The Alberta election is in full swing now, and for the second election in a row there’s a chance (however slim) that the PCs may no longer have a majority government or indeed may even end up as Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, or less!
Certainly, there’s pressure for them to lose power. After an unimpressive budget in which the PCs included the largest tax increase in a generation and with scandal after scandal continuing to plague the high-spending PCs, the Wildrose are poised to try once more to take power. At the same time, the NDP are standing on the other side of the aisle ready to move in from the left, taking advantage of Albertans who seem as equally dissatisfied with the PCs as those on the fiscally conservative side. Indeed, recent projections show, this is anybody’s race:
Can Jim Prentice save this election and carry the PC’s past 43 years in power? He certainly has a few things on his side:
– There is of course history and perhaps momentum, which suggest Albertans are not keen for change
– The Wildrose party has been weakened considerably by the floor crossings that took place last December, in particular the departures of then leader Danielle Smith and Rob Anderson, both of whom have now found themselves defending tax increases and PC bloat after fighting vehemently against them.
– The NDP will struggle to take power from the left in a province that tends to be (outside of a few select areas/ridings) Conservative and conservative to the core.
This said, there is certainly plenty of unhappiness (if not anger) about what the PCs have been doing, about the many broken promises, and about the ever-evolving plan that seems focused only on gaining and maintaining power (and enjoying the benefits of it) rather than actually moving the province forward in a positive direction. Alberta is a long ways from the days of Ralph Klein when there was a vision and a goal (the Alberta Advantage), and has been through many, many years of PC leaders squandering that advantage with high spending and lack of savings and planning.
Interesting times ahead!