Editorial: Democratic process alive and well in Alberta

Sweeping changes in a civil manner

Last week’s Alberta election was an example of the democratic process at its best.

We aren’t talking about the results. Whether or not the New Democrats can stabilize that mismanaged ship is yet to be seen.

The reaction from the ‘right’ following Rachel Notley’s convincing win was predictable; the sky is falling. Meanwhile, the ‘left’ are thrilled.

It’s the process to achieve the result that should give all Canadians pause for thought, and a reason to be thankful for the society in which we live.

What happened in Alberta on Tuesday was, anecdotally, a civil upheaval – a coup d’état, but in a completely civilized manner.

In many countries, such a drastic change of government would come at a heavy cost. Lives would be lost. Millions of lives have been lost in countries around the world in efforts to overthrow long-reigning governments.

And yet, in our neighbouring province, the wounds were limited to the egos of those who thought change could never happen in that oil-rich, right-wing driven economy.

The democratic process is alive and well.

Certainly, there were not nearly enough people getting to the polls.

Although voter turnout was the highest in 22 years, 57 per cent is nothing to brag about when deciding the future of a province – higher than B.C.’s 52 per cent in 2013, but a far cry from respectable.

The talking heads are still analyzing the results. Some say the arrogance of 44 years of power got to the Conservative supporters – that many of them thought there was no way another party in Alberta could ever garner enough support.

On the other side, the “Notley Crew” is basking in the afterglow of a well-run campaign, feeding off the anger of the average Albertan. The lies, deception and ridiculous government spending had gone on long enough for the majority of those who took the time to vote and now the change they demanded is real.

Will it prove to be a good move for Alberta? Only time will tell.

Undoubtedly, B.C.’s NDP leader John Horgan has already not only congratulated Notley on her victory, but also asked for her campaign notes.

-TF

 

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