Friday, December 11, 2009

New Alberta Provincial Poll

The National Post is reporting a new Angus-Reid poll of Alberta politics.
So, that's a big honking lead for the Wildrose Alliance. They've managed to push the Progressive Conservatives down to the level of the Liberals at 25%. The NDP is well out of it.

What is most surprising is that the WA is ahead, and significantly so, in all parts of the province. They are at 38% in Calgary, compared to 30% for the Liberals and 23% for the Progressive Conservatives. They're at 36% in Edmonton, compared to 26% for the Progressive Conservatives and 25% for the Liberals. And in the rest of the province they are at an amazing 44%, compared to 25% for the Progressive Conservatives and 21% for the Liberals.

The NDP is at 12% in Edmonton, 6% in Calgary, and 7% in the rest of the province.

At these levels, the WA is on the bubble for a majority government, while the Progressive Conservatives would be fighting the Liberals for the role of Official Opposition! As The National Post states, the PCs have led the province since 1971, so the significance of these numbers is clear.


  1. Too bad the next election isn't for another 4 1/2 years. Will the WRs be able to maintain it?

    They can build on early success, win a couple more by-elections, build a part org.

    BUT part of the PCs problem, at least in my opinion, is the economic downturn. That situation is starting to turn around.

  2. If these numbers hold then we might see some PC MLA's cross the floor hoping to preserve their seats. That was rumoured if Steele won the leadership. The other thing that will likely happen is a caucus revolt against Stelmach. Even though he is from rural Alberta that's where the dissatisfaction seems to be the highest. A very interesting poll. Thanks Eric.

  3. The WA was very astute in selecting Danielle Smith as leader who can attract the urban Calgary/Edmonton vote.

    It looks like Stelmach might be the PC's "Harry Strom".

    I can't ever recall the PC's behind another party provincially in Alberta and by this wide a margin.

  4. Alberta has followed a repeated pattern throughout its history.

    They've never elected a minority government.

    No party has ever returned to power after a single incumbent defeat.

    No premier has both won and lost elections.


    Stelmach seems to be doing his best to change that last one.

  5. J. Kenneth Yurchuk11 December, 2009 12:16

    Looks like a replay of the death of Social credit in Alberta.

  6. Much as the Socreds were a rudderless ship following the death of Ernest Manning, the PCs haven't had any real direction since Ralph eliminated the provincial debt. They had one goal in office, and they achieved it. Ever since, they've really had nothing to do, so they futz about trying to justify their own existence.

    This is why Stelmach managed to change oilfield regulation five times in two years, and publicly stated he'd keep doing it until he got it right. Clearly there's no one advising him who has any idea how a business runs, because businesses like predictability more than anything.

    Alberta could have avoided the recession just like Saskatchewan did, but "Steady Eddie" killed the boom just in time to watch the foreign demand for his oil collapse.

  7. "I can't ever recall the PC's behind another party provincially in Alberta and by this wide a margin."

    I can. Look back at polling numbers in Alberta in the early 90s when Don Getty was premier and was ridiculously unpopular. Polls at the time had the PCs way behind the Liberals and even the NDP (which was the official opposition in those days) was in contention. In 1992 it was considered a foregone conclusion that the Alberta Liberals would take power under Lawrence Decore - then Ralph Klein won the PC leadership in an upset and won the provincial election quite narrowly.

  8. If the next Alberta election ends up in a WAP majority, I'll be mildly surprised.

    If the next Alberta election ends up with a minority government, I'm going to laugh myself to death.

    We could see the Tories working with the Liberals to stay in power/block legislation/co-operation! Hahahaha!

    This is going to be an interesting decade, I can tell already.

  9. DL - Yes, Decore had some great policy ideas, so Ralph simply stole them (all of them), ran with an identical platform, and squeaked out the election on personality alone.

    What made Ralph so popular later was also what allowed him to run for re-election with sich a simply slogan. "He kept his word." Ralph did, in fact, do pretty much everything he'd said he was going to do (cutting spending with vigour not seen since Pinochet), and all without having a safety net (oil prices were low at the time).

    I would be shocked if Alberta elected a minority. They never have, and I don't see why they'd start now. The non-Edmonton parts of the province have effectively voted with a single-mind for the past 50 years.

  10. Ira,

    How do you feel about Smith casting doubts on the science behind AGW ?

    Having a proud climate change "denier" as a provincial leader in Canada would be wonderful.

    But it does put her out of step with all the other leaders who accept AGW.

    Is this going to help or hurt? Will she backtrack to "moderate" her image as the media seems to be demanding she do.

  11. --- "Having a proud climate change "denier" as a provincial leader in Canada would be wonderful."

    For a laugh, maybe.

  12. For a laugh, maybe.
    She would be another Sarah Palin - but without nuclear weapons, she would be a laugh.

  13. "For a laugh, maybe."

    "She would be another Sarah Palin - but without nuclear weapons, she would be a laugh."

    Laughing at people with different view points,

    and lefties honestly can't figure out why they're being called arrogant elitists every ten seconds.

