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What Does the NDP’s Stunning Alberta Win Mean for Stephen Harper?


What Does the NDP’s Stunning Alberta Win Mean for Stephen Harper?

Ethan Cox

In a stunning turn of events Tuesday, the Alberta NDP swept to power with a majority government in Canada’s most conservative province. As the dust settles on a campaign that seems to change everything, what does this mean for the fall’s federal election?

“Friends, change has finally come to Alberta,” said premier-designate Rachel Notley in an emotional speech to hundreds of delirious supporters. “We did make a little history together tonight, didn’t we?”


Oh now, don’t cry little Kochsters! Change is a-comin’, guys, and all your millions ain’t gonna stop it! Bwahahahaha! Bwahahahaha!


I’m glad to see an NDP government in Alberta, considering the options. It’s good to see that at least they are talking about making changes that will make life better for working people, and promising to catch some more table scraps from the corporate thieves.

However, I worry about two things. The first is not what the impact of this election will be on Stephen Harper, but what the impact of this election will be on actual leftist politics in Canada. The NDP taking Alberta is a huge historal event, but as other commenters have noted, the NDP aren’t exactly a leftist party anymore. However, in the political consciousness of Canadians, they represent the working class and the left. Their being elected in the regressive conservative stronghold of the oil industry is giving a lot of people hope. And that might actually be the worst thing about the NDP. Consider, by way of analogy, the Obama administration.

They say they represent the people, and respect First Nations, and want to “responsibly manage” the tar sands. And yet they are vocally supportive of Energy East and Kidner Morgan’s Trans Mountain, which are both fiercely contested by local populations and especially First Nations. Which leads to my second concern.

What will the effect be of electing a putatively progressive government that is outspokenly in favour of fossil fuel development on perpetuating the wedge between environmentalists and unionists/classic leftists?

“Rachel Notley is no doubt a progressive, but the government she leads will seek to largely maintain the status quo while making a series of minor changes they argue are long overdue.”

Then how exactly is she progressive? How is it progressive to maintain the status quo?

I don’t expect magic fromt he NDP. But can we expect anything from them at this point? I guess time will tell.