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Libertas





Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Posts: 358
Reputation: 14.6
votes: 6
Location: Medicine Hat, AB

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: Alberta Liberals 'irrelevant' - Liberal Strategist Reply with quote

Quote:
CALGARY - A prominent provincial Liberal strategist who has spearheaded successful election campaigns for the Grits says the party is completely "irrelevant" in Alberta, mired in "a culture of losing" and needing to overhaul leader David Swann.

Longtime Calgary Liberal organizer Donn Lovett said Wednesday his party has major communication woes and is failing to seize on the problems facing the embattled Stelmach government.

His assessment was echoed by political observers, but denounced by another leading Liberal organizer and Swann himself, although the leader admitted he's faced some growing pains.

Nevertheless, Lovett said the Grits have a lot of work to do. He said the party must move more to the centre of the political spectrum and occupy the space being vacated by the Tories as they battle with the emerging Wildrose Alliance for right-wing support, he argued.

"We're irrelevant," said Lovett, who was a campaign co-chairman in the Liberals' close second-place finish in September's Calgary-Glenmore byelection. "The party had better get their head out of their (butt)."

Recent polls have shown the Liberals have fallen to third place in the province, behind Danielle Smith's Wildrose Alliance. Getting the Grits back on track requires the party to drastically improve its communication efforts and carve an edge on Swann, who's been "invisible" in recent months, Lovett said.

"Nobody knows who we are," Lovett added. "David (Swann)has to take the gloves off. He has to become much more aggressive."

Swann, however, took exception to the comments. The Liberal leader said he's firmly moving the Grits to the centre of the spectrum and that they are increasingly becoming the party of choice for moderate Alberta voters.

The party, he acknowledged, has had challenges communicating with Albertans. But he said the Liberals will begin trumpeting their key messages, including promoting honest government, commitment to future generations, strengthening communities and championing democratic reform.

"We are moving very firmly toward a much stronger position in this province, and are only going to be aided, I think, by the Wildrose Alliance," Swann said. "You're certainly going to start seeing more of the real David Swann in the coming months."

The Liberals have released a new video ad on YouTube that challenges the records of so-called fiscal conservatives, including Premier Ed Stelmach and Wildrose leader Smith.

The 50-second ad features ominous music and images of Ronald Reagan, Brian Mulroney, Don Getty, George W. Bush, Stephen Harper and Stelmach--highlighting the billions in deficits and debt they accumulated. It finishes with a picture of Smith and asks "Can we afford another fiscal conservative?"

Lovett has orchestrated successful past Liberal campaigns, including the 2007 byelection win in Ralph Klein's old riding of Calgary-Elbow, but he also supported Calgary Liberal MLA Dave Taylor's failed bid last year for the party leadership. He denied there's any sour grapes behind his critique.

"I know how to win. The problem with this party is we have a lot of hangers-on . . . who have learned a culture of losing," Lovett added. "That culture of losing has to change if we're going to become relevant."

But Darryl Raymaker, who's co-chaired the party's last two general election campaigns, said he doesn't agree "one iota" with Lovett's analysis.

"Nobody could ever challenge (Swann's) qualifications to handle that job," Raymaker said. "He has shown that he is up on the issues."

Chaldeans Mensah, political scientist at Edmonton's Grant MacEwan University, said Lovett "hit the nail on the head." At a time of great political change, the Liberals and Swann have failed to seize the moment, he said.

