Calgary

Wildrose ad targets Redford, signals campaign to get nasty

The Wildrose Party has a new ad out, targeting Premier Alison Redford and her Progressive Conservatives.
The Wildrose Party has a new ad out, targeting Premier Alison Redford and her Progressive Conservatives. 1:04

The Wildrose Party has a new ad out, targeting Premier Alison Redford and her Progressive Conservatives.

Some political observers say the ad signals the upcoming Alberta election is going to be nasty.

The ad starts with dark scenes of Redford’s leadership acceptance speech and foreboding, action-flick type music.

"Last fall, Alison Redford asked Albertans for their trust to get the PCs back on track and to end the culture of bullying and intimidation," a deep voice says. "That trust has been broken."

The ad then starts flashing quotes attributed to the CBC and others, including "Alberta’s first NDP budget," that’s credited to the National Post, and "School... warned to shut up or lose funding," credited to the Edmonton Journal.

Calgary political scientist Keith Brownsey says the ad sets a nasty tone for the upcoming election.

"I thought it was a commercial for another star wars movie."

He says negative advertising isn't exclusive to the Wildrose Party, but he fears it turns voters off.

Feared voter turnout effect

"We had in 2008 the lowest voter turn-out of any provincial election in Canadian history. How much lower can we go? But that's the nature of negative advertising — it lowers the vote, it suppresses vote."

Richard Sutherland, a political science professor at Mount Royal University, also says the ad signals the upcoming election campaign is going to get personal.

"It's going to be a nastier campaign than I think we've seen in Alberta, in part because there's actually, perhaps a little bit more suspense than usual. There's if not a change in government, then there is the opportunity for a much more sizeable opposition."  

The Wildrose Party declined to comment on the advertisement.