I came across this condescending and narrow-minded video campaign a few days ago. Albertans vote on Monday so I thought I would commented on it before the polls open in the province of the Great Horned Owl.
I have cited Pundit’s Guide’s article Why the Conservatives Love the “Strategic” Voting Sites in “A conversation between Micah Goldberg & Joseph Uranowski on: Progressive Cooperation” and “After a jump to the left, the Liberal Party needs to take a step to the right” but it applies here (especially since I have read online over and over again that Danielle Smith is a Stephen Harper clone):
- The sites’ entire raison d’être validates the concept that people who voted for the Conservative Party in 2008 can’t be appealed to further to change their vote now, and thus discourages people from even trying. This is a fundamentally defeatist proposition for the sites’ founders to take, one that also underlies the decision by the Liberal Party not to bother making appeals in that marketplace, but to turn its attention towards other competitors instead. It also implicitly discourages people from voting at all where things seem “hopeless” based on previous election results, which feeds precisely into a vote suppression strategy for the Conservatives, and in fact does at least part of that suppression for them.
- The sites’ obsession with who can win has virtually eliminated issue-based politics from either election coverage or debate at the riding level. This is a perfect state of affairs for a party such as the Conservatives which is consciously trying to move the ideological centre of the country a few inches to the right.
In their fantastic Tory Or Wildrose? campaign, the Alberta Liberals point out how there are regressive elements in both conservative political parties in Alberta. So not only does this strategic voting campaign in Alberta have the potential to benefit Danielle Smith and the WRP, but the party it aims to help out isn’t all that progressive either. Progressives need to work during and between elections to change hearts and minds, not come out of the woodwork at the end of a campaign with only fear mongering as a strategy.
One final thought: Yes, elements within the Wild Rose Alliance are regressive and have made unacceptable, bigoted remarks. This doesn’t mean that we should necessarily paint the whole party with that brush. Progressives need to focus on demanding accountability from Danielle Smith and making sure those remarks are denounced, and candidates are held accountable. The WRP’s economic and environmental policies are quite regressive. But when you make the whole party out as a caricature their base will rally and larger, equally relevent issues get ignored, become white noise or are diluted.
“This Hour Has 22 Minutes” did a great job satirizing the similarities between the PCs/WRP and their leaders here: