What does NDP Alberta Premier-Elect Rachel Notley need to do now?

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NorthReport
What does NDP Alberta Premier-Elect Rachel Notley need to do now?

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Unionist

Job 1: Make people understand that it's not just about the Leader.

I know, I know, it's a radical concept.

 

Newfoundlander_...

I think when it comes to some of her economic policies she'll need to take her time and go a bit slow. I think trying to bring into much change all at once could be a shock to an ecomomy that's already hurting. She seems to have signaled that she will do that. 

From a political standpoint I think it would be in the best interest of the federal NDP if she didn't try and do anythign overly bold in the run up to the federal election. The federal party should be able to make great gains due to last night's victory. However, if the new government upsets people then it could hurt the federal party. We've seen this with the federal Liberals, it's quite likely that the Liberal governments in Ontario and Quebec have hurt the federal party's support in those provinces. 

6079_Smith_W

Not give into the interests that will be pushing to keep things exactly as they are.

(though Prentice had no problem with change if it meant raising personal taxes)

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Rachel Notley has a big-time mandate for change. Change was the word of the day.

Perhaps we will see some action on cleaning up the tar sands.

Energy reduction programs involving new technology to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Spending on social and heath resouces. Needed attention to aboriginals

They gave her a real mandate, and if someone stands in her way, they are going to get annoyed.

mark_alfred

She needs to hire some bright admin-assistants for some of the newly elected and likely freaked out MLAs.

Howard

She should try and pass an omnibus of consensus legislation between the Wildrose and the NDP. Wildrose said they could work with the NDP, let's see them put their money where their mouth is.

The rest of their term is likely to be opposition, so strike while the issue is hot. It also gives the NDP the impression of being competent, and governing well, while they get the rest of their house in order.

While Prentice's seat is now a great pickup opportunity for the NDP, they need to call the byelection fast (if they are going to do it), because the honeymoon will wear off and voter's thinking may pivot to having a strong opposition to hold the NDP to account, rather than getting a new cabinet minister.

6079_Smith_W

She has already provided a pretty good list:

revisiting royalty rates

reversing social spending cuts brought in by Prentice

Dropping support for Keystone and Northern Gateway, supporting transmountain and pipelines east, and looking at possible increase of refining capacity in Alberta, so those pipelines may not be filled with tar.

..for starters.

One of the first indications I had that change might happen there was a few years ago when I visited the Telus science centre in Edmonton. In one of the displays they have some raw bitumen in a clear plastic box, with a heavy glove insert so that every person visiting can reach in and feel it. Also, even though the box is completely shielded, the stink of that stuff seeps through and hangs in the air.

 

Howard

They should avoid giving too much power to the old guard too. While their experience is very valuable, and they have certainly demonstrated loyalty, their calcified ideas did not contribute much to the progress the NDP saw on election night: this is a new movement from a new generation, and the party ignores this rejuvenation at their own peril.

Electorally, one of the biggest challenges will also be to maintain the split on the right because the NDP's win was heavily assisted by that. The PCs also received 400,000 votes, not many fewer than in 2012, so turnout will be a major issue for the progressive side in 2019. They need to keep the base engaged, and spread roots, to the extent that is possible throughout all Alberta communities.

jerrym

Pick five issues that you will focus on that are popular with the public and continually repeat that this is your focus including:

an major educational issue;

a major health care issue;

a senior's issue; 

a social justice issue for aboriginals;

Ban corporate and union donations to political parties and ask for all party support on this.

If they don't support these issues, bang them over the head with it as an issue and then run in the next election on the fact that you fulfilled your promise to implement these core issues. 

mark_alfred

They need to be prepared for the inevitable onslaught of attack from big business and the media.  It's already happening.  One of the main articles in the Star now is Energy stocks in tailspin over Alberta NDP win, with the sub-heading being, "‘It’s completely devastating,’ energy funds manager says. ‘The perception from the market is they’re extremely dangerous.’"  It's going to be a tough road ahead.  Unlike Rae's ONDP, they need to not blink and proceed with what they promised. 

Unionist

So, no more $15 minimum wage? Too scary?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Let's see if the matter of a fairer electoral system [i.e., some version of proportional representation] is treated seriously or postponed for a later date. 

