Reboot Alberta is all about encouraging citizens with a progressive perspective to become more engaged in political culture. If not, after the coming election, Albertans risk being governed by either an outmoded Left or Right ideology, or worse yet, the extremists within those factions.
To counter the old-ideologies of the partisan Left or Right Progressive have to be creative in how we attract other citizens to stand up, speak up and show up on election day. We need to be compelling on the issues we engage with as well as clear on the values we want to advance as progressive citizens.
How Do We Get a Progressive Political Culture Back in Alberta?
To get to a progressive Alberta political culture we need to be better at politics, but not the dark-money special-interests winner-take-all partisan aspects of politics. We need to pursue increased capacity for our political culture to be caring, compassionate, resourceful, innovative and capable of dealing with the challenges facing Alberta now and what we can see on the horizon.
We need to be focused on creating a genuine-wealth economy, distributed equitable, an educated and adaptable society that has social cohesion as it continues to diversify. And we need to be world renown for our environmental stewardship of our environment, now and for future generations.
In the age of the Internet we have to be creative too if we want to resonate with the hopes and dreams, and overcome the fear and anger of some Albertans. We need our institutions, and their leaders, to be more imaginative, authentic and trustworthy in how we reach out and relate to fellow Albertans as Progressive citizens. We need to open to apply creativity and adopting innovative ideas on how to imagine and express our preferred future, including those who feel bound to a partisan base of the opposing Left versus Right ideologies.
So the volatility of Alberta’s political landscape has shown us it’s not enough just to be a Progressive in the Alberta political culture. We need to be both Politically Progressive and Culturally Creative. and driven by a desire to Press for Change. So what does this mean and what does it look like? With all the disruption in technology, environment, societies, politics and beyond, what does a progressive future look like for Alberta?
Given Alberta’s variety of natural resources, abundance of fresh water, quality infrastructure with a young, educated, healthy, cosmopolitan, skilled, stable, inclusive and diverse population it’s not much of a stretch to merely aspire to be amongst the “best in the world.” Why not aspire to be “the best for the world” in some significant ways? It will take a mindset beyond being a population that just works and consumes…we need to strive to be more! That is where imagination and ingenuity comes to play.
Politically Progressive and Culturally Creative?
Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson, the co-authors of the Cultural Creatives (a great book and I highly recommend it) created a questionnaire to identify “Cultural Creatives” in American society. The characteristics below were identified as qualities of a “Cultural Creative” and I think they apply well to Alberta these days too.
I believe Cultural Creatives are likely to be Progressives but not all Progressives are necessarily Cultural Creatives. So, in my opinion, it’s not a perfect fit for identifying Progressives but its useful nevertheless. Also, in the Alberta political culture, Progressives are spread over a range of political parties, including Alberta Party, Greens, NDP and Liberals, so it’s personal not partisan. They make up the largest portion of our province at around 63%. They are found in communities and all over the province, throughout all demographics and in every level of society. They will not be from Alberta’s right-wing conservatives or the extremes on the Left.
Are You a Cultural Creative?
So as a matter of personal perspective, and just for the fun of it. look at these statements. If you are in agreement with 10 or more, according to Ray and Anderson, that indicates your status as a “Cultural Creative.”
If you are a Cultural Creative you are also likely to be an Aggressive Progressive in Alberta political cultural terms too. If you feel you align and want to help advance progressive values in Alberta’s political culture, then take a few minutes and prioritize the statements according to your personal values and interests. That should help you get a focus on where to might want spend some of your time and talents in Creatively advancing a Progressive Political Culture in our Alberta.
So let’s get started, do you feel/believe that you…
- love nature and deep caring about its preservation, and its natural balance;
- have a strong awareness of the planet-wide issues like climate change and poverty and a desire to see more action on them;
- are already activist in some personal way;
- are willingness to pay higher taxes or spend more money for goods if that money went to improving the environment;
- emphasize the importance of developing and maintaining relationships;
- emphasize the importance of helping others and developing their unique gifts;
- volunteer with one or more good causes;
- are intense interest in spiritual and psychological development (personal growth);
- see spirituality as an important aspect of life, but worry about religious fundamentalism;
- desire equality for women and men in business, life and politics;
- have a concern and support of the well-being of all women and children;
- support spending more money on education, community development programs, and the support of a more ecologically sustainable future;
- are unhappy with the left and right in politics;
- have optimism towards the future;
- are involved in creating a new and better way of life;
- are concerned with big business and the means they use to generate profits, including destroying the environment and exploiting poorer countries;
- are unlikely to overspend or be heavily in debt;
- dislike the emphasis of modern cultures on “making it” and “success”, on consuming and making money;
- like people, places and things that are different or exotic.
If you are interested in continuing the conversation about being an Aggressive Progressive and activating your citizenship, send me an email at [email protected] and I will follow-up for a conversation. Looking forward to hearing from you.