What’s an election without a couple of predictions? And to avoid any of that “I said that would happen!”/”No you didn’t!” stuff I thought I’d write down a few of mine. (And instead revel in the multiple “Boy, was that guy way off!” that will no doubt come my way.) So here are my thoughts as we head into the final hour of the Alberta provincial election every news outlet has already deemed “historic”.
Let’s start with the questions everyone will ask:
- Who will win? My bet is the Wildrose Party.
- Majority or minority? Minority.
- Seat breakdown? Your guess is probably as good as mine, but I’ll go:
- Wildrose: 40 (currently 4)
- Progressive Conservative: 38 (currently 66)
- Liberal: 5 (currently 8 ) – Some of those retiring seats won’t be replaced, many will go PC.
- NDP: 3 (currently 2) – Brian and Rachel get a new co-worker. Who? Could be a few tight races in Edmonton, but I’ll guess David Eggen squeaks this one out finally.
- Alberta Party: 1 (currently 1 who’s retiring) – I’ve got high hopes for Hinton mayor and party leader Glenn Taylor, so I’m willing to take a flyer on him.
- Yes, that shows either the Liberals OR the NDP holding the balance of power. I dream of a raucous session as you can see.
- Voter turnout? 65% (2008 was 40%, an all time low).
Now more fun predictions:
- Who ever wins my riding of Calgary-Klein will form the government.
- Win or lose Danielle Smith will take a shot at the PCs and their 41 years in government saying something like “FINALLY!” or “I’m disappointed we weren’t able to end it… yet.”
- Alison Redford will be gracious, all the while looking like she’d like to stick the knife in the Wildrose and twist it. Win or lose.
- Ron Leech doesn’t get the chance to speak for anyone other than himself.
- Allan Hunsperger won’t “suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire”, AKA the Legislature, as voters accept he was born this way. But it will be close.
- Tomorrow there will be a government. (A stretch, but after this campaign you’d be forgiven if you thought the opposite.)
- It will take a looooonnnnnng time before final results are in and Twitter will be lit up with whiners wanting to go to bed.
- Speaking of Twitter: someone will make a dumb mistake and click on one of the dozens of spam #abvote tweets that looks like it’s coming from a sexy lady who happens to tweet every 18 seconds.
There’s a couple of my predictions. I’ll add more if I think of them, but please add yours in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!
In this alberta@noon column on CBC Radio One with host Donna McElligott I talk about Elections Canada’s ban on reporting the results of a federal election in a time zone where the polls have not closed yet. Topics include the $25,000 fine, the difference between media and people using social media, #tweettheresults becoming the most used hashtag in the world in the recent election, and clever ways to report results including Brits, Australians and Americans tweeting on our behalf. How do we even find these people? Do we have the resources? We also talk about whether Twitter tried to block tweets or were there just jokes being taken seriously. Elections Canada is fighting a losing battle. When shutting down the internet is the best option available to you, you need to rethink your strategy. It’s long overdue to reexamine our election night social media ban and find new ways to address this issue.
There’s a movement afoot and it is going to affect the makeup of the Alberta legislature moving forward. Each of the three provincial parties without a leader now officially has someone running for the position.
That in and of itself isn’t news, but what is of note is how they have each announced and how they’ve behaved in the hours immediately after that announcement. And it’s that “how” that is beginning to tell the story of what kind of a general election we are going to see once the writ is dropped.
Instead of the old-school media release and speech attended only by close supporters, each candidate has opened up the campaign to the public from the get go.
For both Alison Redford and Doug Horner — Progressive Conservative hopefuls — the first act on their first day as a candidate was to create a Twitter account. Redford used it right away and made her big announcement on Twitter.
Social media are changing the face of how politics is done.
Alberta Party hopeful Glenn Taylor and PC MLA Doug Griffiths took it one step further and announced their intentions using a live video stream, so anyone in the province who wanted to see their speeches could do so. Those videos are available online, where visitors to their websites are able to share them with friends on Facebook or Twitter at the push of a button.
