Progress And Popularity In Alberta
March 14, 1997
In Alberta, Canada, Premier Ralph Klein won landslide re-election in March 1997 -- his Progressive Conservatives winning 63 of 83 seats in the provincial parliament -- with popular, tough-love economic policies.
- In four years, he slashed public spending by 20 percent -- including such politically sensitive areas as education, welfare and health.
- Many government programs have been privatized, public sector pay hasn't gone up in six years and there are now 25 percent fewer government employees.
- Welfare rolls have fallen 56 percent, as eligibility has been tightened and the economy has boomed.
With the lowest taxes in Canada, the once debt-ridden province will boast a budget surplus equal to U.S. $1.6 billion in 1997 -- with plans to wipe out all its debt by 2005.
Source: Editorial, "Bold Reform = Political Success," Wall Street Journal, March 14, 1997.
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