I live in a province that has had the same political party in charge for 44 years. That's a long time for any one party to hold government. And they haven't had a bad run, for years they were the party to get things done to make the province money, they got the province through some recessions, honestly they weren't all bad. Ralph Klein was an amazing leader, but he had a pretty transparent approach, he told it like it was and he connected with the people. Not to say that people were always happy, but the years speak for themselves, they were in power for a long time so they must have being doing something right.
Then Ralph resigned, I was new to Alberta so at first I didn't quite get it, I mean so what a politician was leaving politics big deal, open the door for the next crook. (I know they aren't all crooks and most go into it meaning well, but all the political red tape changes people) Then we had some years with a revolving door of new Premiers, and they just kept getting worse and worse. No one could fill the big shoes left by Ralph.
Fast forward to two years ago, I think, my numbers might be off but Alison Redford was the Premier. And I don't know her personally, but her behaviour in politics has left me questioning her moral compass. She played fast and loose with Alberta tax dollars, didn't do anything to balance the budget, ordered big expensive revamps to the provincial parliament building, took her kid and her kids friends on personal trips at Tax payers expenses and then told the middle class they would have to start paying more taxes, but corporations were given a by. It left a terrible taste in Alberta voters and as a province we called for her resignation and that she pay back her exuberant expenses she charged to the voters that had nothing to do with politics.
Redford then resigned, Jim Prentice took over. Poor guy, really his political parties reputation was left in shambles and he was to come in and be the next Ralph. Again big shoes. He started off well, reversed some decisions Redford had tried to put in place but Alberta was still struggling with a deficit budget, it wasn't looking good. Then Prentice made a comment that really got under the skin of many voters, in talking about the financial disaster Alberta was facing Prentice commented that "Albertans should look in the mirror" if they wanted to know who was at fault for this. EXCUSE ME!! I did not mismanage millions of dollars, take unnecessary trips for me and my children at the expense of the tax payers. I did not look at the surplus we had in the bank as my own personal fund, so no Mr. Prentice I would not look in the mirror and shoulder this blame, besides that I NEVER voted for you!! EVER....
So then Prentice called an election after delivering a devastating budget that had no room for schools to grow, which they were doing, saw and increased tax for the middle class, no corporation tax, bad news for nurses and even though over the last five years MLAs had gotten about 30% in raises they only gave back 5%. And Prentice was asking teachers to give up their promised 2% increase after taking nothing for the last 2 years. Meaning he wanted them to give up 7.5% in earnings based on the raise in Cost of Living Allowance. Yeah good one, call an election!!
Albertans were pissed, we were tired of the PC rule, we wanted change. Now not everyone wanted to change, and many people were nervous about the other political parties, I mean no party has a really strong track record for doing everything right. How can you it's impossible to please 100% of the people. If you did that you'd be a monarch because they would be happy to give away their rights and just let you make decisions, but that's not likely to happen in a country that prides itself on its political state.
So the results are in, and it looks like we are an orange province now, meaning the New Democratic Party is in. I grew up in a province that in my younger years was generally NDP, I share a lot of the socialist views but I try to be a little more balanced...
People are terrified, they keep saying what about what happened in BC, or Ontario. Or they are against this or that. I do find that when people aren't happy with the political power they become more vocal and you learn a lot about political views of your friends. I'm happy that Alberta brought in a change, and NDP is a good change where Wildrose would have been more of the same.
Ok I'll clarify that last statement. Wildrose is a different political party than the PC party, but their views are pretty much in line with each other, that's why many of the Wildrose MLAs felt they could cross the floor to become PC MLAs. To bolster the PC party and support Jim Prentice, for some of them it worked but for Danielle Smith well she resigned and left after losing her seat. Voting in MLAs has less to do with the person and more to do with the political party platform. So Wildrose is just a different branch of the PC party in my opinion.
NDP is way over on the other side though from PC so it could be a drastic change to Alberta. If you believe all the hype on social media it could be the worst thing for Alberta and all the Saskatchewan transplants (I being one of them) are heading home on the next train! But I am a firm believe of waiting it out. My dad taught me to wait it out, if you can wait out stocks you will be ok in the long run don't panic on the fluctuation. So I hold the same view for politics, at the end of the day it's four years, then it will be time for a new election! I think I'll wait to see what the NDP does with the budget and taxes and then I'll reassess this new political power in my province. Maybe we all can, but if you are seriously put out, make sure you contact your MLAs and start letting your voice be heard, venting it on Facebook is not the platform to do it and expect anything to be done about it.