The results of the “nasty” hyper-partisan Alberta 2019 election is having predictable effects as the “War-like” framing of Alberta’s political culture. This is where the UCP Right and the NDP Left are intent on destroying each other. They are engaged in a political battle for the hearts and minds of Albertans based on very different, aggressive and adversarial narratives about .
The Populist Hard Right stance of the UCP has the majority and is intent on taking Alberta back to the so-called Alberta Advantage. That is characterized by 1990s austere policy thinking and bigoted, prejudicial 1950s social policy mindsets. There is really no effective policy whatsoever on the environment, excepts to repeal the efforts of the previous government. They are playing mostly to their Conventional Oil industry and Evangelical Christian Base.
The NDP is now emerging as more Leftists Populist party as their public sector union Base is pulling the Party away from the more moderate approach they pursued as government. The legislative agenda of the UCP, especially in matters of union organization (Bill 2) and collective bargaining processes (Bill 9) is also pushing the NDP further left. As a result, the NDP Opposition is evolving quickly into protecting the Status Quo for its Public Sector Union Base.
When the overarching objective of the UCP Government and the NDP Opposition is to beat and defeat the “other in political terms, good governance is going to suffer. The Alberta Populists sentiments are almost as old as the Province.
*Premier Kenney currently invokes “Prairie Populism” to describe the UCP. That is a deep historical throwback and was what the Uniter Farmers of Alberta were called, forming just after World War I and governing Alberta 1921-1935. The Social Credit Party was populist provincially and the Reform Party of Canada was a federal populist party originating in Alberta. The UCP is a quintessential Populists party with roots over a century old.
There is a need for an option beyond the current anger and angst driven divisive populism. That should take the form of a Centrist Progressive political movement. That movement could adopt the best of the Right and the Left but leave the arcane and antiquated political approaches behind. Instead of being mostly beholden to self-serving Base supporters.
To those ends the Reboot Alberta Progressive political project of 2009-10 is being revived. The purpose will be to find ways to enable and empower progressive Albertans to engage as citizens. This is not a partisan event. It is a Gathering for progressive Albertans come together and explore ways to co-create a movements to bring core progressive governing values like Integrity, Honesty, Accountability, Transparency and Environmental Stewardship front and centre of Alberta’s political culture.
If you are concerned about the current state of Alberta’s politics and our future direction, come to the Reboot Alberta Revival Gathering. The world is run by those who show up. For details and registration information on the July 27 event; click here.