Top Ten Losers and Winners of the Alberta Election

Danielle Smith, leader of the upstart Wildrose Party celebrates her… Wait! That’s not Danielle! That’s Alison Redford! (Reuters Photo, snatched from the Internet.) Remember: Alberta political winners may not always be exactly as illustrated by the media and the pollsters. Below: The real Danielle Smith.

’Tis late and the CBC’s pancake makeup weighs heavy on your blogger’s face. As all the world must surely know by now, Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s hole card turned out to be an ace yesterday and Alberta’s 41-year Progressive Conservative dynasty will live a little longer, perhaps a lot longer.

So today there is no joy in Mudville – whether that place is located in the town of Okotoks, site of the world’s largest glacial erratic, or at 24 Sussex Drive – for the Mighty Flanagan has struck out. You can almost hear the disgruntled Wildrosers chanting 45 years is enough!

At least the good Dr. Tom Flanagan, hyperventilating neo-Con ideologue and author of the best-selling Harper’s Team, How I Created It All By Myself Without Any Help At All and Made That Little Twerp From Calgary West Into a Prime Minister, will have plenty of people to drown his sorrows with. They include the pollsters who intentionally or accidentally got it all so spectacularly wrong, the media pundits who spun their upstart Wildrose narrative for three years without reference to facts, to the blogosphere, which drank the media’s bathwater without so much as a gin chaser.

In these wee hours, though, we can merely hastily catalogue yesterday’s election losers and winners and leave the explanations and the more nuanced analysis to the morrow:

Loser No. 10: The Alberta Liberals
Winner No. 10: The Alberta New Democrats

Loser No. 9: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman
Winner No. 9: Alberta New Democrat Leader Brian Mason

Loser No. 8:
Private health care company executives
Winner No. 8: Alberta Health Services executives

Loser No. 7: Preston Manning
Winner No. 7: Peter Lougheed

Loser No. 6: Wildrose Campaign Manager Tom Flanagan
Winner No. 6: Progressive Conservative Campaign Manager Stephen Carter

Loser No. 5:
Harper Conservatives
Winner No. 5: Red Tories

Loser No. 4: Ted Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had
Winner No. 4: Doug Horner, the best opposition leader Alberta never had

Loser No. 3: The Wildrose Party
Winner No. 3: The Progressive Conservative Party

Loser No. 2: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith
Winner No. 2: Alberta Premier Alison Redford

And the No. 1 loser and the No. 1 winner are…

Loser No. 1: Alberta’s professional pollsters
Winner No. 1: There is no winner in this category

NOTE TO READERS: I just shamelessly revised this this morning when I thought of a better line!

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15 Comments on "Top Ten Losers and Winners of the Alberta Election"

  1. Scott Tribe says:

    Hmm.. considering some said the Liberals werent going to win ANY seats.. and they ended up with 5 – including their leader – and they won 1 more then the nDP means in my mind they actually won a moral victory out of this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The polls (except for the proverbial final poll) were wrong! How will I know how to vote in future elections if I can't trust the &()(&#^# polling pundits to tell me how to vote so I can be sure to vote for a winner? This means that I might actually have to look at party platforms and candidates histories?

    Apparently Albertan's (at least in urban and northern ridings did use some common sense and did not fall for the siren song of Daniel Smith and her Wildrose posse.

    It is too bad that more voters did not chose NDP candidates, but at least they now have official party status and should be able to use this to their advantage for the 'next' election.

    At least it made for good drama for a change, even if the results are yet another PC majority government.

  3. CuJoYYC says:

    "… the media pundits who spun their upstart Wildrose narrative for three years without reference to facts …"


  4. Gillian says:

    Looks like most of the news media were at Smith's headquarters last night in anticipation of a WR victory.
    I wonder how many of them had to rewrite the stories they had ready to go announcing a Wildrose

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see an increase in voters actually making the trip to the polls.

    What about the others, either a "things are fine" or a "protest" vote

    Have to give credit where credit is due, well done Mason, increase in seats and percentage of voters. Stability and pretty clean operation

    Raj, man what happened to the saviour? Barely took his own seat and to Maskell??? Not tooo impressed with his sleaze at the end with the twitter and website shennanigans…

    The poor liberal showing is one of three things:

    1. The old time real liberals took their votes with them

    2. Strategic voting

    3. The anti Raj vote

    Danielle, nice try, maybe a turn in oposition will help you out. You may want to refine your candidate selection process

    Alison, who ever though a Liberal turning the Tories hard left would gain a majority.

    Can't figure it out, but the boys you flew in from Ontario with the Iggy style fear mongering and politics seems to have worked


    Well David, now what? I'm disgusted with the results…


  6. Filostrato says:

    I watched the Radio-Canada news last night (English CBC was all hockey) but the polls had just closed in Alberta when they started their broadcast.

    CTV, an hour later, spread the glad tidings. Craig Oliver said that the result showed that Albertans had rejected the recycled Reform Party line peddled by Flanagan and Smith. The local CTV reporter had a subdued looking WR gang in High River as a backdrop. She said that "the country music was playing but there wasn't any party going on" or words to that effect.

