Win the Alberta election and she is the first elected female premier in the province, heading up a party that has run things for four decades and will soon shatter the record for longest-serving government in Canadian history.
Lose and she’s Harry Strom, the forgotten scapegoated premier of the Alberta Social Credit government when it fell to the Tories in 1971.
Redford, speaking at a weekend party rally, said she is pushing ahead and doesn’t feel the weight of history.
“I’m pretty excited about Monday,” she said.
“This is a campaign about Alberta’s future.
The Wildrose party, under leader Danielle Smith, have fashioned an electable alternative by capitalizing on discontent over deficit budgets, long health-care wait times, onerous land-use rules, and perceived political greed on salary and perks. Some polls have had them ahead by more than 15 points, though that lead appears to have slipped somewhat recently.
If the Wildrose wins, it will defeat a colossus whose history can only be told in large numbers and superlatives.
The PCs have held power in Alberta for 14,847 days – 40 years and almost eight months. That’s 1.3 trillion seconds for those so chronologically inclined.
Should they win a 12th consecutive majority government, they will be on track to make history. When the next election rolls around, they will have been in power close to 45 years, ahead of the 1882-1925 Nova Scotia Liberals (43 years) and the 1943-1985 Ontario PCs (42 years).
But political observers say the 40-year milestone has now become a bit of a millstone.
“It’s been monolithic control of the machinery of government by one political party for over 40 years,” said political scientist Chaldeans Mensah, with Grant MacEwan University.
“That creates its own political culture, it creates a network of connections, it creates a political ethos in terms of how things are done.”