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ANALYSIS: New seat projection shows big shake-up in Alberta

Martin & Kioussis’s projection shows the UCP facing two battles: one against the NDP in the big cities, and another against Wildrose in the countryside.

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new poll conducted by Mainstreet Research for the Western Standard shows Alberta’s political landscape quickly evolving toward a three-party system. 

If an election were held today, the NDP would likely form a majority government, the UCP reduced to official opposition, and the Wildrose Independence Party would be on the cusp of entering the Alberta Legislature. 

In the poll of 1,010 Albertans, the NDP had the support of 35% of respondents, and the UCP 28%. Support for the Wildrose has risen from 9% in January to 16% of decided and leaning voters.

According to a Leger poll conducted at the end of April, Alberta’s provincial government is the least popular in Canada. Jason Kenney’s approval rating has dropped from a high of 63% in July 2020 to just 30% in May 2021.

Our modeling at LeanTossUp.ca projects how this all would break down into seats if the poll was translated into an election today.

Due to the large NDP gains from 2019, it now completely sweeps Edmonton, including winning many exurban ridings, and makes deep gains into Calgary. Our model projects the NDP is likely to win four seats in the communities surrounding Edmonton, and will expand their current Calgary caucus from three members to 18, more than enough to secure a majority government.

Even traditionally “safe” conservative seats in Calgary are now in play. Jason Kenney’s own constituency of Calgary-Lougheed, has tightened considerably, as his lead has slipped to only 17.2%, down from his 41.2% win in 2019.

The UCP is facing challenges on two fronts, with the NDP pressuring them in the cities and suburbs while the Wildrose have become serious alternative in rural and small-town Alberta. The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively positioned the UCP as a centrist party within Alberta’s political landscape, with one side believing COVID-19 restrictions were too lax, and the other side believing the restrictions went too far. 

The same Mainstreet Research poll for the Western Standard showed 52% of Albertans supported continued lockdowns, and 45% said that they should end immediately, however, the intensity of those opposed to lockdowns was more than twice that of those in support. 

The UCP attempted to walk a tightrope between the two sides, and essentially pleased no one, which is reflected in its low approval rating. 

The Wildrose is building a sizeable base of support without a permanent leader in place. The party has announced it will hold a leadership campaign from June 5 to August 27. The final vote is scheduled for August 28, 2021. Once a new leader that people can identify is in place, the party should continue to see more gains.

Under Alberta’s first-past-the-post electoral system, third parties need to target specific ridings where they can win first place. By averaging out the historic performance of the old Wildrose Party from 2012 and 2015, and smaller right-leaning parties in 2019, we were able to forecast how the Wildrose Independence Party might perform in different regions of the province today. 

Our results point towards success in Medicine Hat, the rural south, and Fort McMurray. The following map shows the best and worst ridings for the Wildrose, respectively. The ridings are shaded by rank for the Wildrose: its best riding is the darkest green, while the worst is the darkest blue.

Highlighting the best and worst ridings for the Wildrose shows their main competitors are the UCP, as the ridings that are strongest for the NDP (Edmonton, Northern Calgary) are among the worst for the Wildrose. Additionally, the Lethbridge and Red Deer seats are on the weaker side for the Wildrose, while the NDP currently only hold one of the four of them. In 2015, the NDP won all four. This shows while there are many UCP/NDP battles — the universe of UCP/WIP is also large — but are being waged in completely different constituencies. 

Using the Mainstreet Research numbers, we project the Wildrose would win Brooks-Medicine Hat – currently held by Michaela Glasgo of the UCP – in a near-tie, with 35% of the vote. The Wildrose would also take over 30% in Chestermere-Strathmore, Drumheller-Stettler, and Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills. That would be sufficient to win a three-way race, but these are the most conservative ridings in the province, where the NDP is expected to win only around 10% of the popular vote. 

In order to send multiple representatives to Edmonton, the Wildrose will need to pull even more conservatives away from Kenney’s UCP. 

Based on our analysis, that will start happening once 20% of decided voters support the Wildrose. Then more than a dozen ridings across the province would start to become competitive. Additionally, 20% of the vote is when local effects can start to matter. If the new party leader has a strong following and runs in a riding we’ve highlighted as being strong for the Wildrose, it’s very possible they would, even at current levels of support. 

The two-party system heralded by the 2019 election that saw all parties but the UCP and NDP shut out appears to be headed for an end if current trends hold up. 

