Talking About Rachel

The new NDP government in Alberta has people talking.

No matter what else Rachel Notley and her government have done so far in office, they certainly have gotten Canadians talking about her, us, and this great experiment in non-conservativism. From ordinary citizens to the political elite, discussion of Notley’s Newbies is a hot topic.

If you read the commentary beneath the stories in the national online media, the Post, G&M, CTV, etc, you get opinions from Canadians spanning both political and geographic spectrums. (The only affiliation not represented in these posts are the Incurably Apathetic Party). Everyone has strong opinions and

in these debates, few punches are pulled and fewer minds are ever changed.

Alberta and its denizens do not appear particularly popular in these message boards. We are, apparently, 4 plus million homogeneous, deeply religious, conservative farmers and environment ravagers. A startling amount seems to believe Albertans are somewhere right of America’s Tea-Party. Mostly, though we’re know-nothing redneck dupes for voting in the same party for 44 years. Since banishing the PCs to a four year time-out (or permanent oblivion depending on the “expert”) now we’re no-nothing, redneck socialist dupes. We’re suddenly fools for dumping the very government we were fools for keeping.

Reading these non-professional and often unprofessional posts from other Canadians can be confusing. Apparently Notley’s Newbies are one of two things. They might be crazed commies whose sole raison d’etre is to destroy Alberta’s energy industry and chase away investment. Alternatively, they are an army of young, forward-thinking idealists out to get Albertans their fair share of resource royalties which belong to the citizens, not the PC’s oil company buddies. We’re now ruled by saviors of our wealth or squanderers of it.

It’s certain Notley isn’t just being discussed in news media chatter-boards but in offices, caucus meetings and boardrooms across the country including Stephen Harper’s own office. At first glance, it might appear the party with most to gain from Alberta’s NDP tsunami would be Tom Mulcair who hasn’t been able to wipe the grin off his face since Notley’s stunning majority victory. Surely he can use this win to energize the troops and look more like a viable alternative federally to the Harper Conservatives. Indeed he has received a polling boost following Notley’s win that puts his party at a statistical tie with the Liberals and Conservatives.

However, historically, apart from formerly true-blue Alberta, most provinces, particularly Ontario, has generally supported left-leaning provincial governments when Conservatives were in power federally and vice versa. Few lean as left as the Ontario Liberals, who appear farther left than Andrea Horvath’s NDP’s. People’s aversion to having too much of one stripe is going to work against Mulcair and if he thinks he will get the same electoral result in Alberta as Notley did, he is sadly mistaken.

The NDP win in Alberta does nothing to help Justin Trudeau and will likely hurt him for the same reasons it will hurt Mulcair. Add to the mix that their conjoined destiny is to have to spend a lot of resources during the looming election in Quebec which will be a major battleground the Conservatives feel they can largely sit out. Harper didn’t need any Quebec seats to win his majority, although he does hold a handful. Both Trudeau and Mulcair must make their election promises attractive to Quebecers who love federal dollars without alienating voters in every other province. This will be a tough row to hoe for both of them. Expect Trudeau to be under great scrutiny by the rest of Canada electorate to see how much his policies will be Quebec-centric. It’s no secret Mulcair must pander to the lucky Laytoninte Quebec caucus that resembles so much the Notley crew that we’ve installed here.

How will this all play out for Stephen Harper? Is he drawing parallels between Jim Prentice and himself? They’re both cut from similar cloth and encumbered by long tenures of their party in office. Are the people of Canada as angry at the Conservatives as Albertans were the PCs? My sense is not even close. The anger at Prentice was palpable. I had never seen such animosity for a government in my lifetime. Despite Harper’s shelf-life becoming dangerous close to expiration for many. The fear of the left taking over federally is going to scare the vote toward the Conservatives.

Predictions are scary to make, however with this much election to go. In the political world, they say, a week is a long time and October is a many weeks away.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

Maskwacis RCMP regular members, Community Tripartite Agreement (CTA) members and support staff proudly wore pink in support of Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 24, 2021. Supplied/ Maskwacis RCMP.
Maskwacis RCMP embraces Pink Shirt Day

Maskwacis RCMP engage in virtual presentations with schools on anti-bullying for Pink Shirt Day.

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Be kind and wear pink for Pink Shirt Day

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

“Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care” covers 1911 to 1971

Todd Hirsch. (Image: screenshot)
ATB vice president gives financial forecast to Ponoka chamber

Predictions for reopening of the economy and recovery outlined

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

(Canada Post-Special To The News)
Ontario Canada Post worksite hit by major virus outbreak excluded from inspections

Just this year more than 300 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person has died

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH. (Pool/Getty Images/TNS)
Possibility of wearing masks into 2022 to defeat COVID-19: Dr. Fauci

Despite getting vaccinated, masks will be essential

Sarah Palmer holds up a swab before administering a COVID-19 test in late December. The state announced on Tuesday that a variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 had been detected in Alaska for the first time. (Photo by Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
Canada’s ‘long-haulers’ without family doctor need primary care: medical association

At least 10 per cent of COVID-19 patients are believed to suffer from symptoms months after their diagnosis

Most Read