Editor, I vividly recall former Saskatchewan NDP Premier Allan Blakeney stating, “When you’re out of touch, you’re out of office” following the Spring of 1982 shellacking the NDP received at the hands of Grant Devine’s Progressive Conservative party.
I also recall Brian Mulroney/Kim Campbell not saying that when they should have after their crucifixion in the 1993 fall federal election, and the Liberals never saying that no matter how badly they have been beaten here and there throughout the last 75 years. It would have been impossible for hyper-arrogant Pierre Trudeau to even think such, let alone mumble it.
Maybe that’s the lesson for the Alberta PCs. They were “out of touch.” Although the electorate seldom articulates itself in such a way, it’s axiomatic in politics that “out of touch” usually means “out of office” and that “the electorate is never wrong.”
I also think that the attractiveness of NDP leader Rachel Notley was underestimated by her opponents, the media and virtually everyone else. She was impressive right from the get go.
However attractive and bright shining as she and her colleagues may be now, it will not be easy for them to stay that way as they try to meet their constituencies’ expectations amidst the very serious economic challenges currently facing Alberta. It’s also going to be tough for them to purge the entrenched “ultra-right wing” thinking they will find in government departments. They’ll need more than four years, and that may be longer than the predominantly “me-first-right-now” Alberta electorate is ready to remain patient.
Listen for grumbling to start in about six months.