 

Unionist

ikosmos wrote:

Let's see if the matter of a fairer electoral system [i.e., some version of proportional representation] is treated seriously or postponed for a later date. 

Well, here's the Alberta NDP [url=http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/themes/5538f80701925b5033000001/att... election platform[/url]. Someone help me find any reference to electoral reform. Not saying it isn't there. Just saying I don't see it.

No NDP government has ever promoted electoral reform, as far as I can recall anyway. So this will have to come from below, like all good things.

6079_Smith_W

@ U

Good idea, though the Conservatives did just raise it last summer, and it is on not out of line with much of the rest of Canada.

I'm sure Wild Rose will be running with that $15 number. Good to see we aren't letting that honeymoon last too long.

jas

When will the new gov be sworn in? Anyone know?

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ U

Good idea, though the Conservatives did just raise it last summer, and it is on not out of line with much of the rest of Canada.

I'm sure Wild Rose will be running with that $15 number. Good to see we aren't letting that honeymoon last too long.

It's not just a "good idea", Smith - it's in their election platform:

"We’ll ensure the benefits of better economic policies are more widely shared, by increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018."

I just found it mildly troubling that no one had raised it among priorities in this thread.

At least they promised it. The ONDP figured they could win without it.

 

nittanylionstorm07

Uncovering as much PC corruption as possible would be a good start 

6079_Smith_W

But you raised it. No reason why it should be troubling at all... or scary. Good idea.

 

mark_alfred

mark_alfred wrote:
Unlike Rae's ONDP, they need to not blink and proceed with what they promised. 

Unionist wrote:

So, no more $15 minimum wage? Too scary?

They promised the $15 minimum wage in their platform, so, as I said, the ANDP need to not blink and proceed with what they promised.

jas

...[M]uch of the NDP platform has been constructed from positions endorsed by Albertans in opinion polls: A pledge to raise corporate taxes to 12 per cent from 10 per cent was based on a survey conducted by Mr. Prentice’s government that found most Albertans in favour of hikes on corporations.

A move toward a progressive-tax system with a top bracket of 15 per cent is also supported by those who oppose the province’s flat tax. A majority of Albertans have said they do not feel they are getting fair value from their natural resources, hence her promise of a royalty review. A commitment of better funding for health and education, in a province adding more than 100,000 people annually, is also wildly popular.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/notley-leads-ndp-fortunes-in...

This is what Albertans voted for, so the party has a clear mandate.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Unionist wrote:
No NDP government has ever promoted electoral reform, as far as I can recall anyway. So this will have to come from below, like all good things.

Well, yeah, and many things are remarked upon in Opposition that never see the light of day in Government. I guess political parties that benefit from the FPTP system are unwilling to be the first to reform things in this regard. It's mostly "You first."

By the time they might see the benefit of Prop Rep they're back in Opposition and unable to pass any laws.

Perhaps if the "Mother" country (UK) [abolishes the Monarchy and] establishes Prop Rep then Canadian provinces might do the same.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

By the time they might see the benefit of Prop Rep they're back in Opposition and unable to pass any laws.

Considering that prop rep in this election would have left them in a minority position, I'm quite happy letting them have a free rein to implement some of their policies before they tackle that one.

Besides, as it was in B.C., it is a matter best decided by referendum.

 

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Of the 53 NDP MLAs elected, 24 are women (approx 45%) - there was a tie (and will be a recount) in Calgary Glenmore and the recount could easily see this change to 54 New Democrats and 25 female NDP MLAs. Not exactly parity, but it close enough to parity to reach out and touch it. There is more to celebrate than merely the good fortunes of one party...

Newfoundlander_...

ikosmos wrote:

Let's see if the matter of a fairer electoral system [i.e., some version of proportional representation] is treated seriously or postponed for a later date. 

Seems as though electoral reform is something the NDP - and some other parties - only support until they are able to win under FPTP.

