Important note: The following blog is intended only for people who usually vote Liberal, but who are thinking of switching their vote to either the PCs (to stop the Wildrose) or to the Wildrose (to defeat the PCs). Unwavering PC supporters, bedrock Wildrose supporters and compulsive NDP backers, please leave the virtual room. This blog is only for members of the immediate family, however distant they may be. Thank you.

Dear Friends:

There are dark clouds on the horizon for the Alberta Liberal party. I am afraid that your party is headed for the perfect electoral storm.

If you’ve voted Liberal in the past (and consistently there are about 250,000 to 270,000 of you), you’ve no doubt done so for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you like the party, or the platform, or the leader. Maybe you just hate the PCs, or you’ve always voted Liberal. Or, most likely, you like the candidate. For a variety of reasons, the Liberals have enjoyed the second-highest vote total in every election since 1989. It’s a sign that the Liberals, despite the widespread view that the Liberal name is “toxic”, have a solid core of support.

But going into this pivotal election, the polls show the Liberal vote is collapsing. From a traditional base of support of anywhere from 25-30 per cent, Liberal support is now in the low 10s. This is potentially catastrophic.

Why has it fallen so low? The party policies are sound, the leader is dynamic (yes, he carries some baggage, but you can’t deny the guy has charisma), and many of the candidates are outstanding. So, why is the party that you’ve supported in the past teetering on the brink?

Clearly, the Liberals are caught in a squeeze. The Wildrose has staked out the right, and the New Democrats are in their customary slot on the soft-left.  But now, in the customary Liberal position in the progressive middle, along come the PCs, trying hard to reinvent themselves as truly ‘progressive’ Conservatives.  The Liberals find themselves vying for the affections of the electorate against an old trollop who thinks plastic surgery and implants have made her more appealing. And it seems to be working.

But that’s only half the problem. Clearly, thousands of traditional Liberal voters are taking the “strategic voting” route.  Eager to finally end the PC reign of error, some Liberal faithful are parking their votes — just this once — with the Wildrose. And with the Wildrose surging in the polls, thousands of traditional Liberal voters are voting — just this once — for the PCs to stop our slide into the 19th century.

Well, if you are one of those people, let me just say … DON’T DO IT.

This is NOT the time to abandon ship. If anything, the Liberals need your vote now more than ever.

In several Edmonton and Calgary ridings, the Liberals are still in a position to win. For years, Liberals have dreamt of the day when a vote split on the right would allow Liberals to sneak up the middle. Well, despite the poll numbers, that possibility still exists in several ridings — but only if the traditional Liberal vote holds. If thousands of Liberal voters decide to vote for a party they fundamentally disagree with, in an attempt to stop another party they fundamentally disagree with, then thousands of Liberal votes will be lost. And with it, some very fine public servants may be sent to the sidelines.

Now some of you are certainly saying, “Maurice, you’re too personally invested in this.” I don’t deny this. I was a Liberal MLA, and I got to know a lot of outstanding people in the political field. So, yes, it’s personal. But I wouldn’t urge you to vote for a candidate I know to be a dud. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

So, Liberal voters, stay the course and please vote for the following:

• Raj Sherman, Edmonton-Meadowlark. I don’t know Raj very well, but it is vital that the leader of the party, the strongest voice for health care in the Legislature, be returned to the Legislature.

Weslyn Mather, Edmonton-Mill Woods. A genuinely inspiring person, and as dedicated a public servant as you will ever find.

Mo Elsalhy, Edmonton-McClung. Tremendous work ethic and a guy who genuinely cares about his constituents.

Rick Miller, Edmonton-Rutherford. Just the kind of person you want representing you in the legislature and in your neighbourhood.

Bruce Miller, Edmonton-Glenora. Another former MLA of unfailing integrity, and an all-round great guy.

Laurie Blakeman, Edmonton-Centre. Relentless thorn in the side of whatever party that will be in power, Blakeman is also the ultimate constituency person. A champion of the arts community as well.

David Swann, Calgary-Mountain View.  I doubt if I’ve ever met a man who cares more deeply for humanity than David Swann. A legislature without him would be badly diminished.

