After 44 years as a Progressive Conservative stronghold, Albertans threw their support behind the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) in an upset election. But it was too much for many of those loyal to the old ways of the West.
The results had some Albertans on social media threatening to move to Saskatchewan, the neighbouring province.
"I'm up and moving to Saskatchewan. This just ain't the berta I grew up lovin," @Decles_18 tweeted.
"Should probably just sell the house and move to Saskatchewan," says @NemChex.
Some Albertans worry that if corporate taxes increase under the NDP, businesses - especially oil companies, which have already laid off thousands of workers since oil prices began to fall last summer - will move elsewhere, which would result in increased unemployment in Alberta.
NDP leader Rachel Notley has already said she will not lobby for oil pipelines, such as Keystone XL, the success of which was a priority for the Progressive Conservative party.
And markets appeared to respond to the news. Shortly after opening on Wednesday, Canada's TSX stock index fell with significant losses among energy companies.
One Albertan "inspired by the NDP to move" posted an ad for "1 Gently used oilfield life," which comes "Complete with family, over priced Dodge Ram, uncontrolled credit card debit, $380,000 dollar house valued at $250,000."
Conservative supporters warned business would follow the new emigrants.
"It's a 'good day to grab some real estate in Saskatchewan' #oilsands analyst says to me, only half jokingly, after learning of NDP #abvote victory," tweeted business reporter Jameson Berkow.
"That giant sucking sound is the capital investment that is moving to Saskatchewan from Alberta after tonight's election," tweeted @ryajackson.
Kevin Johnson posted a photo on the Meanwhile in Alberta Facebook page of an apparent refugee camp with text describing what the would-be Saskatchewanians would need to do before they were admitted entry into the province.
And a still photo of a Saskatchewan reference from a "Downfall" parody video, in which Hitler rants about the NDP win, was widely shared.
As for the Saskatchewanians, tweeters like @WesKirby9 welcomed the arrival of their neighbours, with the exception of one rock band from Hanna, Alberta. "I will accept the majority of people moving from Alberta to Saskatchewan, but Alberta has to keep Nickelback," he wrote.
If they do pack up their wagons and mosey on east, these Conservative supporters might be surprised to learn the NDP has made up three of the past five governments in Saskatchewan.
Blog by Micah Luxen
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