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The politics of Albertamarker are centred on a provincial government resembling that of the other Canadianmarker provinces, namely a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The capital of the province is Edmontonmarker, where the Lieutenant Governor, Premier, the legislature, and cabinet reside.

The unicameral legislature—the Legislative Assembly of Alberta—has 83 members. Government is conducted after the Westminster model. The province's revenue, although including grants from the federal government, is chiefly derived from management of the provincial resources. Alberta has a system of municipal government similar to that of the other provinces. The most significant exception is that Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax (see also Sales taxes in Canada).

Alberta's first Legislature, Edmonton, 1906

Albertan politics since the 1930s have typically been characterized as substantially more right-wing than those of any other Canadian provinces. The provincial government has been formed by a series of right-wing parties for decades, beginning in 1935 with Social Credit and continuing since 1971 with the Progressive Conservatives. The previous premier of Alberta was Ralph Klein, who, despite making many controversial statements and having had problems with alcohol, remained the leader of the Progressive Conservative party and thus the province, although only 55% of delegates from his party signified their approval of his leadership on the spring of 2006, pushing him into early retirement. Edmonton is the exception as residents have historically voted for more left of centre parties, such as the Liberal Party of Alberta and Alberta New Democrats. The 2004 provincial election would be one of a number of examples. Although the Progressive Conservatives won 13 out of 18 seats in Edmonton in 2008, for that election the PC Party had a leader who was more from Edmonton than Calgary and who was perceived to be less connected to the interests of Calgary-headquartered energy corporations.

Alberta's political stability has led to a series of political dynasties. In this, Alberta is a first-past-the-post system, so even though a party may have a majority of the seats in the legislature, it does not necessarily mean that the government formed matches the wishes of a majority of the population. For example, in the 2004 election, the Progressive Conservative party won 61 of 83 seats (73%) while only obtaining 47.07% of the popular vote, leading for many of the opposition parties to include electoral reform in their policies. In its history, Alberta has seen only four parties form governments, none of which has returned to power after a single incumbent defeat:

1905-1921 Alberta Liberal Party
1921-1935 United Farmers of Alberta
1935-1971 Social Credit Party of Alberta
1971-present Alberta Progressive Conservatives

Most of the 26 Albertan general elections held have resulted in overwhelming majorities for the governing party, a trend unseen in any other province in Canada. No minority government has ever been elected in Alberta, nor has any minority ever been brought about due to by-elections and/or floor crossings.

Alberta was the heartland of the former Reform Party of Canada and its successor, the Canadian Alliance. These parties were the second-largest political parties in the federal Parliamentmarker from 1997 to 2003, and the furthest to the political right. The Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form today's Conservative Party of Canada, which is led by the Ontariomarker-born Stephen Harper who moved to Alberta in the 1980s.

Both the provincial Progressive Conservatives and the Reform/Alliance parties reflect Alberta's more socially conservative nature when compared to other provinces. Politicians elected by Albertans tend to oppose social policies such as same-sex marriage and gun control. According to a 2001 poll by Leger Marketing, 61.8% of Albertans polled are in favour of the death penalty compared to 52.9% of Canadians, although death penalty has been abolished throughout Canada since 1976. Former Premier, Ralph Klein had even attempted to establish relations with politicians in the US, including sending a letter of support to US President George W. Bush signifying his approval for the Iraq war.

Some Albertans continue to resent the imposition in the 1980s of the National Energy Program (NEP) by the Liberal federal government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. It was considered to be an intrusion by the federal government in an area of provincial responsibility that led some Albertans to consider separation of the province from Canada. There have been occasional surges in interest since then in the idea of seceding from Canada, but this movement is generally considered to be on the political fringe. The NEP was ended when the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, led by Brian Mulroney, formed the federal government following the 1984 federal election.

Albertans are the lowest-taxed people in Canada, mostly because of the province's considerable oil and gas income. It is also the only province in Canada where there is no Provincial Sales Tax. Unlike the other provinces, which use a progressive income tax regime, Alberta uses a flat rate income tax (currently at 10%). Alberta is of late one of few provinces that consistently has not received equalization payments from the federal government (the others being British Columbiamarker and (until this year) Ontariomarker, the original benchmark provinces). Alberta is now the largest net contributor to the program, which is intended to ensure that all provinces are able to provide similar levels of public services. The province's wealth is largely due to the abundance of natural resources, as a result Alberta is the only province in Canada that has (recently) eliminated its provincial debt.

In the 2006 election, the federal Conservative Party of Canada won all 28 of the 28 seats in Alberta, providing them with a complete sweep of the province. However, a collapse of the Liberal vote allowed the NDP to win the seat of Edmonton-Strathcona in the election of 2008, denying the Conservatives a second sweep of the province. Many of the Conservative candidates were elected with large majorities of the vote. Alberta has for decades been considered a conservative fortress, no matter which right of centre party they may have chosen to support. Albertans followed strong support for the Progressive Conservatives in the 1980s with the same degree of support for the Reform Party, and the Canadian Alliance in the 1990s, finally delivering a clean sweep for the new Conservative Party of Canada only a few years after its creation in 2003-2004.

However, small disaffection with the Conservative Party of Canada over policies enacted during its minority government such as with equalization and the Conservatives' reversal on income trusts led to the founding of the nascent federal Party of Alberta, in 2006. Provincially, while the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta has been in power for 38 years, they continue to win large electoral majorities, winning 72 out of 83 seats in the March 2008 provincial election. However, for the first time in decades, the PCs are currently facing a challenge from the right wing from the upstart Wildrose Alliance Party, with a November 2009 poll finding the new party having 28% support, just 6 points behind the governing PCs..

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