Is Alison Redford team “just visiting?”

April 15, 2012 | By | Reply More

Attacks on Wildrose don’t seem grounded in Alberta realities

Bruce Stewart

Photo: Bruce A. Stewart

By Bruce A Stewart     

The knives are out for Danielle Smith. Unfortunately for those holding them, it’s an attack that’s unlikely to work.

Now, in the salons of central Toronto, people would take another sip from their glass and nod sagely.

“Of course she’s lying; it’s a hidden agenda, isn’t it?”, they’d murmur to each other.

There’s a parallel for the Wildrose Leader. It’s called the prime minister.

Does Stephen Harper have caucus members who would like to overturn certain recent social changes?

Of course he does. It’s inherent in having a “big tent” party — one big enough to win a majority.

So there’s a clear line of control that also gets established.



As his party’s leader, Harper made it clear that certain subjects were off the table.

Take a look at the last six years in power. They’ve stayed off the table.

Not just “off the order paper.” You don’t see his caucus members pulling at the reins, either, to try and change his mind.

Or, rather, if they are, they’re doing it quietly, not in public.

Turn to Wildrose and Danielle Smith.

When asked about certain social policies, she declared definitively that they were off the table.

Does she have candidates running who are known to have different views? Of course she does.

Are they pulling at the reins? No.

In Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and parts of Vancouver, of course, it’s “common knowledge” that anyone who isn’t “one of us” must have a “hidden agenda.”

In other words, it’s considered fair to spread a big lie — that they’re lying.

Albertans aren’t likely to buy into that. Not even those who don’t support her party.

Dredging up the “infamous” 11-year-old “firewall” letter one more time is yet another attempt to pull off the big lie.

After all, shouldn’t it be plausible that Alberta could have its own provincial police force, its own pension plan, etc. — hmmm, just like Ontarians or Quebeckers do?

All this makes me wonder who the Redford campaign is using for advisors.

Note that despite all the years Alison Redford herself spent outside the country — and her attempt to gain South African citizenship — she’s not being painted as “just visiting.”

But it looks to me like some of the folk advising her are “just visiting.” Visiting from outside the province, that is.

Redford got a lot of applause in the salons. “Alberta’s finally seeing the light” were the murmurs over canapés and drinks.

Alberta, like every other part of this country of ours, is distinctive. It’s its own place.

Trying to run a campaign that would work federally, sort of, to hold seats 3,400 km east of Calgary?

Amateurs in desperation mode, reduced to trying to lie their way back into power.

Maybe the Alison Redford campaign should be asked about its “hidden agenda?”

Bruce Stewart is a consultant, educator and philosopher with a passion for public affairs currently located in Toronto. He is well known across the Internet for his blogs on management (Getting Value from IT) and social affairs (Just a Jump to the Left, then a Step to the Right) and for his daily stream of commentary on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can reach him at


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Category: Alberta Election, Analysis

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