05.05.2015 10:43 PM

Math is difficult: Stephen and Justin should be concerned

But mainly Justin.

The party of Peter Lougheed in third place: never thought I’d live to see that. Although some of us were rash enough to predict it.

(Oh, and all my Calgary high school teachers who called me a socialist? Suck it.)

Somewhere, Alison Redford and Danielle Smith are laughing.


  1. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Doesn’t mean a thing federally.

    Had Danielle Smith stuck to her guns, she’d have won a whopping majority tonight. Instead, her and Prentice got waaaaay too cute by half, and pissed off a helluva lot of Albertans.

    This will be a one term government, with a WRP majority to follow.

    But in the mean time, the NDP will be a literal wrecking ball on the province’s economy.

    Unfortunately, the rest of Canada will suffer for it, as these Dippers do their level best to reduce the province to have-not status and put Alberta on the federal equalization dole…just like they did for BC, and everywhere else they ever governed.

    But maybe that’s a lesson not just Albertans, but the rest of Canada needs to experience.

    • edward nuff says:

      you remind me of the black knight in the Monte Python skit after his legs are cut off “just a flesh wound, really just a flesh wound.”

    • smelter rat says:

      Hahahaha! Go back to bed, Al.

    • DonW says:

      Dear Al in Cranbrook: Do facts matter? If so, please prove your “wrecking ball” and “have-not status” slurs by referring to the history of NDP provincial governments in Canada. If facts don’t matter then proceed with your creative writing. You might comment on the rumours that Elvis is alive and well and living on the Moon.

  2. Kelly says:

    What? Is that the sound of Stephen Harper kicking another hole in the wall?

  3. Matt from Ottawa says:

    This is how I see it..

    -It will re-affirm the NDP in QC, especially considering they might see this as a connection and ally to Alberta for those sweet sweet transfer payments.
    -Not too bad for Harper in Alberta, he might gain support for the balance of power aspect that you see happens in Ontario. Some pick up for NDP, LPC still nonexistent
    – As for Ontario, I think more of the urban Toronto vote will opt for “Substance over Style” rather than Trudeau’s “Style over Substance” image. And the suburban vote will go to PCs due to the balance of power aspect
    – I think more (but not necessarily all by any means) of the protest votes might go to Mulcair instead of automatically defaulting to the LPC.
    Overall, I think Mulcair is feeling good, Harper is indifferent and Trudeau’s braintrust is shitting the proverbial bricks not bc of gains in AB but the fact that the NDP is becoming a legitimate option to the progressive vote

    Just my opinion

    • cgh says:

      Actually this is going to create another split in the federal NDP. Mulcair and Co. are pretty clear on their dour views of Alberta’s principal industry, something which Notley is not going to support at all. If Notley does support the federal NDP anti-oil sands position, the provincial NDP honeymoon created last night will implode about one minute later. And the Wild Rose will be grinning with big, toothy smiles. Where was Brian Jean elected?

      One way or another, Rachel Notley’s position is not easy. She needs to rein in Alberta’s budget deficit. Introducing a sales tax would be an absolute political third rail. She can’t really touch resource royalties; that already destroyed immediately the career of one PC Alberta Premier. And the unions are going to be expecting baksheesh for their support, so trimming the public sector as Prentice suggested doing in his stillborn budget is probably not on either. That doesn’t leave much except raising personal and corporate income taxes (again a measure in Prentice’s budget on the personal side). I suspect that if Notley wants to be more than a one-term wonder, her budgets are going to look a lot like the PCs of the past decade.

      You should also remember that Alberta has never voted federally for a Quebec leader, not even once. What Quebec supports, Alberta opposes, and vice-versa. In my view, the prospect of any federal Liberal or NDP breakthrough in the next election just tanked.

      There’s also something else ominous for Trudeau. Last night pretty much confirmed the extinction of the provincial Liberals in Alberta. So the question becomes how much of the remnants of the provincial organization drifts off to the NDP.

      No, the person who is happiest from last night is Brad Wall. Saskatchewan’s oil sector competitor just took a hit.

      • cgh says:

        True enough, Les. And it needs to be remembered that Alberta was the beginning of the breakup of the PCs federally because of it. The correction regarding Mulroney doesn’t affect the rest of my argument. The federal NDP and federal Libs remain about as unpopular as it’s possible to be in Alberta.