Guest Column from Robert Martin & Nikos Kioussis
Robert Martin is the Founder and CEO of LeanTossUp.ca 
Nikos Kioussis is the Communications Director of LeanTossUp.ca 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Rick Johnson

    June 30, 2021 at 8:17 am

    The NDP are predominantly Marxist. Marxism is a blueprint for societal and cultural revolution through the destabilization then destruction of the old in order to build the new. In other words, they are destroyers, as Sheila Gunn Reid apptly describes the NDP in her book with the same title.
    Alberta cannot make any progress while it has a concentrated infestation of Marxists. Everything built will be destroyed in less time and with less energy than it took to build it.

  2. Steven Ruthven

    June 20, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    20 June 2021 two weeks ago from today another poll was done copied below showing the WIPA had jumped up to 20% from 16%. The AB NDP were at 41% & UCP at 30 %.

    Why in hells name any conservative would vote “socialist” NDP after four years of Rachel Notley & these same bloody conservatives cried & couldn’t wait to get rid of her; after four years of socialist hell. What the hell are you afraid of conservatives? Wildrose is better then being run by the Eastern Socialist Federal NDP Party cause that’s what you are signing on for. Notley is attached at the hip with Mr. Singh & the blind leading the blind.

    https://westernstandardonline.com/2021/06/poll-wildrose-support-cracks-20-as-kenney-popularity-hits-new-lows/

  3. John Clark

    June 1, 2021 at 11:29 am

    It is hardly a 3 party system! The Wild rose Party makes up Jason Kenny’s cabinet, they joined the UCP and ran an election with them. This is a political ploy, to get somehow, the Wild Rose Party showing up as something different than they are. After months of hard work they have come up with 1 500 members, hardly a landslide.

  4. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    June 1, 2021 at 9:06 am

    This is a city vs rual divide. Its unfortunate that the city populations will decide our fate. the AHS and their union Has shown their power .Unelected and in control of the MEDIA has demonstrated that they produced numbers with the weak media to make their case. With the unions in bed with the NDP you have not seen nothing yet.Plse uncensored media get us the real numbers .

  5. Kelly Carter

    May 31, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    So frustrating that NDP only needs to take all of Edmonton and most of Calgary and they get a majority. Notley was clearly brain dead to an rural concerns, and a Notley 2.0 would be just as bad as last time. Our provincial electoral boundaries are as dysfunctional as the Federal ones. Not right that people living in cities who have completely different concerns get to choose the direction of the province.

  6. Edith Wenzel

    May 31, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Only an idiot would rely on Mainstreet as a polling company. Think 2017 Muni Election. Besides that I have had it with your Anti-UCP attitude and wish you a miserable life under the NDP. An NDP win will be your heads.

    No need to save my coordinates as I am not a follower of your rhetoric

  7. Stew James

    May 31, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    The people of Alberta really need to wake up, pull their heads out of the socialist sandbox and vote for our and their freedom.

    The wealth that can and will be generated by Albertans will be the envy of the western world.
    We continually send billions to eastern canada for what, lip service as to how much we need them or depend upon them!
    Our lives would take a 180 degree turn for the better starting the very next moment we vote to separate!

    Stop the fear mongering thrown at the thought of separating and start thinking of the futures of our children and the next generations!

    WE CAN DO THIS!
    Enough is enough! Yes I’m a proud member of the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.

  8. berta baby

    May 31, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Ya kenney can kiss my boots… he wants a new base right? Lol the night he loses his riding will be annually celebrated at this guys house

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Features

Prof says technocracy envisioned in federal document advanced by pandemic

In an interview with the Western Standard, he said recent scientific advances have made the technocratic dreams of Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) an impending possibility.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has advanced the transhumanist vision of a federal policy paper released two years ago, according to a Canadian academic.

When Concordia University political science professor Travis Smith wrote his 2005 PhD dissertation at Harvard University, he argued medicine could be used to destroy liberal democracy.

In an interview with the Western Standard, he said recent scientific advances have made the technocratic dreams of Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) an impending possibility.

“There is no end and no restrictions upon the kinds of experiments that we would conduct upon nature, including human nature, in order to transform it. ‘Supersede’ it is the language that Francis Bacon used. The goal is to supersede humanity, and to super impose upon us new natures,” Smith said.

“It was envisioned that there should be effectively a single authority politically, but really, the real rulers were the scientists — so, an oligarchy of the wise.”

Smith said a Policy Horizons Canada document called “Exploring Biodigital Convergence” manifests the centuries-old concept. The February 2020 paper said Canadian policy makers should support and guide a process where human existence is transformed by the merger of man and machine.

“It actually promises that we’re going to change bodies, change minds, and change behavior,” Smith said. “So what kind of democratic free person reads that and thinks, ‘Oh that sounds like a good thing. I can’t wait to sign up to having my body, my mind, my behavior changed by whoever’s in charge’?”

