The 2015 federal election gave us the first 78-day campaign in modern memory. We had a huge transformation in Ottawa and saw significant change in 3 provincial elections in 2015.
We said 2015 would be quieter than 2014, but that proved to be grossly optimistic. We guarantee 2016 will be tremendously quieter than either of the previous 2 years.
There are 2 scheduled provincial elections in 2016, and only one of them should be contentious.
The federal election delayed the provincial elections in the prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, pushing those elections to 2016. In Manitoba, the election was supposed to be on October 6, 2015 but will now be on April 19. The Saskatchewan election moved from November 2, 2015 to April 4, 2016.
The 2 provincial elections will be really close together, though not as close as back-to-back days in early May with elections in Prince Edward Island and Alberta.
The NDP has been in power in Manitoba since 1999; Greg Selinger has been premier since 2009. There is more than an itch to try something different. The Liberal Party wave may not hit this province since the party has a single seat and hasn't formed government since 1953.
Amazingly, no province currently has a party with the word Conservative in its name running a province. The Progressive Conservatives of Manitoba are primed to make an exception.
The Saskatchewan Party and Brad Wall are in charge in that province. Their lead is very substantial in the Saskatchewan Assembly over the NDP. And Saskatchewan doesn't have the itch that has hit Manitoba.
The beauty of the parliamentary system is that elections can be called any time. No province is stirring to call an early election but here is a list of the provinces and the year of their last provincial election.
Manitoba — 2016
Saskatchewan — 2016
Newfoundland and Labrador — 2015
Alberta — 2015
Prince Edward Island — 2015
Quebec — 2014
Ontario — 2014
New Brunswick — 2014
Nova Scotia — 2013
British Columbia — 2013
Canada has 3 of the 10 provinces run by women as 2016 begins. Rachel Notley from Alberta became the latest female premier, joining Christy Clark (British Columbia) and Kathleen Wynne (Ontario).
Canada had 5 women in charge starting in 2014. The number got as low as 2 in the spring of 2014 and stayed there before the Notley win in the spring of 2015. Rana Bokhari is the Liberal Party leader in Manitoba, but her party only has a single seat in the Manitoba Assembly, so that number will likely stay at 3.
We did keep a promise to have fewer Rob Ford stories in 2015. We will keep making that promise as long as necessary.