Saying Albertans have been “whipped,” playing on the fact that the two main leadership choices in yesterday’s election were women, is a little too easy. And yes perhaps a little too rude and disrespectful and un-“PC” too. And apparently being all “PC” about everything is the way Albertans have chosen to go. And besides, I have a great respect for Danielle Smith. Just the same, there is something true about that jocular expression in Alberta’s election story. And I’ll leave it to you to develop that angle.

So in the spirit of progressivism and being all “PC” about every damn thing, let’s be more… pedantic and polite and tolerant and caring. So here’s what happened: Forget the rugged rough and tumble of Alberta’s now mythical wild west past. Yesterday’s PC election day results confirm Alberta is now every bit as urbane and latte-sipping as the rest of Liberal Downtown, Canada. Alberta’s been whipped, dammit.

Liberals won the election. Make no mistake. The P in PC stands for Progressive. The C is now silent. For years now, I’ve said that instead of shortening Progressive Conservative to “Conservative” as people did in the case of the federal party before they faked us out and dropped the Progressive, and as people still do in the case of assorted provincial PC parties, they should actually shorten “Progressive Conservative” to “Progressive” on account of it actually being accurate. But “PC” works too.

They never did drop that P in Alberta. So the germ was already present in Alberta for years. Quietly germinating. Now in the spirit of the “Alberta spring,” as I’m sure some intellectually bereft left-wing pundit will call it, it has sprouted. Of course it was lovingly incubated and watered and fertilized and nurtured in the mammoth bosom (‘scuse the mixed but spot-on metaphor) of the liberal-left mainstream media and Alberta’s progressive academic industrial complex, but sprouted it has. Like a noxious weed.

The leader of the PCs (or Progressives) wholly embraced Alberta’s progressives  — the liberal-left  —  in the election campaign. The PC leader Alison Redford damn near sprayed herbicide on any notion of small or big C conservative, holding back on doing so only because it’s so un-PC to use herbicides these days, and besides, as premier, she will surely ban their use soon too. She could barely disguise her disdain for conservatives, choosing instead to grow more progressives.

So, welcome to the rest of liberal-left Canada, Alberta. You had a good run. We all benefited from it. We will all miss you dearly.

But I don’t live and die Alberta-talk. I’m not from there. And only because it’s too cold, because that’s certainly where the jobs are, and where the economy-building action is or at least has been, in Canada. I’m from the warmer west coast of the far more nutty and politically unsophisticated BC, where a little like in Alberta, there is now an initiative by the conservatives who live there to provide a conservative alternative to the progressives.

The idea the nascent BC Conservatives (no P, here) have is to beat back the progressives of the leftward parties  —  the BC Liberals and the even more socialist NDP, in our case. They vow smaller, less intrusive government, decreased spending and taxes, and all the other good right things that Stephen Harper used to blather on about as if he actually meant it. Not that I’m a pessimist or anything.

Like Wildrose did, the BC Conservatives have a credible chance of making some headway. Polls  —  yes I know, they utterly failed in Alberta  —  have them pegged at about even with the BC Liberals right now. And just as Wildrose was warned that they threatened to “split the right,” in BC, the BC Conservatives may or may not split the (stay with me through the inelegant but accurate verbiage) non-full-on-socialist vote, allowing the full-on-socialists of the NDP to come from behind and win again in BC. (Yes, people in BC naively say “split the right,” but as I’ve indicated, the governing BC Liberals aren’t “right” any more than Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals are “right.” They’re simply more right than the far-left NDP, which ain’t saying much.)

I imagine in next year’s provincial elections in BC, much as happened in Alberta, many of the 15 or 20 percent of the population who are full-on socialists (and worse) will strategically vote for the hated BC Liberals, whom they have erstwhile hilariously dubbed as “right-wing” or even as the former dumb-dumb leader of the NDP did, “extreme right-wing” (my God, man  —  only to a extreme left-wing socialist zealot), just to keep out the even more hated conservatives.

What should really happen, for voting clarity and realism, is for the BC Liberals to really come out of the closet, and combine with the more socialist NDP in BC, allowing the Conservatives to provide the alternative to the current, growing progressivism or socialism (those two politically ideological words luridly cohabit in my mind, which is why this makes so much sense to me).  In Alberta, the PCs might just as well join with the Liberals and the NDP, and fight nobody else but Wildrose.  Similarly, in Ottawa, the Liberals and the NDP might as well make it official. Provide Canadians with clear choices and see where this goes. I maintain that if real conservatives finally speak up and speak out and state their good conservative case and explain it to people in clear, bold colors, as Ronald Reagan preached, we will win.

 

Joel Johannesen
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