that Focus poll, probably still up, showing a huge lead for WR. The problems facing traditional pollsters have been evident for some time. Phone call polls face a significant sample bias, as more and more people own only cell phones, obviously younger voters are more likely to be in this group. Robocall polls face additional sample problems from people simply hanging up before completing the survey. An accurate poll with face to face interviews from a random sample, would be accurate, but hugely expensive.
    Polls should be viewed with caution, and careful attention to the methodology and questions and standard of error statistic. Simple sample size cannot overcome bias in a poorly designed sample.
    Finally glib analysis by media about the reasons why the election results differ so much from polls should be taken with a grain of salt. It may simply mean that the optimistic polls were unaccurate, not that there was a huge shift due to some campaign statement.
    People who say the only poll that counts is the ballot box, have a valid point.

  14. wilson says:

    If we knew the results in January, we would be jumping for joy.
    And we still should be. Official Oppostiion is not a consulation prize, it’s BIG!!
    The polsters look like fools….

    Wildrose gained 28% support and leaped over the LibDippers into Official Opposition, while 16% of the Lib vote went to PCs (libs won’t get that support back)… and yet REDford still lost 8% of the vote.

    Albertans wanted to boot out the corrupt progressives, but weren’t convinced the Wildrose was ready for prime time, so they stayed home…. the people are always right.
    The machine will run Alberta for the next 4 years, not REDford. She is just the old boy’s puppet. On the ground we saw (and heard of) alot of intimidation and dirty tricks from the PCs, it wasn’t pretty.
    At the riding level they had more money and organization, 41 years of it.

    • Joanne says:

      If we knew the results in January, we would be jumping for joy.
      And we still should be. Official Oppostiion is not a consulation prize, it’s BIG!!
      The polsters look like fools….

      Excellent point. Yes the polls did raise everyone’s expectations. Reminds me a bit of the Ontario election when the polling showed a PC win and then all the fear-mongering started to whack that down.

      Very similar. Very strange how similar…

      • Liz J says:

        Yeah, strangely similar to Ontario. Could it be the same cabal of scare mongers from the usual element of the political spectrum did their “work” in Alberta?

        • Ruth says:

          Similar yes to Ontario, but in Ontario everyone was after Hudak to resign because he lost. Why aren’t the knives out for Smith now in Alberta.

          • Candace says:

            Danielle ran an excellent campaign. She kept her head up and ran a very clean campaign. There is no reason on earth to question her leadership and given their gains – going from only one elected (plus 3 floor crossers) MLA to 17 is pretty damn good, overall. I’m just sorry they didn’t win as I shudder to think what AB will look like when Red Ali is through with us.

  15. Mary T says:

    It is now obvious that people lie to the pollsters when they phone. Also, robo calls turn people off from voting. I wonder what the average age group was that did not get out and vote. If it was the 18-25, wonder how many of them will be shocked when they get stopped for .05%, or the 40-65 group who will get stopped for having wine with their celebration dinner.
    And how many did not vote because they were out of the riding, due to unexpected medical problems that put them in hospitals in another city.
    I am glad Morton went down, but Amery was re-elected, will he bring back his bill to defund abortion. Funny the media didn’t bring that up.

  16. mwest says:

    WR is down, but not out. More than having an ideology that connects with voters, you also need the capability to run the day-to-day operations of a province. In any business, you aren’t likely to hand the reigns of power to a team who hasn’t had the chance to show their mettle at least in the role of an effective opposition. In time, and with a bigger team and with more experience they may one day rise up in much the same way the NDP has in the East. Having said that, I was brought here by someone who’s life appears devoted to maliciously mocking the very people who have the gumption to lead and be criticized. He mocks this place incessantly while failing to offer any proper counter argument other than foul invectives and references to sexual perversions of all kinds. He could be forgiven for his social ineptness by virtue of living his life surrounded by cats when most people are with friends and family. He doesn’t build consensus, he seeks to destroy and for good measure, humiliates, defames, and harasses his critics, their families, their children and their employers. I’m talking of course of [Portion deleted by Blog Admin]. It’s one thing to debate issues and ideologies, it’s whole other thing to bully people into capitulating to your will.

