‘They’re Off!!!’

With Kenney holding a commanding lead, Notley’s NDP is plotting a bare-knuckle campaign. No one’s coming out on top.
With Kenney holding a commanding lead, Notley’s NDP is plotting a bare-knuckle campaign. No one’s coming out on top.

“Let me just say this: I personally do not believe that Jason Kenney is racist,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley told reporters on the morning she launched Alberta’s election campaign. The premier did not feel the need to also state that as far as she understands, Jason Kenney does not hate children like the ones who stood awkwardly but patiently behind her during this campaign kickoff.

Here’s how she did continue that thought: “But I do believe the UCP, as a party, has a problem with racism.”

It’s going to be that kind of bare-knuckle campaign, Alberta’s NDP have concluded, if they want a serious shot at survival.

Well behind in the polls—as they have been almost since the dawn of their first-ever term ruling Alberta—the New Democrats want to keep voters focused on something other than the province’s tepid economy and resurgent unemployment, which the election had long seemed destined to be fought over. The NDP’s preferred ballot question is: Sheesh, do you guys really want Alberta to be governed by a gang teeming with extremists, rogues and racists and led by a conniving, duplicitous neanderthal?

Notley got some timely bits of help in the days leading up to the election call as she tries to frame the political battle to best suit her. With fresh evidence that Kenney and organizers plotted to run a dubious “kamikaze” candidate in the United Conservative leadership race in order to bash his key rival, Notley has a quite credible excuse to call her opponent a cheater who lied when caught at it. (Even if rules allow such trickery, surely it tramples upon every principle of fair play and democracy to so brazenly do this.)


See Also:

(1) Notley calls provincial election for April 16; opens with speech on ‘who’s fit to be premier’

(2) Campaign will be an epic fight that shapes Alberta for decades

(3) 10 ridings to watch as Alberta plunges into election season

(4) Amid economic anxiety, election battle shapes up over energy and pipelines

(5) UCP candidate Caylan Ford resigns over report about white supremacist remarks

(6) Scandal or economy? You get to choose

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Fortunately Rachel has taken lessons from Hillary and instead of laying out sound policies she is focused on throwing dirt. There is an old maxim about those who run for opposition will win opposition. It worked for Hillary and in the last election it worked for Harper.