The polls said it could happen, actually that it would happen, but still nobody really believed it was going to happen. Until it did.
The polls, for a change, were right and Alberta tossed Tory Blue Tuesday after 43 years of rule like a bad steak, and ushered in a wave of Orange NDP and everyone is still catching their breath in the aftermath.
Premier-elect Rachel Notley and her newbie NDPers went from four seats to about 53 seats and a majority government. Meanwhile outgoing premier Jim Prentice led (ahem) his party to a handful of seats, the end of a political era, and to a sudden resignation of his own seat.
Game, set, match.
How this happened is in full analysis mode: an unpopular budget, low oil prices and a shaky economy, a party history of a sense of entitlement and disconnect with the taxpayers that Prentice couldn’t shake and may have even perpetuated.
OK, so the electorate decided it was time to teach them a lesson in humility but it should be noted that the PCs didn’t just lose this election, the NDP also won it. And Wildrose came in a distant second.
Notley won the TV debate hands down and kept on a positive message that obviously appealed to the masses (although it should be noted that the PCs and Wildrose actually garnered 52 per cent of the popular vote and Notley would be wise to keep that statistic in mind).
So the winds of political change have blown through Alberta and we’re all waiting to see what happens next: including whether this means anything in relation to the upcoming federal election.
Maybe. Maybe not.
But what it does reveal is that anything is possible in politics and that everyone’s vote does count.
In fact, when the people speak, it can be a history-making event.
Congratulations and good luck to Canada’s newest premier.