I Never Thought I’d Vote PC

Logo of the Progressive Conservative Party dur...

Logo of the Progressive Conservative Party during the election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Alberta election is Monday, and for me, supporting the PC (Progressive-Conservative) Party is a bit like going Republican. Being from the states and just a permanent resident though on my way to citizenship, I have always likened the ruling provincial majority to the Republican Party. Conservative beyond common sense and so hide-bound they’d not know a sound new idea if it flew into their open mouths and was swallowed.

But they are the only actual, viable alternative to the ultra-conservative party known as the Wildrose. A product of a schism within the PC Party, they are the Canadian version of a Tea Party complete with racists, homophobes and those who truly believe that it’s okay to let doctors and pharmacists exercise their patriarchal religious nonsense at the expense of their female patients.

Although Wildrose mania is sporadic in the Edmonton area, down in Calgary – it’s looking grim. So grim that a group of young adults put together this video to try to persuade their peers (and anyone else) that this is not the election to sit back and cast a vote for a candidate who – although soothing to your ideals and your hopeful view of the world – doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.

I’ve managed to convince my husband to vote PC and I’ve urged everyone I’ve had a political discussion with in the last couple of weeks to do the same, laying out the facts and reminding them that a Wildrose majority gets up to five years to turn what is an already conservative province farther to the right and deeper into PM Harper’s back pocket than it have ever been.

“I think the girls though are probably going to vote NDP,” Rob told me when the subject of people throwing their votes away came up again recently.

“It’s not throwing it away to vote for the person who mirrors your ideas,” he pointed out*.

Not normally, but when your vote isn’t likely to help your ideal candidate win and the very real possibility of someone who is the antithesis of your ideas will win because you voted for the weakest contender instead of the person who could beat them – that’s throwing your vote away.

My father threw his vote away on an unlikely 3rd party candidate  in 2000 because he thought Al Gore was milquetoast. He was and still is, but as a result of people like my dad, we ended up with George W. Bush.  Dad’s smugness at having voted for “his guy” waned a lot in the ensuing years. And it should have. He threw his vote at someone he knew would lose to simply prove a point that at the end of the day was meaningless.

Vote Alberta Party, Liberal, NDP or whatever the former Green Party has morphed into if they have the best chance of winning, but if the only real, viable alternative to the Wildrose in your riding happens to be the PC candidate – don’t be a selfish twat. As Commander Spock once so eloquently told Captain James T. Kirk, “The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few or the one.” Being able to give yourself and your principles a smug pat on the back Monday is going to be cold comfort living under the Wildrose – a party that is running mostly white male candidates with little to no political or even business experience and are already showing their true homophobic, anti-immigrant, racist and anti-female reproductive health colours. Their education plan is a model for inequity. Their health plan will invite even more privatization with no guarantee of improvement in terms of finding family doctors , reducing ER wait times or providing more hospital beds. Some of their biggest contributors are oil interests and their plan for budget balancing is more likely to mean unemployment for civil workers, which will in turn reduce necessary services and can only happen if they neglect provincial infrastructure.

Vote for whoever has the best chance of beating the Wildrose, and if it’s the PC, grow up, be an adult and take one for the team.

For More Information on the platforms of the different parties and strategic voting, visit I Never Thought I’d Vote PC.

 

*For the record, the girls tend to live in ridings where Liberals and NDP’s are the dominant candidates.

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9 responses to “I Never Thought I’d Vote PC

  1. I feel suddenly as though I am one of “those” Americans who pays no attention to politics outside of the US. Although I know that’s not wholly true, I am so glad you’ve been talking about regional Canadian politics because that’s news I don’t get exposed to much. I’m glad to see this Wildrose party was at least contained to a minority. And I’m with you. I voted Gore in 2000 simply because I couldn’t throw away a vote for my true candidate to prove a moot point.

    I don’t know that the US will ever recover from the wrongdoings of the Bush administration.

    • Being from the US, using my vote to block a candidate or party hasn’t ever seemed strange. After all, we have only two parties. But here in Canada, where there are usually four or more choices, strategic voting is viewed with distaste. One should, according to the vast majority of Canadians, always vote one’s heart/values regardless of the probable outcome. They are, in many ways, far more idealistic and idealistically demanding of their government than Americans are. Proving, perhaps, that the US might be improved by the introduction of another political option.

  2. Pingback: Viva Le Wildrose! The Politics of the Old, the White and the Well-Off | anniegirl1138

  3. Get out and vote. Any party will do, as long as you consider their platform. But then, the day after the election get in the winners face and stay there for the next 4to5years. Do not let them think that they are safe or allowed to do whatever they want as they should not be left alone.

    • I agree except for one thing. A party whose platform allows tolerating bigotry simply b/c it’s religiously based should be rejected regardless of whatever else they might offer.

