The New Democratic Party just won in Alberta. Rachel Notley will be the new premier.
This is not unlike the (old) Democratic Party winning in Texas. The Wildrose Party is as conservative as the Texas GOP. Meanwhile, the former ruling Conservatives may have had “Progressive” appended to their name but they weren’t progressive in any serious way.
I get the impression that the swing may have really been a vote against low oil prices. Alberta has been hammered far more than Texas. But I am not sure! Can anyone explain Albertan politics or point me in a good direction?
It is strange sometimes to wonder how my life might have been different had the Alberta job that I rejected in 1998 been on the table in 1997, before I got the offer from ITAM. I suspect that I would have taken it. I am very glad that I didn’t, but I have to say that I still wonder how things would have turned out.
It is also strange to contemplate that Alberta would clearly be better off as part of the United States. Weirdly enough, the U.S. would also be better off with Alberta as a state. Simply put, Alberta would pay fewer taxes to Washington than it does to Ottawa, but the new state would still be a net payer into the federal system. Moreover, Alberta would be spared the economic problems that would come with independence; namely painful exchange rate choices.