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Danielle Smith of the United Conservative Party (UCP) gestures during her party's provincial election night party.


Populism in Alberta

The big political news of the week in Canada was the down-to-the-wire Alberta election, which pitted the ruling United Conservative Party against the left-leaning New Democratic Party. The UCP, led by controversial populist Danielle Smith, managed to defeat the NDP, whose leader, former premier Rachel Notley, managed to win most of the urban seats.

The results reveal a province more polarized than is typical for Canadian politics, where most legislatures have three parties. Alberta, which is politically influenced by Western states, now resembles them politically in a heavily polarized two-party alignment.

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