Saturday, April 14, 2012
Anybody but Wildrose.
I can get pretty riled up about politics. Especially when my rights are on the line, when the rights of my daughter are on the line and the rights of all women are on the line. I get riled up when the rights of all of LGBTI folks are jeopardized. All of you who have been reading this blog for the past ten days know the score. If this is your first hit, please, read back over the last few posts. The Wildrose position on abortion broke here, and besides Daveberta, I'm the only one I know of to really talk about Danielle Smith's disastrous history on the Calgary Public School Board, her only elected experience to date. Smith showed herself to be unresponsive, even undemocratic.
It's hard for me to believe that in my home province of Alberta, my fellow Albertans are willing to sell off human rights for a lousy three hundred bucks from the Wildrose. I have to hope this is all just a bad dream.
Letters from people concerned about Wildrose keep coming in to me, as though I can stop them. I want to tell you all, your job now is not to preach to the converted. It is to preach to those people you don't usually talk to, the Wildrose supporters and those leaning in that direction. Don't waste your time talking to the true believers, although it is sometimes fun to drop anti-Wildrose materials at houses with Wildrose signs. You have to remember, they actually want a return to 1950s style values. They believe the crap they are selling. You have to speak to the moderates, moderates like most Albertans. Don't be afraid to offend. This is a democracy and this is an election period. You have to risk offence to change a mind, but this can always be done with civility.
I understand the desire to punish the PCs, to send them a message that they have blown it. I understand that Alison Redford's message that she is a new broom sweeping clean is met with skepticism. I was a fierce opponent of Bill 44. I get it. And I'm not a PC. But I've said it before and I'll say it again. The most out of touch members of her party moved to the Wildrose.
The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, goes the old saying. And as I've said before on this blog, if you had told me a year ago I would publish a sentence that claims the best way to change Alberta is to vote PC, I would have told you that you were insane. If you can't stomach a PC vote, vote Liberal, vote ND, vote Alberta Party, vote Green or Evergreen or whatever those folks are calling themselves now. They need some encouragement. I urge everyone who is against the regressive agenda of Wildrose to vote anyone but Wildrose. Look at the Change Alberta site if you want to see the lay of the land and which progressive candidates might win in your riding.
When you talk to people, do mention the things that matter to you, conscience rights, reproductive rights, government by referendum. Tell them about Smith's disastrous history on the school board, the only political experience she has. But don't forget the bigger picture. The Wildrose platform is isolationist. They don't like transfer payments and say Alberta gives more than it gets. They don't seem to understand the purpose of transfer payments, which is for richer parts of Canada to contribute to the social safety net so that all Canadians can benefit equally. They are Libertarians, interested only in looking out for number one. They are old Firewallers from the Reform days. They want Alberta to have its own immigration policy and pension plan, opting out of national plans and opportunities to build a nation. They want to bring in legislation that will mean federal rules on the environment will not apply here. Read the platform. It's all there.
[Addendum: And here is some more ammunition from Warren Kinsella, who has quoted Danielle Smith on a host of issues that reveal her true conscience. Check it out].
Do what you can. There is only a week left. I thank you for all of your letters, and I am grateful to know my efforts are appreciated, but I urge you to spend your energy now talking to people whose votes you can change.