The knives have already come out and the writ has yet to be dropped. The 2019 election is shaping up to be one for the history books. It will feature two very different economic, social and political platforms. The UCP is expected to stay focused on policy and connecting with voters while the NDP is expected to attack the UPC leader.
The NDP’s use of tax-payer dollars to campaign in the lead-up to the writ being dropped has been astounding. The old PC party was pretty good at throwing around public money before an election, but on their worst day it was nothing compared to the NDP. The NDP government used the backdrop of an Alberta Health Services hospital to hold a campaign like announcement critiquing Jason Kenney’s health care plan inside a hospital – an action that is banned by AHS. The NDP’s response was they won’t do it again.
The NDP are not running on their record. Rather they are running on an anti-Jason Kenney platform. They have even launched a website demonizing UCP leader Jason Kenney. The objective is to remind voters of positions/statements Kenney said 25 years ago. It will be interesting to see, if the NDP ‘negative campaign’ will provoke the UCP to match the rhetoric by reminding voters of the anti pipeline and anti oil sands statements and protests the NDP attended in the past
As the campaign gets set to launch, the ballot question the UCP hopes to frame is “has the NDP government hurt or helped your personal circumstances?” It is safe to say many Albertans feel they are worse off now than they were in 2015. Will this anger translate into UCP votes? Anything can happen in a 28-day election campaign. Fasten your seatbelts folks …