Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Home New Release Political scientists weigh in on how Alberta’s upcoming provincial election may shape...

Political scientists weigh in on how Alberta’s upcoming provincial election may shape up

It’s a new year and Albertans can expect more fireworks when it comes to provincial politics.

The election is still several months away but experts say the unofficial campaign will only get more interesting as we go.

If you’ve recently been seeing political ads on television, brace yourself, there’s more where that came from.

“We’re already in election season and we have been for a while and that’s why you’re seeing so many ads from a variety of different groups,” political scientist Duane Bratt said.

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Bratt said as we approach the provincial election, policy changes will lead to more money being available for party spending. And with no limits on donations to third-party advertisers, there will be even more ads.

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“People always say attack ads don’t work, negative ads don’t work. Yes they do, there’s a reason parties keep doing it,” Bratt said

Just one tool Bratt said the UCP and NDP will be using in the hopes of gaining votes in what’s expected to be a close and competitive election race.

Anybody who wants to win an Alberta election needs to win Calgary, Edmonton and rural Alberta, political scientist Lori Williams said.

Williams said if Danielle Smith wants to continue being premier of Alberta, she has to win Calgary.

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“The NDP has largely locked up Edmonton, and rural Alberta is expected to largely go UCP — that gives the 26 seats in Calgary an opportunity for both parties,” Bratt said.

These experts said the two main focuses this election will be on health care and issues with affordability. Areas both parties have strengths and weaknesses.

“If it’s healthcare and economic stability, those are files the NDP could use to their advantage,” Williams said. “If it’s economic well-being, that is something the UCP could use to their advantage, particularly since they will have money to provide relief or benefits.

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“It’s really about a group of voters who voted for the UCP in 2019 who are reluctant to vote for them right now, so you can call them orphan voters, you can call them reluctant UCP voters, and then the question is, what do they do?”

Answers we will only have after Albertans head to the polls on May 29.

“We’re still five months out, a lot can happen in that time period,” Bratt said.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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