The election is over, the results as was suggested would happen by the previous polls, and Danielle Smith and the UCP have retained a majority government, albeit a much smaller one. While it would have taken less than 2000 votes in crucial ridings to send things the other way, our first past the post system often makes such small differences mean far more in the resulting make-up of our legislature.
As a first priority Smith has made a promise to pass a bill that will require any future tax hikes to go through a referendum of the Alberta people, which would essentially prevent any tax hikes in future, because most people have difficulty connecting things like a lack of fire protection in Northern Alberta, causing smoke to blanket the province, as being related to the tax bill they receive in April. Of course, legislative bills like this are largely symbolic, as a future government in Alberta, which will also likely be a majority, would just as easily remove such a law if they felt they needed to raise taxes.
That her first priority, the thing most important to her to do immediately upon election, is to pass a bill to prevent her government from doing something it doesn’t want to do anyway, to me defines all you really need to know about how her governance will play out. I expect it will do a lot of nothing, while making a great show of doing it.
The larger concern, for me at least, is the threat of David Parker and the Take Back Alberta group that has worked in the background to take over the governing structures of the United Conservative Party, and now has half of the seats of the board of the party. This essentially puts them in control of the direction of the party, as they can choose to oust any UCP member from caucus, including the Premier.
Parker, the leader, is the home-schooled son of a religious pastor in central Alberta, whose primary cry, at least for now, seems to be about wanting to protect and increase freedom, with a particular focus on the freedom to avoid having to take a vaccine. A responsibility to protect fellow citizens doesn’t seem to be among his concerns.
Other things he’s noted in his speeches is that a woman who wants to have a career rather than a baby is anti-human, and that while you may vote in socialism, you almost always have to shoot your way out. His home-schooling evidently didn’t include the history of Canada where the NDP have been elected multiple times in various provinces and removed peacefully. Or anything about the Nordic nations or China which are increasingly moving further away from socialism, China by direction of the ruling class, and the Nordic nations by their elections currently seeming to have a slow drift rightwards.
My concern is that a focus on freedom without responsibility almost always seems to include things like reducing societal support for things that people need, like schooling or health care, and tends to believe in simplistic points of view like taxes hurt economies (again, studies of the Nordic nations tend to refute this). Whether those views get translated into this new government’s actions remain to be seen.