How conservative is Alberta Canada

International - Left slide in Alberta: Hope for Canada's environment

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The Canadian state of Alberta became an Eldorado thanks to the oil boom. Now the oil price has plummeted and Alberta is running out of money. Voters have lost confidence in the Conservative government and surprisingly started a left turn. This will have consequences for all of Canada.

Author: Christoph Wüthrich

"It could be that we wrote a little history tonight," said Rachel Notley, the head of the NDP, the Social Democrats in Alberta.

Your party caused a sensation in the elections, so far Notley has never had much more than an extra role in parliament. Now she will rule the petroleum province with an absolute majority.

Turn left

When polls in the last ten days indicated a possible victory for the NDP, nobody really wanted to trust them. Because Alberta has been ruled by the conservatives for more than 40 years and defeat was predicted four years ago. The decision to turn to the left is all the more surprising as the population of Alberta has so far been pampered with the lowest tax rates in Canada.

Voluntary for higher taxes

Now that the low oil price has plunged Alberta's economy into crisis and the province is running out of money, the people have had a choice. David Macdonald of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives think tank explains the dilemma. "What to do? Raise taxes in order to maintain the level of government services, or keep taxes low and cut public service? "

Alberta's population has now surprisingly opted for higher taxes, sending out a signal that will be heard in the rest of Canada - federal elections will take place this fall and Premier Harper's conservative federal government has so far relied heavily on its power base in Alberta.

Important sign for the environment of Canada

The Alberta election is also important to Canada's climate policy. Since the provinces in Canadian federalism have more powers than the federal government in environmental policy, a national CO2 tax or something similar cannot be passed without Alberta's support.

Only when Alberta changes its policy can Canadian climate policy move forward.
Author: Douglas Macdonald University of Toronto

"Only when Alberta changes its policy can Canadian climate policy move forward," says Douglas Macdonald from the University of Toronto. Movement is now possible: election winner Notley said a national approach was needed to tackle environmental problems. If the opposition of the NDP and the Liberals emerges victorious in the national elections in October, Canada could also find its way out of the international brakes on climate policy.

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  • Commentary by Frédéric Dubois, Berlin
    This message is of course a game changer for the oil and gas industry. In the documentary game Fort McMoney (http://fortmcmoney.com), where the oil boom is discussed, many players have already adapted to the new situation. This third round of the game with Der Standard will be completely different from the first two (Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung). Greetings, Frédéric
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Commentary by Peter Beutler, Beatenberg
    Wonderful! It was time too. Interesting how our mainstream media will now report on it. The "neutral" SRF is the beginning. The NZZ, which is always up to date, is silent for the time being. The rest of the media? Also still radio silence. Such reports are apparently across the political landscape. The anticipation of a failure of the energy transition could disturb that. For sure she will. What just happened in Canada could also happen here - in the autumn of 2015.
    Agree agree to the comment

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