The winds of change have swept the province.
After the provincial election on Tuesday night, Alberta now has a very different political landscape than what we woke up with the morning before.
We have ushered in a new era with the Alberta New Democrat Party (NDP) knocking the Progressive Conservative Party (PC) out of power, a position they held for an astounding 44 years.
Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley was named premier-elect, as though fulfilling a prophecy of change.
An NDP majority was quickly noted around 30 minutes after the polls closed on Tuesday night.
Many watching the election results unfold before their eyes were either in a state of disbelief that the preemptive polls were actually accurate or that Notley and the NDPs were actually able to take down the PCs with a resounding majority.
Recent polls had shown the Progressive Conservative party lagging behind both the Wildrose Party and the NDP.
Notley was very much like the David that could slay the PC Goliath, but who would have had such a thought at the beginning of the campaign?
So why exactly is this change historic? Because for the first time in Alberta’s history, the NDP, the little party that could, is sitting in the driver’s seat. A fresh government has risen to the charge with the Wildrose Party acting as the Official Opposition, a role they have more than fulfilled before.
The NDP has its roots deeply dug in rural Alberta, but it was on the doorsteps of many urban centres where the most gains were made.
Locally, the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency was again claimed by the Wildrose Party, with Ron Orr named as the newly-minted MLA.
In the end, the NDP swept up most of the province, with candidates from the party winning 53 seats of the 87 available in the legislature.
For the PCs, the loss was seen as devastating, with former premier Jim Prentice quickly announcing he was stepping down as leader of the PC Party and also as MLA for Calgary-Foothills, the seat in the legislature that he had just won a mere few hours before.
While some of us may be wary of this change and may feel that the political landscape is left in a very unstable state, the general consensus is that the change will do the province good.
What exactly the future holds for the province now is anyone’s guess, but we have to be proud that when Albertans demand resounding change, they head to the polls, cast their votes and create the change they want to see.