The election is over; the results, a surprise to almost nobody. Unless you’ve been studiously avoiding major media networks and news programs you have undoubtedly already heard that the United Conservative Party of Alberta won the election, winning a majority of the votes and seats, and limiting opposition seats purely to Edmonton and a few seats in Calgary. All other parties were shut out completely.
Jason Kenney immediately began with a more conciliatory tone, noting that he had no objections to the federal government announcing a delay in the final pipeline decision, walking back the idea that he would “turn off the taps” to BC on the first day (now saying that he merely intends to pass the law so that he can do it at any time), and reaching out to Quebec to ask their assistance in creating an easterly pipeline as opposed to attempting to rile people up over Quebec’s receipt of equalization payments.
It makes me both happy to see a slightly more pragmatic, perhaps diplomatic attitude from our Premier-elect, but disturbs me as well. It disturbs me because when the actions of government immediately start to walk back from what was campaigned on, I think of all the people who voted for him that may soon start to feel betrayed, especially if there are no positive results, and soon, from his doing so.
I think it’s safe to say that many who voted for the UCP did so, in part, out of anger toward Alberta’s economic condition and the NDP’s inability to fix it. Premier-elect Kenney will undoubtedly receive some slack from being just elected, but much of the anger that brought him to power won’t go away simply because the government has changed hands. It’s assuredly still there, underneath, perhaps turned down for a time, but I don’t expect that time will last very long.
And the fuse on it will only be made shorter if Kenney appears to be taking a different tact with other governments than the one he promised those who wanted to see a leader fighting hard for Alberta interests in the face of what they saw as unfair opposition.
But I believe the problems afflicting Alberta right now are beyond any provincial government’s ability to end or solve. And I worry what happens when those, who willingly ignored their misgivings over various improprieties that came to light about some UCP candidates, are unable to find the improvement promised by that government. If the last election was ugly, the next could be downright frightening.
But that’s for another day. Right now, we’ve got an extra long edition of The Voice Magazine to get you through this extra long weekend. Whether it’s our feature interview with a student who’s looking to become a teacher and has a penchant for video games (Hey! What’s your gamer-tag? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!) or articles on what’s behind getting that parchment, an in-depth study of Canadian Identity brought to you by the Porkpie Hat, getting revitalized for spring, or reviewing the exclusive airport lounges for you travelling students, you can find it all and more in this week’s Voice Magazine. Enjoy the read!