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Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:27

Image can be everything

Written by  Rose Sanchez
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Premier Alison Redford has headed state-side again to try to gain support for the Keystone XL pipeline project and oilsands development in Alberta.

 

She’s speaking with people of influence in Washington to gain traction for support and approval of the project. It’s an important project for not only the province, but also the rest of the country.
After she returns though she may want to turn her attention to improving her own image at home, although some may question whether that is really necessary when there are still three more years to go before the next election.
According to a Calgary Herald story, an Angus Reid Survey released Monday showed Redford’s public support has decreased dramatically.
In August of last year she had a 55 per cent approval rating.
It has made a steady decline since, dropping to 47 per cent last December and sitting at 29 per cent now.  That’s in part thanks to a budget that included some budget cuts affecting almost every individual and group in Alberta.
The charismatic Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose and official opposition, is looking good to Albertans. She has a 53 per cent approval rating. Even NDP leader Brian Mason, and Raj Sherman, leading the Alberta Liberals, at 34 per cent have a higher approval rating than Redford.
Should she be concerned? Yes and no. Yes, it is three years until the next election and, as has been proven over and over again in Alberta, voters have short memories. But she is up for a leadership review with her own Progressive Conservative Party this fall. While most politicians discount polls, some party faithful may feel a change in leadership is a good public relations move.
Either way there can be no argument the provincial budget did hurt those most vulnerable in this province — seniors and children. We’re only starting to see the ramifications of that budget now and the fallout could last for some time. It would be wise for Redford to take some heed of the public opinion polls and start thinking about her public image now rather than when voters head to the polls and really tell the PCs how they feel.
Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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