Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wasn't That A Party?

As I was watching the results of the Alberta election last night, one thing kept going through my head. The Alberta political alignment is a much more honest representation of the national political alignment until 2011. A right wing party and a centre right party fighting it out for power, only instead of Conservative and Liberals it was Wild Rose and Progressive Conservatives. I am relieved in a sense, because Alberta revealed itself as just another part of the country and not some odd foreign entity. The breakdown of the vote also was interesting because it showed that even in Alberta, the ultra right can't yet breach the 40% ceiling. Now, given our totally screwed up electoral system, that may be enough for the rightists to take power there some day, but again, Alberta is no different than the rest of the country.
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8 comments:

  1. I really hope you're kidding about the "some odd foreign entity" thing. Otherwise, after all these years of knowing you, I'm pretty offended!

    You're right about the right-wing and the centre-right party duking it out, though. But keep in mind that the Redford pseudoTories are like the Liberals in a lot more ways than just policy (the Paul Martin Liberals specifically, as a tired old party that's been in power for too long, is entrenched in the establishment of the province, and boasts rampant corruption in its ranks). In other words, while we can be relieved that most of the outright crazies in the Progressive Conservative party have long since migrated to the second-place Wild Rose Party (and that the few who remained PCs have now lost their seats in this election), there’s still no more to be truly happy about in this result than left-wing Ontarians could be happy about when their own entrenched centre-right party won AGAIN.

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  2. Calgary Grit comes to a similar conclusion by the way, but follows it through to its grim ending: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/24/dan-arnold-albertas-tory-empire-strikes-back/

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  3. Yes, it was a joke IP. What, my humor didn't shine through? I am shocked.

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  4. Yes, I saw Dan's article a few minutes ago. I agree with his conclusions to a certain degree, but I am not sure Smith has the iron will to suppress the ultra-social conservatives that Harper did. We will see. Ben the Tiger thinks it is so, but I am not convinced. Harper is a unique character.

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  5. But, I am sure you are happy that the NDP got 4 seats at least. I will take that good news.

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  6. My hope is that Alberta now has an actual divided multiparty system like the rest of the planet (except for the U.S., which is on a different planet anyway), which is what I wanted all along and was hoping for when Wild Rose appeared on the scene. If that's the case, then the centrists will take it sometimes and the right will take it sometimes, just like in other mostly-but-not-entirely conservative jurisdictions.

    But you never know--the pull of a one-party state is really really strong here, so Wild Rose could conceivably still take power next time, end up taking over the entire big tent that the PCs once called their own, and stay there for 40 years. The ability to take over the big tent would make them less scary by default, of course, but man, I sure hope that doesn't happen. I'd honestly rather have a genuinely right wing government be elected occasionally that has to fear getting knocked out of power, than one more big-tent centre-to-centre-right megaparty being in charge all the time.

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  7. Of course, if we had a rational electoral system, one party statism would disappear. Sigh. Someday.

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  8. About Redford -- she actually is a Tory. Just a Joe Clark Tory, which is a species I thought had been driven into extinction in Canadian politics.

    But the Red Tories are more resilient than I thought. Which is interesting.

    About Smith -- well, this is a test. Either she can whip her motley crew into shape for the next election, or she'll go the way of Mario Dumont...

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