A number of writers have noted that, given the lock the CPoC has on Alberta, voters there are pretty much stuck without alternatives when Harper, for example, rains down hard earned oil money on such distant lands such as Quebec and Ontario, or taxes income trusts. Who else can they support? Well, maybe (according to Diane Francis in today's Natty Post column) a slate of "spoiler" candidates financed by a coalition of income trusts. As Bob Siegel of Cabot Capital Group in New York City writes:
I would recommend that the coalition step up its campaign against Albertan Conservative MPs beyond mere voicing of intense opposition [...] Specifically, I would propose that the energy trusts, given their economic and political clout within the province of Alberta, recruit and put forth a slate of candidates who will run against any sitting Conservative MP in Alberta who follows the Party line and votes for this measure.
The province of Alberta is the backbone of Conservative Party strength. If the Energy Trusts muster their considerable strength in Alberta to make known to Conservative MPs --in this kind of direct, immediate, 'in-your-face' electoral way -- that a vote for this measure will cost them their jobs and, thereby, cause at least some erosion in legislative support for this measure in Canada's Conservative stronghold.
I don't know how feasible a plan like this would actually be. Bleeding off a few votes here and there in Alberta ridings where Tory candidates routinely get 70% of the vote won't make any difference to the outcome on election day. However, as Francis also points out, there are plenty of places in Ontario and B.C. where an "Income Trust Spoiler" candidate could take down the sitting Tory.
The "ITS" Party, anyone?