From Cowtown to Maotown
Rod Mickleburgh takes a long view on Rachel Notley's longshot win that changed Alberta's political landscape overnight, maybe for good
By Rod Mickleburgh
I wasn’t there, but I bet a lot of tears were shed by Alberta NDP oldtimers at the party’s giddy, raucous ‘n’ rollin’ post-victory celebration in Edmonton. That was certainly the order of the evening on a similar dragon-slaying night long ago, out here in British Columbia. On Aug. 30, 1972, Dave Barrett, the 41-year old son of an East Vancouver fruit pedlar, led “the socialist hordes” inside the province’s gates for the first time, after nearly 40 years of repeated failure. Among the hysterical crowd greeting a triumphant Barrett at the Coquitlam Arena (it was a different time…) was veteran union official Rudy Krickan, who’d worked for the party since the 1930’s. His eyes moistening, Krickan told a reporter: “This is the greatest night of my life.” Barrett’s mother Rose, who put young Dave on a ...