UCP crit­i­cizes NDP for fo­cus on Not­ley, but ex­pert says em­pha­sis is savvy

PressReader - BRUCE_CAROL_ROWE Channel - UCP crit­i­cizes NDP for fo­cus on Not­ley, but ex­pert says em­pha­sis is savvy
The United Con­ser­va­tive Party is crit­i­ciz­ing the Al­berta NDP for hid­ing its party name in brand­ing, but high­light­ing the lead­er­ship of Premier Rachel Not­ley is a smart move, says a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist.“We’re proudly run­ning a strong, ex­pe­ri­enced United Con­ser­va­tive team that’s ready to gov­ern. In con­trast, the Not­ley NDP is now try­ing to erase all men­tions of ‘NDP’ in their pub­lic prod­ucts,” the UCP said on so­cial me­dia on Tues­day.As the Al­berta NDP un­veils its can­di­dates on­line, brand­ing ap­pears to favour Not­ley’s name. The posts on Twit­ter also in­clude the slo­gan “fight­ing for you.”“It makes per­fect sense and it’s some­thing par­ties have done be­fore,” said Duane Bratt, a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist at Mount Royal Univer­sity. “She’s the most pop­u­lar asset that the party has.”Fo­cus­ing on a party leader’s name isn’t a new strat­egy, Bratt said.“The PCs in 1993, at the end of the Getty years, were not very pop­u­lar,” he said.“They were in a tough elec­tion, so they went from be­ing the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives to Ralph’s Team.“Some par­ties do it the other way around where they em­pha­size the party and de-em­pha­size the leader.”He said the Al­berta NDP may also be dis­tanc­ing them­selves from the fed­eral and B.C. NDP par­ties.“Peo­ple don’t re­al­ize who the NDP is,” he added. “There were can­di­dates in the last elec­tion who didn’t even have their own signs, they just had Rachel Not­ley signs.”Al­berta NDP provin­cial sec­re­tary Roari Richard­son also noted that it’s not new brand­ing. “We’ve used the Rachel Not­ley logo for a num­ber of years,” he said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day.“Ev­ery elec­tion cam­paign is dif­fer­ent but it will al­ways re­flect who we are and what our party stands for.”UCP com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Matt Sol­berg said can­di­dates are “proudly run­ning as United Con­ser­va­tives.“We’re build­ing a strong, ex­pe­ri­enced team that’s ready to gov­ern on Day 1,” he said in a state­ment.

Premier Rachel Not­ley is the best asset the NDP has, says Mount Royal Univer­sity po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist Duane Bratt.

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