Alberta Greens: Best ever result with 23% second place finish & Doubling Vote

Jim Harris

Alberta Green candidate Joe Anglin won 23% of the vote in Lacome—Ponoka placing second. This is the best finish ever for the Green Party in Alberta. Edwin Erickson also placed second in Drayton Valley—Calmar with 19.4% of the vote.

The Alberta Greens almost doubled their vote as George Read led the party to fielding its’ first ever ‘virtual’ full slate running candidates in 79 out of the province's 83 ridings.

Image caption above reads: "Green Party Leader George Read hugs his wife, Marie, as they wait for the results to comin in at Carpetners Hall in Calgary." from the Calgary Herald story March 4, 2008

The Alberta Greens acheived a number of significant accomplishments:

* More than doubling membership during the campaign
* Raising twice as much in donations as in 2004
* Spending $100,000 centrally -- the most ever
* More than doubling web site traffic from 2004

While we can't do a comparison until the other parties file their financial returns, I am sure that the Alberta Greens will prove to be the most financially efficient party in Alberta -- winning a vote for every $2.30 the party spent.

Congratulations and special thanks go to the 79 candidate who gave virtually every Albertan voter the right to vote for hope and a positive future for their children and grandchildren. I talked with candidates at the victory party in Alberta last night – and they are proud with their efforts. One candidate and I chatted how he had delivered a peice of Green Party literature to every household in his riding -- a first for the riding.

All the opposition parties lost votes, except for the Greens. The Liberals’ vote fell by 3%; the NDP vote fell by 1.7%; the Wildrose Alliance vote fell by 1.9% while the Alberta Green vote increased by 1.8%. Collectively the other opposition parties vote fell by 6.6% while the Greens increased.

The Liberal Party lost 10,609 votes in 2008 from their 2004 performance (from 261,471 in 2004 to 250,862 in 2008) in the Alberta provincial election.

The NPD lost 9,854 votes (from 90,897 in 2004 to 81,043 in 2008)

the Wildrose Alliance (formerly the Alberta Alliance) lost 13,136 votes (from 77,506 in 2004 to 64,370 in 2008)

So collectively these three parties lost 33,599 votes. And with that of course they lost half their seats collectively. The liberals fell from 16 seats to 9; the NDP from 4 to 2 and the Wildrose Alliance went from one seat to none. So collectively the opposition parties fell from 21 seats to 11.

By contrast the Green Party jumped from 24,588 votes in 2004 to 43,563 in 2008.

In light of all the other opposition parties support falling, the Alberta Greens achievement of almost doubling the vote and winning almost 20,000 more votes is all the more impressive. The greens made significant gains on the next two parties ahead of them – the NDP and the Wildrose Alliance.

To see the full results of all the riding contests go to

A Fair vote Canada news release points out that with a fair voting system the results would have been 44 PC MLAs, 22 Liberal, 7 NDP, 6 Wild Rose Alliance and 4 Green MLAs. “We would have seen a much stronger opposition, a more balanced legislature, and most importantly, Albertans would have seen their votes accurately reflected in the election results.” For the full release see and for the Fair Vote Alberta release see

Green Gains on NDP
In 2004 the Alberta Greens got 2.75% of the vote while the NDP won 10% – so in 2004 the Greens won 27.5% of the vote that the NDP did.

In the 2008 election the Alberta Greens almost doubled to 4.6% while the NDP fell to 8.6% – so in 2008 the Greens won 54% of the vote that the NDP did. And Brian Mason, the NDP leader, was included in the televised leaders debate while Alberta Greens leader George Read was excluded. Had George been included in the debate I believe we would have surpassed the NDP in vote in this election.

The Alberta Greens won 2,000 more votes than the NDP in Calgary. This is the second election in a row with the Alberta Greens have won more votes than the NDP in Calgary. In fact the Greens won more vote than the NDP in 22 of Calgary's 26 ridings!

Green Gains on Wildrose Alliance
In 2004 the Alberta Alliance won 77,466 vote while the Alberta Greens won 24,451. So the Greens won 31.6% of the vote that the Alberta Alliance did.

In 2008 the Alberta Greens won 43,563* while the Wildrose Alliance won 64,370* votes (the Wildrose Alliance was a merge of the Alberta Alliance and the Wildrose Party). So the Alberta Greens now stand at 67.6% of the support of the Wildrose Alliance.

* These are preliminary figures from Elections Alberta’s site.

So the Alberta Greens doubled their support relative to the NDP and more than doubled their support relative to the Wildrose Alliance. This puts the Alberta Greens on the threshold to tie or surpass both these parties in the next election. This is significant as both these parties have had seats in the legislature -- and both were included in the televised leaders debate in this election.

Leaders Debate
I find it absolutely astounding that the Alberta Greens were barred from the televised leaders debate – when going into the election the party was polling within the margin of error of the NDP and the Wildrose Alliance – i.e. within 3.6% of both parties.

I personally believe that if George Read had been included in the TV debate the Alberta Greens would have surpassed both the Wildrose Alliance and the NDP in overall vote and Joe Anglin and Edwin Erickson might have won their seats.

We cannot let this travesty of justice be perpetuated at the federal level where we have been ahead of the NDP and Bloc in polling during the last year.

NDP Try to Paint Themselves Green with Energy Platform
The NDP put forward what they called a Green Energy Plan, but it couldn’t stem their drop in their vote or the rise of the Alberta Greens.

The NDP which had four seats going into the election came out with only two. The Wildrose Alliance which had one seat going into the election came out with none.