      One of the things I truly love about Canada is its position of equality. Being non-Christian, non-white, non-straight isn’t going to keep anyone from enjoying the rights granted to him/her by the Charter. Your Charter is an amazing document that makes possible an equality that I didn’t have when I lived down south because it doesn’t allow for someone’s values to impinge on your rights. A Christian might not approve of homosexuality or even believe that it’s simply who you were born to be, but they can’t stop you from marrying b/c their religious preference doesn’t trump your right to wed.

      As I said, I have lived the slippery slope. I would hate to see Alberta slide to the lows they have in the U.S.

  4. This video is exactly how I feel. The Wild Rose party is Canada’s version of the “Tea Party”. I want to live in province where we are open minded about gay and lesbain rights and socail issues. I’m not a red necks and I don’t want my kids growing up in a province that is leaning towards the religous right. It is sad that I have to vote for PC party because they are less socaily conservative.

    • Having lived in the US during the slow steady erosion of the 90’s and early 2000’s which led to the Tea Party’s rise and to the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum, to name a few, I recognize the slippery slope the Wildrose really is. They are pandering to hard right ideas and simplistic notions of taxation/infrastructure cost to simply be in power. And they really have no sound policy on much of anything. That coupled with the fact that not all but probably the 3 former PC’s who crossed the floor have no legislative experience means that Alberta is trusting its future – at a critical juncture – to beginners.

      It should be telling to us that they won not a single seat in 2008. They haven’t changed since then, so what is their appeal? Anger. People are angry and pissed off people tend to vote for the other guy even if he is an idiot. This is really not the election to vote spitefully and really at one’s own expense.

      Wildrose has no policy on the tar sands. None. It’s what drives the economic engine of the province and they have no vision.

      Their health plan is a band-aid. We need more long term senior care. We need multi-use health centres, We need to break the doctors’ death grip that keeps the province from using nurse practioners in family practices and help smaller towns and rural areas have access b/c doctors won’t practice there or keep bankers hours when they do. We need acute care centres with flexible and weekend hours, which would go a long way towards keeping non emergency patients out of the ER’s. The PC’s actually have a plan that includes these things. Though I will say that they should also be addressing the lack of mental health units, which would also help with the ER problem.

      The Wildrose plan would neglect our infrastructure at a time when our population is growing. We need health centres, schools, roads.

      The PC’s are interested in building up the province’s crucial infrastructure. They have plans not only to save in the Rainy Day fund but the Heritage Trust. And they aren’t proposing new taxes or user fees. And yeah, they stumbled on the most recent budget but it is still on target to have the province out of debt by 2013/14.

      The Wildrose would have Alberta go back to the Klein days of the 1990’s and there is a reason that kind of government no longer exists. The PC would like to acknowledge what the Wildrose would like the country to not know – Alberta is not a province of redneck hicks. The PC knows we are far more intellectual, cultured and globally savvy. The Wildrose would have us become like the worst American stereotype – racist, homophobic and religiously intolerant of anything that isn’t very white and just as Christian.

      I won’t lie. I like Redford. I think she has potential once she gets the party in line, which can’t be easy given that she really wasn’t their pick, Mar was, but she’s coming along. Whereas Smith seems to not only have no control over the Wildrose but is not, for some reason, interested in trying to quell the bigotry and religious over reach.

      My husband and I could have moved anywhere. The UK, Europe, back to the US or over to the Middle East. In the end, we decided to remain here b/c it’s a good place, a great country.

      Canadians are so lucky. They have the Charter that spells out their rights, a culture that – by and large – supports diversity and doesn’t tolerate bigotry. They are independent and proud without being hatefully nationalistic (mostly). I don’t want to see Alberta start down the path to extremist politics which is what happened in the US. Do we want to be them? We shouldn’t.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  5. I will be vote WRP on Monday. Your fear tactics won’t work here. Since you’re a blogger, why don’t you do a story on how this is done by an anti-Harper group from Toronto. No one here says “gun toting, oil worshipping, old guard, right wing, old school Albertans.” And the bad accent, BFF’s with Stephen Harper. I think it would be great for Alberta if some of the top people were friends with the PM, since most of this province voted for him anyways.

    • Fearmongering? Next you’ll be accusing me of using “Eastern Canadian political tactics”.

      I get the anger at the PC, but the WRP had the gall to run a kid – who doesn’t even live here – with nothing more than glorified secretarial experience in our riding. At the forum, she couldn’t string sentences together on any of the issues that matter to residents, and from what I read, a disturbing number of the WRP offerings are as inexperienced or more.

      But on the subject of “fear-mongering”, the so-called battle between the WRP and the PC is little more than an inter-party civil war. In fact, there are candidates in both the parties who have indicated that if neither party wins enough for a majority, they will walk the floor to the party who is closest to the majority, which means that some ridings are being put through a farce for nothing.

      Smith has said herself that she is fine with her party members being anti-gay and racist and I wonder if she is really so zen, or if she simply has no control over her party and has to say that to keep them from breaking off and forming yet another party.

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