What she said

I signed up for the Danielle Smith newsletter.

Admittedly, week after week of dealing with the ridiculousness that is our provincial government in Alberta, I haven’t often had the patience required to actually read it.

Aside from the obvious reasons, her format wasn’t fantastic and, when I first tried, I ended up comparing it to On the Road by Jack Kerouac – a novel which was rumoured to have been written in only a week while he was high on cocaine, and submitted on a roll of newsprint without any punctuation.

I think the editors at Global were doing a lot of lifting back in the day. Kudos to them.

Anyhow, Smith thinks we have passed “the point of no return” on the Tytler Cycle of democracy.

What is the Tytler Cycle? Good question.

From what I could find online (and not from any reputable sources), Alexander Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, was a Scottish historian who held the role of Professor at the University of Edinburgh in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s. He created a cycle which he believed democratic societies evolved through. The evolution lasts for approximately 200 years and moves from faith to bondage.

Specifically, it moves from faith to courage, to liberty, abundance, selfishness, complacency, apathy, dependence (the point of no return), to bondage, and then back to faith.

Smith believes that we have reached the point of dependence due to the pandemic.

She says she was first introduced to the Tytler cycle by Paul Hinman while he was leader of the Alberta Alliance over a decade ago when he purportedly told her he thought society was “somewhere between the stage of complacency and apathy”.

Therefore, it must now be further along. Bondage? According to Smith it will be complete by accepting vaccine passports during a pandemic.

From Smith’s newsletter Sept. 5, 2021

One can certainly argue the point of “diverse voices”, on a scale of NDP to batshit, but some would look at the so-called “diversity” as evidence of bi-partisan agreement on an issue that is not partisan, but logical for a society facing a more uncertain present, and future, in the almost half century since the AIDS pandemic.

Of course, this is not exactly Smith’s wheelhouse of late – though I do feel that, prior to the end of January 2019, she at least appeared to be maintaining a reasonable, albeit conservative-libertarian-esque, perspective that, while not to everyone’s taste, was still within the realm of acceptable logic.

The “point of no return” as Smith describes it, is “where the government achieves complete control” – as if they didn’t hold such power before.

Again, one can argue that the government always had the control, it just didn’t affect people like Smith.

She goes on to say that if a national vaccine passport is implemented – in the bastion of liberty that is Alberta – she will be “done” as a business owner, adamantly stating that she will not be part of the government’s segregation – between the vaccinated and unvaccinated – mandate.

Her reasoning for not being party to a vaccine passport? Three people who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons.

Not three people who are willfully putting the population at risk, but literally three people whose health would be protected by the rest of us getting vaccinated.

The first is a woman who “is confined to her bed for (sic) a debilitating illness” – a person who, neither Smith nor anyone else, ever, if the state of this woman’s condition is accurate, will be forced to deny service.

The second is an 11-year-old child whose mother worries about the prejudice he may face because he has had allergic reactions to vaccines before and the insinuation is that he cannot take this one either.

The third is a woman who is immunocompromised and has apparently quit work due to vaccine mandates in the past (??) who has stopped taking medication she needs – ostensibly to prepare herself to get this vaccine – and is suffering because of it. I really hope this woman has spoken to her doctor because she’s posted an intimation that she’s doing this solely for everyone who thinks everyone should get vaccinated, regardless of their own health status.

As I said, Smith’s newsletters are not the easiest circles to square.

But back to Tytler.

Smith credits him (without citation) with saying that “(i)n every instance of election by the mass of a people—through the influence of those governors themselves, and by means the most opposite to a free and disinterested choice, by the basest corruption and bribery,” and that, once elected officials are chosen, the people “must submit to (the) rule and control (of whom they elect), with the same abandonment of their natural liberty, the freedom of their will, and the command of their actions, as if they were under the rule of a monarch.”

Ergo, apparently, “we are under mob rule now” she says. “A liberal democracy is supposed to respect minority rights” she says, as if minority rights prevail over the liberty of the majority. Let’s not kid ourselves that this has never been the case, for, it has, certainly. But Smith straps on her skis and adjusts her goggles to take us down the slippery slope.

“Who becomes the scapegoat” she asks, “when the effectiveness of the double dose wears off”? “The people who aren’t triple vaxxed”.

Oof. Watch out for that tree.

By now we’re at three, maybe four logical fallacies – and it makes me twitch.

But we’re not done.

A personal anecdote, from a friend of the messenger, comes in to help bolster Smith’s argument.

They are already being discriminated against in Isreal, her messenger says- about a population that is less than 70 per cent double vaccinated – because they are not triple vaccinated.

This anecdotal evidence is used to inform the future for Smith.

It will happen here, she asserts. “Your pass will be turned off”, she says, unless you have the third dose, and the next, and the next.

Australia has moved from quarantine hotels to a virtual monitoring system for those who are supposed to quarantine. Big Brother on steroids, Smith believes.

Or, not forcing people to quarantine in hotels and allowing them the “freedom” of quarantine at home.

However, they have checks and balances in place, such as requiring access to your cell phone location, and facial recognition software to monitor your whereabouts while you’re supposed to be in quarantine.

We are not in “normal” times. The government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all citizens.

If you put others at risk, you are the problem.

Think of it as the same as we treat criminals: if you are a risk to the safety of the general public, we take away your rights.

I understand that some don’t think their rights should be restricted but public health, the economy, etc, are of greater importance than their perceived lack of rights in requiring them to isolate while infectious.

I’d argue we aren’t yet at “the point of no return” – we’re still firmly entrenched at “selfishness”.

This post contains opinion.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a political podcaster and a thorn in the side of lilies.
Connect: @Mitchell_AB for more, @thisweekinAB for posts@politicalRnD for something in between

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