The toughest immediate task ahead for Alberta’s new NDP Premier Rachel Notley will involve self discipline strong enough to resist the desire to fulfill her dreams in a hurry.
I think she has the integrity and commonsense to do that. I hope so, anyway. She demonstrated during her march to victory that she was a competitor with decency. When her opponents sank to use TV attack commercials, a fixed feature of USA elections and becoming ever more so in Canada, she rose well above the gutter, flashed a brilliant smile, refused to engage and stayed pleasantly on track with her optimistic promise to work for a better life in already pleasant Alberta.
It’s the kind of political leadership we all hope for.
She convinced voters she had a plan, that she was sincere. She didn’t boast of immediate solutions to problems, just that she and her newly elected team thought there were better ways to do things and would work hard to achieve their goals. She convinced voters she could be trusted, and that assured her victory. She appealed to pride and the positive.
In Ottawa and Victoria New Democrats rejoiced when the landslide occurred with federal leader Thomas Mulcair almost beside himself as he wandered around chortling and chanting about pundits who said the Conservatives could never be defeated, while BC leader John Horgan proudly showed one orange sock in support for the orange wave. Both men forecast similar results the next time voters are asked to make a choice. Federally that’s next October – or maybe sooner. Provincially we have a couple years to go.
That’s enough time for Mulcair and Horgan to understand why Rachel Notley made it look easy. She exuded goodwill; she spoke of her province with pride and made Albertans feel proud. She was confident, she was positive, she was believable. She offered leadership with positive warmth, a quality sadly lacking in the never ending litany of complaints from of Mulcair and Horgan.
They could learn to be positive and proud, but they’ve been negative too long. And it will cost them in the future as it has in the past.