Sunday, October 02, 2011

40 Years is Too Long

Yesterday a new premier was elected.   She is the 4th PC premier of Alberta since 1971.  That makes 40 years of uninterrupted majority government (at times virtually 1 party government since the opposition was so small).  A friend of mine once commented that Alberta elections reminded him of elections on the former USSR -- anybody was free to run as long as it was understood that the party would win.

This is not unusual in Alberta.  In the 106 years since it became a province Alberta has had 4 dynastic governments (1905-1921-Liberals, 1921-1935-United Farmers of Alberta, 1935-1971-Social Credit, 1971-?????-Progressive Conservative).  And, IMHO, this is not a healthy form of government.

It doesn't matter what party it is.  It doesn't matter if I vote for them or not.  40 years of government by one party is not healthy for that party or for the jurisdiction they govern.  SOme will point out that the PCs have held the dynasty by reworking themselves from time to time as the context changed (the most disastrous in the minds of many (but not all, and obviously not a majority) being in the 1990's when a strong fiscal conservatism took hold.

But after 40 years it is not easy to form a new government.  So when will the change come?  And who might be waiting in the wings to take the reins?

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