A video circulating on Twitter has caused a stir in the online world as the Alberta election campaign draws closer to the vote on April 23.
Called "I Never Thought I'd Vote PC," the roughly two-minute YouTube video was put together by a group who is asking young Albertans to vote strategically.
"We are a group of young Albertans ... who are concerned of what our province will look like under a Wildrose government," the group said in a statement. "We got the money for this project from our friends and family, who only knew that we were trying to get young Albertans engaged to vote in this election."
With the latest polls suggesting the Wildrose Party could topple the 41-year-old Progressive Conservative dynasty, they say they would rather vote for the PCs to stop the new right-wing party from taking power.
While they express disbelief at the prospect of voting for the Tories, who are described in the video as the “gun-toting” old guard, they say they are scared of the alternative.
“If you are in a contested riding where the showdown is between Wildrose and PC, vote strategically and vote PC,” the video says.
But the backlash from the Twitter-verse has been swift.
"This 'I Never Thought I'd Vote PC,' anti-#WRP video is incredibly offensive. Who's behind it?" tweeted Diamond Isinger.
Others said it must have been funded by the PC party itself, or that the group was part of an organization against Prime Minister Stephen Harper — who is referenced as being the Wildrose's BFF (best friend forever).
"We got this project together in 48 hours, so we were not prepared for the media storm this created," said the group. "We were hoping to create a video that would speak to our peers — young and liberal Albertans who were not going to vote because they could not stomach the thought of voting PC."
They also said they didn't mean to offend anyone.
"This was a tongue in cheek satire," they said. "We must stress, we are not affiliated with any party — not funded by or organized by any party. We are simply young people who have a strong opinion."
They say their website and video speaks for itself.
But it hasn't stopped some calling for an Elections Alberta investigation into third-party advertising.
"Will Elections Alberta investigate #ineverthoughtIwouldvotePC? Looks like third party ad to me. How is this different from AMA (Alberta Medical Association) ad?" tweeted well-known political scientist Duane Bratt from Mount Royal University.