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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

no plan for alberta.

As has been written about numerous times over the past couple days, a group calling themselves "Albertans for Change" have released a series of attack ads aimed at Ed Stelmach in the run up to the expected February/March provincial election. I've had a number of thoughts on this topic over the last couple days.

It should be interesting to see how Albertans react to these attack ads. Albertans aren't usually exposed to such advertising in their living rooms, so is this a sign to come for the next election? It's disappointing that the two groups who seem to be behind Albertans for Change, the Alberta Federation of Labour and the Alberta Building Trades Council, didn't roll out the ads more publicly. I think this may have given some people the idea that they were trying to hide who they were (which I don't think they were).

On the subject of the ads themselves... I'm not exactly their biggest fan, but I don't think I'm their target audience. It will be interesting to see how they play out in defining Ed Stelmach as Premier (as attack ads have helped to define another political party leader). A year into his term, Ed Stelmach is still struggling to define himself and there are no shortage of Albertans (including Albertans for Change) who are racing to beat him to the punch.

On this topic, this email ended up in my inbox yesterday...

Graham Thompson's and Jason Fekete's articles in Tuesday's Edmonton Journal caught my eye. In particular I was taken by the outrage of Stelmach's spokesman Tom Olsen. He accused the ads' sponsors of "firing from the shadows" and urged them to release the full cost of their campaign and who was funding it.

In the spirit of openness that seems like a reasonable request to make.

In exchange, perhaps Mr. Olsen could give us the names of the contributors to Mr. Stelmach's leadership campaign. As Albertans recall, Mr. Stelmach promised he would divulge the names of ALL his contributors. Instead he has held back the names of 80 persons who prefer to remain anonymous. Why? Is there something to hide? Are there people on that anonymous list who received plum government appointments or contracts during Mr. Stelmach's time as Minister?

I'm not saying there are.The problem is we just don't know.

Mr. Stelmach and his public relations team work hard to create the image of an honest down-to-earth politician. Revealing the names of the mystery donors would add some much-needed substance to that image.


Anonymous said...

When Ed Stelmach can't even beat a 24 year old university student in the media, how the hell is he going to beat back the image that these ads leave in albertans minds?

Ed Stelmach has a plan, it's just a secret like his donor lists.

Bill said...

The "no plan" ad is pretty funny/lame .... seriously, who thought it would be a good idea to have someone whisper that repeatedly ... pretty lame.

Liam J. said...

I tend to think that any ad that attacks another candidate debases the party it comes from.

Harley Shouldice said...

For Immediate Release
Friday, January 18, 2008


(Calgary) The Calgary Egmont Alberta Progressive Conservative Association is having a nomination vote to replace Craig Chandler at the Kingsland Community Centre, 505 – 78 Ave SW on Saturday, January 19, 2008. Polls are open from 12 PM - 5 PM and candidates seeking the nomination are Jonathan Denis, Vicki Engel and Don Middleton. A new nomination was called after Premier Ed Stelmach refused Mr. Chandler's candidacy, despite an overwhelming victory.

"The fact that this nomination is occuring is a complete disregard of democracy! I was democratically elected as the Alberta Progressive Conservative candidate in Calgary Egmont. I won by a two to one margin with more votes in a nomination than this city has ever seen in a provincial nomination. This nomination is just a reminder to the people of Calgary Egmont that Premier Ed Stelmach and the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party do not believe in democracy and rule from the top down. I am the democratically elected conservative in Calgary Egmont and just because Premier Stelmach denied democracy does not change the facts" stated Craig Chandler, Independent Candidate in Calgary Egmont.

- 30 -

Craig Chandler will be available for comment

Anonymous said...

Fran in Medicine Hat comments: Although I agree with Daveberta that these ads are not the best political ads I've seen, and I tend to think some of the messaging is a bit skewed, it is refreshing to see the criticism pre-Writ from the labour unions, and I think they will fill a void that Stelmach has left open. After waiting over a year to potentially call an election and seek a mandate from Albertans, he has failed to define himself and his government in any consistent way. Even his supposed "strong" leadership on the Royalty Issue now is revealed to be based on an old 2005 Energy Department Report, which he basically "dusted off" and presented as his own "balanced solution." What hogwash! The Canada West authored report on Alberta Savings released today (Jan 21st) is damning as well - when low and behold this Oberg commissioned report suggests Resource Savings very similar to what the Taft Liberals have had as Policy since the last election! For every step forward (resolving the unfunded Teachers' Pension Liability) Stelmach takes two steps backwards (bullying daveberta; visiting Washington, DC to defend the tar sands as "eco-friendly" in the face of a US Federal law and 12 state environmental laws declaring them "too dirty for consumption" - boy that was a great headline at home!) I could go on. These ads may muddy Eddie's already scattered attention span - how will he respond? Can't wait to see the election ad he just filmed at a coffee shop in Kensington (Calgary) did they make him look urban? Will be interesting to see.

Anonymous said...

Easy to criticize but I see no 'plan' from the 'no plan people' so--who has no plan? Too negative!