Ignore Albertans at Your Peril

Alberta’s new United Conservative Government seems to believe that having received 54.9% of the vote should insulate themselves from criticism. They seem to forget that almost half of the voters wanted something else more.

Having received a majority mandate in the Spring election, they certainly were able to sell their vision to Albertans of an austere province that prioritized spending restraint and cuts to programs over investment via public services. 

It would appear that Albertans have finally made a decision about whether they want cuts to services or higher taxes in the pursuit of a balanced budget. 

Not all Albertans voted UCP though. 

And here is where the UCP has demonstrated its arrogance and lack of understanding about the role that an opposition holds in the Westminster system. 

Looking at social media commentary, including from some of Premier Jason Kenney’s key staff, his official office, and many of his most active surrogates, it is clear they believe that with the UCP majority they have unanimous support and are above criticism. 

It is this sense of entitlement and belief that as leadership they don’t have to listen to dissenting or differing perspectives that leads to corruption and making decisions in the name of ideology and not in the name of what is best for our province.

In a two-party Legislature, there is little to no incentive for government to work with or listen to the opposition. It’s one of the reasons I was disappointed that the Alberta Party, Liberal Party, and Freedom Conservative Party all failed to return an MLA to the Legislature. 

The polarity, division, theatrics, and toxic rhetoric – on both sides of the aisle, is bad for democracy, bad for good policy making, and disrespects the millions of Albertans that did not vote United Conservative Party. 

Once the cuts start coming, if jobs and economic growth don’t follow, the United Conservative Party is going to have a hard time making a case as to why they deserve the privilege of continuing to lead our province in 2023. 

This post contains a mostly opinion with a smattering of facts. 

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