Ugh, this is why I hate talking politics. It quickly devolves into a number of conversations that revolve around ones in some cases deeply help points of view. All the discourse is bound to generate is friction. Especially on the internet where a lack of empathy and projected tone turn every little disagreement into a shrieking match doomed for reducto-ad-hitlerum. However, since I clearly represent a minority of posters on the site I'm going to stand my ground. I just hope the bad blood can at least be restricted to the Politics section sandbox and that none of the disagreements voiced here-in become personal. I like this site too much.
First of all many of my criticisms do hold against the PCs. "Since I came of age" applies to every election since 2008. The latter Klein years were rudderless and NDP rule effectively started under Stelmach. The Redford years were shameful to say the least. She is easily the worst premier of my lifetime and possibly the worst one in the province's history. However, there is also no denying that the NDP have kept on and intensified the same fiscal course set on the past few years.
Total Government Expenses and Program Expenses relative to GDP in 2016-17 are the highest since 1993-1994. Most of the intervening time they in a relatively stable band. This year is a sharp increase just and not following a trend set by previous governments. Alberta's per capita program expenses are 3rd highest in the country behind Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. Alberta is carrying net debt for the first time since 1998-1999. This is the continuation of a trend set by latter PC governments, but has accelerated under the NDP. We're set to have nearly as much debt as BC by 2019-20, with the key difference that we'll have built that debt load in only 5 short years. Alberta is also running the second highest negative budget balance relative to GDP in the country, behind only Newfoundland. source
On pipelines, the NDP took a decidedly different strategy. One that involved going along with opponents in the hope of assuaging their concerns. It didn't work. It certainly wasn't doomed from the outset. A lot of industry observers thought that a change of tack might be good. It was a gamble that ultimately failed. Of the pipeline proposals in place when the NDP entred office only the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline is still standing and it's on shaky ground. It is very clear that the conciliation strategy has found no traction.
On the cost of doing business, they've raised corporate taxes
, they're revising labour law to favour unions
, they've raised the minimum wage
and they're working on raising the price of electricity (see below). The regulatory issues are a little beyond my scope and are probably mostly a federal issue, so if you want to call me out here, I'll eat some crow but there's no way that the provinces carbon pricing plan hasn't compounded and increased costs of business. Anecdotally, I will say government interference has increased at my company. This is my opinion not that of my company. I cannot and will not say anything about my employer.
The cost of gas increasing is no myth
Ontario and Australia have been horribly damaged by this type of wishful thinking. In Ontario, the green shift saw the cost of power rise nearly 10% per year from 2008 to 2016
. While generating wind power at a loss that they were forced to sell to US markets at a loss because it wasn't even being generated when Ontario consumers could use it. They will now have to purchase much of their power from Quebec
, because their system is so broken. The only reason that changed is because the province has begun heavily subsidizing people's power bills in a manner that amounts to bribing voters with their own money. Australia has the highest electricity prices in the world
. Alberta is heading right down the same road with ludicrous 30% renewal power production targets and coal phase out.
The beer thing is no myth
. The argument here is that out of province tariffs were increased to try to stimulate the growth of the brewing industry at home. This is straight up protectionism. It usually leads to higher prices and less choice. I like to drink local beer, but I do so by choice not by compulsion. Protectionism is largely the reason we have more expensive telecommunications, flights, dairy and poultry in Canada.
The marijuana thing is no myth either. The AUPE does want to see LCBO style distribution
. This isn't government policy, but this is a very closely aligned group which has clout with the party. I didn't say they were going to do it, but I did say their stance was questionable. I think there's grounds to believe that.
The sales tax is also reasonable speculation. She has said she won't do it with this mandate, but hasn't ruled out the next one. source
Kathleen Wynn's unpopularity is not a myth
. Neither is Rachel Notley's. Apologies for excluding NL premier Dwight Ball. He's also very unpopular.
In sum. Not myths. I fucking hate the NDP. And to anyone who argues against by saying we're "getting in line with the rest of Canada." I say, The RoC sucks. We can and should be better in every way.