To illustrate this potential future, the authors envision surveillance “bugbots” to guard against intruders, artificial intelligence to monitor neighbourhoods for pathogens, municipalities that regularly check household feces for disease, and building codes that require automated efficiency and capture carbon for credits.

Smith said there’s nothing “idyllic or idealistic or romantic” about the portrayal.

“There’ll be thousands of thousands of minute regulations of your everyday existence [by] artificial intelligences that surround you, watch you, make its recommendations to you, and I’m sure, apply sanctions to you, both rewards and punishments, for making the correct choices to earn more carbon credits or earn more social credits.”

The pandemic has brought this techno-regulated world closer according to Smith. In the province of Quebec where he teaches, two doses of COVID-19 vaccines no longer allow recipients into bars and restaurants. The QR-coded vaccine passport now requires three doses

“There’s no limit to what treatments they could require or procedures you would have to undergo… to continue enjoying whatever freedoms they permit you to continue to indulge in. But [it’s] your freedom in the Orwellian sense in which slavery is freedom because you only get your freedoms because you obey. And what choices are going to be left to you?”

As lockdowns, social distancing, masks, and vaccines were imposed worldwide, Smith saw more evidence that all humanity is being steered to a similar and possibly post-human existence.

“With the direction that the current last two years has shown us that we’re on track for, why would you expect there’ll be different rules in different places?” Smith asked.

“The convergence, it will mean a great deal of homogeneity, a great deal of uniformity… The only difference would be, are you among the ultra elite or are you among the masses? Are you among those who make the rules and benefit the most from everybody else’s compliance? Or are you one of the ones that submits?”

Smith says a two-tiered humanity is inherent to this futurist vision, yet even those on top will still be bound in many ways.

“There’s no way a power that could create superhumans yields equality. The essence of the project is to generate superiority, and it will depend on the generation of inferiority as well. The project is you create superhumans and subhumans,” he said.

“We all know with totalitarian societies that the elites are always forced to conform and have to behave in fashions that reach consensus and uniformity because failing to conform is to be guaranteed rejection from the elite.”

Smith said there’s a “good chance” technocrats could one day control our actions, speech, and thoughts in ways not yet possible. Alternatively, disillusionment over the failure of lockdowns and the vaccine to stop the pandemic could create a backlash to forestall a technocratic agenda.

“Human beings aren’t going to consent to all of this all at once… It requires manipulation, or it requires dissimulation, or it requires coercion, or at least a heck of a lot of cajoling,” Smith said.

“To use the language of The Godfather, they have to be given an offer they can’t refuse. What’s the alternative? The alternative is, if anybody’s allowed to opt out, they get to live in a Brave New World style savage reservation.”

Lee Harding is a freelance journalist living in Saskatchewan.

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Features

These Yellowstone-Alberta memes capture the soul of Wild Rose Country

The Montana-based violent drama has found its way into the hearts of Albertans — it even mentioned the friendliness of the Calgary Stampede — with a new meme circulating on Facebook.

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The Paramount Network smash-hit Yellowstone is wildly the most popular show on cable and streaming on Amazon Prime.

Although the network blockbuster starring Kevin Costner drew more than 11 million viewers for its fourth season finale earlier this month, without streaming, it has gone virtually unnoticed by award shows until Wednesday — receiving its first major nomination for a Screen Actors Guild award.

The Montana-based violent drama has found its way into the hearts of Albertans — it even mentioned the friendliness of the Calgary Stampede — with a new meme circulating on Facebook.

The meme depicts show characters as a representation of towns and small cities throughout Alberta.

The character Beth Dutton played by Kelly Reilly is captioned with Alberta’s St. Paul and has the most comments of all the characters listed in the meme, likely due to her merciless, tougher-than-tough, bad-ass nature.

“She’s a Cockroach. A Superhero Without the Cape,” said Reilly reflecting on her character Beth in a recent article in Esquire.

Tanya Hollasch — calling herself a Beth look-a-like — commented on Ms. Dutton’s image with an attached picture of herself — bright purple shiner and all.

“I’ve been told I’m a Beth look-a-like from Bonnyville🙈 ….I’m just not bad-ass enough 🤣 just a boring story of a horse mishap😂”

Many of the main characters from the show are featured in the meme including Costner representing Nanton.

Hundreds of people have chimed in from picture to picture either agreeing wholeheartedly with each character’s related Alberta location or have inserted their own suggested location comparison.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Features

MAKICHUK: Unholy alliance: America faces a formidable two-front crisis

That might be the diplomatic view, but two against one was never a fair fight.

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The year is 2065.

Russia and China have combined their space programs and now have a functioning, expansive joint lunar station.

Advanced Chinese shuttle landers are making regular visits to the base, which has pioneered major mining projects below the lunar surface with the use of robot devices.

