NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

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.


Browse more articles on International Issues