Stranger things have happened

There’s an interesting scenario shaping up in which adjacent NDP provincial governments may be promoting agendas completely contrary to each other. We’re talking of course about Alberta and B.C.
You would think that the NDP, traditionally a party of ‘labour,’ would not go too far in opposing industrial development. Its hard-working, blue-collar support base surely wouldn’t want that. Would it? But in B.C., the NDP holds power by the grace of the Green Party, whose three seats represent the balance of power.
And what a fine balance it is. But that’s politics. Compromises of all sorts are necessary to get into power and then to maintain it.
The NDP in Alberta had some anti-industry and pro-environment sentiment within it back when all it had to do was make noise as an opposition party. Its members didn’t have to think much about the hard realities of revenues, deficits, unemployment rates and popular discontent. Now they do, and Premier Notley finds herself in the unlikely role of Canada’s biggest promoter of pipelines.
Haters of hydrocarbons probably consider her a traitor. But again, it’s a mistake to regard the NDP as a green party. If it was, there’d be no need for a Green Party.
Meanwhile, the struggle to find balance between the need for clean air and water on one hand and economic prosperity on the other continues. The Government of Alberta deserves credit for doing something on both sides of this equation. How well it works out? We’ll have to wait and see. A lot may depend on the weird situation in Victoria, where a party with only three seats has its hands on the kill switch. It’s hard to imagine that situation surviving very long, but stranger things have happened.

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