DID YOU SEE Rachel Notley the other day giving it her all in the Legislature?
She was pretty pissed with Jason Kenney because he didn’t proclaim what she wanted to hear about Roe v. Wade. It’s as if she set her hair on fire, going bedoink over political business in America. The premier reminded the Opposition Leader that, ummm…the provincial legislature has no jurisdiction in the United States, let alone it’s Supreme Court.
Undeterred, the ND’s lady-in-waiting leader damn near went apoplectic demanding the premier give his nod one way or the other about a woman’s right to choose in Alberta (should on some future Margaret Atwood-inspired date, and somewhere beyond the blue horizon, and if the UCP still is a ‘thing’… you get the picture).
HELL HATH NO FURY
The UCP is doing a splendid job blowing itself up. Lots to talk about there, uh-huh. And while we understand Alberta’s New Democrats are supposed to be the Loyal Opposition, there is far more to the job than merely being a political opponent.
Where are the big 21st century ideas? It’s not enough to just rant about what the government of the day is doing that’s not working. Albertans want to hear ideas about what will work.
And more importantly—there’s a blizzard of asteroids heading Alberta’s way right now. We’re facing issues that Albertans (and political parties) couldn’t even have anticipated six months ago.
In no specific order:
- How does our province negotiate a clearer role within Canada in moving forward on solutions to energy insecurity or food insecurity (and other consequences of Putin’s diabolical aggression in Ukraine)?
- The UCP rant about how a fair deal in Canada needs tweaking in the present crisis; what is the NDP recommending?
- What’s the most effective role of government in fixing or battling with inflation…beyond rebates on electricity, fuel tax and natural gas bills? What would the NDP do?
- How can Alberta attract and retain talent based on meritocracy and fairness…and not just mouthing feel-good “woke” mantras? How would the NDP move forward on this aim?
TELL ME SOMETHING NEW
The world is relying on Albertans—to reboot not just our agriculture outputs and energy industry, but to kick-start our entire extractive sector. Cobalt, lithium and other minerals are needed in a 21st century world.
How would the NDP, led by Rachel, move forward to build and respond to those needs without capitulating to activists or special interests?
How would the NDP advance these strategies in ways that unite—rather than further divide—rural and urban Albertans?
The UCP experience with coal-mining is a lesson in what not to do—how will a party of the future do this differently and ensure choices made reflect the public interest? The last leader to do this was Peter Lougheed. These are all fair questions for the Official Opposition to answer.
And the Official Opposition also needs to tell us what they will do differently in the HOW of governing. The UCP leadership will no doubt continue to be mired in scandal and vote counting and power struggles. Premier Kenney is a master of the art of delay, delay, delay…and we should expect another year of the same. It’s yesterday’s party being fought for by yesterday’s leaders.
As we described in our last blog, on their watch, UCP political leaders in Alberta have allowed governance to become weakened. When it works well, good governance is invisible. But when it fails, cronyism and self interest thrives and eats away at the scaffolding of our province’s institutions, culture, and resources. It’s time to prune away all the detritus; it compromises us all. How would the NDP return Alberta to a more open government? What changes to Alberta’s Lobbyist Act are being recommended by the NDP? We’re asking.
The lady-in-waiting, Rachel Notley, is running ads vouching for her likability and compassion. Rachel is a nice person, we agree. Very nice. But in a world besieged by macho leaders like Vladimir Putin, we need strong, not nice.
And she is passionate— a self-described activist. We’re all watching how federal environment and climate change minister and former activist, Steven Guilbeault, struggles to advance his decarbonization agenda vision, seemingly oblivious to the reality of the world around him. How exactly will Rachel position Alberta in the polarized tension between global energy insecurity and federal climate change aims? Rachel is an environmental lawyer; she knows what’s at stake here. This is no time to play politics.
People have memories and when the NDP were elected to power in 2015, they didn’t much listen to people from inside the province. Is anything different, now?
The NDP still hasn’t told Albertans what they would do differently. We deserve more than “trust us, we’re nice.”
This column is the consensus opinion of the writers Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to BEYOND POLARITY — scroll down on your phone or tablet, or look to the right in the panel beside this post. Enter your email to FOLLOW, a wheel spins, hamsters get fed.