Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Alberta election? Forget the valium. Break out the champagne!



So how about that Alberta election?
And where is Terry Mosher (aka Aislin) when we need to be told, "OK, everybody, take a valium." Political change on this scale? Here in Canada? The last time it happened was thirty-nine years ago. November 15, 1976. That was when Quebecers elected their first Parti Quebecois government, led by Rene Levesque. Outgoing premier Robert Bourassa had counted on a boost from rescuing the recent Summer Olympics, which had run into trouble in Montreal. But his government had been plagued by scandals, and under the wily Levesque, the PQ campaigned on providing “good government.” It swept to victory by downplaying its objective: Quebec independence. Canadians across the country expressed shock that Quebecers had elected a separatist government . . . shock on a scale that we are all experiencing right now. An NDP majority government in Alberta? I never thought I would see the day. I lived for two decades in Calgary and became all too painfully aware that, thanks to our first-past-the-post electoral system, 33% of Alberta voters remained invisible. How did that unseen minority become a majority? Hubris, Nenshi, Notley, certainly. But I do think that, above all, we owe a shout-out to Danielle Smith. When she crossed the floor of the legislature, she woke the electorate to the shamelessness that had suffused Alberta politics. On second thought, forget the valium. Let's go straight to the champagne.
(Image courtesy of McCord Museum)




           

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