Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Alberta Alliance drowning in red ink

I have just finished reviewing the latest annual report from the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer for the Province of Alberta. The report deals with the 2004 Calendar Year, the 2004 Senate Election, and the 2004 General Election.

This official report shows that the Alberta Alliance ran up whopping campaign debts totalling $350,935, during the 2004 campaign!

How bad is that? Well, the next highest debt was run up by the NDP, at $95,063, followed by the Alberta Liberals, at $83,498.

The Progressive Conservatives - who Alliance members constantly blast as being fiscally irresponsible - incurred no campaign debts.

There are more interesting revelations regarding Alberta Alliance hypocrisy contained in the Chief Electoral Officer's report that I will blog about in the coming days.

Alberta Alliance "seemingly dead"

I'm sure that Alberta Alliance members would agree with me when I say that Calgary Sun columnist Paul Jackson has been the most prominent journalist in Alberta to consistently cover the Alberta Alliance in a positive way. He has in fact been pretty bullish regarding the prospects of the AAP for over a year now.

At the same time, Paul Jackson isn't one to mince words.

As such, his recent column published on August 22 entitled "Change in the Wind" is of particular significance. In that column, he discusses the pros and cons of various candidates in the PC leadership race. His central point seems to be that there is a strong desire in Alberta for change, and that Jim Dinning is simply too close to the present government to represent real change. He then drops the following bomb:

Believe me friends, there is a growing feeling in the province it's time the PCs were thrown out of office, but with the Alberta Alliance seemingly dead, and the Liberals being rightfully loathed, there seems no alternative but to re-elect what we have had since 1971.

This is getting painful to watch.

Back on April 9, Paul Jackson expressed the view that the Alliance should dump Hinman as leader.

We all know that didn't happen.

Now, he's basically saying the entire party is little more than a corpse, and who can blame him. The facts are stark:

  1. all the polls since February of this year show the Alberta Alliance at half the support it obtained in the 2004 election;
  2. high profile conservatives want nothing to do with the party;
  3. all the merger talks have failed;
  4. party members are fleeing in droves to support Ted Morton; and,
  5. the one major journalist that took the Alliance seriously is now proclaiming the party dead.

Now, this may come as a surprise to you Alliance members, but, as an experienced political observer myself, I actually disagree with Paul Jackson. While there are plenty of facts to support his position, I think he is writing you off a bit too soon.

However, I don't want to hear any complaints coming from you AAP members about his coverage. You were all real happy with the fact that he was pumping the Alliance back in the summer of 2005, so don't whine and bitch about the fact that he's now covering your demise.

You see, journalists tend to have this nasty independence streak. They can't be controlled, and they will say what they please.

If you had any real political know-how, you'd understand that, and accept it. You wanted coverage - you got it - so now you have to learn to deal with it when it turns negative. Part of dealing with it means responding to it.

Based on what I've seen from the Alberta Alliance communications staff to date, I'm not convinced that will happen.

Monday, September 4, 2006

5000 Alberta Alliance members leave party???

More bad news for the Alberta Alliance and Paul Hinman yesterday.

According to this story in the Edmonton Journal, the Alliance is hemorrhaging supporters and members to the Ted Morton campaign:

Ted Morton's campaign, for example, has actively recruited Alliance members, as well as other disillusioned former party members.

"Most of those people have a history in the (PC) party, or have at least supported the party," said Sam Armstrong, a spokesman for Morton. "A good proportion of them are disillusioned members who left for good reason."

Armstrong said Alliance members have been particularly receptive to Morton's message.

The article then goes on to quote from political scientist David Taras:

Morton's strategy could be effective, said David Taras, a political scientist at the University of Calgary.

"If even, say, 5,000 former Alliance people sign up, you've already altered the race."

The only problem with this is that there is nowhere near 5,000 "former Alliance people" in the province. According to this Wikipedia article on the 2005 Alberta Alliance leadership race, there are just over 1,000 voting members in the AAP.

Now, I'm sure nobody in the Alliance will have the integrity to call David Taras up and clue him in regarding the real numbers the Alberta Alliance has in terms of active members. After all, the Alberta Alliance likes to falsely portray itself as a large movement on the ascendancy, so they will gladly take advantage of this mistake since it works in favour of the canards they are continually trying to foist on the Alberta electorate.

Oh, and don't worry. I won't clue Taras in either.

Let's just keep this one to ourselves.


Friday, September 1, 2006

"...fringe parties such as the Alberta Alliance..."

This is funny.

Faron EllisRespected conservative political scientist Dr. Faron Ellis was interviewed by the Globe and Mail for an August 31 story on the 35 year Tory dynasty in Alberta. During the course of the interview, he made the following comment about the prospects for an Alberta Alliance government:

"We've only changed governments three times in 100 years and when we do, we looked not to the established opposition, but to a completely new party. There are no new parties ready to catch the next big wave," said Faron Ellis, a political scientist at Lethbridge Community College.

He said fringe parties such as the Alberta Alliance, which are to the right of the Conservatives, are not appealing to enough voters.

Fringe party?


I have long maintained that respectable Alberta conservatives want nothing to do with the Alberta Alliance.

I guess we can now add Dr. Faron Ellis' name to that growing list.

The more things change ... the more they stay the same

Hello again.

I would like to offer an apology of sorts to those of you who have been faithfully checking Alberta Alliance Watch throughout the course of the summer. I have no real reason for failing to update you on the latest developments and gossip coming from the armpits of Alberta's body politic. The best I can offer in terms of an excuse is that - unlike most Alberta Alliance members - I have a life. Do you honestly think I am going to give up part of my summer blogging about something like the Alberta Alliance Party?

Get frikkin' real!

Besides, what is there to say or blog about? According to the latest public opinion polls, the Alberta Alliance is still trapped at a crummy 5% support amongst Albertans:

When respondents were asked which political party they would most likely vote for, 46 per cent said they would back a Dinning Conservative party, compared with 15 per cent for Kevin Taft's Liberals and eight per cent for Brian Mason's NDP.

The Green party and Paul Hinman's Alberta Alliance rounded out the mainstream parties with five per cent each.

That exactly parallels the level of support the Alliance was attracting back on April 4. You can read about that here.

The Alliance polled 9% during the last provincial election in 2004, and managed to win one seat. With a measly 5% support, the Alliance would be goners if an election were held today.

I think it's time for the Alberta Alliance to admit that its little experiment is a bust.

Albertans just don't care about the party.

Why don't all you Alliance members just move on and do something constructive with your time and efforts?