On the 16th of April the people of Alberta (Canada) elected the United Conservative Party (UCP) as their new government, with Jason Kenney as their premier elect. The victory was resounding. It looks like the UCP gets 70 % of the seats (63 of 87), while receiving 55% of the votes. With that the socialist NDP got thrown out of government by the Albertans. They got 32% of the votes and the other 30% of the seats (24 seats).
The Canadian ‘first-past-the-post’ election system is quite different from the preferential ballot system in Australia. The Canadian system makes it possible that a party can win a large majority of the seats with only a small majority of the votes, or often even with a large minority. You win a seat if you are the one with the most votes, even if it is not the majority of the votes. If three parties are involved, it is possible that you get elected with 34 % of the votes.
Much can be said either in favour or against this system. But we can say the same about the Australian system or the Dutch system or the American system or any other system. Several have tried to change the Canadian system but so far all efforts have failed. The present Prime Minister promised that the last federal election would be the last using this first-past-the-post system. He appointed a committee to develop a better way, but after a year he had to give up his attempt, breaking his election promise, because it became clear that every other way of electing members of parliament had its draw-backs as well. In British Columbia a referendum was held recently about a form of proportional representation, but this proposal was soundly defeated by the voters.
Good News for Christian Schools
This conservative victory in Alberta is good news for Christian Schools. Mr. David Eggen, the NDP minister for education in Alberta until now, tried to impose his version of the ‘safe-schools’ program on not only the public but also independent schools in Alberta.
In August 2018, Mr. Eggen even announced that funding would be pulled from Christian schools that refused to accept Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs.
During their time in government, the NDP in a radical way tried forcing their LGBT ideology into communities that did not want it. It resulted in a more or less open declaration by the government that schools cannot govern themselves according to their Christian beliefs. School that had Chritian beliefs included in their ‘safe-and-caring’ policies were forced to remove it, or else they would lose their funding.
The NDP had hoped that the Christian schools could be forced to comply with their demands. The funding would be cut for the upcoming school year, starting in July. What if these Christian schools would stand firm and refused to change their policies? They would have lost funding. But I’m sure the NDP bullies would not have stopped there. Governments have more means than only financial support to force schools to do their will. Provincial governments determine the curriculum to be taught in the schools. If schools do not abide by that provincial curriculum, they may not be able to issue officially recognised diplomas to their graduates.
We believe that God governs everything. This win for the conservatives is good news for the Christian schools in Alberta. Let us thank God for that. While at the same time realising that this world, under the leadership of Satan, will not cease to attack Christians who want to remain faithful to God’s Word. Let us then also continue to pray to God to lead us not into temptation, so that God will ‘uphold and strengthen us by the power of His Holy Spirit, so that in this spiritual war we may not go down to defeat but always firmly resist our enemies until we finally obtain the complete victory’ (see Lord’s Day 52 of the Heidelberg Catechism).