It was interesting for me to hear the NDP leader talk a great deal about environmental issues during the televised leaders debate.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?
With 53% of the vote Premier Stelmach’s Progressive Conservatives won 88% of the seats. The Liberals who won exactly half as many votes as the Conservatives were rewarded with 8 seats while the Conservatives walked away with 73.

Lowest voter turn out in the provinces history – at about 40%. Voter turn out has been falling significantly ever since 1993. In 1993

Year . . . Voter
. . . . . . . . . . Turn Out
1993 . . . 60.2%
1997 . . . 53.8%
2001 . . . 52.8%
2004 . . . 44.7%
2008 . . . 41.3%

If I were cynical I’d say that Stelmach purposely called the election during the winter to ensure that 1) his opponents would not do as much canvassing (at times it was 25 below in Edmonton during the campaign);

Therefore the election would not be as hard fought and the Conservatives would not suffer losses and could coast to another majority.

Given that polls showed that 55% of Alberta voters felt it was time for a change, Stelmach’s strategy appears to have worked. The headlines today – sleepwalk to victory

Therefore the Stelmach government is happy that voter turn out is declining as long as they stay in power and it advantages them.

Legal Challenge
In Alberta the Election law requires a $500 deposit to run as a candidate. Half of this is refunded when the candidate’s financial returns are filed. But the other half -- $250 – is only refunded if the candidate achieves a certain percentage. This has been declared unconstitutional for federal election deposits in the Figueroa case and the Green Party of Ontario launched a case in 2007 about provincial election deposits not being fully refundable and won! So we'll be launching a case like this in Alberta. If you want to help fund such a case contact email

Original Post: Alberta Greens Field 1st Ever 'Virtual' Full Slate! 79 candidates, offering >97% of electors right to vote for Hope & a Future!

It's confirmed! The Alberta Greens are fielding the party's first ever 'virtual' full slate -- by running candidates in 79 of the province's 83 ridings.

This is an incredible accomplishment for the dedicated team who have been working overtime to fill the slate.

Danielle Roberts gives the YES! elbow pull as Kevin Colton (former Chair of Organizing for the GPC and responsible for 308 candidates in 2004) looks on in wonder

The Alberta Greens have a full slate of 23 candidates in Calgary; a full slate in Edmonton, a full slate in Red Deer, and a full slate around the two candidates who have the best chance of winning their seats -- Edwin Erickson and Joe Anglin who have been canvassing for months already.

The response while nominations were open was overwhelming with people coming forward to guarantee that every Alberta elector has the right to vote for hope -- the right to vote for their children's future.

Special, special thanks and congratulations go to Midge Lambert, Lynette Tremblay, Danielle Roberts, Kristina Kearley, Peter Johnston, Zena Ursuliak, Darcy Kraus, Kevin Colton, Marie Read, George Read, Susan Stratton, David Crowe, Madeline Oldershaw and Kathy Burman. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you and congratulations!!

How You Can Help
1) Call, email friends, family and former classmates in Alberta and urge them to get involved with the Alberta Greens.

i) Midge Lambert is the Elections Coordinator you can call her toll free at 1-888-476-8683 or email midge at

ii) For Edmonton area organizing call Peter Johnston at (780) 472-7733 or email him at

iii) Go to

2) Want to move to Calgary or Edmonton for a week or two, or the entire campaign and help out? The Alberta Greens will find you a billet and feed you as you help in this exciting campaign. The party may even be able to help with your travel costs if this would prevent you from coming out. If you’re interested email one of the three people above or former Green Party leader Jim Harris at

On February 4 the election was called for Alberta for March 3

The accomplishment is exceptional as the Green Party fielded 49 candidates in the last provincial election. Before the writ was dropped the party had identified 40 candidates -- so the team doubled the number of candidates once the writ was dropped until nominations closed February 18 at 2 pm.

The goal of fielding the first ever full slate was very important for two reasons: 1) Green Party support has been tied or ahead of the NDP in recent polls (see below) so to surpass the NDP the party will need a full slate. In the 2004 provincial election the Alberta Greens won more votes than the NDP in all of Calgary.

2) By surpassing or equaling the NDP in Alberta it will be yet one more reason why Elizabeth has to be included in the televised leaders debates.

Calling all Greens: Alberta came through for the Green Party of Canada in the last federal election winning the highest percentage vote of any province and our first ever federal second place finish (Sean Maw in Wild Rose).

Now Alberta needs everyone's help in return in the provincial election.

And here's the great news: The Alberta Greens are ahead of the NDP: Leger marketing released a poll published in The Edmonton Journal reporting that: “If an election were held today . . .Seven per cent would vote for George Read's Green party and six per cent for the New Democratic Party under Brian Mason.”

A Strategic Counsel poll published in the Globe and Mail recently (Jan 21) puts the Alberta Greens at 9% and the NDP at 9%. The poll shows that the environment is the second biggest issue in the province close behind health care (13% vs. 19%). And the majority of Albertans agree that 32 years is too long for the Conservatives to be in power. So this election has the potential to really shake up provincial politics in Alberta. We could elect our first MLAs!

The fact that the two most recent polls have put the Alberta Greens ahead or tied with the NDP is truly staggering as the NDP elected four MLAs in the 2004 provincial election at the current level of support. So the Green Party is ahead of a party with seats in the legislature. So by running a full slate the Alberta Greens can not only surpass the NDP as the third party in the province, but by focusing on a few key ridings the Alberta Greens can win their first seats.

The Alberta Greens now have the opportunity to become the third party in the province surpassing the NDP. Greens will have to run a full slate and win every vote possible.

To find out more, the Alberta Greens’ web site is at and you can catch up on the issues at George Read’s blog at

For the source of the Leger Marketing poll showing the Alberta Greens ahead of the NDP go to

See the Globe and Mail poll at