‘Repressive’ political discourse in Alberta likely signals blue wave to come
The last time Albertans had a go at electing federal politicians, they decided to send four Liberals and one member of the NDP to Ottawa.
This was a seismic shift for the province, having only elected — at most — four non-conservative candidates to the Hill at once in any election over the past 70 years or so. And even that level of support has been rare.
It wasn’t meant to last.
While Alberta has been hit with a number of shocking political results over the past few years, this federal election seems poised to return the province to old norms — a wash of Tory blue.
“These are conservative strongholds. I cannot imagine a set of circumstances that would change that before Election Day,” said Melanee Thomas, an associate professor of political science at the University of Calgary.
Thomas said there are only two of 34 federal ridings she’s watching, and both are in Edmonton.
The first seat is Edmonton Mill Woods, where Liberal incumbent Amarjeet Sohi — who was minister of natural resources — is running against the same candidate he defeated by 92 votes in 2015, former Conservative cabinet minister Tim Uppal.
The second seat Thomas has her eye on is Edmonton Strathcona. The urban riding has been held by the NDP’s Linda Duncan since 2008, but the race was split wide open when Duncan announced she wouldn’t be seeking re-election this time around. The seat was held by conservative parties for the 13 elections prior to Duncan locking it down for three terms.
This means it is conceivable Alberta will send only Conservative MPs to Ottawa on Oct. 21.
Should Alberta once again return to status quo, a self-fulfilling prophecy is likely to be set in motion. The province will only be favoured by Conservative politicians. Other parties won’t bother expending resources to try and curry favour, since their glimmer of hope for getting a foothold has been extinguished. Thus, Alberta voters will continue favouring the right.
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