Poll: Which Party Has the Most to Lose?

Monday, October 27th is the first chance for Albertans to pass judgment on the Alison Redford era by exercising their right to vote.  More so, it will be an indication as to whether or not the Prentice Plan of scrapping the sometimes moronic policies of Redford has been effective in once again convincing Albertans that the PC party has been 'renewed'.

The four constituencies could represent a microcosm of the general public.  The results will be dissected, analysed, drawn and quartered.

Going in, this mid-term round of voting will also allow Albertans to scrutinize the players.  Given the somewhat unsure mood of the public, every party has a hand in this game, with some having more to lose than others.

Take the sidebar poll and have your say.

Progressive Conservatives: As mentioned, they are attempting the tried-and-true repackaging method which has served Alberta's Natural Governing Party very well in the past.

Positive: Jim Prentice has moved quickly and methodically, not only patching over Alison's flubs but smartly lifting a few Wildrose policies as well.  If anyone can do the PC renewal magic, it could very well be Prentice.

Negative: Is the impact of the Redford era too damaging to recover from?  It's one thing to slip through the post-Don Getty and Ed Stelmach scares, but the messy trail left by Princess Alison is still fresh in the minds of voters who, this time, might say enough is enough.

Wildrose: Looking to take the next step in their 'destiny': to become the party to end the PC dynasty.

Positive: Presented Albertans with the best example of an effective Official Opposition in decades.  Matured as a group.  Leader Danielle Smith survived the baptism by fire and outshone Redford on a consistent basis.  The softening of party policy was (for a while, at least) brilliant.  They now appeal to a larger cross-section of voters and, perhaps just as important, increased their credibility.

Negative: Redford might have made it too easy.  Jim Prentice is a wily veteran of the political wars which was proven by effectively taking out the Wildrose at one knee while poised to swing for the other.  Having Prentice swipe the property rights pillar could be more than just a flesh wound.  Also: are Albertans ready to give the new blood a try?

New Democrats:  Focus on soaking up the progressive vote in a crowded room.

Positive: Leader Brian Mason.  The perfect example of a guy I would not hesitate to have a beer with but would never in a million years vote for.  Union support should still be strong, and they have traditional areas of strength in the Calgary and Edmonton inner-urban trendy areas.

Negative: The Alberta Party.  While the new kids might not advertise themselves as blatantly exclusive progressives, there are more than a few long-time NDs who are speaking of the Alberta Party as a definite maybe.  Also, the traditional union party has to walk a knife-edge regarding the AUPE.  Public opinion has taken a definite turn against the union over the Artspace strike and if the party is seen as too sympathetic it could push voters away.

Alberta Party:  The latest entry into the game wants to make a statement.

Positive: Leader Greg Clark is personable and electable.  There's a contagious buzz around this gang that is hard not to notice.  The concept of 'doing things different' is a big seller and could very well appeal to a collection of moderate, progressive, and none of the above folks.

Negative: Policy.  To the majority who only pay attention during elections, much of what can be deciphered seems unworkable.  As well, outside of the pockets of frenzied support (much of it found online), the party is still pretty much unknown.

Liberals: Maintaining relevance.

Positive: They have a known leader.  Other than that....

Negative: Perhaps too many to list here.  The segment of Alberta's leftwing who have frequently flip-flopped between the Libs and the ND could be lost to the Alberta Party, which some call 'the New Liberal Party'.  Pretty much anything higher than a third place showing in any of the four ridings would have to be considered champagne-worthy.  If they could afford a bottle.

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