  14. Obviously I'm an elitist. I'm awesome.

    Sorry Jesse, but I only laugh at different view points when they are laughable.

    I'll laugh at a 9/11 conspiracy theorist and the moon-landing-was-faked people too.

  15. Question: Are the Wildrosers former Reformers, or are they a completely different creature altogether?

    And Eric, you, leftist? Why, I had no idea.

  16. I've voted for a different party in each of the last three elections.

    Though, apparently, only "leftists" believe the science of global warming, so I don't know what to tell you.

  17. Maybe I'm just sensitive because I'm a Liberal in Toronto, so it's pretty much a given I'm going to be insulted by every second commenter on say, the Globe and Mail's website. But Conservatives in office or on the internet in Canada are hardly flowers of decorum and respect themselves. There's never needed to be any prompting before for calling their opponents elitists, arrogant, or whatever else.

    If Alberta elected a Climate change denier as premier, it would just make negotiating a good deal for Alberta on climate laws even harder, since they wouldn't actually have the power to block anything the feds decide to do.

  18. I fear I touched a nerve!

    Kevin, i'm sorry you feel so insulted by us nasty Conservatives. We're not at all enlightened like our progressive friends, one day soon we'll learn to be as totally non-partisan and nonaggressive as Liberals like Jean Chretien and Frank McKenna.

    Eric, i'm surprised you're not left of center.

    Your defence of high tax, big government, European style economics in the past just gave me that impression. I'd be interested to hear what opinions you have that make you a non-lefty.

    And the science of global warming is far from settled. Never mind the fact that the history of science is full of situations where a completely wrong consensus emerges and is later corrected.

    Go back a couple hundred years and you'd be told the science is settled and there is a consensus that the large forehead of the negroid species indicates a lack of intelligence and general inferiority to northern Europeans.

    Thank goodness for skepticism and being open to different viewpoints !

  19. "Kevin, i'm sorry you feel so insulted by us nasty Conservatives. We're not at all enlightened like our progressive friends, one day soon we'll learn to be as totally non-partisan and nonaggressive as Liberals like Jean Chretien and Frank McKenna."

    I'm not Jean Cretien or Frank McKenna. (as you can probably tell by the name)

    If YOU want people to show respect for your viewpoints, YOU may want to show respect to others, or YOU won't be taken seriously. That's personal responsibility.

  20. Kevin,

    This is a bit strange, in your first statement you were not talking about me but Conservatives in office and on the globe and mail's website.

    Its absolute nonsense, of course. Typical Liberal elitism/arrogance to believe that they have a monopoly on manners. No party or its members are any more or less rude than others. Still a lack of sociological or historical evidence didn't stop you from deploying your blanket smear.

    "YOU may want to show respect to others, or YOU won't be taken seriously."

    Pointing out that laughing at other people's view points is elitist/arrogant is not disrespectful - its a factual statement.

    You seem to be under the impression that I go around hurling insults without any prompting. Telling people how their behaviour comes across is not the same thing as calling them names.

    Your attacks are unfortunate and a little bit ironic, lecturing somebody on rudeness in an incredibly rude manner.

  21. It would be wonderful to have a global warming skeptic hold a major office in Canada.

    Believing any science defeats the point of science. We should question everything. We should try to verify everything. Climate projections have proven very difficult to verify because the Climate Research Units do things like "lose" their raw data and decline to tell people what methods they used to produce those charts the IPCC uses.

  22. Ira,

    Thank you! Its nice to hear from someone who defends the proper scientific process.

    Its a little like Galileo versus the church these days, except with the roles reversed.

    Climate gate revealed a concerted effort to rig the peer review process and boycott journals that dared published contrary view points.

    Instead of governments funding research to try and find evidence of AGW, scientists should look for evidence that proves AGW wrong.

    If something truly is true then it can withstand scrutiny. The easiest way to test a theory is to try and disprove it, not prove it.

    If all attempts to prove AGW wrong fail then and only then would I take AGW serious.

  23. I find moon-hoaxers, and "truthers" laughable also, but I don't see how you can put AGW skeptics in the same class.

    I would have thought recent events should have taken the hubris out of the "science is settled" crowd, but that is obviously not the case.

    Here's a clue: Science is NEVER settled, and it is certainly not settled by fudging (or purposely destroying) data.

    Until the IPCC, CRU, and NASA provide all of their data sets they will have very low credibility IMHO.

    If they have nothing to hide, why destroy data?

    Why is tree ring data after 1960 excluded?

    Could it be that tree ring data is a piss-poor indicator of temperature?

    Splicing together data in order to make your graph look like the worst doom and gloom scenario, stating that you will erase data rather then turn it over in a FOIA, trying to damage peer-review journals that print articles you don't like... none of this looks like good scientific method to me.

    Perhaps now some contrarian views will be allowed an airing, and we can actually "settle" the question of how higher concentrations of CO2 are likely to affect our environment.

    I have a feeling that with the totally wrong temperature predictions made by their computer models, a full airing of data and ideas will not be kind to the climate alarmist viewpoint.

    All I want is the truth, not a political agenda.

    Climate science is young.

