Well, it’s election day here in Alberta. And the Progressive Conservatives have been re-elected in one of the largest landslides in our history.
In case you Americans are ready to tune out of this thread, I should point out that our humble province has had a significant effect on the direction of U.S. politics. Why? Because our government has been leading the way in bucking ‘conventional wisdom’, and winning big.
The Klein Government in Alberta first started seriously cutting government spending back when the conventional wisdom was that it was political suicide to do so. Politicians all through the U.S. and Canada watched closely to see what political ramifications would result from our significant spending cuts to Health Care, Welfare, etc.
When Klein was elected in a landslide, it showed many politicians that their careers could survive major spending cuts. Klein and Alberta were actually mentioned as models by a number of conservative members of the U.S. House and Senate.
Due to our oil and gas revenues, we found ourselves in a position of surpluses before most other governments. Again, we were watched closely to see what we’d do with it - the mix of heavy debt re-payment coupled with tax cuts was wildly popular, and has become the model in many other states and provinces.
Before this current election, the Klein government began de-regulating power production (actually, that started a few years ago), and began supporting a move towards somewhat privatized health care (in Canada, where our health care system is our one untouchable entitlement, this was seen by pundits as political suicide).
The Klein government then laid out its program for what to do after our debt is paid off (which will be in the next couple of years), and we may see a complete elimination of income tax.
So after all this, right now the PC’s have 73 seats, the Liberals 8 seats, and the New Democrats (socialists) have 2. The only landslide larger than this in our history was the Lougheed government in the 1970’s.
Anyway, you can bet that lawmakers all over North America watched this election closely, and the result they saw was that conservative policies turned out to be wildly successful.