Griffiths, a social media veteran by any standard, started his second day as a candidate by sitting down for breakfast with political bloggers to tell his story to them directly. Redford spent the afternoon following her announcement doing sit-down interviews with Edmonton media outlets. One after the other, she told her story one-on-one.
These candidates know the world of politics is evolving and see the role social media can play as part of that evolution. As Griffiths explained during his blogger breakfast, the candidate who engages directly with as many Albertans as possible will have the greatest chance of winning the leadership contest — something he sees the social media tool very effective in achieving.
If this is where these candidates are starting, it will be interesting to see how their use of social media has developed by the time election day arrives.
Speaking of social media, that’s where you’ll have to find me moving forward. Today represents my last Metro column. I first started writing it to increase the public’s knowledge of issues during the Calgary municipal election, but I quit my day job to do that. I’ve recently accepted a position with the City of Calgary and so it would be inappropriate for me to continue writing here every week.
I thank my editor Darren Krause for the opportunity to share my opinions over these past few months, and I know Metro will continue its dedication to local news long after my departure.
See you online!
Calgary original: http://www.metronews.ca/calgary/local/article/777370–social-media-are-game-changers
Edmonton original: http://www.metronews.ca/edmonton/local/article/777370–social-media-are-game-changers
I’m not a big fan of party politics. I could care less which party is in charge. I care more about who the people in government are and what kinds of decisions they make. [Note: This last sentence was cut from the printed version, but I thought it was important so I added it back in for my blog.]
With three leadership races going on at the provincial level there is an immense possibility for new leadership, some names are even being touted as leader for more than one party.
To that end I posted a poll on my blog to find out which individuals would make Albertans proud to have as premier; regardless of party affiliation. I invited readers to pick one of the recently rumoured candidates or to pick several — after all I doubt there is just one and one alone we’d be happy with and I suspect there might be one in more than one party.
I would never tout the results of my unscientific poll as looking anything like the possible outcome of an election, but there were some interesting outcomes which could indicate some emerging trends and give some food for thought.
First, the parties with established leaders in Brian Mason and Danielle Smith didn’t outpace as many of the potential candidates of other parties as I thought they would. This should indicate to the Progressive Conservatives and Alberta Party that at this point their eventual leaders are not as far behind in public consciousness as one might think.
The news is not as good for the Liberal party however. Of the rumoured candidates for its leadership, none of them made much of a blip. Kent Hehr did okay. It’s clear he would be the only current Liberal with a chance of righting their ship. Of course rumours also say he’s being wooed by the Alberta Party and the poll tells me he’d probably have more success there.
My informal poll also shows that the two front runners for the Progressive Conservative leadership are Doug Griffiths and Alison Redford. Their support is solid enough I would be shocked if either don’t run.
The numbers also illustrate many PC hopefuls such as Doug Horner and Jim Dinning would run in the middle of the pack and not make much of an impact in a general election. (Don’t forget this is what they said about Ed Stelmach too though.) However the vote for rumoured candidates Gene Zwozdesky, Gary Mar, Jonathan Denis and Ken Hughes was so abysmal I’m confident in saying unless they have a big game changer in their playbook that no one else has they should save themselves the time and embarrassment.
The big surprise in the poll however was a name I had heard rumoured six months ago but not lately, which I included on a whim. Chima Nkemdirim, someone I thought would have polled near the bottom instead was right at the top. Nkemdirim is Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s chief of staff. If he were to run, I’m confident he’d make a big splash with broad based support from all areas of the political spectrum.
I’m not a fan of party politics. Quite frankly I could care less which “party” is in charge. I care more about who the people in government are and what kinds of decisions they make. With three leadership races going on at the provincial level there is an immense possibility for new leadership, some names are even being touted as leader for more than one party.
To that end I wanted to post a poll here on the blog to find out who would make you proud to have as our premier. Regardless of party affiliation. So have at it. Pick one or pick several. Who do you think would do a good job?
If you’d like me to add more names to the poll, just leave them in the comments.