KenS

.... not to mention that $15/hour is hardly radical in Alberta. It is only going to be a sizable notch up from what one makes at MacDonalds in maybe eastern rural Alberta. My guess is that it will mostly have an effect in the layers such as super-exploitive smaller retail. I dont know restaurant wages in the cities, but i doubt you can keep even dishwashers there at $15 unless you accept a brutal turnover.

 

Unionist

So Alberta's temporary foreign workers are making out like bandits?

KenS

That is not even a logical extension of what I said. Giving it the respect, whether or not deserving....

 

There are rapidly a lot fewer temp foreign workers in low wage sectors, increasingly they are not part of the particular labour market picture i was talking about. That already pushes urban wages further. And yes, i think it is likely that temporary foreign workers in those urban MacDonald jobs were already making $15.... if everybody else was.

NorthReport

Now that the NDP have taken Harper's seat in Calgary North-West
How sweet is that, the NDP need to organize starting today and go after Prentice's seat

Unionist

KenS wrote:

That is not even a logical extension of what I said. Giving it the respect, whether or not deserving....

 

There are rapidly a lot fewer temp foreign workers in low wage sectors, increasingly they are not part of the particular labour market picture i was talking about. That already pushes urban wages further. And yes, i think it is likely that temporary foreign workers in those urban MacDonald jobs were already making $15.... if everybody else was.

I see. So after accusing me of exaggerating what you said, you repeat it.

Look, I don't want a fight here. I came into a thread where people are gushing with joy and saying that the priorities for Notley (by which I guess they mean the NDP, but you know, we need a MONARCH to identify with) are everything except workers. Yes, that's right, read back and see.

And today, all I hear is that Notley, with the ballot boxes still warm, is spending most of her time reassuring those poor scared oil and business tycoons that all will be good. Why? Because, as we know, the wealthy can just destroy us any time we lift a little finger to do anything. So we must trick them into thinking we're really just sort of conservative after all. You know, like Bob Rae.

Every single NDP government in recent decades has gone down the same dusty road, and ended up in well-deserved defeat. Every single one. The ONDP was a bit unique only in promising "business" that it wouldn't misbehave before they even got elected - and in return, they ended up where they belong.

I don't expect the glamorous leaders and their short-pants advisers to figure it out. But I am absolutely certain that there are activists where they count - in the ranks of the NDP, of the union movement, students, women, social organizations of all kinds - who will hold the new government's feet to the fire.

Or not - in which case, it will go down as another historic opportunity blown. And the makings are already there... right in the mentalities exhibited in this thread.

 

6079_Smith_W

Actually, the first thing I said was that the party should resist the pressure to maintain the status quo. Gushing, you think?

And what is your point, Unionist? You saw something unmentioned. You mentioned it. And considering you were the first to weigh in without talking about minimum wage do you consider yourself part of the alleged "mentality" you are talking about? Or were you sitting back waiting to play gotcha?

 

6079_Smith_W

Well sir, you had the opportunity to bring that up in post number one, but evidently you were too busy focusing on matters of public image to pay attention to the concerns of low wage earners.

(if it is somehow a problem that it doesn't all get mentioned at once, and we don't leave a single thing out, that is)

.

 

Unionist

My post #1 was an ironic jab at the thread title, which suggests that Rachel Notley is now the Pope-Queen of Alberta. Her first statement should have been a sincere one explaining that the word "leader" doesn't mean she will ever take one single decision of significance that isn't ratified by the appropriate elected body.

But everyone here knows that almost all these parties function as secretive clique dictatorships, which is why the thread title is unfortunately all too accurate.

So how about a comment about the substantive points I raised? The minimum wage - when will it go up? Sucking up to the real leaders of Alberta - when will it stop?

6079_Smith_W

As I said, it went up last August, and as you say, there is a committment to raise it further. My question is will you be happier to see that happen, or to have them not do it and confirm your narrative of our misplaced sycophancy and elected officials' inevitable betrayal?

 

6079_Smith_W

Anyway, on topic.....

I think the prop rep idea raised upthread is a good one, especially after hearing that Peter MacKay is already talking merger, and certainly the Conservatives and WIld Rose, having been shut out from power, will do anything they can to get it back.

So aside from trying to gain the trust of the people - something Notley very clearly DID do last night - and keep her promises, she can't afford to not think about the next election.