        • DonW says:

          cgh:Last night’s results also support your argument. 40.7% of the province voted NDP; 52% voted for right wing parties

        • cgh says:

          By-elections mean virtually nothing. But even you can’t deny that the Liberal Party is practically extinct in Alberta after last night.

    • Gayle says:

      Do you really think Quebec looks at Alberta as a province that gives them money via transfer payments? Because, of course, despite the way many of my fellow Albertans like to characterize it, that is NOT how transfer payments work.

  4. Matt says:

    So, can we now start calling Prentice The Jim Reaper?

    Mulcair can get a lot of mileage out of this. The NDP took down the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta, the Conservative heartland of Canada. He can claim that only the NDP can do the same to Harper.

    Some left leaning voters still on the fence about who to vote for might be swayed by this, but will tonight’s result really cause people to jump ship from Team Trudeau to Team Mulcair?

    I wasn’t really paying attention to the election so what do you think went wrong? Did Notley really run that strong a campaign? Did Prentice really run that shitty a campaign?

    Or with his budget and accepting the Wild Rose defectors did, he lose this thing before it even got started?

    Was a short campaign a mistake? Should there even have been a campaign given he still had what, a couple years before needing to call an election?

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Being a corporate stooge (lets tax everyone except corporations, really?) and “Just Visiting Alberta” (wow, he squeezed that speech in for the Red Eye back to Toronto) and arrogance did Prentice in.

      Harper should be concerned if either the first or third stick on him.

      Trudeau should be concerned if the latter or WK’s “Just Visiting the Middle Class” sticks to him.

      Mulcair is none, just angry. If he is angry for us or for the right reasons, he wins.

    • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

      The vote on the right was split. Just as it is for the left federally.

  5. Jon Adams says:

    On the topic of famous last words:

    “Alberta is not an NDP province.” – Jim Prentice, April 24, 2015.


  6. Corey says:

    Just two problems linking provincial/federal here: Thomas Mulcair is no Rachel Notley… and Stephen Harper is no Jim Prentice

    • Gayle says:

      Unlike some provincial elections, Mulcair was not invited in to campaign on behalf of the NDP. It would have definitely hurt he campaign if he had.

  7. monkey says:

    Until two weeks ago, I would have said an NDP win was crazy, but yet it happened. I wonder though if the PCs and WRP will merge as the two together got over 50% of the popular vote while at the same time the NDP did what hasn’t been done federally, unite progressives under a single banner. So interesting times, although it will be Ontario not Alberta that will determine the next election and with the bad memories of the Rae era not sure it will be that easy for the NDP to win in Ontario. Never mind in Alberta, the right is united federally so while I could definitely see the NDP winning more seats in Edmonton, I would be surprised if they gain in Calgary or Rural Alberta.

  8. debs says:

    amazing!!! I am really pleased and I hope Harper is crying himself to sleep tonight:)

  9. gyor says:

    LMFAO, your best post ever.

  10. HarryR says:

    Gotta hand it to you, Mr K! I was inclined to respond to your prophesy with a long bwa-ha-ha but you sure had your finger on the pulse of my AB!

  11. Mervyn Norton says:

    Some lessons from the historic Alberta election:
    1) Voters sometimes collectively decide they do deserve better government, and fearmongering doesn’t always work.
    2) Campaigns matter, especially when good performances contrast with bad performances, and polls can be accurate.
    3) Where parties (on the right or left) might see their support split, voters can decide to split or jump ship to a winner.
    At the federal level, Harper should fear the first lesson, while Mulcair and Trudeau both face the uncertainty of the third.

  12. Gaspar dela Nuit says:

    The Alberta populace really had no other viable voting choice than the NDP led by the convincing leadership of Notley …. the rest were political trash.

    Now we await the federal election to see if Albertans will also put their welfare into the hands of NDP/NPD leader Thomas Mulcair of Quebec.

    Harper re Maritimes: “…a culture of defeat…”

    Mulcair re Alberta: “…a Dutch Disease…”

    Trudeau re Canada: “… Quebecers are better because…”

    It seems so easy for politicians to stick their foot(s) into political poop patties ….lol

  13. nez1 says:

    Holy. F5$%ing Sh%t!
    Shoulda known it, though…as I walked into the polls, my Ipod shuffled to Husker Du: ”New Day Rising” Talk about your omens…
    and good ol’ Tulk, et.al, can suck it, too!

  14. ottawacon says:

    Danielle Smith is not looking particularly smart right now, but that deal has hurt the PCs more than Wildrose.

