Monday, 19 December 2011

Alberta Conservatives - Reinventing Themselves Working - Poll

According to a poll conducted by Forum Research, which conducted the poll for the National Post, it  said it reflects the “new Tory look” in Alberta, after a bumpy few years in which former PC premier Ed Stelmach.  The Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta has been reinventing themselves for 41 years it has been in power in Alberta.  The poll suggests that the new Conservative look has resonated, especially with women in Alberta. 

The closest contender to Alison Redford's Conservatives is the right of center Wildrose Party, led by Danielle Smith.  The poll suggests that there is 38% support for the Progressive Conservatives as opposed to 23% for the Wildrose Alliance. 

Redford was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in a similar situation as former Premier Ed Stelmach, with a system that is seen as highly flawed.  While Gary Mar received above 40% in the first and second poll to Redford's 13% and slightly more in the second poll, she accumulated the required 50% after second choices were added to her balance sheet. 

Candidates can sell memberships and by all accounts Redford sold many of them to the Alberta Teachers Union, based on her promise of reinstating $100 Million of cuts made to education, a promise she kept after being re-elected. 

Her first 45 days were controversial to say the least, but apparently it didn't distract Albertans.  With her new following, probably those who voted Liberal before, she has build on her popularity base.

There is a big gender gap, according to the poll.  Support among women is is especially strong among women, with 42% compared to 33% among men.  Wildrose support is stronger among ment with 28% compared to 18% among men. As has been common in Alberta in the past, New Democrats and Liberals are distant challengers with 12% and 13% respectively.   Most of the support for the NDP and Liberals is concentrated in Edmonton, with minimum support in the rest of the Province.

There is also an age demographic.  Danielle Smith's Wildrose Alliance support grows to 34% among those 55 and older, while there is only 16% support in the 18-34 age group range.

Regardless of the results, there is room for movement.  While Redford's support at 38% is higher than her 29% disapproval rating, there are 33% of respondents that had no opinion.  Danielle Smith's approval rating is 35% with 41% among men and 30% among women.

The Alberta Legislature passed a controversial Drunk Driving bill prior to the Christmas break, which gives new powers to peace officers with a .05 alcohol limit.  Opponents of the bill said that the bill required more study and gave too much power to police officers on the roadside.  A similar bill has been ruled unconstitutional in British Columbia.  54% of respondents approved of the measure.

The poll, conducted on Dec. 14, 2011, of 1072 adult Albertans via an automated interactive telephone survey is considered accurate to within 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Regardless of the poll results, Cabinet members and conservative MLAs have been abandoning ship in droves prior to the next election, which is scheduled in early 2012.   Redford has put her stamp on the Conservative Party and the direction is not necessarily one Albertans want to go in.  It is up to the Danielle Smith and her Wildrose Alliance to differentiate from Allison Redford's Progressive Conservatives, where Progressive seems to be the operative word. 

Health Care, the economy (as it pertains to the Alberta Oil Sands) continue to be high on the priorities of Albertans.  While Redford supports the expansion of the Alberta Oil Sands, she has also called for a National Energy Strategy.  Let's hope that this is not a disguise for the National Energy Program introduced by Pierre Trudeau.

Redford is a lawyer with deep experience working for the UN, including in Afghanistan and Africa.

The Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali appointed and assigned Alison Redford to a post in the United Nations as a special legal adviser.
Throughout the 1990s, Redford worked as a technical advisor on constitutional and legal reform issues in various parts of Africa for the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Canadian Government and the Government of Australia. Her work in Africa focused on human rights litigation, developing education programs and policy reform with respect to gender issues.
In 1999, Redford was employed by the Government of Alberta as the communications officer on the committee for Justice Reform. The criminal Justice Reform Committee advised a program of reform in which the criminalization of mental health issues and the ongoing plea bargaining system was criticized by such organizations as the Elizabeth Fry Society, a national body representing women. convicted of crimes. Checks and balances within the Crown Prosecutors office were removed permitting each of the prosecutors to act independently and according to their own view. Several programs of advocacy were removed or absorbed into the Alberta Justice programs.
One of Redford's most notable appointments was by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as one of the four International Election Commissioners to administer Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections held in September 2005  Wikepedia

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