 

 

mark_alfred

Unionist wrote:
And today, all I hear is that Notley, with the ballot boxes still warm, is spending most of her time reassuring those poor scared oil and business tycoons that all will be good. Why? Because, as we know, the wealthy can just destroy us any time we lift a little finger to do anything. So we must trick them into thinking we're really just sort of conservative after all. You know, like Bob Rae.

I haven't seen anyone here say that.  In fact, I said the exact opposite.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

As I said, it went up last August, and as you say, there is a committment to raise it further. My question is will you be happier to see that happen, or to have them not do it and confirm your narrative of our misplaced sycophancy and elected officials' inevitable betrayal?

 

Your "question", indeed. I've spent my life in the workers' movement hoping the causes we fight for will be betrayed, so that I can gain some perverse satisfaction.

I'm not sure if you've noticed the fate of every single NDP government that shits on workers just as soon as the workers have swept them to power (that includes unionized workers, impoverished workers, unemployed workers). The time now is not to lick boots, but to push, cajole, remind, warn the new government that if they don't act fast on issues that matter to workers, they will go back to sharing the ONDP's historical dustbin.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
Unionist

mark_alfred wrote:

Unionist wrote:
And today, all I hear is that Notley, with the ballot boxes still warm, is spending most of her time reassuring those poor scared oil and business tycoons that all will be good. Why? Because, as we know, the wealthy can just destroy us any time we lift a little finger to do anything. So we must trick them into thinking we're really just sort of conservative after all. You know, like Bob Rae.

I haven't seen anyone here say that.  In fact, I said the exact opposite.

Don't be so defensive, mark_alfred. I was referring to all I hear today on the radio. All day long. From Notley, and about Notley.

As for "anyone here", you obviously missed this:

Quote:

I think when it comes to some of her economic policies she'll need to take her time and go a bit slow. I think trying to bring into much change all at once could be a shock to an ecomomy that's already hurting. She seems to have signaled that she will do that. 

From a political standpoint I think it would be in the best interest of the federal NDP if she didn't try and do anythign overly bold in the run up to the federal election. The federal party should be able to make great gains due to last night's victory. However, if the new government upsets people then it could hurt the federal party. We've seen this with the federal Liberals, it's quite likely that the Liberal governments in Ontario and Quebec have hurt the federal party's support in those provinces.

And on and on, same old bullshit, yes, that's exactly what will happen if people don't stop celebrating and start organizing instead.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

I've spent my life in the workers' movement hoping the causes we fight for will be betrayed, so that I can gain some perverse satisfaction.

And what are you doing here? May we talk about where Alberta can from here rather than being hijacked by your accusations and assumptions?

 

Unionist

Alberta has the lowest minimum wage of any Canadian province.

In August 2013, "According to government estimates, 1.8% of Alberta’s 1,642,400 are earning minimum wage. More than 72 per cent of Albertans who earn minimum wage are women."

That was 30,000 Albertans. And that doesn't come close to estimating how many were earning more than minimum wage but less than $15 (or reduce that a bit via reverse cost of living).

To understate the importance of raising the minimum wage as a priority of this government is pretty shameful, in my humble opinion.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I've spent my life in the workers' movement hoping the causes we fight for will be betrayed, so that I can gain some perverse satisfaction.

And what are you doing here? May we talk about where Alberta can from here rather than being hijacked by your accusations and assumptions?

 

No, I'd rather talk about where Alberta is going to:

[url=http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Alberta+Premier+designate+Rachel+Notley+r... Premier-designate Rachel Notley to reach out to oilpatch[/url]

Quote:

“I’m going to be reaching out to industry. They can count on us to work collaboratively with them and I’m hopeful that over the course of the next two weeks they will come to realize that things are going to be just A-OK over here in Alberta,” Notley said during her first postelection news conference at the legislature.

“I’m going to be making phone calls today to leaders within the energy industry to begin those conversations.”

That's what I've been hearing all day, mark_alfred. And that's what needs to stop. Unless progressive folks are scared shitless that the tar sands barons will pack their moneybags, leave Alberta, and exploit someone else's bitumen?

