Has there ever been a time where over 40 years of PC power in Alberta looked to be as challenged as it is today? With an early election reported to cost Albertan’s over $20 million dollars at a time it can least afford it, a budget with a health care levy, increases in fees and fines together with tax increases for those making over $100,000 per year and a bleak economic picture blamed on falling oil prices, Jim Prentice would seem to be in the midst of a ‘perfect storm’.
Recent polls have also suggested Wildrose in the lead and a rise in NDP popularity. Looking at the most recent polls, from Mainstreet Technologies as of April. 13, it shows the Wildrose in the lead at 24 percent, while the NDP is not far behind with 23 percent. The PC’s have dropped another three points to 18 percent. These numbers were based on polling of 3,121 Albertans, but as most Albertans know, polls don’t always tell the story when Election Day comes as experienced in 2012 when the PC’s won while polls clearly showed Wildrose ahead. With a lot of modern day polling done by phone automation, some say that those who respond to the polls are often those who are angry or have a complaint they want to make.
If the last 40 years tells us anything, it might be that Albertans do not like change and those who might propose major change could very well be keeping their focus on attacking the smaller changes proposed in the Prentice budget.
There is no doubt that Alberta has its challenges and that some new faces and new ideas may help overcome them but only Election Day will determine the outcome. Win or lose, the PC election call at the very least gives the new faces running a chance to share those ideas if they have them.