A Bit of Perspective

Think back to September, before the provincial election. The PCs, trailing in the polls, found a new savior to revive a party reeling after claims of corruption and incompetence from the previous regime. The increasingly vocal opposition demanded change after decades of PC dominance. Economic headwinds battered the province, and calls for drastic cuts gained increasing resonance.

Federally, a long serving conservative government found itself facing the prospect of an increasingly likely defeat at Liberal hands. A popular, albeit untrusted Liberal leader landed punches of increasing severity against a tired government trying desperately to articulate why it deserved another term. Communications blunders continued to weaken the Tory machine, and the poll numbers offered first glimpses of transformative change.

Increasingly comfortable in his role, Calgary’s personable & popular mayor entered his fourth year in his role, despite murmurs of his ties to the Liberal machinery. But, I won’t wax nostalgic about the days of Laurence Decore, Al Duerr, and Jean Chretien.

If I were to do so, I’d comment that Decore took 3 of 20 Calgary seats with 36% of the vote, while Premier Notley and the NDP won 15 of 25 seats with 34% of the vote against a divided right. First Past the Post is fickle, and the system has benefitted Alberta’s conservatives as often as it has sunk them.

If 2% of the PC vote in 1993 broke for the So-Creds, Laurence Decore would have ended the PC dynasty. If 2% of the NDP vote had broken to the nearest conservative challenger, Rachel Notley would be fighting to control a minority legislature. The math matters.

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