On April 16th, Alberta heads to the polls in the first big election of 2019. But which Alberta will emerge afterwards? Will it be the Alberta that recognizes Climate Change, the duty of government to supply services and protect the rights of all citizens? Or will it be the Alberta of days past with unconditional subservience to corporate will and mid-20th century social policy?
The dire warnings from the usual suspects of socialism run amok under Rachel Notley simply haven't come true. Yes, poverty has been halved in 4 years. Yes, the infrastructure deficit lingering since Ralph Klein has been attacked with positive results. Yes, deficit spending is not going away anytime soon. The "impending financial doom" warnings simply don't hold up to hard statistics. Alberta still has the lowest tax burden by a wide margin in Canada. Nobody is lowering Alberta's credit rating, like Ontario's. And yes, detractors on the left have pointed out the failed promises with accuracy. But the sky has not fallen, in fact it's gotten sunnier for a lot of people.
Corporate media is ready for the coronation of Prince Jason, despite his trainwreck of a leadership campaign being investigated by the RCMP. Despite candidates dropping like flies. Despite every sliver of policy announced being a throwback to anywhere between 1948 and 1992. Despite every campaign appearance by Jason Kenney mysteriously having the Facebook Live feed drop as soon as its question time.
And in this mess, Stephen Mandel, David Khan and Derek Fildebrandt try to attract some attention wherever and however they can. Some constituencies in Alberta will have up to 8 names on the ballot, yet it is two parties that get all the notice. This opening episode on the Alberta Election will look at what the parties have promised so far and what they have warned Albertans about everybody else. And the band played on...