CHRIST’S RESURRECTION (recently celebrated by Christians observing the Latin calendar) is a leap of faith. For believers, it’s evidence for life after death. And a promise of redemption no matter how rotten you’ve been.
In the instance of Alberta’s body politic, and the last two provincial elections, is it possible to roll away the stone? Will Rachel Notley and her New Democrats (ND) ascend once more into the Legislature?
And what of Danielle Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP)? Can they repent and redeem themselves? Will voters forgive & forget their mean-spiritedness these past four years?
While Christianity has a place in heaven for contrite reprobates, Premier Smith doesn’t understand you don’t talk to ‘river of fire’ evangelicals who are as ideologically rigid as the greeniacs who would have all of us eliminated because nature is pure and humanity isn’t.
Premier Smith’s blindspots are harder and harder to ignore. It won’t take the devil to tempt a majority of Albertans to un-elect Smith’s UCP, come May 29th.
Which begats the question: Exactly who are these people that identify as Alberta’s New Democrats ?
The UCP would have you believe Notley is cozying up to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh. A vote for an Alberta NDP equates to support for the status quo in Ottawa!
Though it’s a frightening spectre, intended to deter any right-minded voter from having a boo at Alberta NDs, we encourage you to take a second look.
NEW & IMPROVED?
Notley’s ND are not the federal New Democrats. Technically, they may be shaded by the same umbrella but it’s a shared space that’s beyond uncomfortable.
They’re not the Saskatchewan New Democrats either. And while they’re pragmatic, like the B.C. ND’s, there are differences too.
As for any trust between Notley and Trudeau (the younger), that’s surely implausible. When premier of Alberta, Notley was screwed over by Trudeau. She isn’t ever likely to forget how that felt and how the relationship played out at the polls.
Voters should be vigilant in teasing out the many strings pulling elected politicians in one direction or another. To whom…or what…do political actors owe their allegiance? It’s a question on every voter’s mind.
Of course, the pat answer to the question (by any elected politician) goes along the lines of… “I’m loyal to my constituents. I owe my allegiance to the people of Alberta.” Yadda, yadda. We’ve all been buffalo’d before and know that there are always ties that pull politicians in the direction of certain policies and choices; some good, some bad.
So, get out your flashlight and flush out the strings that connect Rachel’s NDs to influence—inside and outside the province.
Friends in B.C., the ones who lean centre-left, claim to be coming to Alberta to help Rachel with the upcoming election. They position themselves as saviours coming to the rescue of Alberta voters.
If a political party in Alberta can’t build the wherewithal to muster its own get-out-the-vote structures and organizational capacity, province-wide, what’s the value of politicos from across the country scurrying to do the work of getting a party elected?
As for Jagmeet and the federal NDs, it would help Rachel, especially in Calgary, if they resist temptation and keep their nose out of Alberta politics.
Please, stay away.
Pretend we’re not related. That would be most helpful.
Pundits predict Calgary will decide the fate of Alberta in the upcoming contest. As irritating as that is for many Albertans, including the New Democrats, we suspect there’s some truth in the calculus. But there are a few caveats.
Calgary is often cited as a right-leaning, business-oriented city modelled on American counterparts, such as they are in Montana or Texas. Once upon a time, that would have been a fair assessment. But it’s also the city that elected Jyoti Gondek and Naheed Nenshi. And even if polls suggest a “weariness with left-of-centre politicians,” it would be unwise to paint over the differences in political opinions.
Janet Brown, the pollster, has run some numbers, looking at Calgary’s four quadrants. Her polling suggests that northern parts of the city are open to voting ND but the southern quadrants, not-so-much. And, she suggests, there are a few constituencies outside Calgary (and Edmonton) that could swing in Rachel’s direction.
There will be some people looking up at the flagpole to see which way the wind is blowing. And they will be confused by a frayed flag that’s wrapped itself tight around the pole. Will they show up on election day and vote? That too is a big question.
WHAT EXACTLY HAS ARISEN?
Indeed. What has been resurrected in Alberta’s political landscape?
Since the last election, Rachel’s NDs have changed somewhat; they’re not the gang they once were. Don even finds Sarah Hoffman, his MLA in Edmonton-Glenora, to be an approachable, genuine person and not the fire-breathing avatar he once conjured up in his mind.
So we’re throwing down the gauntlet: New Democrats in Alberta—define yourself, more clearly. No blather and bluster and crap designed to confuse or corrupt smart people. Are you folks just saying stuff & anything it takes to get elected?
Pray tell: Who are you now ND?
As for the rest of us?
Ms. Notley (and any elected leader) will need all concerned to be of assistance—the next four years are bound to be head-turners. The Saudis cranked down the taps, and the price of oil shot up in North America and everywhere else that’s not aligned with the Russia-China cabal. The oil sands will be a thing until such a time, they aren’t. If elected premier, Notley will have to play off her base, yet somehow retain them… a parlour trick perhaps. But one that surely won’t rely on the gospel of Justin Trudeau.
Amen to that.
P.S. Some of you have been asking what we’re up to: Don is creating podcasts for Iron & Earth, & Donna has a weekly newspaper column Dishing with DKG in the National Post. But, rest assured, this blog—and the opportunity to speak to fellow Albertans—continues to be a heart-felt priority.
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.