This is fairly extraordinary: For non-Canadians, the NDP is the most left-wing party in Canada and Alberta is the most right-wing province in Canada. It’d be like an Elizabeth Warren-inspired party winning Texas. (As a Canadian let me say that this is amazing and almost unthinkable even a few years ago.)

Following were NDP’s key promises:

  • An increase in the corporate tax rate from ten to twelve percent;
  • A $15/hr minimum wage;
  • A review of the royalties that petrocarbon producers pay (which have plummeted in recent years);
  • A ban on corporate donations for elections;
  • A phase out of coal power.

Alberta is the heart of the modern conservative revolution in Canada and was the fastest growing economy during the last fifteen years, thanks to massive increases in oil prices. Alberta also saw a rise in immigration from other parts of Canada, which I suspect had played a huge part in this surprise vote.

I am more interested in whether this means Alberta might be in play during a federal election, however. Traditionally, Alberta has gone right-wing in super majorities, federally. If it’s willing to vote NDP at the national election (which, so far, polls don’t show), the next election may be far more interesting than this one.

Canadian elections can be volatile; there have been a lot of upsets recently and the polls have gotten it wrong repeatedly. Federally, the Liberal Party seems most likely to win, but it’s leader, Justin Trudeau, has been caught flat-footed a number of times, tending to support the same policies as the Conservative Party.

I’m hoping, and now have slightly more hope, that the NDP wins instead.

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