"He hasn't been able to capitalize on any of the opportunities that's been afforded to the party," Mensah said. "One would have expected, given the travails of Ed Stelmach, that the Liberal party would be pouncing on every opportunity."


http://www.calgaryherald.com/n.....story.html

I'll be fully honest, in 2007 I voted for the Alberta Liberals and was supportive of Dave Taylor's bid for the leadership in 2008. That being said I now think the Alberta Liberals are in fact one of the most incompetent political organizations in all of Canada. They screwed up three important pivotal events, the first was the 2007 election where they ran a horrible campaign despite having the oppurtunity to capitalize on widespread discontent. The second was the leadership race, the Liberals had two candidates with strong fiscal conservative tendencies [compared to Stelmach] in the running. Dave Taylor was calling for the Liberals to become fiscally conservative/socially moderate to help widen support in the province. Instead the Liberals picked a candidate [David Swann] who was farther to the left and touted the possibility of a united left. Later Swann promised a "renewal report" due for June 30th 2009 to help make the Liberals palatable to most citizens. Needless to say nothing came of the report and the Liberals are instead more irrelevant than ever, despite the fact the PC's are at the weakest they've ever been in the past year.

As I've stated before, I'm thankful that Danielle Smith won the leadership of the Wildrose Alliance. I tend to be more inline with her fiscally conservative/socially libertarian views. But I can't help but wonder if the Liberals also helped her out. Recently I talked to a federal Liberal who stated that he bought a Wildrose Alliance membership due to the fact the WAP is committed to fiscal responsibility. When I asked why he doesn't support the Liberals the answer was simple: "they're more concerned with misguided idealism than actually becoming a viable alternative."

Just as an added thought, Dave Taylor's campaign had an actual plan on how to rebuild the ALP and become a viable alternative. They rejected it:

http://www.tayloralberta.ca/fi.....0Paper.pdf
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the definition of incompetent means failing to 'seize the moment' then there's a plethora of incompetent politicians around...

-Mac
Libertas





Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Posts: 358
Reputation: 14.6
votes: 6
Location: Medicine Hat, AB

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you fail to seize the moment so often, it then becomes incompetence. I'd even say it becomes even sadder if your party is in dire straights as the ALP is. When provincial Liberals are jumping over to the Wildrose Alliance it doesn't reflect well among the Liberals who were once able to atleast capture some centre-right voters:

http://toomuchgeo.wordpress.co.....ts-a-wrap/

Quote:
Lorraine, Danielle Smith is not to the right socially of the PCs. Quite the opposite. She’s a moderate, cut from the same cloth as Laurence Decore.

And the fact that you feel “small government reformers” are completely opposite from Liberals is the problem.

I, as a Liberal, am not a socialist. I do not want big government. I do not want the largess of bureaucracy. I want small government. I want government kept out of my fiscal life. I want government kept out of my social life.

I want it to be there to provide a safety net when things go awry, but I don’t want it tending to – or even caring about – what I do beyond that.

I am not comfortable with David Swann’s definition of Liberal. He seems to be at best a soft socialist.

Liberals like Matthew Naylor (and myself) are uncomfortable. We don’t want to fight the NDP for the left. We live in the middle. We see no strategic sense, and we don’t believe in what he’s selling.

Either:

A) Swann shapes up,
B) Swann quits, or
C) Many more Liberals will be finding a new home in the WAP.


http://toomuchgeo.wordpress.co.....ard-cliff/
Glen_S





Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 14
Reputation: 2.2Reputation: 2.2

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better that fiscally responsible "liberals" go to Danielles camp anyway, its a better fit and being fiscally responsible they aren't really 'liberal" in any stretch. The "classic liberal" is extinct with mainstream liberals swinging hard to the left, and no matter how hard the ALP tries to distance itself from the fed's, the liberal brand is DEAD in this province.
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
Reputation: 73.4
votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glen_S wrote:
Better that fiscally responsible "liberals" go to Danielles camp anyway, its a better fit and being fiscally responsible they aren't really 'liberal" in any stretch. The "classic liberal" is extinct with mainstream liberals swinging hard to the left, and no matter how hard the ALP tries to distance itself from the fed's, the liberal brand is DEAD in this province.

Totally agree. The last time the ALP had classical liberals was before the Great War - when Albertans actually voted for them.
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Alberta Liberals 'irrelevant' - Liberal Strategist

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