  15. ian turnbull says:

    Harper will walk a fine line balancing the Liberals against the NDP. His biggest worry would be if there is a tipping point pushing all the anti Harper votes to one side. Up until 6 months ago I suspect his fear was the risk of things tipping to the Liberals. Between Justin’s performance, Mulcair’s ability to hold on to Quebec and now Alberta I suspect his biggest fear is that it now tips to other way.

  16. Otieno says:

    “Doesn’t mean a thing federally” is as much of an overstatement as “this is a game changer”. I think the truth lies somewhere in between. If you think Harper isn’t at least *concerned* about going into the next election without the help of a friendly conservative government (and all the get-out-the-vote power being in government entails) you’re crazy.

    • Otieno says:

      …not to mention that having a provincial NDP government (that is still in its honeymoon period) in power during a federal election would certainly make the idea of a federal NDP option in Ottawa less scary for Albertans.

  17. Steve T says:

    For the sake of the good people of Alberta, I hope their NDP learns from the mistakes of the NDP here in Manitoba.

    The latest budget from the Manitoba NDP is a total embarrassment, and encapsulates every stereotype about hardcore socialists. It wasn’t this way in the early years of our NDP, but Selinger is no Doer.

    • smelter rat says:

      I’ll agree with the comparison, but disagree on the budget, they seem to be getting some traction from it.

      • Steve T says:

        The only traction they are getting is from the special interest groups being enriched by the budget. Others, including economists, average citizens, and pretty much the entire business community, feel the Manitoba deficit budget (in which the NDP broke it’s own law, just like they did with the PST law) is a disaster.

  18. Richard Besserer says:

    If Alison and Danielle are laughing, it may be to stop themselves crying.

    Somewhere it’s Rachel’s father who’s smiling.

    Good luck to Alberta’s new government and Rachel Notley, Alberta’s next premier.

    The real question now is what becomes of the PCs. Opposition wasn’t kind to the Socreds. How many more polls till the PCs are shut out?

  19. gyor says:

    This is a potentially a disaster for Trudeau, it could boost Quebecers confedience in the NDP boosting the NDPs numbers in the province, the NDPs numbers in Alberta will likely go up at least a bit, and when combined.with the immence unpopularity of Wynne’s hydro privatization in Ontario, could see a rise for the NDP in Ontario.

    Also all it takes is for Liberals to be in 3rd again for the shine to.be off Trudeau and for the Liberals to enter a death spiral.

  20. Joe says:

    I suspect the biggest problem PM Harper is going to have is the loss of revenue from Alberta as the NDP works its magic. It has happened in every other province that voted socialist in Canadian history. In fact one of the reasons Alberta has such a large oil and gas sector is because Saskatchewan voted NDP decades ago. When I was very young my Alberta born and raised uncle and his family lived and worked in the oilpatch in southeast Saskatchewan. The NDP were elected and within 6 months my uncle had moved to Alberta since the ‘patch’ shut down in Saskatchewan. I lived in Saskatchewan when the NDP were in power back in the nineties. We used to joke that the most common sign in the store fronts were ‘For Lease’ and ‘For Sale’. We moved to Alberta and returned in 2013 for a visit. Saskatoon had changed so much I had difficulty finding where my old office had stood.

  21. Michael says:

    This will be the first and last time that Alberta elects an NDP government. The right will unite in the next election, and the NDP will be decimated forever in Alberta just like in Ontario.

    • Richard Besserer says:

      Who said all the current PC voters will go to WR? There are plenty of Red Tories in the Alberta PC party. Many of those may switch to the NDP, leaving Alberta with a competitive two-party system, more like Saskatchewan’s or BC’s.

      What is clear is that Wildrose’s best days are still ahead of them—they actually picked up seats. The PC’s? Opposition wasn’t kind to the Socreds and won’t be kind to the PCs. I dare say they’re done as a party of government, and it may be less a matter of if they’ll fade away, but how quickly.

      Prentice’s resigning as leader and announcing we would not even take his seat is a bad sign. Doing it quickly enough that he could have caught the last flight back east? Really bad sign.

      Bay Street taught him to cut losses quickly, I’ll give him that, but if he’s dumping his stock so soon (as opposed to buying the dip, as it were, like Pierre-Karl Peladeau with the Parti Quebecois), the PC’s future must be pretty bleak.

