Tuesday 11 May 2010

How to dissect a Liberal blogger.

One of the keys to successful blogging is to use FACTS to support your position. Facts are what give you credibility. Have I been caught with my pants down (or is it skirt up)? Sure I have. Everyone makes mistakes.

The thing is, if you are going to open your mouth, (or take to the keyboard) you better be sure what comes out is based in truth. As the saying goes: “Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

This brings us to Vincent St. Pierre’s blog entry today. I am reposting it here in its entirety (in red) with my responses (facts) interspersed.

The Wildrose isn’t tough enough.

Their media outreach has been lousy this spring. So has their outreach.

And their claim to be “ready to govern”? Doubtful.

In the Legislature they have been almost silent, in the streets almost invisible, and on the airways simply not there. Movements solely around a specific leader, with no basic organization or organizational strength, tend to collapse quite quickly as soon as they arise.

Here is a video collection from Rob Anderson, one of the Wildrose MlAs, so one third of the “silence” in the Legislature.

This is the Wildrose 2010 calendar of events. Does it look empty? Are they invisible on the street and lacking organization? Last I heard they had gone from 15 organized CAs to over 70 in the past six months.

A look at the Liberal calendar reveals 5 events from January to May 2010; conversely the Wildrose Alliance has 47.

Airways? I have heard Danielle Smith, Rob Anderson and Paul Hinman several times on the Rutherford show. And I understand they have also been on CBC, but I haven’t heard those personally. I will let readers root these out on their own.

Unless of course by airways he meant flying. Then no, they rarely fly.

The Wildrose Alliance, at least their elected MLAs, haven’t even been showing up to press conferences and meetings. Shirking their duties and giving up on free and easy opportunities to get attention.
This one that makes me go, huh? The Wildrose has had at least six pressers since the beginning of the year and put out more than 20 press releases.

In fact they took a bit of heat (comical heat) over the last one.

 This compared to the five listed on the Alberta Liberal website over the same time period.
And the Wildrose’s fundraising? Less than the Alberta Liberal Party in 2009. The Wildrose also has less than the Alberta Liberal Party’s membership tallies, too.
If you look at purely the “annual” fundraising of the Liberals, yes they raised slightly more than the Wildrose. However, there is much more to this picture. It should be noted that the Liberals were actually down from 2008 and the Wildrose was up from the previous year.

In 2009 the Wildrose had a leadership race; many supporters were shifting their contributions to those efforts or waiting to see the outcome. Most of the fundraising on the Wildrose side came in the final quarter, after the leadership race, as opposed the Liberals who had all year to seek donations.

Plus there was also a by-election where Paul Hinman’s fundraising was nearly double the Liberal candidates. On the party side, the Wildrose exceed the Liberals by $15,000.00.

All of this is looking purely at the “revenue” side of things. If we look at the year-end bottom line, the Wildrose ended up on the positive side with $196,000.00 and the Liberals in the hole by $89,500.00.

Full information available at Elections Alberta.

Now to those membership numbers. According to the Liberals annual financial statement membership fees amounted to $8505.00. With membership fees at $5.00 each that equals 1701 members for the entire year. The Wildrose put out a press release early in October 2009 with a membership total over 11,670. That works out to the Wildrose outnumbering the Liberal support base by nearly 7 to 1. I suspect it is actually over 8 to 1 now.

The Wildrose also hasn’t had any luck whittling off support from the federal Conservative party. Partisans federally are still wary of the Wildrose and are still holding their bets, and my instinct says that the Wildrose will never be able to tap into those resources there, both human and in expertise.
Not sure where to start with this one. Why would we want to “whittle” support from the Feds? It’s not like we are going to get floor crossers from them. For the most part their supports are “conservative” and are likely to vote that way provincially. The Wildrose finally gives them a conservative choice on the ballot.

As to tapping into those like minded people, it is not much of a stretch to guess this is going on. If Mr. St. Pierre was paying attention he might have already seen evidence of this on some of the constituency boards….or he could have just looked at our Executive Director, Vitor Marciano.

The crossing of the floor of two PC MLAs is not a measure of anything, now. Anderson was a firm Morton leadership supporter and Forsythe has ambitions. With Morton as finance in the PC government all the Mortonites will not flip over to the Wildrose–the leaking of MLAs to the Wildrose stopped with that decision by Ed Stelmach. It’s moot.

This is purely an opinion and I am quite happy to let the Liberals continue to believe this.
The Wildrose’s battle with the Progressive Conservatives on oil royalties is also moot in that Albertans who care about the economic environment of Alberta will notice that before an election is called the economy will improve. By 2012 the royalties fiasco will be long over, long solved, and, with that, the anger against the Progressive Conservatives will just be as long gone.

Wow, Vincent you don’t even read newspapers do you?  They have all but been reversed due to pressure from the WAP.
There’s something to be said about relying on anger and public vitriol to base a party on, too. Members and the public tire of anger. Albertans even more so–we can be pissed for a while but, eventually, we come around to the “then what?” The Wildrose hasn’t provided a “then what” answer yet and the time has passed for it. Their attempt to channel anger to change has, for the most part, been negligible and the public will realize this soon enough. A hefty round of applause should be given to the media who, through their efforts, channeled the outcry against the Tories.

Anger is merely what gets people involved, gets them to take that next step of being active and aid in the growth and development of a party. Something the Liberals haven’t been able to do for decades.

But back to the Wildrose–their numbers are soft. Their support is soft. The anger will run out, their answers will never arise, and their electoral chances will never be more than a seat or two. I actually have a bet with one of my friends (a Wildroser, in fact) that the Wildrose will not receive more than four seats come 2012. We’ve bet beer on it. And, from my assessment of the facts, I think I’m going to win.

A beer! One whole beer? What is that worth? About 5 loonies at a pub perhaps. That’s a pretty strong commitment there Vincent. I will see your beer and raise you. How about we go for a two-four? No wait, I don’t drink beer and since I am going to win, let’s make it a magnum of Baileys.

Side note: You may have noticed that I disabled the comments on this post. The reason is because I know some Wildrosers follow my blog and like to comment on it. (The only time I get comments is when I comment on the Wildrose, too.)

I actually highly doubt Wildrosers follow your blog. It is far more likely people are finding it through Google or Twitter, like I did. Otherwise true followers would be commenting on everything you spew.

This should also give you a clue that the people commenting are finding the Wildrose more interesting to discuss as opposed to the fractured Liberals.
I want those special, active individuals to start blogging and create that institutional toughness vis-a-vis their soap boxes within the blogosphere to assist the Wildrose. Trackbacks are enabled.

I have never posted on your blog, as mentioned I only just discovered it. I have had my soap box (and some would say Wildrose soap box) going since February 2008 when I ran as a Wildrose Alliance candidate.

Do I have “institutional toughness”? Frick, I’m not even sure I want to have that!

A very successful blogger once told me; “If you end up in a debate with another blogger; the goal is not to sway the other bloggers position; it is to influence your readers’ opinion.” I would add, at a minimum it should engage the reader enough to “think”.


  1. I am a liberal blogger and your "skirt up" intro freaks me out ;-) or should I be intrigued by "what lies beneath?" LOL

  2. A very interesting and thorough disection of that blog Jane. Well done, I hope to see a reply from the original author St Pierre.

  3. Good Post Jane.


  4. Too funny Jane. I too would like to hear Vincents response.

  5. I have invited him.... but no response yet.

    Maybe I should give it another go.