ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The End of the PC Dynasty in Alberta

Updated on June 4, 2015

This is unexpected...

When Albertans went to the polls for the 2015 Political Election, they voted for one Alberta Party member, one Liberal Party Member, ten Progressive Conservative Party members, twenty-one Wildrose Party members, and fifty-three New Democratic Party members. Even with one riding requiring a recount, it is safe to say that the New Democratic Party has a majority government in this provence. The Progressive Conservative Party has been pushed to third place.

The Progressive Conservative Party, known to most as the PCs or the Tories, had been holding a majority government for over forty years.

I know most of the time my Hubs are situated somewhere on the corner of Writing Street and Video Game Avenue, but right now I'd like to take a walk down Politics Boulevard because a water main just burst and everybody's getting soaked.

Beginning the Dynasty

The PC Party got its start in the early twentieth century, from what I understand. It was a tiny party at first. Over the years, it took in members of other dying parties on its end of the political spectrum. They had a rough time for a while, but in the 1960s, they gained more power. They became the official opposition in 1967. In 1971, they won a majority.

That majority was the beginning of a forty-four year long dynasty. Premier Peter Lougheed promoted a campaign centred on the oil industry and appealed to the changing times. This campaign remained fairly consistent, as did the increasingly comfortable majority the PCs had.

Ralph Klein is the first premier I remember. He pulled the party further to the political right, which caused a small dip in popularity, but not enough to knock the PCs out of power. The province still vastly supported the economic boom of the oil industry. Opposing parties could gain some leverage, but it was never enough. When Premier Ed Stelmach took the reigns, he made the party even more popular. His resignation was brought with disappointment, but the dynasty looked secure.

Jim Prentice
Jim Prentice | Source

Have you ever experienced an unexpected change in government?

See results

Cracks in the Pipes

Alison Redford was elected as the next premier, and the first female premier of Alberta. It is unfair to blame the problems of the PC’s policies on her, but she was the face of the party when more problems began to show up. Promises made to universities and energy sectors were not kept. The budget deficit grew. Citizens became more restless, and the Wildrose became more popular. The PCs were losing their grip on the pre-election polls, but managed to ace the real election. Amid growing concerns for the province’s finances, Redford resigned. Reports revealed she had used provincial money for personal travel and overpriced meals. Albertans were becoming more upset.

Replacement Jim Prentice wanted to calm down the citizens. To get more support, he convinced members of the Wildrose to cross the floor. This move shocked Wildrose and PC supporters. Prentice was certain that he could win the election. He stated that Alberta had no place for a government other than his, and repeatedly put his foot in his mouth with foolish comments. His confident attitude may have been meant to inspire the population. It did not. The statement “Math is hard,” became popular with his critics.

Rachel Notley
Rachel Notley | Source

If you'd like to see the change in Alberta yourself, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation created an interactive map you can play with.

Orange Crush

Meanwhile, the New Democratic Party (NDP) was itching to move. Under leader Rachel Notley, they prepared to enter political warfare. Notley came from a family of politicians. She knew how to put her finger on the pulse of Albertans. During the political debate, her responses to Prentice’s claims made her the clear winner. She united the political left in a way Prentice had failed to do with the right. Using the anger of jilted PC supporters to her advantage, she gained more and more support.

This support caused what the press nicknamed the “Orange Crush”. On May 5th, fifty-four percent of eligible voters came to the polls. The vote was overwhelmingly in the NDP’s favour. Commentators were surprised by this, as many ridings changed their tunes and joined the NDP bandwagon. Edmonton turned more orange than a cheeto-covered grapefruit. Calgary got an orange streak. Jim Prentice barely managed to hang onto his riding, and made preparations to resign. As Albertans saw the results of their votes, emotions of joy and rage were brought up. The Orange Crush had swept through the province and knocked the crown off the PC’s head. The dynasty had ended.

I think we might have made a little bit of history tonight.

-Rachel Notley, NDP Leader, Premier of Alberta

What Happens Now?

So we come to now, the dawn of a new era. The province is still recovering from the shock of this government overhaul. Questions are being raised concerning if the NDP are capable enough to run the province. Many of the NDP members of the legislature have not sat in the legislature before; some are university-age. The promises the government made now have to be kept, and the next four years will be an unusual time for the province.

Personally, I have no authority to be making predictions, but I would like to make a few guesses. All are conjecture. First, I think the NDP will have some trouble getting settled into their new role. The PCs may have trouble not being in power. After forty years of the same government, of course there will be disruption. I think there are enough candidates for NDPs to have responsible people on topics they understand. There may be some PC members trying to cross the floor as they adjust to the new power structure.

Next election could see a NDP re-election, a return to the PCs, or something else entirely. I would hope for a minority government. It would allow the best of the NDP and PCs to shine through, and in the end, democracy is about the people.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Molly Layton profile imageAUTHOR

      Molly Layton 

      3 years ago from Alberta

      I'm glad you found this useful. Thanks for commenting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing this useful information, Molly. I'm interested in learning more about Rachel Notley and her win, so I was pleased to see that you'd written a hub about the election. The future of politics in Alberta should definitely be interesting!

    • Molly Layton profile imageAUTHOR

      Molly Layton 

      3 years ago from Alberta

      I can't fathom voting for only two parties. Windsor's a nice place.

    • Theo20185 profile image


      3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Interesting. I don't follow Canadian politics, but it seems nice to have more than two major political parties to choose from when voting. My only experience with Canada was visiting Windsor. I used to live in Detroit, going through the tunnel to get to Windsor from time to time.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)