February 1st, 2024 | Grant Johnson

The Alberta NDP Are Not Finished

Rachel Notley's resignation opens the door to things that could be much worse.
If you think the retirement of Rachel Notley is the end of the NDP in Alberta, think again.
Alberta conservatives seemed to have an unhinged glee about the recent announcement of Rachel Notley stepping down as the leader of the Alberta NDP. Her charm and her Albertan pedigree gave her far more salability than any other political mascot would have had, and this led to her being an electoral threat at the ballot box. She easily won against a divided conservative base in 2015. She lost decisively against Jason Kenney in 2019, but almost reclaimed the throne in 2023, if not for the wrong direction of 1600 strategically placed votes in Calgary.
The attitude among many old stock Albertans is that Alberta is a conservative province and Rachel Notley was an outlier, an accidental winner. They think the natural order of conservative rule has been restored and we can simply pick up where we left off in 2006.
I say 2006 because that was the year Ralph Klein resigned and it seems to be the year that many conservatives got frozen in time.
When Ralph Klein resigned, the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta got progressively more progressive. It moved further and further to the left, but normies just didn’t noticed or seem to care. They voted PC like sheep. It was the government, and it was who always won elections.
The minority of conservatives (who actually pay attention), realized the corruption and started the Wildrose Party. Normies just kept voting PC until eventually they just couldn’t bring themselves to do it anymore. In 2015, we got a right-of-centre vote split and Rachel Notley accidentally won.
Normies in Alberta were kind of delighted and surprised. Those of us who knew firsthand what the NDP is and does, were warning from the sidelines, but nobody seemed to care. “The sky hasn’t fallen yet!” they said the day after the election.
They learned.
Little by little, month by month, Albertans learned who the NDP is and what they do. This brought us back to Jason Kenney and conservatives thought 2006 could carry on. To the dismay of many, Jason Kenney ended up just cucking and waffling until the same hardcore wing of conservatives from before, began abandoning the UCP for Paul Hinman’s new Wildrose Party.
Kenney got turfed and Danielle Smith made a comeback and barely won the 2023 election. Many conservatives are once again hoping we can go back to where 2006 left off, especially now that Rachel Notley is out of the picture, but the lessons of the past should teach us that this is a mistake.
The leftist (and Woke) drift is still happening culturally. There have been great strides in the United States and Europe against this drift, but it is still, relentlessly, moving forward. Canada as always is five years behind the trend, so Woke is still ascendant. One hopes for a counter-attack by the UCP, but Danielle Smith has been in power now for over a year and, well, we’re not exactly seeing a flurry of success.
Yes, the UCP are “standing up for Albertans”, but mostly just with words. Big things like the Alberta Pension Plan are immediately stifled by the opposition (media, NGOs, NDP, unions, public sector bureaucrats, federal government, leftist activists). Co-ordinated social media attacks on Smith and the UCP are relentless regarding everything from some crappy daycare that gave kids food poisoning, to criticism about delivering Tylenol to Albertans when there wasn’t any available. The level of UCP blame is amazing and appalling.
Danielle Smith's latest parental rights legislation was an ok win.
Another three years of this and the normies are going to start getting the cultural message subconsciously that Smith and the UCP are a DiSaStER aNd NeEd To bE ToSsEd OuT oF PoWEr!!
A lot of lazy conservatives celebrating the exit of Notley seem unaware of this development. They also seem to not consider that the NDP is now an established brand under which progressives in Alberta will rally. No longer will leftists divide up their votes between the Alberta Party, the Alberta Liberal Party, the Green Party and the NDP. The NDP has consolidated ALL power. If you’re a leftist, you vote NDP.
Alberta has now fallen into the same polarization that the other Western Provinces have had for generations. You have a New Democrat Party and you have an Anti-New Democrat Party. Every Western Province is like this, but Albertan’s still seem to not understand that this is going to be the new normal for Alberta too.
So, we’ve got an established NDP that is now leaderless and everyone thinks that’s great. What if someone really capable and credentialed and charismatic steps up to the plate? Here are some possibilities that have been floated in different channels. Some are a huge threat, others less so, but never underestimate the idiocy of the average voter.