Kent Hehr, Calgary-Buffalo. Again I only know Kent fleetingly, but he is an extraordinary person and an excellent representative.

I don’t know Josipa Petrunic in Edmonton-Gold Bar, or Arif Khan in Edmonton- Riverview, but from what I’ve heard about them, you can’t go wrong. And in Red Deer, I hope the Liberal voters in Red Deer North realize that Michael Dawe, one of Red Deer’s best-known citizens, has a chance to benefit from the Wildrose/PC vote split.

I’m not going to recommend every Liberal running, because a) I don’t know them all, and b) I honestly don’t know how many of them deserve your support. But for those of you reading in any of the above-mentioned constituencies, now is not the time to abandon the party in the faint hope of “stopping” a candidate, or trying to alter the outcome of the election. Vote for someone, not against.

Stand your ground, Liberals, or you may not have any ground left to stand on by Monday.

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10 thoughts on “Now is the time for all good Liberals to come to the aid of their party.

  1. Don’t forget Rudy Arcilla in the new constituency of Edmonton SW! This gentleman gave and gave and gave for decades without expectation as a school board trustee! He’s quiet but determined and very caring. It’s time for us to give back and put this Liberal into the Legislature!!!

  2. Josipa is an excellent choice. She knows her stuff and she’s willing to listen. The only reason I would suggest not voting for her is so that she’s available for the Federal election in 2015, but we certainly deserve to have someone of her caliber in the provincial legislature as well.

  3. Excellent assessment there, of the dilemma faced by long time Liberal voters We have just cast our votes for Rudy Arcilla in the SW constituency. I’m holding my breath for the results on Monday, but hope the right wing splits and that several left of centre candidates go up the middle. One can only hope….and dream at this late stage.

  4. Excellent plea, MT, and hopefully not too little too late. PC strategy over the last couple of weeks has been clear, to siphon progressive voters primarily from the Liberal camp. A focused, surgical counter-attack from Dr. Sherman would have been very effective (the PCs have given him much to work with). But instead of using his scalpel, Raj has taken the unfocused shotgun approach, blasting away indiscriminately at both the Wildrose and PCs (with the odd potshot in the ND direction). Libs, Raj, it’s probably too late, but drop the shotgun and pick up the scalpel: pocketing thousands of tax dollars for nonexistent work on imaginary committees, intimidating stakeholders in health and education, illegal party donations, 30+% pay raises for cabinet cronies, perennial multibillion dollar deficits, obscene six or seven figure severance packages, and the Mar investigation coverup — plenty to convince the centre-left not to vote PC. Or continue to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, perish on Monday, and make way for the Alberta party in Election 2016.

  5. I wish I could vote for Arif Khan. He is dynamic, thoughtful, very bright and charming beyond measure. With an excellent and diverse background, he would be a worthy successor to Kevin Taft in Edmonton Riverview.

  6. Hi Maurice
    I know you have not had the pleasure to meet Peter Helfrich Banff Cochrane. But the supporters in our riding and people like David Swan are hoping for the come through the middle win. Pete is an excellent candidate with a health care background and non stop energy. Check him out @ http://www.electpete.ca and I am sure you will add him to your list of worthy candidates.

    Thank you for your artical Brent Wilmot Banff Cochrane

  7. Not to mention Calgary-Lougheed Liberal candidate Fred Stenson, your fellow ALBERTA VIEWS correspondent, novelist and film writer with GG and Giller nominations to his credit. Degree in economics and very knowledgeable about oil and gas issues (has written 3 books and several films on the topic). Direct, honest, good listener and communicator.

  8. Let me give a shout-out to Mo Elsalhy too, who represented me a while back and has always ben the most visible representative in our area, regardless of party.

    That said, I was proud to cast my vote for Rudy Arcilla this year, strategic voting be damned. Based on my own observations, he stands a wonderful chance of taking the seat.

  9. Hi Maurice,

    Like your Blog…great work.

    I would get to know Arif Khan if I were looking for future leadership. He is by far the most refreshing and one of the best qualified individual. He is a bright, knowledgable, and caring person. People like Tommy Banks, Kevin Tafts, Anne McLellan, and Grant Michell can be good references if you need a second opinion.

    Ray

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