My newest article yesterday weighed in on the Alberta election and posed the question, “Could Alberta Vote Socialist?”
The answer is yes. Tonight, the people of Canada’s most conservative province have elected an NDP majority government and thus ended the Tories’ 44-year reign in power. That reign was the longest in Canadian history.
The NDP have been elected or are leading in 54 of the 87 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The Wildrose Party remains the Official Opposition have been elected or are leading in 20 seats.
The Tories, who won 61 seats in the 2012 election, have been reduced to 11 seats. It’s their worst showing since 1967.
Meanwhile, the Liberals and the Alberta Party are leading in one seat apiece.
Rachel Notley will become Alberta’s 17th Premier.
To give Americans an idea of how shocking the election of an NDP government in Alberta is; I am tempted to liken to the election of an African-American President. But even that wouldn’t do it justice.
It is my understanding that a number of university students have been elected to the provincial legislature under an NDP banner not unlike in the 2011 federal election when the NDP had a breakthrough in Quebec. But the federal NDP is the official opposition. There’s a good chance you’re going to have some 21-year olds being named cabinet ministers. I think they will be in way over their heads and, in four years time, they will be unceremoniously dumped from office.
But I must give Rachel Notley her due. She ended Canada’s longest political dynasty. Whatever the next four years brings nobody can take that away from her. Tonight the Alberta NDP is on top of the world.
UPDATE: The tally is NDP 53 seats, Wildrose 21 seats, Tories 10 seats, Liberals & Alberta Party, one seat apiece. There will be a recount in one Calgary constituency where there was a tie between the NDP and the Tory candidate. Even if the Tories win that one last night was a humilating rebuke.
Soon to be former Premier Jim Prentice not only resigned as Tory leader, but promptly resigned the seat he had just won. So a by-election will have to be called and someone will now have the unenviable task of rebuilding the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta.
Alberta is unique in Canadian political history. Once a party gets tossed from power, it has never returned. First, it was the Liberals, followed by the United Farmers of Alberta, then the Social Credit Party and, now perhaps, the Tories especially considering Wildrose did quite respectably considering their party had been in tatters a few months ago.
But right now the focus is on Rachel Notley and how the NDP will govern Alberta.
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