I don’t think I will bother live-blogging the Alberta election night. I may post my reaction to the results later.
But if these polls are to believed the Alberta PC dynasty of Premier Jim Prentice is in a heap of trouble and could be toppled by, of all parties, the NDP.
In fact, these polls are unanimous. They all predict a big win for the socialists. Honestly, I can’t wrap my head around that sort of result. It just flies in the face of all my thinking about Alberta’s electorate. Alberta has been a bedrock of conservative and free-enterprise sentiment going back decades. Moreover, this is Canada’s bastion of capitalism. This is the Oil Province, the Texas of Canada.
But the NDP are notorious for being the party of the have-not places. Any NDP win would seem to fly in the face of Alberta’s entire political history and everything that province stands for.
Keep in mind some things about Alberta political history. When change happens there, it happens not in a small fashion, but a big way. It’s characterized by governments in power for years before being thrown right out. Also, when incumbent governments lose in Alberta, they aren’t merely defeated; they are overthrown. The government party usually ends up being destroyed. When the United Farmers government lost to Social Credit in 1935, they were reduced to zero members. Social Credit then ruled for 36 years with little opposition until they lost in 1971 to Peter Lougheed; they never came back after that. Federally, the PC party dominated for years until the 1993 election when they lost all 25 of their MPs, mostly to Preston Manning’s upstart Reform party.
I wonder if we are in store tonight for another one of these huge political earthquakes that Alberta seems prone to from time to time.