I rarely write about politics, because I am too cynical. What has happened in Alberta over the last few weeks, however, has tested even my cynicism. The level of “appalled” I’ve reached as I look at how Wildrose ends its ignoble political career… I almost have no words.
My personal social values dictate that I should rejoice that this party is dying. Its non-fiscal social platform is appalling, and its fiscal platform poorly thought out.
But it was the Official Opposition. It had a goddamn job to do.
And it abdicated, shamefully, at point of economic crisis.
I have two pleas to Alberta voters.
To Conservative voters—let crossing the floor be the last act of the political careers of the ex-Wildrose MLAs. Give your nominations, your votes, your mandate to people who have ethics. Courage. Do not reward cowardice, avarice and opportunism.
To those left-of-centre—or simply those who believe in change and accountability: I believe, ardently, that what a nation, a people, a democracy and an economy need in time of crisis is not mindless unity, but a strong, critical opposition with integrity.
An opposition that will ask the tough questions and push the ruling party to better decisions. An opposition that will act as a watch dog. An opposition that will represent the minority and ensure that the ruling party pays attention to the needs and concerns of all Albertans.
Clearly, that kind of opposition will not come from the right.
So I send this plea to Alberta’s centre and left parties. For the sake of sanity and functionality of democracy in this province: unite. Be our opposition.
Be honest. None of you has the chops to do it alone. Your three solo seats are worthless. Together, you can be our 20 percent. Our 30 percent. You can be a voice. You can ask the tough questions in tandem, work together to push the ruling party to better decisions.
I will work for you. Not any of you alone. I will not work for the provincial Greens, Liberals, NDP, Alberta Party. What’s the point? What are three seats worth? Nothing.
I will work for a united opposition. And so will 20, 30, more percent of Albertans. In key ridings, we split up to 60 percent of the opposition vote.
This is your platform. You are not fighting to win. You are not fighting to form the next government. You are working to form the opposition. You are working to form a GOOD opposition, a strong opposition with integrity. You have one goal and one promise: to ask the tough questions and to push the ruling party to make better decisions.
For all our sakes.