I don't recall her saying this before the election. Does anyone??

 

Unionist

Thanks for that wake-up call, epaulo.

Now let's see if anyone wakes up.

 

6079_Smith_W

And while you are rhapsodizing about "the workers", there were some other factors that went into this victory, like many soft supporters of the Tories who had had enough, and the split on the right.

So yes, despite a  very clear mandate Notley does have to govern with a mind to the whole province, and gaining trust, unless she wants to wind up in that dustbin after one term. As any politician should, who doesn't come from the Stephen Harper school of power and treats an election as as a mandate for an elected dictatorship. .

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And while you are rhapsodizing about "the workers", there were some other factors that went into this victory, like many soft supporters of the Tories who had had enough, and the split on the right.

You think "soft supporters of the Tories" were different from "the workers"? What a profound class analysis of Alberta.

Quote:
So yes, despite a  very clear mandate Notley does have to govern with a mind to the whole province, and gaining trust, unless she wants to wind up in that dustbin after one term.

Translation: "The whole province" = the U.S. "Gaining trust" = not rocking the boat of the 1%.

Quote:
As any politician should, who doesn't come from the Stephen Harper school of power and treats an election as as a mandate for an elected dictatorship. .

That's just hilarious. She now has to govern on behalf of those who did everything to oppose and defeat her. After all, the unions have nowhere else to go, right?

She should very quickly read up on the history of all the other NDP governments who forgot who brought them to power, sucked up to wealth, and got discarded both by the 1% and the 99%.

 

6079_Smith_W

Cross posted.

And what do you think, Unionist? That Alberta runs without oil? Excuse me for thinking that in that department a review of royalties, expecting corporations to pay their share, turning down keystone and northern gateway, and consideration of refinery jobs - for workers - might be enough.

But the thought that they would work with oil companies on any of that... heresy, obviously.

I suppose covering them in bitumen, oily feathers and running those executives out of town on a pipe is the right course, eh?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist, what the hell are you talking about? I know this is a bit of a surprise (hell, I spend a lot of time in Alberta on a regular basis, and I can hardly believe it) but you are not making any sense.

She also said she was looking forward to working with the PM. THis means she is just a branch office of the PMO now?

Yes. She has to govern for the good of the whole province. That doesn't mean perpetuating the Conservative agenda, but it doesn't mean shutting your ears like our prime minister either.

 

mark_alfred

One thing Notley needs to do is ground people.  Often some people have wildly high expectations of the NDP and thus become hyper-critical when these expectations aren't met.  The other thing, as I mentioned before, is to not knuckle under pressure to give up aspects of the platform they ran on (IE, the oil royalty review, which petroleum producers already seem determined to fight).  I think it's fine that she's talking nice now with people in the oil industry, but the royalty review from their platform (see below) should not be dropped:

Quote:
( 1.2) A careful review of how Alberta will promote resource processing and fair royalties: We’ll establish a Resource Owners’ Rights Commission to report to the new Premier and the Legislature within six months on measures to promote greater processing of Alberta’s energy resources, and to ensure a full and fair return to the people of Alberta for their energy resources. We’ll act on recommendations within the first year of the next term of the Legislature.

That said, I do agree that she should move cautiously and not bring in anything that they didn't campaign on.  So, I think it would be a mistake to talk about proportional representation, since it wasn't in their platform or their campaign (from what I know).

Glenl

Ms Notley ran on jobs, amongst other things. This is Alberta, who should she be talking to if not the oil patch ( which isn't just the tar sands by the way). It's rigs that move out of the province not tar sand projects, they're kinda stuck in place. Avoiding unnecessary knee jerk reactions and causing additional layoffs is what I would expect her to focus on for a week or so.

6079_Smith_W

The talk here (only half in jest) is making room for businesses and refugees fleeing the purge, and sealing off the border.

Howard

Howard wrote:

They should avoid giving too much power to the old guard too. While their experience is very valuable, and they have certainly demonstrated loyalty, their calcified ideas did not contribute much to the progress the NDP saw on election night: this is a new movement from a new generation, and the party ignores this rejuvenation at their own peril.

Looks like I am not alone in this sentiment.

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