The Progressive Conservative (PC) party of Alberta governed the province for 44 years. It seems that on Tuesday the 5th of May 2015, this reign may be cut short. Either they may form a minority government or be relegated to being the opposition. This state of affairs should not be a surprise to anybody who follows politics.
The slow disappearance of conservatism in Alberta started when Ralph Klein retired. In a series of leadership races, first they elected Ed Stelmach, the man who gave us the ‘royalty review’, which devastated the oil patch. Not having learned their lesson, Alberta PCs used the same electoral system to elect Allison Redford, who many believed was strongly supported by the Teachers’ Union to achieve her ascent from third place to become the leader. In a series of bad judgement and extravagant provincial and personal expenditures, Redford found herself in no position to lead the party as the Wildrose Party made inroads across Alberta..
Disgraced, Redford had to resign. Unfortunately the establishment decided to reach for a saviour in Jim Prentice.. Once again Alberta conservatives showed how they did not understand the difference between a progressive and a conservative. There is no such thing as a progressive conservative, this label is an oxymoron. In effect a Progressive Conservative is a liberal in disguise. Forgetting that Prentice was more a progressive than a conservative, the party chose Prentice instead of Ric McIver a proven true conservative.
But the most egregious event was yet to happen. Danielle Smith the leader of the Wildrose Party and her acolytes, in one of the greatest betrayal in political history, decided to jump ship and join the PCs - a decision even worse than the betrayal at the Federal level by Belinda Stronach and Scot Brison..
Smith had been riding high in the polls. Yet impatient, and ill-advised by members of the PC establishment, she decided to navigate into the trouble waters of disloyalty. She paid the price and was not chosen by her former constituents to represent the PC.
Prentice, the saviour then produced one of the most leftist budgets seen in recent years. Reminiscent of the Getty years, he chose to amend the flat tax policy, charge a new health premium that did not go to Healthcare but rather to general revenues. He refused to make necessary cuts to the budget and caved to the unions, for at least after the elections; an election that was not supposed to be called until 2016. In effect he broke every single promise he made to become the PC leader and move the party further to the left.
Remember a move to the centre by a conservative, is always a move to the left. While I remain skeptical about polls, the latest ones show an NDP lead, with Wildrose in second place and PCs in third. The only winners in this scenario are the closet liberals of the media, who have for years been touting a progressive government and policies for Alberta.
Before you vote make sure you understand the policies presented by each Party. Consider that a minority government lead by any party will result in progressive policies based on compromise. The Alberta Advantage is now truly dead thanks to the Prentice Clan (PC).