Home is where the votes are
Posted on April 2, 2019
Welcome to day 14 of the election campaign, the official halfway point of this year’s Alberta election.
It is becoming increasingly clear that both parties understand the value of Calgarian voters. This election will be won or lost in Alberta’s largest city. In 2015, the NDP won 15 seats in the city. Of those 15 only Joe Ceci, the current Minister of Finance, beat the combined total votes of both the Progressive Conservatives and the Wild Rose. A split vote made the difference in the last election, but the NDP no longer have that to rely on. In some ridings, if the percentage of votes for the PC and WR parties are combined, they exceeded the NDP winner by more than 10 per cent. If this election plays out in similar fashion to the 2015 one, some NDP candidates will need to increase their share of the vote by more than 10 per cent over the party’s best ever performance in an election – a tough ask.
Both Notley and Kenney will likely spend a significant amount of time in Calgary over the next two weeks in an attempt to court additional voters. Jason Kenney knows how important Calgary is to his election hopes as well, however, his lead in the city allows for a touch more flexibility in his schedule. Kenney can spend more time in Edmonton and the surrounding suburban centres; places where the NDP won more definitively in 2015 and continue to poll strongly.
Each party will typically approach issues from different directions based on their ideological beliefs. The environmental policies of each party are a poignant example of this. The NDP introduced a carbon tax in an attempt to force emitters, both large and small, to reduce their carbon footprint. Those that could reduce their footprint would in turn be forced to pay less tax. The UCP approach to the same issue is very different. A UCP government has promised to cancel the carbon tax and would instead provide incentives to foster innovation in clean technology and rely on those emitters to implement it on their own. Like any policy, each has its strong proponents and detractors and it is the job of the parties to convince the public which is the most effective and in the best interest of Albertans.
Navigator’s top 5 news story daily picks
Braid: Notley gets passionate about Calgary, vows undying support, by Don Braid with the Calgary Herald
- NDP Leader Rachel Notley’s campaign took a notable strategic turn on Monday when she declared a love for Calgary, emotionally vowing to back the city at every turn.
Notley says Kenney’s plan to cancel oil-by-rail deal would cost Alberta $2.2B, by Sarah Rieger with CBC News
- NDP Leader Rachel Notley says rather than saving Alberta $3.7 billion, UCP Leader Jason Kenney’s plan to cancel the province’s railcar deal would cost $2.2 billion in lost revenue.
UCP leadership investigation should be ‘paused,’ lawyer argues in seeking emergency court injunction, by Meghan Grant with CBC News
- The lawyer for Jeff Callaway has asked a Calgary judge to immediately pause the investigation into the “kamikaze” campaign, arguing the elections commissioner is biased and that there is no urgency in seeing it continue until after the election.
Alberta election could dramatically reshape province’s approach to climate change, by Jeff Lewis with the Globe and Mail
- Jeff Lewis discusses how a UCP victory on April 16 would deal a hefty blow to Justin Trudeau’s national plan to fight climate change. He goes on to state that the election will shape the future of climate change in Alberta.
Parties continue fighting for swing votes as election campaign hits halfway point, by Sammy Hudes with the Calgary Herald
- There is a clear contrast between Alberta’s two leading political parties at the halfway mark of the election campaign, as the UCP and NDP take their stance on issues in a hope to garner support swing voters. The next big test for both leaders will be the upcoming April 4 debate.