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Where to From Here: Reflections on Albeta's NDP Victory.

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
We did it!!! We in Alberta managed to get rid of a PC dynasty and replace it with an NDP majority. Many people thought it was impossible
We did it!!! We in Alberta managed to get rid of a PC dynasty and replace it with an NDP majority. Many people thought it was impossible

We did it!!! We in Alberta managed to get rid of a PC dynasty and replace it with an NDP majority. Many people thought it was impossible: It was believed that Albertans were too “redneck” and too ignorant to elect a progressive Government.

The big question many are asking is: how did we do it? From my perspective there are 3 key tactics we saw implemented bythe NDP and progressives from Alberta that contributed to this victory. These tactics are as follows:

1) The party started implementing a re-branding effort a few years back after individuals from focus groups told the NDP that, even though they like NDP policies and values they wouldn't vote NDP Because they Did not seet hem as a winnable party.

2) Progressive minded come-from-aways like myself who have been here for 3 or 5 or 10 years have settled in and see Alberta as our home and have had conversations and engaged with those born in Alberta. As a result of these conversations with Albertans, two things happened: one, Albertans were able to reconnect and identify with a living memory, to a time before the petro dollar when their grandparents worked hard to build an ethos of share collectivism. Two, Albertans threw off the yoke off fear that was place on them by a 44year dynasty, namely the PC party of Alberta.

3) Unity in action. This was the most influential tactic that was implemented. During the course of the campaign a united front developed, an alliance of reformers and revolutionaries. Whether it was Marxists, Anarchists, Feminists, DINKS, Hipsters, Spiritualists, Environmentalists or members of the LGBT community, it was clear that we all had a common goal and that was to get rid of the PC dynasty.To some, such a group was too diverse to get behind one cause but we proved those people wrong.

So where do we go from here? Where will an NDP government take this province? I think it is important to not have any illusions with respect to the new Government. For me as someone who comes from Nova Scotia where the NDP was a one hit wonder because they did not listen to the people, I realize it is dangerous to have illusions of the NDP delivering us some workers' paradise; it is dangerous to suffer from Obama syndrome: a condition whereby many Americans became sycophants after Obama's election. Because nobody left of center was holding Obama's feet to the fire, he was able to act worse than Bush and get away with it.

We all must stay actively engaged in what is happening with our Government and we must all keep them honest. If not, we deserve what we get.

I think one of the most important thing that needs to be done is for Albertans to speak to the Government outside of the election period and to me that looks like a provincial commission. As a result of the failure of the Meech Lack Accord, in November of1990, the Governor General of Canada, on the advice of the Prime Minister, set up a citizen's forum on national unity, also known as the Spicer Commission. This commission heard from Canadians in town halls from coast to coast to coast

Seeing that we in alberta  have such an Urban/Rural divide with right wing parties getting most of the rural seats and left wing parties getting all the urban seats, I think it is essential for a commission to hear from Albertans by having town halls in every corner of our province. In Hearing from Albertans at town halls across this province, not only will the Government hear ideas from the people on how we can mend this urban/rural divide, the Government will also hear ideas from the people on how we want our province to be governed. Imagine!, ordinary Albertans advising our Government on how they ought to govern. Should it be any other way for the NDP, a Party who claims to be a Party of the people?


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