“Rural Votes Matter” and Kamikaze is Back
Posted on March 28, 2019
Both the UCP and the NDP left the major city centres yesterday to talk rural policy. While this election will likely be fought in Edmonton and Calgary, it is important to recognize that a significant number of seats (almost 50 per cent) are found outside of Alberta’s two largest cities. This year, a significant number of these rural ridings appear to be trending towards the UCP which will worry the NDP given that currently neither major city is a lock. While the NDP will likely continue to campaign hard in the cities, expect more tour stops in critical orange ridings such as Lethbridge – West.
The UCP kamikaze campaign story is back. Every time the story fades into the background, a new piece of information is revealed which causes the story to flare up again. That is exactly what has happened this week. Even polarizing policy topics such as education, GSAs, and the economy are not enough to overshadow this story for more than a day or two, and the media has been very content to slowly drag this story out over multiple weeks. So far, there has been no damning revelation big enough to seriously damage the UCP campaign. However, the Elections Commissioner has already leveled fines against people involved and the RCMP continues to investigate ‘irregular campaign donations.’ At this point only time will tell if this story grows into something more serious.
Despite having a full sale of 87 candidates, the Alberta Party has quickly become the third party in this election. 2019 is a battle of titans and ideology, and there is seemingly no room for the middle ground that the Alberta Party happens to occupy. Like all parties, the Alberta Party is acutely aware that jobs and the economy are a top-tier issue for Albertans and the party has been taking different paths to approach that issue. A province wide childcare policy was introduced earlier than the NDP’s version and over the last few days, leader Stephen Mandel has introduced policies to return film companies to Alberta and fund innovative projects in the energy industry such as the bitumen puck idea to create jobs and introduce some diversification to the economy. While the Alberta Party is unlikely to win the election on April 16, if they can earn and hold some media coverage over the next two weeks, the party may present an interesting alternative for voters that struggle to identify with the two main parties.
Stay tuned for part two of the Navigator election conversation series which is being released today.
Navigator’s top 5 news story daily picks
Alberta Election Day 9: Notley pledges to build second highway out of Fort McMurray, Kenney gets ‘tough’ on rural crime, by Trevor Robb with the Edmonton Journal
- On day 9 of the campaign trail, Rachel Notley made highway construction announcements while in Fort McMurray, and Jason Kenney appeared in Lac St. Anne to discuss plans to tackle rural crime. Meanwhile, Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel, and Alberta Liberal Leader Dave Khan were in Edmonton.
From bitumen pucks to refineries, Mandel outlines Alberta Party’s innovation strategy, by Sammy Hudes with the Edmonton Journal
- Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel says he’ll put the province on track to be a leader in innovation and diversification if his party forms government after the upcoming election, pointing to advances like a technology that creates products from bitumen.
- Alberta Liberal leader David Khan has pledged to enact a pay equity legislation to make life better for Alberta women. In reflection of the high gender-pay gap in Alberta, Khan has committed to supporting women’s causes and combatting violence against women.
Alberta NDP calls on Kenney to pen sworn statement on voter fraud and ‘kamikaze’ campaign allegations, by Drew Anderson with CBC News
- NDP candidate Sarah Hoffman is attacking Jason Kenney in the wake of a report from the election commissioner that outlines irregular campaign contributions to Jeff Callaway. Her scathing letter demands that Kenney release a sworn response to allegations of voter fraud and irregular campaign donations.
Nelson: Calgary’s a graveyard not a battleground for NDP, by Chris Nelson with the Calgary Herald
- Chris Nelson firmly believes that Jason Kenney’s “kamikaze” controversy won’t be enough to win the NDP and Rachel Notley a re-election bid. His unapologetic view of the Alberta campaign landscape attempts to convince that the NDP have too tall a hill to climb.