Alberta's Wildrose Party is surging in the polls, within grasp of forming government and ending 41 years of Tory rule.
They may have The Sergeant to thank for that.
Fifteen months ago, when Wildrose was still a fledgling right-wing challenger, they showed good humour in agreeing to be part of a spoof video. The Alberta Legislature Press Gallery Association – that is, the collection of journalists who regularly cover provincial politics in Edmonton – hosts an annual Christmas party where each political party, and the press, make a spoof video. (We don't mess around, either. I once missed a Gallery meeting and was punished by being appointed to treasurer. Our water bills are months overdue.)
Anyhow, the deal is straightforward: They never go public. This (sometimes) allows the parties to have some actual fun and get off the talking points. Which brings us to The Sergeant.
The NDP video concept from 2010 was for Leader Brian Mason, one of two NDP MLAs, to put the upstart Wildrose "Sarah Palin wannabes" through boot camp.
"Even though you people are nut-job rejects from the Fraser Institute school of Neanderthal economics, I actually like you – in fact, I like right-wing parties so much, I want there to be two of them, or three," Mr. Mason screams, begging for a bigger vote split.
Mr. Mason wrote the script himself and, aside from its decidedly B-grade production values, the video was the clear favourite of the press corps during that Christmas party (at which Premier Ed Stelmach, who announced his resignation a month later, didn't show up). The NDP then posted it online – breaking the rule, but so far Wildrose hasn't complained to me, though that letter may be tucked amid the water bills.
The Dippers nonetheless tweeted it again on April Fool's, calling it an attack ad.
Could-be-premier Danielle Smith wears an NDP shirt, screaming that public health care kills babies, ("Geez Louise, you sound like [then-Liberal leader]David Swann in drag," Mr. Mason says). House Leader Rob Anderson, who will almost certainly have a prominent cabinet post if Wildrose forms government, attacks NDP MLA Rachel Notley (who brags about bike riding, loving Folk Fest and her "life partner") with a hockey stick only to end up begging for mercy. Mr. Mason puts them through marching orders ("left, left, left, left, left, left"), and so on.
Anyhow, while on the campaign trail in southeastern Alberta, I figured I'd post it: http://youtu.be/zKIZilenZxw