    Climate on earth is a very complex system.

    Claiming absolute knowledge of how climate works seems like a Christian claiming absolute knowledge of how the universe began.

    Put me down as skeptical on both counts.

  24. The detailed AP story today was pretty clear that the emails did not discredit the science.

    What they did report on was the kind of internal bickering you see in any work place and industry.

  25. Eric,

    Bickering? LOL.

    Try breaking the law by conspiring to delete e-mails and block freedom of information requests.

    Try rigging the peer review/journal process.

    Try entering bad data and manipulating graphs to show warming when their data in fact showed a "hockey stick". Fact is that there has been no significant warming in the last ten years.

    Bottom line is that this was one of the most important climate change researcher units in the world, providing the foundation for the UN scientific review.

    All their research is now trash - a complete review has now been ordered and will take 3 years to complete.

    So yes, there are still other research units saying the same thing. So AP says the science is still settled. But how do we know similiar data manipulation isn't being conducted elsewhere ?

  26. Eric,

    Sorry but when you start calling criminal action the sort of bickering that occurs at all workplaces you lose a lot of crediblity.

    How about just agreeing to disagree and accepting that skepticism about AGW is a valid position to have ?

    Rather than laughing at people with a different opinion than yourself ?

  27. The AP analysis does correctly point out the the leaked e-mails alone do not contain a smoking gun.

    However, the leaked e-mails in combination with reconstructions of the cited climate studies do. Simpyl reading the e-mails would give you a lot of ambiguity, as they're all entirely without context. But if we actually examine the papers to which they refer (the "trick" to "hide the decline", for example) we see that they've been selectively excluding data that weaken their conclusions.

    They've also done a fine job of completely discrediting the peer-review process (which shouldn't come as a shock to anyone familiar with peer-review). Simply having some like-minded academics approve your paper without bothering to check your figures or analyse your results isn't worth anyone's attention. To be truly useful, peer-review would need to be as exacting and ruthless as a thesis defence.

  28. Ira,

    "Simply having some like-minded academics approve your paper without bothering to check your figures or analyse your results"

    Even worse is having like-minded reporters:

    Seth Borenstein, leader writer of the AP aritcle Eric mentioned is apparently an alarmist on these matters and is quite cozy with this cast of characters - hardly a dispassionate, unbiased media reporter.

    It was fairly obvious that the piece was biased.

    A revealing example is the reporter's need to link scientific dissent to oil or mining interests.

    Why not explore any links between pro-warming scientists and the ethanol industry? The solar, wind, geothermal, or nuculear industry ?

    A lot of these scientists "double dip" by doing consulting work with green firms.

    Not to mention all the public $$$ in research grants they stand to gain.

    Exploring one side's financial interests and not the others is a pretty blatant example of media bias in favour of AGW.

  29. I still need an eyeroll emoticon in the comments section.

  30. Eric,

    You don't see a problem with someone who is already a passionate believer in global warming presiding over what is supposed to be an impartial review?

    Or are you disagreeing that the obvious bias I pointed out isn't an example of bias ?

    Its one thing to get annoyed at spurious claims of bias, but when they are well thought out its a bit odd.

    Its almost like a "nothing to see here folks" attitude to cover for left wing bias that you're comfortable with because it re-inforces your views.

  31. There isn't much doubt that we are in a period of GW. I question how much man has to do with it however. There have been periods in earth's history that have been warmer than anything we may experience now. There are numerous theories as to what is responsible for GW. There I think the science is still out.

    As for the cap and trade system being proposed this seems like a thinly disguised method to transfer wealth from the developed world to undeveloped world.

    Dion's carbon tax was the most direct and effective way to try and influence people's carbon decisions. If it had been a strict transfer of carbon tax dollars to income tax cuts it might have gained some traction. That's if you believe taxing carbon will any way be effective in slowing GW. Much of what I've read says we're too late to effect change and our money would be better spent trying to figure out how to adapt to GW.

    The one issue in GW that everyone avoids is the biggest one IMO. That is the issue of population growth. Until we stop population growth we have very little chance to deal with GW. We are just like lemmings heading for the edge of the cliff. If we are unwilling to stop population growth, then nature will do it for us, through war over food, water and resources, disease or a toxic environment.

  32. Earl,

    I don't know if population really has any effect. Most of the global warming in the past took place when our poppulation was very, very small.

    The medieval warming period was about a degree warmer than it is now. I wonder what caused that?

    Or three thousand years ago when it was 3 degrees warmer than it is now. (Apparently any warming over 2 degrees will be the death of us all!)

    The human population was ridiculously small at the time and we didn't have much carbon output beyond fires.

    Then we've had miserable mini-ice ages (it killed off the Vikings in North America and Greenland, which was suddenly ice cold and not so green). Back in the 1970's that was the big fear "global cooling" and a return of the ice.

    Regardless humans will just have to adapt because at present there exists zero evidence that anything we can do will actually effect the climate one way or another.

    Here's some graphs from 2000 (produced under the Clinton admin) that show our warming period is completely unremarkable compared to graphs produced by climate change alarmists that manipulate the data to scare people:


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