Friday, May 8, 2015

There is life on Earth after all

Phil Burpee

re. NDP election win

     Perhaps there is indeed a scrap of justice remaining in an otherwise cruel and implacable universe. It is widely understood that the death of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta began in earnest under the sloppy, arrogant and cynical tutelage of King Ralph, with his corrosive policy initiatives of flat tax, hydrocarbon royalty giveaway, 'open for business at any cost' economic stance, and a general war waged on the public sector and ordinary people throughout the province. Jim Prentice finally put a pillow over the drawn face of the rasping proto-corpse and finished the job pronto – grimly done Jim – good job.

     Our MLA Pat Stier is quoted as finding the new situation 'shocking, appalling'. No doubt he does. Often those who most loudly tout the glory and benefits of democracy are the ones who suddenly get dyspeptic when things turn out altogether different than was the supposed script. What has happened is this – even though folks had long since come to regard the PCs as irredeemably corrupt and self-serving, they had quite forgotten how not to vote for them. Here's how it would go - 'OK – polling day – trudge down and mark your 'X' for the latest Tory fencepost'. But suddenly it was like a jailbreak – people caught wind of the fresh air through the prison door, and the wardens were at a loss as to how to stop the rush for freedom. And now we see several dozen mostly young new faces in the legislature who represent a generation, our future, which has been almost entirely shut out and disenfranchised during the long and increasingly stupefied reign of the PCs. Their leader is a woman who is clearly whip-smart, honest, and in no way beholden to the worst downsides of the status quo. Those who remember her father Grant Notley will likewise remember a man for whom social grace was a living condition within which the efforts of government were to be tailored towards the greater good, rather than in service of an ever-expanding oligarchy of the rich and powerful.

     The Wildrose may be forgiven a certain headachy sort of confusion, but they ought to count themselves lucky to pull the nice, fat bone that they did out of the lake of fire – another shot at being Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. And they ought to celebrate the timely death of their true nemesis – the dreadful PCs who had sullied the very name of conservatism with their ugly antics. One wishes Mr. Jean well, and hopes that he can redeem his brand to such extent as to return to the public forum the enduring benefits of small 'c' conservatism – decency, caution, frugality, hard work, and a genuine regard for the well-being of honest folk everywhere.

     It is a good day today. As our Christian brethren would have it – 'This is the day that the Lord hath made. Rejoice in it.' For a heathen like me, suffice to say that the Big Wheel keeps on turning – and we may be thankful to behold its rolling, rolling, rolling.

Phil Burpee
Pincher Creek

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