After 44 years of conservative governments, the province is now under the rule of a socialist party – the NDP.
The historical demise of the Progressive Conservatives must not be ignored..
The choice of Jim Prentice as a replacement for Allison Redford, was the first mistake, because the party never change its progressive approach. Moreover, the arrogance of the Prentice Clan who presented a budget with no real cuts but instead instituted the wrong new taxes and fees, provided enough fuel for Albertans’ discontent. Then came the worse strategic mistake of recent years - an early election call when one was never needed for at least a year.
Alberta will quickly understand the consequences of the May 5th 2015 Provincial elections. Make no mistake, with several former union activists and a former communist elected; we shall see many socialist policies being implemented, and the loss of the Alberta Advantage.
With thoughts of higher taxes, and new environmental regulations, Alberta will join the other Canadian provinces under leftist rule. Alberta can expect higher unemployment in an already maligned oil industry coupled with fewer jobs due to a higher minimum wage of $15. Municipalities who have long wished for more taxation powers may get their wishes with new charters, and property and other taxes will go up.
Albertans will have to endure the results of their ballot decision for at least four years. Despite negative polls, it would be wise for conservatives to start thinking about a merger of the Wildrose and PC. However any attempt to merge will have to wait a while due to the antagonism between the two parties. It will need a Harper/Mackay coalition rather than the stupid party establishment/Prentice/Manning/Smith debacle which resulted in the demise of the Prentice Clan and the Progressive Conservative party.
Any merger should focus on conservative principles rather than social issues that have divided Alberta’s conservatives. Despite the constant media rhetoric, homophobia is not the sole domain of conservatives, as demonstrated by Deborah Drever, the NDP’s latest elected member, who now will have to sit as an independent.
As I wrote in my book Conservatives: Dead or Alive? (Amazon.com),”conservative values are about freedoms - the freedom to choose, the freedom of speech, the freedom of association and most of all economic freedom. True social values are about education, healthcare, respect for seniors and the rule of law. Conservatives should leave their egos at the door and avoid being trapped by social wedge issues set up by politically correct liberal zealots of convenience. I am optimistic about the future of conservatism, but cautious about candidates who will compromise conservative principles to gain and stay in power.” Remember ‘unity is strength’.
The elections results were a protest vote against a tired party, arrogant leader, and unprincipled progressive caucus. . Just as we cannot make lemonade without lemons, there will not be an orange crush in Alberta for too long, because there are no oranges, but bitter lemon in this scenario.