With an increased following on social media, I’ve been given the opportunity to guest host a number of different podcasts lately.
Today I was able to have an extended conversation with a fellow podcaster and a longtime Politico regarding the Alberta election on air. We discussed the obvious topics regarding the state of oil prices, pipelines, oil production, and how all three relate to the environment.
After discussing the obvious, we quickly moved to the heart of the matter. While the Alberta election was a provincial one, the stress and anxiety was felt nationally. For many progressives and liberals this was a dress rehearsal for the worst-case scenario. Much of the fear that I feel regarding the possibility of an Andrew Scheer government hit close to home for me.
I’m not surprised or shocked by the results of the Alberta election, it always was going to be an uphill battle for Rachel Notley and the NDP to defeat a unified Conservative Party. In 2012 the Wildrose Party and Progressive Conservative Party won over 78% of the popular vote, in 2015 the two parties combined for over 52% of the popular vote. With the merged parties, all new leader Jason Kenney needed was to hold the same level of popular vote as 2015 to secure a majority government. That’s exactly what happened. There was no drama or element of surprise to the election. Through all of the scandals and candidate bozo eruptions, the conservative base stayed true to Jason Kenney.
While I do not believe the Alberta election is a harbinger of things to come for the upcoming federal election, nor as a bellwether, all of my consternation and apprehension for the 2019 election came to the surface while watching the election results. I find that we have been focusing too much on what divides us politically as Liberals and progressives, and not what we agree on. I felt that the Alberta and Ontario elections were an extreme case study on what the effects of an electorate divided can result in. The ugliness, the personal attacks, the divisiveness, the resulting wounds that will not have a chance to heal before the upcoming Federal election.
Through all my anxiety, I see what has to be done. The only way to beat right wing populism is to loudly counter the lies and deceit that is used to sell fear and division. We have to attack each lie and mistruth, as much as we are focusing on the person telling the lie. Each false claim must be countered. We cannot allow the electorate to become apathetic about dishonesty. I fear that is happening.
All I can do is use this fear to motivate me. Motivate me to take the threat that Andrew Scheer poses more seriously than I have been. To take the lessons that we are learning from the Doug Ford disaster in Ontario, and imagine that occurring nationally. The Jason Kenney victory has made me see the stakes so much more clearly.
I didn’t realize the unofficial campaign would start this early, but it has – and I am ready to go.
Thank you to Kevin and Canadia Cast for having me on to talk the Alberta Election, and what we have to look forward to in the upcoming Federal election campaign.