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.
- Simons: Viral video attracts eyeballs and anger from all sides (Video) (vancouversun.com)
- Alberta election poll shows Wildrose Party ahead (cbc.ca)
- Despite PC surge, Wildrose maintains lead as election day nears in Alberta (theglobeandmail.com)
*For the record, the girls tend to live in ridings where Liberals and NDP’s are the dominant candidates.