Well, with a provincial election looming it’s probably time I weighed in with some thoughts. It’s a nice opportunity to look at the bigger picture instead of being intently focused on the local politics in Cochrane.
I have a feeling that many “left of center” folks are going to be voting PC in the upcoming election, particularly those in ridings where Liberal and NDP candidates have no chance of winning (so most of them). The Wild Rose is simply too focused on the budget (and property rights for rural landowners) to be considered a credible alternative for the majority of Albertans. It’s certainly nice to have 2 parties competing in a real election though, given 40 odd years of PC rule in the province. It’s unfortunate that the choices are A) right wing or B) really right wing. But at least we can choose!
If you’re interested in learning more about the Wildrose Party, you should check out their website. There you will see all kinds of cheap political tricks, including pandering to “power consumers”, “taxpayers”, “municipalities”, “rural alberta” and “parents” by making commitments in big bold type. So, pretty much everyone in the province is going to benefit from their gaining power. Nice to know.
Why not a commitment to the environment? If you read into the Wildrose Party policies a bit deeper, you read things like “fast regulatory approvals” and “ensuring private land owners are respected”. That certainly smacks of sound environmental policy. Let folks do whatever they want, only faster and with less oversight.
I’m not saying that the Progressive Conservative party doesn’t have some (many) faults (they certainly aren’t helping their cause with the whole committee pay thing), but there was some excitement at the prospect of Premier Redford bringing a slightly more centrist view (and some experience) on some key issues in the province, and some of us in the non-profit world were pretty excited to have a premier that seems to understand many of the social issues facing the less-well off folks in the province.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, it’s certainly got me thinking about the value of my vote. Normally, I throw it away at a Green Party or Liberal or NDP candidate, mostly as a protest against the 1-party dynasty that’s dominated Alberta politics since well before I was born. Now that we actually have some choice… I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Better the devil we know, or don’t?