Politics Week One

We sat and spoke politics at Corrigan’s yesterday.  I have to say the Conservatives in the room were the most eloquent.  They were outnumbered by opposing view in the room, but certainly controlled the conversation.

Is that indicative that the Liberals and NDP are messaging strongly enough?  Or just that there were more passionate and silver-tongued folks in that room.

The Conservative message is three-old:

  1. Look at the record.  We came through the recession in good shape.  We’ve run a minority government and given good government despite that.
  2. Look at the opposition.  None of them can govern without a coalition.  A coalition is evil.
  3. Look at our budget.  It had promises for everyone, but was yet conservative.  And over this we were brought done.

The Liberals just came out with their platform today.  Their message seems to be:

  1. Conservatives spend as much as we are planning to, but they spend it on jets, jails and corporate tax cuts.  (That is nearly verbatim.)
  2. We will focus on families.  Child-care, Education and Seniors assistance.
  3. At the end of the mandate we will be in a better fiscal position than the Conservatives.

I don’t think the Green’s or NDP are capable of forming a government.  But their positions are pretty clear. Oddly although the Liberals and Conservatives are the ones capable of forming a government neither are running candidates in every riding.  I wonder if the Greens and NDPs are?

One interesting point in our discussion yesterday was when Anna’s sister suggested that it would be interesting to ask in an exit poll why people vote as they did?  Do people vote for a candidate?  For the leader?  Against a party, or candidate or leader?  I suggested that the most common reason was that most people likely just vote as they always have.  The entire room turned on me as that being a too cynical suggestion.  It was pretty cool to watch.  In an election that has largely talked about apathy at the beginning seeing passion is a good idea.

I didn’t actually mean to sound as cynical as I did.  I do stand by the statement, but I’d like to add that people don’t necessarily stick to their guns in an unreasoning and inflexible manner, but because the parties and platforms don’t change substantially.  Albertans believe in doing it themselves.  In having success and failure on their own terms.  They want  to see a government that supports that methodology.  The Conservative line has always been close to that.  That is likely enough that a large portion of Albertans will always support the PCs.  Some people might vote differently from time to time in reaction to bad leaders or bad incumbents in their riding.  Some might vote differently over anger over a particular failure, broken or unfulfilled promise or injustice done to them.  But a core value doesn’t change so easily.

It will be those who are changing every election who will cause change.  I hope there are enough this time around to have us see a majority government.

Maybe something in election week 2 will raise the kind of passion I saw in the kitchen yesterday among the rest of the voters in the country.

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