Alberta voters go to the polls on April 16, with Rachel Notley’s NDP government facing a strong challenge from Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party on the right. The Liberals and Greens are also in the race.
While last year’s re-unification of the right into the UCP presents a serious threat, the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. Several right-wing splinter parties have arisen with the fresh revelations of wrong-doing and outright criminal behaviour by Kenney’s gang in the leadership of the UCP.
The NDP is running a two sided campaign – emphasizing their plans to maintain and improve social services, health and education, and claiming to be better at building pipelines and otherwise retaining the dominance of the oil and gas sector in the Alberta economy on behalf of the multi-nationals.
The UCP’s two-sided campaign emphasizes their plan to cut and privatize social services, health and education (and reduce the minimum wage), and claims to be better at some unspecified method of… retaining the dominance of the oil and gas sector in the Alberta economy on behalf of the multinationals!
The only electoral force on the left is the Communist Party-Alberta, which has four candidates on the ballot: Jonathan Troutman in Calgary East, Alex Boykowich in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood (where long-time NDP incumbent Brian Mason has retired); Andrew Janewski in Edmonton-Millwoods (where the CP-A has run previously); party leader Naomi Rankin in Edmonton-Strathcona (Premier Notley’s riding).
The CP–A platform gives a thirteen point set of policies for fundamental change, on the provincial level. In this election and after, the CP-A says, Communists will campaign for a radical alternative agenda that can curb corporate power, and put people and nature before corporate profits and war. “We fight for working people and, ultimately, for people’s power – for socialism,” says the party’s election message.