Naheed Nenshi

Nenshi was mayor of Calgary between 2010 – 2021 and started out wildly popular only to fall into the trap of staying on too long and leaving office as people began to sour on him. Time will likely be kind to his legacy, especially considering that his replacement is so bad and he isn't being connected to the problems that he left behind.
If Nenshi ran for leadership and won, he would retain every seat that the NDP currently have, but would likely pick up enough new seats in Calgary to win a decisive victory. (Remember, the NDP won the majority of seats in Calgary LAST time!)
Nenshi checks all the electoral boxes. He’ll get the gay vote, the non-white vote, the urban vote, and all flavours of progressive votes. If the UCP aren’t preparing for this possibility they’re crazy.

David Eggen

Eggen is a 25-year veteran of the NDP. He was winning elections before the NDP were even considered a credible party. The guy has built a political resume that contains loads of networks that would propel him into the Premier’s office easily.
He codes as relatively normal and most importantly: professional.
I saw this in the 2003, Saskatchewan election. I was working for a local television station at the time, and we offered every candidate in Regina the opportunity to come in and have three minutes on air to record a message to voters that would play on television leading up to election day. It was cheap and easy “Can-Con” content for the station and it could be dressed up as civic engagement.
I was a big Saskatchewan Party fan and was eager for the new candidates to come in and make their pitch. I quickly grew disappointed, however, when the Saskatchewan Party candidates came in looking slovenly and unpolished. They looked like dads who just finished shoveling the driveway or ladies who were playing dress-up in clothes they only wore to funerals. The delivery was stilted, with lots of reading remarks directly off paper or in a monotonous voice with no eye-contact to the camera. I tried to coach them, but it just made them self-conscious and way worse.
Then the NDP candidates came in, many who were already sitting MLAs. They dressed in suits and looked the part. They were no nonsense and professional. They read their remarks clearly and with confidence. They looked up from their papers and had an air of authority.
The NDP won that election.
Eggen is one of those guys.
If Eggen were to assume command and professionalize the party even more…temper the Woke, focus on nuts and bolts, work with established professional organizations for whom process is more important than ideology…then we’re looking at a huge, huge threat.

NDP Chicks

Kathleen Ganley, Shannon Phillips, Sarah Hoffman, Janis Irwin.
These names have been floated, but I don’t see them posing any real threat. They all fall into the AWFL category (Affluent, White, Female, Liberals) and it’s too obvious that they are progressive fashionistas.
Pitting any of them against Smith would likely fail for a variety of reasons…the main one being that progressive women are often just programmed with “latest thing” thinking. A left-wing man might cite John Kenneth Galbraith or Slavoj Zizek or Noam Chomsky as influencing their thinking, where as AWFLs just react to social cues delivered to them via Instagram.
Women in politics often just want to be… not do. Having leftist female politicians vying for the NDP puts the party at a disadvantage, they’ll just be lining up their own version of Andrea Horwath. Rachel Notley and Danielle Smith are wild outliers who happened to cross orbits. There’s no one like those two, capable of success anytime soon.
“Anytime soon” can arrive sooner than you think, however. Weird things can happen in the mess we call democracy. Some people are calling for conservatives to take out a membership and vote for the biggest clown on offer in hopes of spoiling the leadership of the NDP. Doing stuff like this is fraught with potential trouble, however.
When the federal leadership race was on for the NDP after Thomas Mulcair stepped down, I took out a membership so I could vote for Jagmeet Singh. I thought he offered the best chance at splitting the same type of vote that Justin Trudeau was getting and my hope was that with him as leader the Conservative Party could run up the middle and win.
My plan sort of worked in that the 2019 election brought Trudeau down to a minority, but in the long run we’ve had to put up with a far-left NDP that has, since 2021, held the keys to Liberal power. As an influencer party the NDP is in a great position. Jagmeet pushes the Liberals to the left, and Justin loves it because it can offer cover for him doing what he wants to do anyway. We’re left with a Liberal-NDP coalition.
Who knows what the election of 2027 will bring, but conservatives in Alberta need to stay on top of their game. Sitting back and assuming Alberta is and always will be “conservative” is a recipe for progressive infiltration and destruction. We need to stay engaged and stay tuned in. Alberta can’t afford another term of the NDP, no matter what.
Rachel Notley leaving office is just the beginning.




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