Alberta is gearing up for a provincial election this spring; by rule, it has to be done by the end of May, but given the short window of Canadian elections, they could see "the writ dropped" at any time.
This is of interest to me as a Poli-Sci geek and Canadphile for the emegence of a Tea Party-esque Wildrose Alliance Party to challange the long-ruling Conservatives, who have run the province for 52 years. In a loose analogue to folks like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann being key focal points for TPers, the Wildrose has a lady leader, former newspaper columnist Danielle Smith.
The Tories are expected to stay in power, but Wildrose is slated to come in a close second (37%-30% with the Liberals and NDP bringing up the rear at 14% and 13%). The provincial party never had the Reform-PC split that the national party had, but it seems to be hitting in the epicenter of the old Reform movement two decades late on the provincial level.
Alberta politics used to be good for a good blush every now and then courtesy of bombastic old Tory Premier Ralph Klein. His sucessors haven't been as fun to cover, but a goof in the Wildrose campaign comes close to one of those old Klein bon mots.
The graphics for a Wildrose campaign bus had a shot of Ms. Smith right above a pair of bus tires in the back that...made the tires look like a Madonna hand-me-down from one of her late-20th century personas. The Globe and Mail's cartoonist has already taken a swipe at the poor graphics team.