Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Liberal Sweep of Rural Alberta Predicted 

Now that I have your attention, please read on.

This piece in yesterday's Edmonton Journal says that rural voters would rather vote for the devil they know than the one you don't. Perhaps. But most rural voters are just very practical. They firmly believe that it is better to elect a candidate of the winning party who will be able to bring benefits to their local riding. And they are probably right.

But rural voters have to ask themselves a few questions this time around.

  1. Has my Tory candidate brought more local money from the government into my constituency in the way of new schools, teachers, roads, recreational facilities etc. than we have collectively spent in increased car insurance, electricity charges, natural gas charges. Charges brought on mostly by Tory government policy. Additional charges for these three items alone easily add up on average to $200 a month per family. That's $9600 dollars over a four year government mandate. With about 10,000 families per riding, that's $96M dollars. Can you identify in your riding alone the $96M in increased government spending over the last four years? If you can, by all means vote Tory. If you can't, then think about it.

  2. BSE has hurt rural Alberta. The Tory government spent $400M or so of taxpayer dollars to try and help the producers. That money flowed into the pockets of American owned packing plants. Now it flowed through the producers so it helped them keep their head above water but as Albertans, we saw nothing for our tax dollars in the way of reduced beef prices at the retail level. The question rural Albertans might want to ask is this. Do they think that a Liberal provincial government led by Kevin Taft, who happens to be an economist and understands markets, might have used that $400M a little differently? The Liberals seem to have a comprehensive thought out plan for BSE that will lead to a long term solution rather than a short-term fix.

  3. If you are concerned that by voting liberal you might elect a liberal opposition candidate in a new Tory government, consider this. The Tory government would be so shocked that they would be sending out Ministers, MLAs and government officials in a convoy of armoured trucks with more money than you could imagine in an effort to win you back. You can bet on it.
OK. I'm a liberal and will be voting liberal. I happen to think that Kevin Taft is an intelligent and honest man who has the interest of all Albertans at heart. I also live in the city. But we in the city are victims of Ralph Klein's policies the same as you. Common wisdom says that rural folk vote conservative because their parents and grandparents did. I don't believe that. I think you consider your vote based on the realities of rural life.

The change in government will come when rural Alberta decides it's time. I'm counting on you.

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