Editorial – Era’s End

If the latest polls are to be believed, we may be in the last days of the 43 year reign of the Progressive Conservative party in Alberta. On August 30, 1971, the Progressive Conservatives were elected to a majority government in Alberta.

I hadn’t even been born.

The very first president of Athabasca University, Timothy C. Byrne, had been appointed only five months previous, and the university wasn’t scheduled to open to students for another two years. It was located in Edmonton at the time, not moving up to Athabasca until 1984.

Personal computers didn’t exist. And the internet? Not even science fiction was predicting anything like it.

That’s how long the PC’s have been in power in Alberta.

That’s what, according to the most recent polls, is now ending.

It really is the end of an era. So it’s understandable if many people in Alberta are worried, perhaps even a little scared, at what might come next. After all, we’re moving into unfamiliar territory here.

Of course, many people are just the opposite. They’re excited. They’ve been waiting for this day for, literally, decades. But no matter what happens on May 5th, one thing that I’m sure has already occurred is that the federal parties are re-evaluating what they need to do this October. Alberta’s been so reliably conservative for so many years that even our own MPs don’t bother campaigning here anymore. The rallying cry always was that “The West Wants In”, but, until now, we’ve never shown that we’re willing to take steps to make that happen.

Even if the polls turn out to be wrong and the Alberta PCs succeed once more, the people of Alberta have put out notice, clear and forcefully, that we cannot be taken for granted any more. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the upcoming federal election.

But that’s a good distance out, yet. Another 23 issues or so of The Voice Magazine. So, instead, let’s concentrate on this issue, where our features are the (much delayed) second part of our interview with Dr. George Siemens, and an article by Barb Godin on dealing with, perhaps somewhat appropriately, how to move forward in life after a significant loss. We also have our usual selection of columns, reviews, and interviews, and writers Philip Kirkbride and Barbara Lehtiniemi add their point of view to the controversy over the recent happenings involving The Voice Magazine. Fortunately, things seem to be getting back to normal on that front, which means that all that’s left for you to do is enjoy the read!

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