  22. Priyesh says:

    The PCs have been running a province where there may as well be MONEY IN THE SAND. Oil is money. Norway was lucky enough to have an oil supply too, and has billions of dollars saved.

    Alberta has a huge deficit and NOTHING saved. Not a damn penny.

    But the NDP wants to raise the corporate tax rate 2%, so they’re tied with the highest rate in Canada. And it’s the NDP who is gonna wreck the economy?

    With messages like that, it’s no wonder the Conservatives lost.

    • Priyesh says:

      12% will be tied with the *lowest rate in Canada. (edit)

    • Richard Besserer says:

      Fun fact—Norway was able to save its oil money because it pays for its welfare state with tax money, not oil revenues. Alberta can’t have it both ways, under any government.

      Who knows? If the NDP can make Alberta the Norway of Canada, and not its Texas, that will probably be a good thing.

  23. eric weiss says:

    Sorry to burst a bunch of eastern left leaning bubbles, but this won’t have much of an effect federally.

    1. Notley is an Albertan. People here trust her. Mulcair is just another in a long line of eastern politicians who bash Alberta and the tar sands for quick easy votes in Quebec and Ontario. Even Notley distanced herself from Mulcair during the election. Mulcair’s name s mud here.

    2. NDP won with 40.6. PC and WRP had 52% combined. This is still a predominately conservative province. The CPC doesn’t have to worry about a vote split federally.

    3. This is a throw the bums out moment, not an ideological shift. The PCs had to go. After Notley mopped the floor with her competition during the leaders debate it was apparent that she was the best choice to do it.

    4. Notley knows where her bread is buttered and wants to keep the energy sector viable. The CPC is the only party federally not viewed as being openly hostile to the energy sector. The other parties may not be either, but for the most part we don’t trust them. NEP and Dutch Disease won’t be forgotten any time soon.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a one term experiment. Expect the remnants of the PCs to abandon ship and head to WRP. There will be no formal merger, just rats leaving a sinking ship. PCs are done. With only one right wing party to run against, it will be a lot tougher to win next time.

    Watch the polls in the run up to the election. The NDP and LPC won’t gain any ground on the CPC in Alberta.

    • Richard Besserer says:

      You have a point—we’ll probably never know how it might have turned out had there either been a united right or an instant runoff system where a third-place candidate’s voters could transfer to their second choice (PC to WR or vice versa). But there would have been a massive swing towards the NDP under any honest electoral system.

      It’s not clear how much instant runoff would have helped the PCs this time. Many redder Tories might not have made WR their second choice. Many WR voters might have made throwing out the Tories a higher priority than stopping the NDP.

      • eric weiss says:

        The NDP definitely benefitted from people leaving the LPA in droves and more than a few red tories such as myself who had enough of the PCs. If the LPA was a viable alternative to getting rid of them, they would have been my first choice, as I’ve swung between them and the PCs most of my adult life. But I have no loyalty to them or any other party.

    • Matt says:

      No question the NDP benefited from a split right leaning vote, as Chretien did and Harper does with the left leaning vote now, but in our system, popular vote share means nothing.

      Parties have won government while having a smaller popular vote percentage than the party that formed the opposition.

      • eric weiss says:

        Our first past the post system is ridiculous. And unlike most people, I don’t complain about it only when my party loses.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        NDP – 40.6% of popular vote

        Wild Rose plus PC – 52% of popular vote.

        Voter turnout – 50%

  24. edward nuff says:

    yes. you have to swallow.

  25. Ted H says:

    Very real and admirable words Les, good for you.

  26. sezme says:

    So if Alberta can boot the PCs after 44 years (this has nothing to do with politics, but indulge me) perhaps the Maple Leafs can win the Stanley Cup in my lifetime!

    And back on point, I’d say this provides a large boost to Mulcair’s NDP, not necessarily in providing federal seats in Alberta, but in proving that the NDP can indeed be a viable choice for government, even in the the most ostensibly conservative province. In other words, a boost for the NDP everywhere that the LPC is a contender.

  27. Niall says:

    Hi WK.com

    A few thoughts from an ex-Ontarian, current Manitoban, and philosophically libertarian conservative.