The station generates its own food, water and oxygen, and the landers regularly deliver workers and supplies and return shipments of valuable minerals.

America, a once-great power in space could not keep up with the expanding space gap, nor the military gap, or even the technology gap and now trails the two nations that formed a strong alliance early into the new century.

Back on earth, China, with Russian help, invaded Taiwan and now controls the former democratic island, enforcing a strict Communist crackdown on the helpless populace. 

The US, a country racked by crumbling infrastructure, runaway poverty and deep political divisions and now dwarfed by the Sino-Russian alliance, did nothing — except to place more useless sanctions on Beijing.

This may sound like a dream, or perhaps even a nightmare, depending on what your perspective is.

Could it happen? Nobody knows, of course. But the way things are going an alliance of this nature appears to be growing with each day, week and month.

The more the US and its allies place pressure on China for its perceived sins, the more they push the Red Dragon into an unholy alliance with the Russian bear.

Beware of such a development, because it will change the world.

According to a report in the New York Times, the militaries of both countries have stepped up joint exercises and even operations, including in the air and for the first time in October, naval patrols in the Pacific. They have also pledged to explore space together.

Analysts say that an important factor in Russian-Chinese ties is the personal chemistry between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, both men in their late 60s who have consolidated control over their countries’ political systems, NYT reported. 

Xi has addressed Putin as his “old friend,” while the Russian president called his Chinese counterpart both his “dear friend” and “esteemed friend.”

There is still plenty of historical friction between Russia and China, onetime adversaries that share a land border stretching more than 4,200 km.

But on trade, security and geopolitics they are increasingly on the same page, forming a bloc trying to take on American influence as both countries’ confrontations with the US deepen, the NYT reported.

For Putin, a recent congenial video summit between the two comes at a high-stakes moment in his brinkmanship over Western influence in Ukraine.

The imposing Kremlin leader, facing threats of crushing Western sanctions if Russian forces attack Ukraine, heard Xi propose that Russian and China cooperate to “more effectively safeguard the security interests of both parties.”

Meanwhile, China has come under US and European criticism for human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region and its suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong as well as its alarming military activity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Make no mistake, the mere thought that two of the strongest military powers in the world may join forces against the US and its allies will send shockwaves through the corridors of Western powers — for the basic fact, it is a two-front crisis that US President Joe Biden can’t win.

And while the two countries have not signed anything official and neither of the leaders can really be trusted further than you can toss a chihuahua, this can’t be ignored.

Yet, the US appears blind to the fact it is pushing China into a corner, with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin rejecting so-called “red-lines” in Ukraine and Taiwan — tough talk, but it might just be another hollow gesture.

Words don’t stop tanks, fighter jets, missiles or amphibious landing craft.

Citing human rights concerns, the US, Canada and Australia have declared diplomatic protests over the upcoming 2022 Beijing Summer Games (athletes will still attend), while Putin was the first major leader to RSVP his attendance.

This week, the Biden administration added China’s top military medical research institute to an export blacklist in response to concerns about Beijing’s use of emerging technologies such as biometrics and brain-control weapons.

All that aside, Ukraine is not a member of NATO and does not receive Article 5 protections from the alliance, Defense One reported. But the country does receive regular rotations of US troops and sales of weapons to bolster its self-defense. 

Taiwan is recognized by the Taiwan Relations Act, under which the US provides weapons and training to Taiwan so it too can defend itself. But neither is guaranteed US military protection in case of an attack.

The US, meanwhile, plans to channel US$7.1 billion in defence spending to the Indo-Pacific region in the next financial year, the South China Morning Post reported.

It is turning its entire military might — the Navy, Marines, the Air Force and the Army — toward the Indo-Pacific theater. Even the CIA is following suit, with the creation of a new China mandate, abandoning its Bush-era war on terror.

Zhao Tong, a senior fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy in Beijing, told the SCMP the funding indicated the US was determined to confront China head-on.

“Beijing is driven by its goals for national rejuvenation and Washington understands that it’s impossible for them to change China’s political mindset, which is counter to the one recognized by the Western world,” Zhao said.

The winds for a perfect storm are howling in both Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific just as the Biden administration is reeling from the effects of a chaotic withdrawal from a 20-year war in Afghanistan and a persistent pandemic that has exacerbated sharp political divides at home, Newsweek reported.

“This is a time when democracies are being challenged — some being challenged from within, others being challenged from without,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe press conference. 

“And there is a contest between autocracies and democracies, and as President Biden has spoken to on numerous occasions, that is a fundamental contest of our time.”

That might be the diplomatic view, but two against one was never a fair fight.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald and covering military issues in Asia. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news
makichukd@gmail.com

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