Cross Country Checkup

What's your reaction to the Alberta election?

Alberta about-face: Never before did results so widely predicted, catch everyone by surprise. Forty-four years of Tory rule is over. Six months ago nobody imagined the NDP would emerge with such a stunning victory. Your thoughts on the Alberta election?
Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice and New Democratic Party leader Rachel Notley in the leaders' debate. (The Canadian Press)

Alberta turn-around: Never before did results so widely predicted, catch everyone by surprise. Forty-four years of Tory rule is over. Six months ago nobody imagined the NDP would emerge with such a stunning victory.
What are your thoughts on the Alberta election?


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INTRODUCTION

It's not often that one party endures as long in power as the Progressive Conservatives did in Alberta. Forty-four years seems like an impossible reign in democratic politics anywhere. But when such an edifice finally crumbles, it deserves the term historic. That's what this week's victory of Rachel Notley's New Democratic Party is ...historic. Six months ago nobody imagined the NDP would emerge with such a stunning victory. From fourth party in the legislature to a majority government.

Some say Albertans were fed up with the Tories and disappointed with its new leader Jim Prentice. He arrived back in Alberta annointed to lift the party from the mire generated by the failure and fall of the previous leader, Alison Redford. But Mr. Prentice stumbled a couple times: the surprise merger attempt with the Wildrose opposition party ...and the bad news budget which raised taxes for everyone in the province, except corporations.  

Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith might have reaped the benefit of such disappointment had she not jumped ship. Rachel Notley represented a new face with strong political credentials and coming from a family with political history in the province. With an inexperienced slate of candidates, Ms. Notley nevertheless presented the most credible alternative for those who wanted to vote anyone but PC. Some said it happened because a new Alberta has been slowly growing eager to shed its past... a more progressive Alberta, keen to strike a different direction.

Was the NDP victory born from hope for a radically new direction in Alberta politics? Or, is it a house cleaning by a province tired of being governed by a party that has too long reeked of entitlement?  Is it a risk for Albertans whose oil-dependent economy has been shrinking?

Is the rise of the NDP in Alberta in the same vein as other Prairie NDP successes in governing where a kind of Prairie pragmatism takes precedence over more ideological considerations?

What does this victory mean - if anything - for federal politics?

Our question today: "What are your thoughts on the Alberta election?"

I'm Rex Murphy  ...on CBC Radio One ...and on Sirius XM, satellite radio channel 169 ...this is Cross Country Checkup.


GUESTS

Kathleen Petty
Executive producer of CBC news in Calgary
Twitter: @kathleen_petty

Peter Stockland
Publisher Convivium magazine, former editor-in-chief of the Montreal Gazette, former editorial page editor of the Calgary Herald.
Twitter: @stockland_peter

Anthony Sayers
Policial Science Professor, University of Calgary and author of "Parties, Candidates and Campaigns in Canadian Elections" and the Canadian Elections Database.

Janice MacKinnon
Former Finance Minister of Saskatchewan, now Professor of History and Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.


LINKS

CBC.ca



National Post



Globe and Mail



​Macleans



Calgary Herald



Edmonton Journal


Ottawa Citizen



Toronto Star



Cardus


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