THUNDER BAY – Alberta has a history of making history in politics. Did you know that Alberta has never re-elected a provincial party after defeating it in an election.
In 1905, Albertans choose the Liberal Party as their first election. From 1905 until 1921, the Liberals held a dominating dynasty.
In 1921, Albertans swept the Liberals out of office, electing the United Farmers of Alberta into Power.
The UFA ruled the province until 1935 when they were swept out of power. Today the UFA still exists, but is a farm co-op where Albertan buy diesel fuel, barbed wire and farm supplies.
Social Credit came out of the political wilderness to take over Alberta’s political leadership and held power until 1971, when the Progressive Conservatives swept the Social Credit out of office.
Today the Progressive Conservatives are in the fight for their political lives.
The possible dragon slayer is the Alberta New Democrats. If on May 5th if the polls hold true, Progressive Conservative Premier Jim Prentice will have led the Progressive Conservatives to a defeat that only a few years ago would have never been one people would have believed.
In the last Alberta provincial election, it looked like the writing was on the wall for the Progressive Conservatives. Albertan looked as if they were going to elect a new Wildrose government.
Daniel Smith, the then leader of the Wildrose was however able to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in the last days of the campaign.
So what is causing Albertans to take a serious look, and appear ready to shift to the New Democrats?
Perhaps it is simply that over time, the Progressive Conservatives have offended more people than they have pleased. For over 15 years, that has been the feeling of a large and apparently growing number of Albertans.
What potential implications would a New Democrat government mean federally for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives?
That is completely open to speculation. In Alberta over the past thirty years, the Progressive Conservatives went from dominating the province to political obscurity.
If on Tuesday Alberta voters choose a New Democratic government, one can be certain political pundits, and strategists will be burning the midnight oil and grinding gears to figure out what happened and what it will mean.
Who ever said politics isn’t interesting?