Alberta has ended forty-four years of conservative rule in favor of the democratic socialist NDP
UPDATE: The NDP has won its first majority government in Alberta by toppling the Progressive Conservative colossus that has dominated the province for decades.
Albertans go to the polls today and if the polls are to be believed, citizens of the oil rich province may elect the socialist leaning New Democratic Party (NDP). If so, it will put an end to 44 straight years of PC (Progressive Conservative) rule.
Let me put this in perspective for our American Readers; imagine the State of Texas, which gave us the likes of Louis Gohmert, George W. Bush, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz, elected a socialist governor. Sounds insane I know, but Alberta, also known as the province that gave us Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Nickelback and… Ted Cruz! is about to do just that.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta are nowhere near as crazy as their cowboy cousins in Texas. Still, you have to understand, I just turned forty years old and the conservatives have been in power four years prior to my birth. To find their rule finally in jeopardy by a social democratic party is utterly amazing.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley has promised to increase the corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent and hike income taxes on high-end earners. The promise seems to be resonating well with voters, even in a province traditionally hostile to taxes of any kind.
A Forum Research poll suggests more than 42% of eligible Albertans will vote for the NDP, 24% for the ultra-conservative Wildrose, and 21% for the Progressive Conservatives. Naturally, the prospect of a socialist leaning government in Alberta has awoken the conservative fear mongers across the country.
Everyone from Prime Minister Harper to the conservative leaning oil industry has said the NDP are a bunch of “amateurs” and they would be disastrous for the rest of Canada. These types of fears are largely overblown of course, Rachel Notley and the NDP are simply in the right place at the right time.
Albertans are tired of the sense of entitlement within the Conservative party that comes from decades in power. They are fed up with the huge holes in provincial revenue made by plummeting oil prices.
Notley is being propelled more by anti-PC anger than her own leadership skills and policies. She is also enjoying a vote split between both conservative parties (Wildrose & PC.) Still, for a party that has never won in the province of Alberta, any victory would be welcomed and a huge step forward.
It’s important to note that a win for the New Democratic Party of Alberta could also give a significant boost to the Federal NDP just months before the next federal election. The times may be a changing.
Updates to follow…