Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great Oxymoron on the Prairies

When you come across a party name like Progressive Conservative, something about it should not sit quite right with you. It’s obviously some sort of oxymoron, isn’t it? Alberta’s PCs have governed for 37 years, and have just won a mandate for at least four more.

But something just doesn’t work out in my mind. This sort of mixing and matching of ideas can never work. They seem to take ideals from every end of the spectrum and sew them into a crazy quilt in hopes of appealing to every demographic, but they take the wrong parts.

Rather than taking the fiscal policy of Conservatives and the libertarian policies of many progressives, they seem to have done the opposite, becoming a government based on ruinous, Trudeau-esque fiscal positions and the authoritarian ideologies with a dangerous confusion between the podium and the pulpit.

And yet, they were elected to a stunning majority, leaving the opposition parties sitting just shy of a single digit seat count. But is this really because they’re so popular, or because they have no real opponents? I think that considering how less than half of eligible voters turned up on election day, that question answers itself.

The Liberals can never form a government in Alberta, not without a name change at the very least, and another decade or two of time. We haven’t forgotten the NEP, and we haven’t forgotten the Federal Liberal’s general legacy of leaving the West out of the decision making process.

The NDP and Greens simply have no future here. It’s not going to happen. Their names are synonomous with Communism in rural Alberta.

The Wildrose Alliance Party, perhaps the greatest hope of a real opposition to this ‘benign dictatorship’, to borrow a phrase, had only existed for a month before an election was called. They also had no chance, at least not this time around.

So perhaps we’ll just have to suffer through another term or two of Progressive Conservatism, that great Oxymoron on the Prairies.

No comments: