Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Election update

I've been knocking on doors for my old friend the Liberal candidate, I've given some money and got my sign for my local New Democrat. If I can just find a Tory to advise next time around as well, I'll be set.

A few things have come clear from the ground:

- There's an appetite for change, even in rural Alberta among longtime Tories. But that appetite hasn't been translating into votes. More likely, it'll translate into staying home. In close Tory ridings, that could mean a change of seat, but in lots of others, it will mean nothing at all, except for record low voter turnouts.

- 14 months into his Premiership, Albertans still don't think they know Ed Stelmach. They still can't warm up to Kevin Taft. And they really don't like listening to Brian Mason ride both of them.

- Speaking of Mason riding both of them, I think that strategy is born entirely out of 1993. It was the last time the Tories looked this vulnerable, and Lawrence Decore's Liberals went around selling the idea of a strategic anti-Tory vote. It worked then, and wiped the NDP off the electoral map. Mason's strategy now is designed to appeal to the base in the four ridings they already hold, and it'll work.

- Perhaps out of a desire to have the NDP not do this in the future, there's been remarkably little "strategic voting" talk out of the Liberals this time around. But don't be surprised if that changes in the next few days. I think it'll be a mistake, but the temptation is usually too strong. A refresher on strategic voting: if you're looking for a vote to cast to beat the Tories, look carefully at your own riding, not province-wide. But if you're reading this blog, you're already savvy enough to know that.

- In the end, the Liberals are going to gain several seats in Calgary, Edmonton will not change a lot, a few small-city seats will swing to the Liberals, and they won't make the inroads they should in the rurals. Then again, if the WRAPpies pull enough of the vote their way.... no, that's not going to make a difference. You could split the Tory vote ten ways in a lot of those ridings, and neither the Liberals nor the NDP would have enough to catch up.

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