The election marathon continues: Next week, voters in the Province of Prince Edward Island might make history.

The leader of the Prince Edward Island Green Party Peter Bevan-Baker

There is little time to absorb the

election results

by which Alberta reverted back to the Conservatives on Tuesday, ending NDP rule after only one term in office.

Next week, voters in

Prince Edward Island

will head to the polls. In contrast to Albertans, voters in Canada’s smallest Province may well choose to use this opportunity to make history by, for the first time, charging the

Green Party

and its leader

Peter Bevan-Baker

with forming government. This would be unprecedented in Canada and would throw up interesting questions to ponder prior to the federal election scheduled for later this year. The rise of the

Green Party

in the country testifies to the increasing relevance of environmental issues and the role they play in politics all over the world. The Greens have demonstrated their ability to appeal to a wider section of the electorate in Provincial elections in

British Columbia

and

New Brunswick

already, but the widely used

First-past-the-post system

will make it difficult for the party to achieve a genuine breakthrough and to be represented according to its share of the vote. Thus, it will be another interesting aspect of the election in Prince Edward Island to see if the

Referendum

on electoral reform passes. Its perhaps most vocal proponent, Greens leader Peter Bevan-Baker,

believes

that there is now a good chance for the ballot initiative to be carried, making the electoral system in the Province much fairer and more representative.

Most

polling

has the Green Party in-front, but it is unclear whether any of the parties will be in a position to form government in their own right. Most indicators point to minority government, another historic and unprecedented outcome in the Province.

The governing

Liberals

under the leadership of Premier

Wade MacLauchlan

are struggling to win a fourth consecutive term in office which, as even opponents concede, is a difficult undertaking for any party burdened with longterm incumbency in the Province. The

Conservatives

under the leadership of

Dennis King

would under normal circumstances and following historical precedent be in with a good shot at governing, but the party has been beset by severe leadership problems for a long time.

Therefore, the Greens have stepped up to the plate and seem ready to fill this political void, allowing voters to endorse change without having to support either of the two traditional forces.

Weather patterns in this Province have always been inconsistent, but this has traditionally not effected political life here, with both major parties reliably alternating in power since the early 1850s. No matter how tight the election outcome, this is likely to change.

I keep my fingers crossed for the Greens and Peter Bevan-Baker to make history on Tuesday; even though its immediate impact would be largely on the Province, its repercussions would be reverberating throughout the nation, effecting political calculations in Ottawa as well.

For more on Canadian elections and politics read

this.

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