Wednesday, April 9

Brief Update following Alberta’s recent ‘Provincial Election’

It’s now a month since our Provincial Election. Unfortunately, contrary to what we had hoped and to what appeared to be supported by many we encountered at the doors, the results were not what Liberals had hoped for. Of course, there is no use wasting time crying, and life still has to move along; so a few of the faithful cleared out the campaign office the day after Election Day and drove around and picked up the signs. The only offhand conclusion or observation we might make until we review the outcome more formally, is that considering the report that even fewer people turned out to vote than in previous elections, it may suggest that those who voted felt more comfortable voting for the status quo despite the opposition parties’ best efforts to convince them otherwise; and those who did not vote at all, were not interested in voting for change.

Already, only a month after the election, the Edmonton Journal on April 6 reported a disturbing signal from health Minister, Mr. Liepert, confirming our worst fears that the governing Conservatives, despite such a poor voter turnout, are reading the election results as supporting them to proceed with advocating the P3s (Private Public Partnerships) in the health area!
Of course, we are not surprised, and see this as an initial push once again to lead to further privatization, as advocated by Mr. Klein’s Third Way thrust.

I hate to say, “We told you so”, but unless you are a committed Conservative, believing in so-called less government and taxes; thinking or allowing yourself to be convinced that public services are unsustainable, believing that the marketplace has the answer and wanting opportunity for yourself to make money; you should realize that this government will not give up, but will come back at it time and time again. With all due respect, I suggest that we need to keep alert and be prepared to speak-up and act as necessary. I’m doing my part.

Since, as I’ve often said before, we cannot forget about political activity until the next election, I say that the next election campaign began the day after the last. Therefore, as ALP Regional Chair for the Southwest of the Province, I have arranged for a ‘Review of the Election Results’ on April 12, with the Presidents, Candidates and significant members of their teams. Although it was a Provincial Election, I believe my team and I can learn from this review. The plan is to compile and forward a report on our observations and recommendations to the ALP and to start working toward the next election opportunity.

However, let’s not concentrate on the overall poor result for a more viable opposition, other than to send our sympathy to the wonderful MLA’s who did not get sufficient votes to retain their seats, and to all the great Candidates who were not elected. Thanks for your efforts. Of course, we all know that in “losing” we don’t necessarily lose, but gain valuable experience and information for our future endeavors. We especially celebrate those Liberals who won: our leader Kevin Taft and our beloved Bridget Pastoor. They deserve our continued support, as we look forward to great things from them as they try to deal with more departments and responsibilities.

I’ve also resumed some activities for my own federal campaign with a little door-to-door work. As well, on March 25, I wrote to our MP, Mr. Casson, expressing my concerns about his unacceptable comments regarding Mr. Dion, which were reported in the Herald. I thought it fair to give him an opportunity to respond to me, but having received no response by March 31, I wrote to the Herald on the issue. To date it has not appeared. Hopefully it will appear soon. I’ll publish it on my blog for those who don’t get the Herald.
This past week-end I attended a sold-out fundraiser with Mr. Bob Rae, the new MP, then went on to Edmonton to attend a conference on P3s. (I’ll report separately on both the Calgary and Edmonton events) Stay tuned!

Michael Cormican, Federal Candidate, Lethbridge Riding April 6, 2008

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