Wednesday, May 6, 2015

10 ideas about NDP victory in Alberta

I'm a 36 year old Albertan and I've never experienced a change in provincial government... until last night.

The NDP led by Rachel Notley displaced a tired and corrupt 44 year old Progressive Conservative government.

Here are 10 ideas about the NDP victory in Alberta:

1. Change is healthy
44 years under the same government is a long time. Many of the newly elected NDP MLAs are inexperienced and that's ok. For too long MLAs have been doing things right without doing the right things.
2. Income Inequality Matters
We know that income inequality in Alberta is widening and the middle class is shrinking. When wealth is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, politics becomes more and more polarized. Some equality is important because if inequality grows too wide, the poor come after the wealthy with pitchforks. 
3.  Everything is impossible until it happens
Nothing good comes from fatalism. Democracy is built on dissent and honest dialogue. Alberta does not belong to any single political party or ideology -- Alberta belongs to Albertans.
4.  Jim Prentice's true intentions revealed
Many said that Prentice only returned to use Alberta as a political stepping stone and his resignation as leader and MLA before the ballots were all counted proves them right. Now Albertans are stuck with the bill for another by-election.
5.  Hope-mongering > Fear-mongering
We are all better off voting for something we believe in rather than strategically voting in a way that blocks something we don't like. We are all better off when campaigns are run on hope rather than fear.
6. Elitism leads to disconnection
Entitlements and elitism blinded the PCs as they slowly became more and more disconnected and irrelevant to Albertans. After Prentice was serenaded and sold as the savour of the PC party, he hand-picked and anointed cabinet ministers and meddled in candidate nominations. It all looked good on paper but failed miserably where it mattered most.
7. Alberta isn't a business -- we are a democracy
The economy is important, no doubt about it. However, Alberta doesn't hire a CEO, we elect MLAs to represent us in the Legislature. Government needs to be for Main Street not Wall Street.
8. Politics done differently?
What if David Swann and Greg Clark were offered cabinet positions?
9. An education minister and health minister who knows something about education and health?
Albertans have had a revolving door for education minister for too long. It would be refreshing to see someone like Deron Bilous or Sarah Hoffman as education minister. What if the Alberta government stopped ignoring professional organizations like the Alberta Teachers' Association and Alberta Medical Association and collaborated with them?
10. Wildrose on the right, NDP on the left, Alberta Party in the middle?
Some Albertans may not feel comfortable with the Wildrose or the NDP. With the Liberals in steady decline and the PCs in purgatory, Greg Clark and the Alberta Party's momentum may pick up as more and more Albertans seek out a moderate alternative.
I am not fearful of all this change -- I find myself hopeful and optimistic.

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