I predicted that Prasad Panda, the Wildrose candidate in the Calgary Foothills by-election, would beat the NDP’s Bob Hawkesworth and the PCs’ Blair Houston. And he did, big time.
Here are five important facts from last night's by-election:
1. Voter turn-out was huge — a sign of anger
Most by-elections have low voter turn-out to begin with. But this one was a rare summertime by-election — deliberately scheduled by NDP Premier Rachel Notley for when most “normal” Albertans are focused on summer holidays.
But turn-out was a whopping 39.5% — even higher than the by-election last year when Jim Prentice, the last PC premier, first won the riding.
That’s a sign that Albertans are concerned about the NDP wrecking crew that is running the province — concerned enough to put down the BBQ tongs and go vote.
2. The NDP election in May was an aberration and the counter-revolution has begun
For four months, the NDP and their echo-chamber in the mainstream media have claimed that Albertans have genuinely embraced the socialist party’s ideology, and that the province no longer values economic prosperity, the free market, or the oil and gas industry. In fact, an Abacus Data poll a week after the May election showed that 93% of Albertans just voted for “change” — not for NDP policies. The NDP loss in Calgary Foothills is a reality check to Notley and the media: the NDP doesn’t have a mandate for their socialist ideas. Albertans want their province back.
3. Voters have just "united the right"
The NDP losing was the most important fact of the night. But the PCs getting thrashed — just 21.6% of the vote, compared to 38.4% for Wildrose — was almost as important. Calgary Foothills has voted for the PCs in every single election since the riding was created in 1971. It even went PC in the May general election. But it’s Wildrose country now.
There is no need for dirty back-room deals with discredited PC lobbyists trying to crawl back into power. The voters have already decided that Wildrose is the only truly conservative party, the only one that’s reputable and the only one that can win. Expect public opinion polls to continue this trend.
4. The NDP will be a one-term government, and will act accordingly
By-elections this soon after a general election typically support the governing party. But the past four months have been anything but typical. The NDP has raised corporate taxes by 20%, announced a hike in personal income taxes, doubled the carbon tax, announced a review of oil royalty taxes, and announced a global warming tax review too.
That’s why they lost the by-election. But they’re in pure denial. After last night’s by-election, Joe Ceci, the social worker who is now the NDP Finance Minister, said the vote was merely a reaction to world oil prices. No — oil prices weren’t on the ballot.
Whether it’s self-delusion or ideological extremism, the NDP intend to keep up their attacks on Alberta’s key industries. They have four years to do everything they’ve ever dreamed of doing to Alberta before they’re kicked out. Brace yourselves.
5. Only The Rebel was right about the NDP all along.
We’re just a little, independent, online news organization. But we broke the news last week about how the NDP’s “Jobs Minister’, Lori Sigurdson, was out in British Columbia, campaigning for Thomas Mulcair, instead of dealing with Alberta's crisis in oil and gas jobs.
We broke the news about the NDP hiring Graham Mitchell, the Toronto-based anti-oil lobbyist, as the chief of staff to the energy minister. We broke the news about the NDP hiring Brent Dancey, the former violent criminal from Saskatchewan, as the chief of staff to the environmental minister.
We showed how fully ten out of twelve chiefs of staff for this government aren’t even Albertans — they’re NDP mercenaries who commute in each Monday morning from Toronto or Vancouver, who have no connection, understanding or love for the province.
Most of Alberta's media was swept up in the Cinderella story of Notley becoming the premier. They either agree with her on policies, or they just didn’t have the courage to break the groupthink, or both.
Well, last night’s by-election wasn’t just a rejection of the New Democratic Party — it was a rejection of the Media Party too.
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