DIVERSITY OR DIVISIONIST?
A recent column in the Edmonton Journal noted Kenney blames his low and dropping approval rate on “we have a much more diverse range of opinions in Alberta…and a much larger number of people who oppose almost all restrictions.”
Facts are, based on research, shows we ALBERTANS are about 63 to 68% Moderate Centrist. If Alberta politics were put in a Bell Curve and not a linear spectrum the big middle bulge would be where the Moderate Pragmatic Centrists are.
That is not proof denying “a diverse range of opinion,” or is it? There is a hardcore partisan element on the Left and the Right. They are organized, active, vocal, and funded, including through Political Action Committees.
There is also “diversity” within both Left and Right Alberta partisan political tribes. There are significant internal Partisan Culture Wars. Both have elements that are all and only about pursuing political power but based on stale, stark, and simplistic ideological purity and Identity Politics.
POLITICAL POWER NEEDED
I know there is no point in any citizen-based effort to Press for Change in Alberta’s political culture unless there is a pursuit of gaining political power through our Democracy. However, these days, there is way too much self-serving special-interest influence in political party membership and way too much concentration of command and control power in party leaders.
Hyper partisanship within the Left and Right is making it harder to be an effective party leader. There are extremist elements on the Left and the Right who are pushing a political agenda.
The rhetoric, from both sides, shows that effort is all too often more about beating the Other rather than any pragmatic pursuit of the greater good in the 21st-century reality of Alberta.
INTERNAL PARTISAN CULTURE WARS
The Hard-Left in the NDP was upset with the Notley leadership because she personally moved to the center while in Government. They were quieter when she had power but are now rising up and more aggressive in asserting their demands.
The Ayn Rand Libertarian Right was courted and preferred in the Kenney lead Unite the Right, dedicated to beating the NDP government
They became a powerful voice, along with Evangelical Christian Theocrats, within the UCP base. Kenney is actually more politically aligned with Religious Zealots and Old-Oil Oligarchs in Alberta as he marches backward, seeing the future through a rearview mirror mindset.
As a result, the Libertarians are now very angry with Kenney, Recent polls show they have become seriously disenchanted with Kenney. They see him more as an Ottawa Federalist than a “Real Albertan.” Take note that Kenney had stopped speaking French in his public appearances. Ever wonder why?
The Libertarians have moved away from the “United” (sic) Conservative Party to become Wexiteer Separatists and a disturbing version of Trumpian Republicans. They are finding and forming a new political home in the Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta.
The Kenney Unite the Right movement purged the few remaining Progressives out of the PC PARTY. Some allegedly used tried and true dirty-trick political scams in the UCP leadership process. That is all under suspicion due to undisclosed dark-money donors. The leadership process of the United PC-Wildrose, to become the UCP, is under criminal fraud investigation by the RCMP.
The UCP Base doesn’t care about any of that but the rest of Alberta should be concerned. What if Premier Kenney is really illegitimately the Premier of Alberta because his UCP leadership may be void for fraud. Too early to tell and the RCMP seems to be taking their own sweet time in advancing the investigation.
Still and all, Kenney sees any threat to him keeping personal political power is not to come from the Left and definitely not from the Centre but from the Far-Right. And he is correct in that assessment.
“MARTHA AND HENRY” HAVE BEEN PLAYED
He has ignored the aged Klein-era Martha and Henry small town, rural Albertans. This was after he inveigled them to abandon Brian Jean in the Leadership process after PC-Wildrose “merger.”
Kenney is leaving them confused and hurt, but nowhere to go politically so they still send the UCP their $5 monthly donations, likely more from habit than conviction.
IF NOT THIS; THEN WHAT?
Less than 6% of Albertans belong to political parties, typically less than half of us actually vote, but 100% of us are citizens. The power of citizenship is under appreciated and woefully under utilized. Reboot Alberta is about advancing the power of citizenship to protect, preserve, and promote Democracy in Alberta.
There is significant diversity in the Alberta center and that is where the Reboot Alberta members are challenged. That centrist diversity is the the subject of next post.
Stay tuned. Stay attuned. Don’t tune out. Democracy is at stake.