Since May of 2015, Alberta has been under a majority New Democratic Party Government. The result: severe disappointment for the very Albertans that elected them.
Oil has always been an immense factor in Alberta’s economy, with the province being the largest supplier located in Canada. When oil prices dropped, the provincial government should have seen the financial downgrade occurring and counteracted it. Instead, Canada’s anti-oil party, alleged that the financial downgrade would not have any effect on the economy. They were horribly wrong. Alberta gave Notley and the NDP an opportunity, and it is failing miserably. Now, Alberta’s Conservatives are taking action in the form of electing Jason Kenney as the leader of the PCs, and preparing for a merger with the Wildrose Party.
Right wing politics in Alberta are an interesting case. The Albertan right consists of two parties: the Alberta Progressive Conservatives, and the Wildrose Party. An issue arises when right wing votes are split between the two, resulting in neither party winning the election. The suffering that Alberta has endured since the NDP gained control has prompted both parties to realize this.
Former Federal Cabinet Minister of far too many departments to name, Jason Kenney, announced his intent to seek the PC leadership almost a year ago, however, his candidacy was based on a unity platform with the Wildrose Party. If successful, a unified Conservative party in Alberta would be equppied to effectively oppose the current NDP provincial government.
On Saturday March 18th, Kenney won the leadership for the Alberta PC’s in a landslide. With just one day after his victory, Kenney put his “unite the right” plan into action speaking with Wildrose leader, Brian Jean not for the first time. Both party leaders have agreed they support a merger if their members support it as well. The two leaders met yesterday, March 20th, in Edmonton to further discuss the framework of a merger. Both parties will hold referendums to proceed with the merger.
This merger could mean a Conservative victory, possibly even a majority in Alberta come 2019, and with it, a win for Albertans. Kenney has stated he will undo the “most damaging aspects” of the NDP’s policies, specifically citing the multibillion dollar carbon tax. The rebirth of Canada’s oil production, and the reinvigoration of Alberta’s economy could be on the horizon. The victory of Kenney in his leadership bid is a plainly apparent victory for Albertans, as well as the rest of Canada.