Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Are the Alberta PCs scared of new Albertans?

It's been a great summer (seriously, I hope you people have had even half as good a summer as I've had), but as the days grow shorter and the kids go back to school, my thoughts are turning once again to my primary distraction tool, i.e., political blogging. It'll probably take me a couple of weeks for me to be fully back--mostly because I've got a few outstanding deadlines that are kicking my butt--but I'm slowly crawling back into the bloggy headspace again.

To start us off, though, I wanted to think back for a moment to a post I wrote a little over a year ago, in which I theorized that all of the internal migration to Alberta, especially to the province's two big cities, might just have the effect of pushing it to the left. It was an unusual post for me for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it was complete speculation. I tried to back up what I was saying with research, but it turns out that there simply isn't any political science research along those lines. But I thought it was an interesting idea, anyway, so I wrote it up and put it out there, and figured if I was wrong, no harm done.

Well, in August of 2007 there's still no research to back it up, at least not as far as I know. But it sure looks to me like the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, backed by their surprisingly unpopular new leader, Premier Ed Stelmach, are afraid of exactly the same thing. First we had Tom Olsen, spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, blaming new Albertans for the plunging poll numbers. And now, today, we've got a candidate for the party adopting an "Alberta PC government, love us or leave us" stance directed specifically at new Albertans (isn't it nice of him, though, that he's grandfathering those of us who have lived here longer and permitting us to vote for one of the other parties?).

None of this is proof that my theorizing was correct, of course, but if the Alberta PCs think it's correct, they may yet turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which, as far as I'm concerned, would be just as good!