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OPINION: The"Stinking Albatross"Syndrome

Does anyone have Peter MacKay's phone number or email address on hand? I might need to reach out to him for some colorful commentary after this provincial election.

Let's go back to the months following the 2019 Federal Election when Peter MacKay, then a prospective leadership candidate, said that the "stinking albatross" of Andrew Scheer's socially conservative values cost the Conservatives the election.

As we enter the last 24 hours of the Alberta Provincial Election, it might be necessary for MacKay to come to Alberta once again and provide commentary on the leaders.

Who carries the stinking albatross of this election? Easily, it's United Conservative Party Leader Danielle Smith.

In a 2021 podcast, she suggested that Albertans who were vaccinated against COVID-19 were similar to followers of Adolf Hitler. During the UCP leadership race in 2019, as a replacement for outgoing Premier Jason Kenney, she implied on a Twitter broadcast that cancer is largely preventable up until stage four. Additionally, in one of her first press conferences as the premier of Alberta, she claimed that unvaccinated people were “the most discriminated against group that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime.” The gaffes continued during the election as an ethics watchdog found that she had broken the rules by involving herself in the case of a street preacher facing pandemic-related charges.

However, it's not just Danielle Smith who has faced issues during the campaign. Rachel Notley should also reflect on her campaign. Just six months ago, the NDP were riding high in the polls and appeared to be heading for an easy win in this election. Smith provided them with plenty of ammunition, but it seemed like the NDP wasn't able to capitalize on it.

To quote MacKay, "The party’s efforts were akin to missing a shot on an open net." He said this in reference to the results of the 2019 federal election and Scheer's inability to defeat Justin Trudeau, even after it was discovered mid-way through the campaign that PM Trudeau had worn blackface on numerous occasions.

Smith compared Albertans to Nazis and suggested that stage four cancer patients were at fault for their own illness.

While this may not be exactly the same as wearing blackface on numerous occasions, it should have provided an opportunity for any hockey player to score, even someone like me.

After the dust settles and the votes are cast, one of two scenarios is about to unfold. Either Smith will have a "stinking albatross" around her or Notley will have failed to score on an open net.

Either way, these two parties must engage in serious reflection. Otherwise, I may have to check if Peter MacKay is available for comment on May 30th.

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