Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Lordy lordy, look who's 40 -- The PC Party of Alberta

Today marks 40 years in Alberta when Peter Lougheed's Progressive Conservative Party defeated Premier Harry Strom's Social Credit government.  The Socreds had been in power for 35 years prior to that.

So without trying to date myself, that has been my entire life--one party rule in Alberta.  I admit that I was a long-time soft-supporter of the PCs way back when Les Young was MLA for our riding in West Edmonton.  I didn't think Don Getty was all that great and I didn't get involved in the leadership race that saw Ralph Klein win.  While in my first year of university, I had many friends who were trying to coax me into supporting Rick Orman.  I didn't bite.

Then King Ralph dominated for many years and we libertarian conservatives voted as he and his cohorts Stockwell Day and Steve "The Knife" West lowered taxes, slashed the deficit and debt, and then literally starting giving money away.

Then at Ralph's last election kick-off rally in Edmonton, which I attended as I was supporting my friend Shannon Stubbs who was running for MLA in Edmonton-Strathcona, I heard a rambling speech, directionless, without vision, and no concrete plans for anything other than to ride the wave of the past.  I walked out in the middle of the speech disappointed and a month later, voted for the Alberta Alliance candidate in my riding.

Then the PC Party basically saw the same thing I did and turfed the guy, soon replacing him with "Steady" Eddie Stelmach, a nice man with deep roots in this province.  In the leadership race, Eddie was my 2nd ballot choice with Ted Morton first.

Soon after, I saw the Tory government go into deficit, record spending, raising taxes on booze, waffle on infrastructure, begin the largest nanny-state encroachment in Alberta history next to prohibition, raise oil and gas royalty rates--driving out business, and putting Ron Leipert in charge of Health--who yet again, changed the organizational structure of an ever-changing bloated healthcare bureaucracy.  Then top it off with Stelmach's disdain for pushing for a Triple-E Senate.

They did eliminate health care premiums and bring in $25 ID cards for homeless folks who could then use shelters as an address, I'll give them that.

But all that said, it was to the point that I don't think the title libertarian could be truly attributed to the ideology of the party as it doesn't represent my beliefs anymore.

So since then, I've made it no secret that I don't support this party or government.

After 40 years, I think it's time for a change.  Don't you?

So you may ask, who am I supporting then?  Well, I currently hold no membership, am being courted by many of the PC leadership candidates through phone calls and emails (hey, Gary Mar campaign, don't call me in the middle of an Eskimo game, ok?) and perhaps the only candidate there who I'm looking at is Rick Orman, but geez, he ran 19 years ago!

So far, Danielle Smith of the Wildrose Party is the only one out there whose policies represent most of my views for the direction of this province.  But, that party needs to get its act together if it has any hope of becoming the next opposition, nevermind government.  It needs a good crop of candidates and more cash.   I fear that because Ed Stelmach is stepping down soon, that the Wildrose momentum is lost ... well actually, it has. 

And so it is... we'll soon be saying "45 consecutive years with an Alberta PC government", definitely marking it as one of the most successful political parties in western democratic history, if not ever.

Wow, we should be so proud.


Anonymous said...

My great great great grandfather settled in Alberta in 1885 before it was a province. They had left Norway. By the 1930's many of the family had went back to Norway when conservative RB Bennet was giving away food credits and where people turned their cars into Bennet buggies. The oil boom brought some life into Alberta and soon it was flooded by Americans and foreigners looking to get rich quick. Demographically Alberta looks nothing like it did in 1905 when Québecer Wilfred Laurier signed it into a province in Québec.

Now Norway is the richest country in the world, the average person makes over $80000,00 per year, double the average income in Canada.

We were forced to learn english by a strap, my uncle was beaten in school for speaking norwegian. Francophone schools were banned from 1925 to 1928 and despite bill 111 that guaranteed services in french the majority in the province did the opposite and banned all french services starting in Edmonton which used to have a very large métis french speaking population and where Les Esquimaux where the original football team.

My rebelious side of the family, the french, the good ones are moving back to Québec and saying b-bye Alberta.

The french are the few that put up a fight when it comes to identity.

I left Alberta in 2007, leaving behind a land of conformists. A place where a political party can win 45 years of elections, where a blind man can keep money flowing into the coffers and a drunk man can give away money to everyone after making all his friends in Calgary rich.

So long Alberta, bonne voyage, bonne chance! Wildrose, PC, what's the difference? Same stuff.

Mike B. said...

Thanks for the comments Joe, but being that you moved to Quebec which if it were independent, would likely default due to its incredibly high debt caused by socialist Ponsi schemes, coupled with a decreasing population and tax base. But luckily, Alberta oil is supporting all of that for you.

You're welcome.