  17. Joanne says:

    I added an update and would be interested to hear the reaction to John Ivison’s column.

    • Candace says:

      Your quote from his post contradicts itself, does it not? (his writing, not yours, I mean):

      Yet under Wildrose, the imbedded constitutional principle of provinces providing roughly comparable services at roughly comparable levels of taxation would be under threat.

      “Equalization and other wealth transfer programs are failed Trudeau-era reforms that are clearly not working as originally intended and do not treat Albertans fairly,” the platform states.

      Because there are NOT comparable services or taxation levels when you compare AB to QC. So I would agree w/the WR platform statement that the wealth transfers are NOT working as intended.

      And yes, that’s EXACTLY why Coderre & Kinsella were jumping in. Like they’ve ever cared about AB elections in the past (definitely not), they just want to make sure the gravy train doesn’t dry up.

  18. frmgrl says:

    All I have to say is that fear and smear looks like it worked and that there is no room in Canadian politics for social conservatism provincially or federally. That is truly sad.

  19. cantuc says:

    Not surprised . Extremely disappointed in the outcome, but when you promise job security and raises to the unions , they get motivated . Not only them but all the nursing and teaching students aren’t going to sit idly by and watch a high paying job possibly get threatened . Smith was promising more front- line jobs , but the ball bounces where it will.The masters of fear and smear won and the polls , every day after somebody sneezed or said something stupid showed the people running and watching the campaigns exactly what they needed to do to win . Some had more experience at this . Oh well , I’m retiring soon and moving anyway so , anybody want to buy a 2 bedroom house , full basement, carport , on a double lot , close to a school , nearly downtown yet almost out of town , and right across from a bingo hall ?

    • frmgrl says:

      Extremely disappointed in the outcome, but when you promise job security and raises to the unions , they get motivated

      Heard that this morning on Rutherford from a caller. Said they were all contacted promised a raise if they voted PC. Then Charles Adler touched on it at 12:30 MT when talking to Gerry Nicholls. That could account for some of the PC vote.

  20. cantuc says:

    The scary thing is , Alberta progressive “conservative “voters just showed the NDP how to win federally . They have 3 years to run their fear and smear and organise their unite the left program . Watching news Dalton just caved to the NDP in Ontario More daycare , tax the rich . Wonder if the outcome of the Alberta election had any effect on that ?
    I read Ivisons column . I’ve said the same things on twitter and on different blogs and news sites . Now we get to help pay for McGuintys bloody windmills and Quebecs corrupt construction industry and socialist programs for ever and ever . I just find it hard to understand why some Albertans are so eager and willing to pay for things in other provinces they can’t afford here . $7.00 a day child care coming to Alberta ? Greece , here we come . I hope i’m wrong . My nephews wife is from Greece . She doesn’t want to go back and is trying to bring her famiy here . Oh well , might not matter .

    • Bec says:

      MOST Albertans and especially those that voted in the PC party haven’t got a clue that this occurs. They haven’t an understanding that the sneaky fees are about to rise, the rules and nanny state industry is about to flourish under this Premier.
      Kids in AB, Seniors in AB and most certainly the unions are why this occurred because kids want their nirvana, seniors want their heathcare entitlements and the unions want their 3 figure retirements.

      However, now that it’s over and despite the fact that I think we should treasure our freedom of speech/religion…..the past and present comments from Hunsberger and Leech were very destructive and torqued up relentlessly by the usual suspects. WRA should have handled it much differently.

      I heard the Premier sounding very grumpy and condescending during a presser this AM, it was a horrible interview imo but she glowed when she expressed how great it was, how much she respected the voices, the OPINIONS expressed by the Calgary mayor and Edmonton mayor ………

      So my question is, does she only appreciate and respect the VOICES of those she agrees with? I already know the answer.

      This will be a very busy blog over the next 4 years….we are now true kindred spirits because we will be navigating our way through your life in Ontario. ***sigh***

  21. Jen says:

    Danielle Smith is now the ‘official opposition where she plans to make use of what she was trying during her campaign. She intends of holding Alison feet to the fire; and as days pass by, Danielle will remind the PCS the difference of yesteryears’ PCs to the PCs of today.
    I am positive that some true PCs who do care for the province her resources and other values valued by the PCs now adopted and reinforced by Danielle, will cross the floor to WR.

    Time will tell, I tend to watch the provincial debate on television.

  22. ed says:

    Shocked and saddened by the results in Alberta. However, feel much better after reading the comments of Michael Harkov and others here. Looking at the results posted here, Wildrose actually made an impressive impact. Being the official opposition will help prepare them for the next election. They did very well given all the obstacles in their way. Maybe the polls and media commentary were set up to frighten the people away from Wildrose, that they were going to win too many seats. Also, it takes time for long time PC voters to turn to another party. What about all those transplanted Easterners, the significant immigrant population, … how did they vote? What percentage of Albertans are relatively new immigrants? And, if few really keep up to date with the politics, then the dumbing down of the average voter?? Then we hear that a socialist might become the new leader of France. :-( So much for 2012!!

  23. Dirt says:

    The repressive Conservatives lost 16 seats, when in history has that happened since their rule alala liberalism? If the libs had of voted liberal the PC would of lost the election, what did she promise her bed fellows in the NDP and Liberal party? We lost nothing, Smith is the leader of the official opposition she gets access to official documents the days of Redford running the show sans media attention or public debate are over. Sure she can ram through what she wants but that’s in Smiths favour, she can opine I wanted to pass recall legislation alas Redford can do what she wants for four very long yearssssssssssssssssssssss.

  24. Mary T says:

    Danielle has to start looking for candidates for the next election NOW, including those elected yesterday. Start venting them NOW, and anyone wanting to be a candidate for the WRA next time, delete every comment you have ever made, every blog you have ever written, and stay off twitter, fb etc unless you are saying something very positive.
    A blog written over a year ago, coming back to haunt a candidate will happen over and over again. I hope she hires someone who has the sole job of searching archives of elected PCs to find things they have said that might differ from redali’s platform.
    Hansard would be a great place to start, 41 years of statements will be very time consuming, but could play a great part in the next campaign.
    That campaign starts today.

  25. Mary T says:

    I wonder how many voters in Lethbridge East work up this morning to discover they had elected a PC. They had voted Pastor many times when she ran as a liberal. Did they know she had crossed the floor. Leth East has been liberal for years.

  26. Ruth says:

    One good thing that came out of the Alberta election is that the election wasn’t over until all the people voted. I’m tired of the pollsters saying who has won before anyone has cast their ballots. Looks good on them this time.

  27. jon says:

    Polls hurt the democratic process. No two ways about it. And since you can’t ban polls, the solution is simple — lie to them when they call, over time rendering their results throughout the campaign useless. In fact, I’d like to see someone set up a facebook page, or create some sort of organization, illustrating why we should lie to them and how they damage the election process. I doubt whether the polling firms could take legal action by citing that the organization is damaging their business. Simply put, it would be left to the free will of the individual and whether to mislead the pollsters when they call. I know that if they ever call me in the next election, I WILL lie to them, telling them the opposite of what my voting preferences are. And I encourage everybody eles to do the same.

    • Liz J says:

      I’ve always felt polling meddles with the democratic process. They ask how you intend to vote, they have your phone number and name connected to it which means your secret ballot isn’t so secret.

      How many people are swayed by polls and go with the crowd instead of doing their own homework OR vote strategically to prevent a majority?

  28. Jan Webb says:

    IMHO Liberal (aka) P.C. Redford has an agenda similar to the National Energy Program first initiated by Trudeau. She is hugging in tight with McGuinty around green energy and “climate change”. Although her rhetoric is hard to dissemble, watch what happens with her majority government. Albertans, be prepared to pay through the nose for anything that is energy-related. There is only a few billion dollars for Alberta to use up, then Quebec and Ontario won’t be able to depend on their “have-not” status for equalization payments. In the next 4-5 years Alberta will join you. Just my thoughts…

    • Joanne says:

      Those are pretty scary thoughts.

      Both premiers do seem hell-bent to destroy the economies of their provinces.

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