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Politics of fear backfired on Notley and will backfire on Trudeau too

7 74 1968

Tuesday’s election win that gave Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party a majority government holds many lessons for those who engage in the politics of fear and smear. Not only does it not always work, it can backfire big time.

The Alberta NDP ran a disgraceful, cynical campaign of attempted character assassination against United Conservative Party candidates who were called every name in the book, including white supremacists.

More than 70 per cent of eligible Alberta voters cast a ballot in this election; 55.2 per cent of them voted for the UCP and just 32 per cent for Rachel Notley’s NDP — making her government the first in the province’s 114-year history to govern for a single term. Of the 87 seats up for grabs, the UCP nabbed 63 and the NDP 24, according to unofficial results.

Besides the outcome of the election that stands as a repudiation of Notley’s campaign strategy, perhaps the best example of how vilifying one’s opponent can boomerang comes from what happened to UCP candidate Kaycee Madu, who won in the riding of Edmonton-South West against the NDP’s John Archer. In 2015, that seat was won by a different NDP candidate with 53 per cent of the vote.

Madu was defamed as a white supremacist sympathizer by Archer, Press Progress and other NDP supporters after Madu posted a photo of himself with a campaign sign on a lawn that said “StopNotley.com,” which had a small logo........

© Calgary Herald