Socialist party wins majority in Canada’s most conservative province

Orange = NDP, Green = Wildrose, Blue = Conservative
Orange = NDP, Green = Wildrose, Blue = Conservative

This article from Reuters explains what happened.

It says:

The left-wing New Democrats won election in the Canadian province of Alberta on Tuesday, ending the 44-year run by the Progressive Conservatives amid promises to review oversight of the oil and gas sector in the home of Canada’s oil sands.

At the end of a month-long campaign, the New Democratic Party (NDP), which has never held more than 16 seats in the 87-seat provincial legislature, will lead a majority government. It held a commanding lead in early results, leading or elected in 54 seats at 9 p.m. local time while the Conservatives were ahead in just 13, according to CBC TV.

The NDP is expected to be far less accommodative to the Western Canadian province’s powerful energy industry.

NDP Premier-elect Rachel Notley has proposed reduced support for pipeline export projects and a review of oil and gas royalties in the resource-rich province, and energy shares on Canadian stock markets are expected to react negatively to her party’s victory.

The NDP had promised to hike corporate tax rates by two percentage points to 12 percent if elected, but its promise to review the amount of royalty payments due the province from oil and gas production made some investors nervous.

Alberta’s oil sands are the largest source of U.S. oil imports.

The Conservatives had won 12 straight elections, but support for rookie Premier Jim Prentice plunged during the campaign and right-wing voters split support between the Conservatives and the younger, more conservative Wildrose Party, which appeared on track to be the official opposition.

The Alberta “Progressive Conservatives” are almost as leftist as the NDP. The only real conservatives in Alberta are the Wildrose.

This Canadian Press looks at specific NDP policies:

The NDP have won a majority in Alberta. What could Alberta look like moving forward? Leader Rachel Notley campaigned on having the wealthy pay more to fund better health care and education. Here’s a look at some of the party’s key platform planks:

— A Resource Owners’ Rights Commission to review the royalties oil companies pay to the province with any amount earned above the current rates going into savings.

— A boost in the corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 and hour by 2018.

— More tax brackets on high earners than the Tories are proposing: A 12 per cent tax rate on income between $125,000 to $150,000; 13 per cent on income between $150,000 to $200,000; 14 per cent between $200,000 and $300,000 and 15 per cent over $300,000. The NDP also plans to roll back the Tory health levy.

— The creation of 2,000 long-term care spaces over four years.

— A ban both corporate and union donations to political parties.

That last one looks like a conservative policy, since big corporations and unions are both leftist. So there’s a silver lining to this cloud. I’m sorry for my Canadian friends who will have to live with this, but the mistake was made last election, when they chose the Progressive Conservatives over Wildrose. One thing is for sure, Alberta supplies a lot of our oil here, so this NDP win will raise oil prices, and it’s going to put pressure on American families. Maybe we should be drilling for our own oil?

5 thoughts on “Socialist party wins majority in Canada’s most conservative province”

  1. Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    The Wildrose were NOT all that much more conservative than the Tories; yes, they had some members who were, but their leader (till recently) was not; see my commentary from the last AB election, here.

    Albertans are not so much conservative or progressive, as they are populist, and in favour of long-term political dynasties of whatever persuasion they feel like choosing once in a while; see my chart there, for a run-down of their entire electoral history.

    I fully expect the NDP to remain in power for the next several elections, given Albertans’ political history. The ‘right’ will remain divided for some time to come, and the NDP will keep winning, until Albertans are sick of them.

    Eventually, the myth that Alberta is really that much more conservative than any other Canadian province will die, as it deserves to.

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  2. The PC’s have been offering poor options for Premier since Ralph Klein. In that leadership vote the perceived frontrunner Jim Dinning foolishly chose to stigmatize the social conservative/populist candidate Ted Morton thus ensuring that none of his supporters would support him in subsequent ballots; ensuring the weaker Ed Stelmach’s victory.

    Alison Redford effectively overthrew the ruling party by signing up faux-conservatives as members.

    And Jim Prentice was a surprising disaster to my mind as both a governor and campaigner. For example his horrendous budget and quotes such as “look in the mirror” and “math is difficult”. Ironically, his attempt to cripple the opposition resulted in not the lack of an opposition, but in an unforeseen and inexperienced outcome. If Danielle Smith hadn’t double-crossed herself she’d be Premier today: a very different result.

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      1. Brian Jean. I couldn’t say other than what I read. He was always a backbencher in Ottawa. His son died during the leadership campaign, but endured. He’s from Fort McMurray, so he’d have taken the oil industry’s interest to heart, as opposed to the signals from this new NDP government.

        The PC-Wildrose attempted merger so damaged their brand it was hard to overcome. I heard Jean was underwhelming during the debate, but campaigned well afterwards, which might explain the outcome of Official Opposition.

        All in all he seems like a decent fellow.

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