Category Archives: Alberta Politics

Alberta Election Playlist: Hope and Fear in 2015

It’s election day tomorrow! And after voting in the morning the best way to keep the election day vibe going is a good playlist.

I’m taking my cues from the campaigns, where the NDP have tried to offer Albertans a new kind of government (and certainly new period, as the PC Party has governed for 44 years) while the Tories have ramped up the fear-mongering (as have the Wildrose in the last days of the election, warning of the socialist takeover). Whatever happens it feels like something different is coming to Alberta on Tuesday.

So, I used hope and fear as inspiration, with some Alberta artists thrown in to keep it local.

Don’t forget to vote! And let me know what you’d put on your playlist.

Playlist: Alberta Election: Hope and Fear in 2015


The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
Hope In Dirt City – Cadence Weapon
The Canadian Dream – Sam Roberts
Changes – David Bowie
Edmonton – The Rural Alberta Advantage
All Hell For A Basement – Big Sugar
Wake Up – Arcade Fire
A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow
Orange Crush – R.E.M.
No Champagne Socialist – The Arkells


Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
Gettin’ Down On The Mountain – Corb Lund
Viva La Vida – Coldplay
All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers
Scared – The Tragically Hip
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Rising
The Greatest – Cat Power
How You Like Me Now – The Heavy
Everybody’s Changing – Keane
Look Happy, It’s The End Of The World – Matthew Good Band

PC Party bonus track: Burn It To The Ground – Nickelback
Alberta Bonus track: The Dethbridge in Lethbridge – The Rural Alberta Advantage

Polling Place

(Election) Party Drinks

Whether you’re sitting on the couch with your feet on the table, surrounded by friends at someone’s house, or out at the bar for a viewing party, tonight’s Alberta election results are worth a drink (or many more).

I’m no mixologist (but would love recommendations from those more versed in alcoholic concoctions) but here’s what I figure to be some worthy choices for your own personal voting habits, and the winners and losers of this momentous election.

(Not) Your Dad’s Drink – Alberta rye whiskey on ice (It’s traditional. But totally in a retro way!)

The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta is in the political centre with Alison Redford at the helm. But will enough progressives from the province believe in change from within, and help the long-governing PCs stave off the loss of their traditional conservative base to the Wildrose?

Lake of FireFireball whiskey and Coke (Simple and fiery. You got a problem with that?)

The Wildrose Party may come from zero MLAs elected just four years ago to leading the government. Even forgetting about the anti-gay fire and brimstone, put-down of ethnic communities, and climate change denial, we’re talking about a whole lot of people running the show who haven’t been to the show.

Champagne (Socialist)Champagne

If election polls are to be believed, the Alberta Liberals are looking at being wiped off the map. They could, however, also reap the rewards of PC and Wildrose vote-splitting. A champagne socialist is one who is said to be living well above the working class ideals they trumpet. Not quite the Liberals maybe, but the political left thinks them too right and the political right thinks them too left. Also, champagne is a heck of a way to celebrate surviving certain political death, or going out into that cold dark night.

Microbrew beersWhatever you can get your hands on (The more obscure the better)

The Alberta NDP are great. They fight for the little guy, want to support small business, and always have a fiesty handful of MLAs. They are much the same as some of the best microbrews. Or, at least, a new beer. While you tell all your friends about them, a lot of people agree they’re great and it feels like they’re going to break through to the big-time, it just never materializes.

The Big LiquorEverything from beers to bitters, whiskeys to vodkas (Big Listens lead to big parties)

The Alberta Party could win a seat (or two, or three) or they could walk away with nothing. But they may be part of the future of Alberta politics, what with their “Big Listen” conversations around the province, a mix of fiscally conservative and socially liberal policies, and supporters who come from all backgrounds. Tonight, with that many people at the party, you’re going to need a little bit of everything.

*Remember to always drink responsibly. Until the Wildrose starts building real lakes of fire anyway.

Reminder: Vote on Monday

Inspired by citizens looking to share their voice –  like Paul Poulsen’s look at shame, these politically charged kids, and Trent Wilkie’s cutting satire – Sally and I also want to remind you to vote on Monday.

Feel free to download a PDF of the poster (it’s two pages) if you want to remind your neighbours to vote on Monday.

Download by clicking these words.

Two-Minute Tories

After Alison Redford became Alberta’s Premier-Designate Sunday morning (and even before the results were official) some smaller-c Progressive Conservatives mused that the Alberta PC Party got hijacked by (scary, awful, terrifying, communist) non-tradidional PC members who bought a $5-membership and voted for the candidate that had more Progressive with her Conservative.

Some of those people might have even been in unions. Unions!

Those frightened and confused party members need to check their own membership card and refer to the “P” in PC Party of Alberta. Also, you don’t get to raise a bunch of money on $5-memberships without a hiccup or two in your plans.

After Gary Mar’s pitches on private healthcare and Alison Redford’s promise to stay with public healthcare, and also to instantly put $100-million into school board budgets, it is not surprising that Albertans who value a public health system and more stable funding for education decided to buy a membership with a party they may never have voted for in a general election. That’s not unions or liberals trying to rule from outside. That’s change.

I like to think this signals something important. Perhaps Albertans stopped seeing the leadership race as something just for the Tory party and got engaged in a vote that also impacts them.

My sunshine and rainbows view on this is that there were indeed lots of “two-minute Tories” because these people were looking beyond party lines. They may never vote for an Alberta Progressive Conservative again. Or maybe this will set in motion the option for them to do so.

It would be so nice to think beyond the colour of ones campaign signs.

If any of those extra thousands of people who showed up for Alison Redford are like me, they never had a PC Party of Alberta membership (or any party membership at all), they never voted for the PC party, but they are engaged citizens. They saw in Alison Redford someone who was at the cabinet table when dodgy decisions were made, but might have been on the outside of some of those calls.

Her lack of Tory MLA support signalled she was not part of the old boys club. Her support for an inquiry on healthcare queue-jumping and government transparency was refreshing. Rightly or wrongly, that pushed people to join the PC Party of Alberta, even for a day.

This leadership race says, to me, that party lines are not as solid as so many in partisan politics would like to think. People are after change, and, given the chance, people are going to defy party lines to make that happen.

Good luck to Alison Redford. Perhaps more than the last few Premiers of Alberta, she’s got an entire province waiting to see how things get done at the Alberta Legislature.