EDMONTON — Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley says Liberal Justin Trudeau's election win demonstrates the importance of avoiding a negative campaign.
"I believe that as much as possible it's important to run a positive campaign that brings voters together,'' Notley said at the legislature Tuesday.
"I'm pleased that that seems to have been the ultimate outcome.''
The Liberals won a majority government on Monday night after a campaign that focused on a message of change.
Conservative Stephen Harper has been criticized for a campaign that included attack ads that ridiculed Trudeau as `"Justin'' the greenhorn who was "just not ready.''
Religion also became a wedge issue when Harper promised that his team would ban niqabs and other face coverings at citizenship ceremonies.
Early on, Harper took a run at Notley, saying her NDP government's decision to hike taxes and increase spending was disastrous, unwise and had spiralled the Canadian economy further downward.
Notley declined to analyze Harper's 10-year legacy as prime minister. She also declined to give an opinion as to why the federal New Democrats plunged from official Opposition to third place.
But she did note that Alberta NDP policies mesh in many ways with the federal Liberal platform.
"A majority of Canadians did appear to vote for a platform that talked about protecting and properly funding health care, about investing in infrastructure, about taking action on climate change and about renewing our relationship with indigenous Canadians,'' she said.
"There's a tremendous amount of overlap. I think going forward there's a good opportunity for our province to work collaboratively with the federal government on some key files.''
Notley said she spoke with Trudeau briefly on election night and said she looks forward to working with him.
Notley stumped at times for the NDP and its leader Thomas Mulcair in Alberta. But her historic majority win in the May 5 provincial election, ending more than four decades of Progressive Conservative government, did not translate into success federally.
The NDP's lone Alberta MP, Linda Duncan of Edmonton Strathcona, won her seat for a third time, but the party was otherwise shut out.
The New Democrats have only ever elected two MPs from Alberta: Duncan and Ross Harvey in Edmonton in 1988. Historically, the party's popular vote has hovered just below 10 per cent.
"I felt that it was important to participate in what little way I could (for Mulcair) and so I did, because I've been a New Democrat all my life and always will be,'' said Notley.
"That being said, Albertans made different choices and I actually agree very much with former prime minister Harper that the voters are always right.''
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