    The big paralell for yesterday’s historical (!) is with the Bob Rae / David Peterson upset (BTW I voted for Rae):
    > sleazy, cynical (fear mongering) incumbent (who could have been considered a chronological extension of the Bill Davis Tories)
    > poss. of ‘lets give these other guys a chance: they can’t be worse’

    > no recession; reasonable economic fundamentals
    > tax headroom, if req’d

    Here what I see WRT the three fed. parties:
    Cons: 7/10
    > some concern fr. the Union/NDP ‘vote machine’
    > some hope that the AB NDP will struggle with (lets be honest) some of the twits who are now elected.
    Libs: 5/10
    > fear of a coalescing around Fed. NDP (as the only serious option: TrueDope being a foppish dilettante)
    NDP: 9/10
    > little downside: New (Pragmatic?) Premier; should solidify QC, (and even ON, MB!) NDP votes
    > angst about Phil. differences between sensible Dippers, and their Fruitcake brethren (this was one reason Selinger was almost (50.1%) booted out of the Big Chair here in MB

    Anyway, goodluck out in ‘Wildrose’ Country 😉

    Niall from Winnipeg

    • cgh says:

      There’s one big downside, Niall. There’s a huge split between the federal NDP and Alberta writ large over oil and natural resources policy. That’s a divide which Notley is going to find impossible to bridge; so it’s one side of the policy chasm or another. The federal NDP already have splits enough across the country with the Sherbrooke Declaration.

  28. lance mclean says:

    I live here and was surprised. I am conservative and voted WRP as I was in a riding of one of the floor crossers and wanted him gone. I hate it when any member of a goverment changes stripes, that is not who the people voted for. I am not too concerned with this gov’t. We are in a bust time here and once she sees the real books she will have to be a bit “conservative” in her approach. Change is good and she knows that but it cuts both ways, she has one term to get it right as I doubt she would get another if she blows it. As the poster above noted, I think WRP and the PCs will be one party again at the next election. I have to admit I am happy to see the PCs go and Prentice’s resignation just showed that he was only here to be premiere then try for Harpers job once available. Since that ship has sailed he sees no reason to be a MLA. Those are the types of people who were or are in Alberta’s PC party, glad they got the boot.

  29. James Smith says:

    As a former Calgarian, the ROC have the wrong idea of Alberta. Even under the SoCred there’s a progressive side to the province and they coalesced around Ms Notley who seems to have run a good campaign. But let’s face it, Alta hasn’t had a good government since Peter Lougheed and the last 3 premiers have been a disaster.

    • eric weiss says:

      Notley’s campaign was pretty much flawless. Centrist, populist, kept the fringe lunatics in her party under control, just enough policy to keep her base engaged, and not scare away middle of the road voters.

  30. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Congratulations on calling it! I was wrong and missed the boat entirely…

    So Mulcair did not campaign. Hum, what about Justin?

  31. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    Great crystal ball work on the election results.

    Here is my crystal balln’ for the next four years in Alberta.

    Year one:
    – increase in corporate taxes and royalty rates
    – doesn’t realize energy companies don’t pay a lot of tax with oil below $100 and gas below $4
    – those that can, move capex dollars to Sask and BC, those that can’t curtail their budgets
    – brunt of tax increase felt by non-energy companies
    – overall revenue base declines
    – pubic sector pay increases despite real decline in everyone else’s income

    Year two:
    – new environmental regulations
    – further stifles the still reeling energy industry
    – climate still changes

    Year three:
    – sales tax
    – with revenues declining and deficits ballooning, only option remaining
    – personal spending scandal
    – career public sector or union types can never help themselves if they the get their hands on the purse strings. it’s not like the world is getting less entitled. See Redford, Allison.

    Year four:

    Nearly everyone is worse off from the former $million/year oil and gas CEO to the former $20/hr Fort Mac Tim Horton’s coffee guy. The only people better off are six-figure bureaucrats in Edmonton. The previous mass infux of Easterners return home with their “lefter” than average votes. Whichever party survives the inevitable PC/WRP Thunderdome wins 60 seats and the NDP is reduced to only holding Edmonton.

  32. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    Great crystal ball work on the election results.

    Here is my crystal balln’ for the next four years in Alberta.

    Year one:
    – increase in corporate taxes and royalty rates
    – doesn’t realize energy companies don’t pay a lot of tax with oil below $100 and gas below $4
    – those that can, move capex dollars to Sask and BC, those that can’t curtail their budgets
    – brunt of tax increase felt by non-energy companies
    – overall revenue base declines

  33. davie says:

    Meanwhile, in the left area of Heaven, Henry Wise Wood, smiling, turns from the window on the world and says to Grant, ‘Come over here, Notley, There’s something you should see.’

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