Like the filthy Augean Stables in the myth of Hercules, Alberta’s Legislature hasn’t been mucked out in more than 40 years. New polls today suggest that could change with a thunderclap next week — all showing the NDP with a double-digit lead over both the PC and Wildrose parties.
Polls are a measurement in a particular moment in time, not a prediction of the future. And the NDP vote may not be “efficient” — winning Edmonton seats by high margins won’t help in Calgary or the rural parts. But if Albertans don’t blink, they’re looking at an NDP minority government — the first time ever for Alberta.
It’s possible that Albertans will pull back from the brink. That’s what Kim Campbell hoped in 1993 — the PC slogan for the final days of that disastrous campaign was “think twice.” As in, two PCs: electing only Jean Charest from Quebec and Elsie Wayne from New Brunswick.
Earlier this week I took at look at some of the filler candidates that the NDP pressed into service weeks or months ago when their chances of winning were considered negligible — joke candidates, students, place-holders Now many of them will have to drop out of school to be MLAs or even cabinet ministers. Get ready for more accidental legislators, like lucky Ruth-Ellen Brosseau, aka Vegas.
The disgust with the PC party isn’t limited to the most wasteful, high-taxing, high-deficit budget in Alberta history. It’s also the corruption and trickery. Look at this video, and tell me that Alberta isn’t run by an insider clique of back-scratchers.
Jim Prentice was always a Red Tory federally, but his budget contains more than 50 tax hikes. Really — would the NDP do any worse? They almost certainly couldn’t be as complacent and entitled.
Last night I tweeted my true feelings: if my two choices were between the NDP and the PCs, hand to God I’d vote NDP. Between the honest socialists and the corrupt socialists, I’ll go for the honest socialists.
That tweet was met with glee by NDPers, who were convinced it was a sign of the Apocalypse — if an Alberta chauvinist like me endorsed the NDP, surely their time had come!
Sorry to disappoint, but no. Because there is another choice: the Wildrose Party. Prentice and Danielle Smith tried to kill it and leave it for dead, but under Brian Jean’s surprising leadership, it has stabilized and run a respectable campaign.
Albertans want change — many enough to toy with socialists who would threaten the Alberta Advantage. But in the Wildrose Party they can find both: the ability to throw the bums out, but not to throw out the economic miracle of Alberta at the same time.
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