On Tuesday night, the near-unthinkable happened here in Canada when the New Democratic Party (NDP) stormed to a commanding majority in Alberta's provincial elections. To explain this in American terms: Imagine that Texas just overwhelmingly elected a legislature dominated by a left-wing party that opposes major oil pipeline projects; promises a core review of the obligations that oil and gas companies have to their communities; and favors fundamentally rethinking the tax structure toward large-scale redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Oh, and it's going to insist that climate change is real, man-made, and should bear on any policy that involves burning more hydrocarbons.The difference this year was that the people of Alberta were willing to listen to an alternative view. A year of plummeting oil prices and the layoffs they wrought showed many Albertans how flimsy the economic plan was in the province, predicated as it was on a presumption of endless abundance. Falling oil prices led to an austerity budget from the sitting Progressive Conservative government. We were told that as long as we gave oil sands companies total control, we would reap the economic rewards. Once that was proven to be untrue, the larger conservative narrative crumbled.
Perhaps this can happen in America as well as the time is now to change the course of the US before it's too late.