    Reminded me of a contest that Peter Gzowski and the Morningside crew had a number of years ago for the worst country music song title.

    The winner:

    "When you wake up in the morning and the lipstick on the pillow is your own…"

    Why does that conjure up a picture of the state of the Flanaganites this morning, I wonder?

  7. Carlos Beca says:

    The biggest losers to me are the media once again, the polsters and the big greed. Despite the fact that the PC also represent the Big everything, The WR was them. They just did not like having PC representatives, they wanted direct access to the table. What a lot of people are failing to realize is that with or without polution and with or without consequences for us Albertans, we have the second biggest reserves of oil in the world right now and whether we like it or not, because it would be an outrage if any country would invade us to get control of it, we are now political targets. This is the reality. This advance of the Wildrose from unknown to almost take over status is nothing else but big money move. The propaganda in the newspapers that this was a done deal for the WR and the mind preparation is all part of the game. Unfortunately we are a fairly civilized part of the world and we do have the means to not just fall for the first trick in the game and tampering with the voting system is not as easy as in Florida or Sudan. We were lucky this time. The war will intensify for sure. We are naive if we do ignore this reality.

  8. Alex P says:

    I wondered this morning if the Tories should have taken on Danielle Smith more directly Not on the commonalities (natch). I'm thinking framing the campaign as "the future is knocking and Wildrose is digging a tunnel to when we thought cigarette smoke cures something."

    If I can trust CBC radio, a country music station in the Drumheller area has been featuring a segment called something like "Property Owners' View." Wildrose may have bamboozled themselves by shrinking their horizon, as exemplified here

    Journalists are infamous for gravitating toward a compelling narrative (sorry, Dave.) Pollsters have to ask themselves questions, too. The rule in science is that you effect anything you measure; your thermometer changes the temperature a little every time you dip it in, for example. So how can calling the same numbers night after night after night be a reliable result?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Given that Climenhaga is a strong NDP supporter, of course he think his team won, and that their biggest threat, the Liberals, lost. People often write history in the way that best suits their worldview.

  10. AlbertaRusH says:

    Why did Riled Rose leader Danielle Smith respond to the “Bozo” comments of her wildly predisposed candidates the way she did? In certain anticipation, her professor's focus groups taught her to! I suspect her game -changing responses were part of a Flanagan strategy for issue framing and, longer term, Harper-like culture change. The approach aimed at removing an obstacle from the path to a Wild Rose dynasty: public outrage at "Bozo" moments. Danielle Smith's no-problem/freedom of speech improvisation within a scripted campaign was a way to achieve political goals: neutralize Reviled Rose intolerance as a writ period negative and model, for future bozo moments, a suffocating response to progressive and old school right-thinking outrage. Frame-surgeon Flanagan tried using (an apparent abundance) of Wild Rose lemons to make Wild Rose lemonade.
    Didn't work, loser!

  11. godmakeslemonstoo says:

    I watched the CBC's coverage of the election, and can't believe that the CBC allowed the pollster (whatever his name is) to try to defend his spinning of this election as "somewhat accurate."

    The Wildrose only has seats worth talking about because of the media spin. Do we now live in the United Provinces of America?

    Thank you, David, for taking the few moments you had to bring up just how horrible the media was with this election!

  12. Keith says:

    I'm actually pretty happy with the way the election results left egg on the faces of the media and pollsters. If any of them had any shame left, they'd be too humiliated to show themselves again. But they'll be back, spinning how it's our fault they didn't get it right. A pox on all their houses.

  13. Nordic says:

    For me the big surprises were Ty Lund and Jack Hayden. Lund almost won on the strength of the town votes; ditto with the hapless Ouellette next door. Hayden was trashed over the land bills as was Morton.

    If the PCs are true to form, they will fix the electoral system so rural Alberta is punished and sent to the dustbin of history.

    The quality of WR MLAs just elected should seal rural Alberta’s fate. Look for a new level of fundamentalism in the Legislature. It is just too bad for the 2% of us who are farmers. Not our fault, really but it does mean the theft of land by industry and the destruction of ground water can continue unabated. Business as usual in Alberta.

  14. Tanya says:

    I'm not very surprised that pollsters got it wrong. Traditional phone polling is easily skewed or incorrect. For example:

    The only people answering are ones with land lines with no call display. Cell phones are unlisted and people with them generally don't answer unknown callers. There would be a significant split along age demographics.

    Nobody wanted another call from the federal conservatives telling them to go to the wrong polling station.

    And finally, they called the wrong ridings asking for non-existent people.

    I personally received a message asking "Who would you vote for in Lethbridge West, Sharon Phillips – NDP…"? There were two glaring problems with this – her name is Shannon Phillips, and I'm in Lethbridge East.

    Does this mean the end is near for all the political phone spam? I sure hope so!

  15. alvinfinkel says:

    The pollsters seemed unable to pick the winners as between PCs and WR. But tiny changealberta was able to pick the progressive candidate who would win the most votes in 39 of 42 constituencies where there seemed any point in researching this. Too bad though that the left-of-Tory vote, which was 39.4 percent last time, is now down to around 21 percent. In most seats, we are an endangered species.


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