In 2015 Alberta voters rejected the PC Party under the late Premier Jim Prentice. After a campaign that saw a number of missteps including saying Albertans might want to look in the mirror, Albertans turned to the NDP.
Albertans are proud, hard-working, innovative, and entrepreneurial. But when times are really good, we are also braggarts, smug, and entitled. When times are bad, we blame our neighbours, our political adversaries, and Ottawa.
After swooping in to save Alberta, and failing, we curiously found ourselves under the leadership of a socialist leaning party that has since accepted the realities of governing and moderated to a centre-left party.
But the conservative heartland balked at the scourge of a socialist overlord. And so once again, with the Conservative Party of Canada relegated to the opposition benches for likely the next decade, another saviour was dispatched from Ottawa to save Alberta.
Since 2015 we’ve seen the rise of populist governments and movements in parts of Europe, and in the USA. With the rise of Trump and his isolationist, protectionist, #fakenews movement, (some) Conservatives in Canada and Alberta have been emboldened to employ the tactics of alternative truth and gaslighting to restore the myth of the Alberta Advantage.
It has always bewildered me how a population that decries dishonest politicians so enthusiastically embraces them. Will we happily accept a comforting lie in place of an uncomfortable truth?
Some recent examples include Jason Kenney’s claims that he can hold a referendum on equalization and affect the federal government’s approach. Or Kenney’s support for an increased SGER (in layman’s terms – a carbon tax on large emitters – effectively hiding the carbon tax from consumers, making it less transparent, but still the same practical effect).
The facts are that Alberta punches well above its weight in confederation. Albertans have the highest incomes, lowest overall tax burden and, arguably, a very high standard of living. When we have popular politicians who are always ready to tell us how bad we have it, who are we to challenge that? We are Albertans. We should demand better than lies; even sweet little lies.
This article contains both fact and opinion. Links to supporting documentation provided.