Between a rock and a hard place

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?


  1. I think that this election will bring more people out to exersice the freedom to vote.
    Grandpa has a Wildrose sign on the lawn!!

  2. Thank you, Jeff, for this new blog post and commentary.
    I was wondering what you were pondering to post next. I, too, yesterday, was asking myself, “What are the alternatives to the ruling PC Party in our Province, and who is our Wild Rose Candidate, Tom Copithorne, and what does he and the party he is affiliated with represent in terms of issues and their platform?
    Yesterday, I found a link to his Facebook pae and then went to Tom Copithorne’s official website, and “Googled” to find out more. Like you, I was disappointed in the lack of any “Green” or “Sustainable” inclusion and proposals.
    That is why I looked up Lisa Fox, the Green Party representative who actually won 2nd place in our Banff-Canmore-Cochrane-Airdrie riding during the last election. What a feat that was, that she beat all of the other “official opposition”, even though the vast majority still voted Conservative, as they have done for as long as I can remember.
    I asked Lisa Fox what her plans were for political involvement, since, like you, I usually “throw away my vote” on the Green Party and their Environmentally Sustainable platform. It’s a shame that is considered by anyone a “wasted vote”… for I have always taken the time to vote for what I sincerely believe in, and the people who hold up to, represent and act on environmentally sustainable policies and practice.
    Lisa wrote me a lovely personal reply, which I wish I could post here, since it was so wise and well stated. She told me that at this time, she is devoting her life whole-heartedly to doing and implementing and influencing in a positive direction the policies and practices which she believes will most help our Region, Province, Country and Planet, and I sincerely commend her. Too bad she has not chosen to run in this next election. I would have happily “thrown away my vote” (again) in supporting her and her “Green” platform!

    1. Thanks Tyler, there have certainly been some pretty right wing comments coming out of both parties over the years. I think what’s been encouraging is that a lot of the PC right has jumped ship to support the Wildrose, leaving space for the more liberal folks in the party (and the rest of us) to influence policy and direction. Should the PC’s get in again, they will have to know that it’s largely due to increased support from the center/left crowd, reacting out of fear of the WRP. What’s most unsettling is those viewpoints are shared by others…

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