Driving to Alberta means a lot of blue signs

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There’s no place like home. Pixabay

A glimpse at politics in the prairies

There’s nothing like a trip to Alberta to remind you why you’re glad you live in Saskatchewan. I travelled westward this weekend and it made me abundantly more thankful for those I’ve surrounded myself with here. During my 18-hour extravaganza I saw zero signs for anyone that hasn’t signed themself up to the hellscape that is western conservatism.

We had an article in this section last week that decried those who don’t vote. While I agree with most of the article – surprise, voting is important – I do think that homeless individuals and our incarcerated population need to have the barriers to their democratic rights examined. The NDP seem to be losing ground, the Liberals are a trash heap of controversy and woke-inspired transgressions, and the Greens continue to be remarkably unimpressive (with May’s abortion stance gaffe being the latest reason to look skeptically at their platform).

MacLean’s has an election primer that mentions everything except disability, which means it has something in common with most of the candidates. Today (Monday’s) on-campus debate does little to dissuade constituents in the riding that it is anything other than a red versus blue race – the nerd part of my brain really wishes Rooster Teeth was in charge of the Canadian parliamentary system. The brashness of Bernier’s cronies has done precious little to galvanize the left and so here we are: staring a conservative government in the face as a distinct possibility.

From what I could tell on my little jaunt, the realities of a Kenney government – one that introduced earplugs as a political protest device – have not yet sunk in. That, my friends, will happen at next month’s election. Teachers, always good for some much-needed complaining, have sounded the alarm on the UCP’s education platform and now it’s come to light that trans healthcare is at risk. Eastward, we see Ford trumping around as if he’s something other than a protest vote against the provincial Liberals. A snapshot of a premier’s meetings reveals that their only diversity is in terms of the group’s height and we have a swing province that is unabashedly racist. Good thing western Canadians don’t have a bias against the French – oh, wait.

Rome (read: democracy) wasn’t built in a day but, if the US is anything to go by, it can be torn down in about four years. Saskatchewan needs to reckon with the fact that it has produced a man that many are frightened will reopen the abortion debate and obliterate social programs for all. In order for those nightmares not to come to fruition we have to strengthen the provincial parties.

The NDP needs to realize that they are the alternative in the province and stop peddling a lessened version of conservatism. A pro-pipeline NDP is not going to work here like it did in Alberta. If our premier having a criminal conviction for an incident where someone died isn’t going to stop him, then pandering to his voters isn’t going to either.

The Greens need to throw their flower shirts and dresses in the garbage and build an actual platform with nuance. The Liberals need to, well, exist. If anything, I’m hoping that a satirical party re-emerges. After Trump’s space force, the Rhinoceros Party’s pledge to move the Rockies to Moose Jaw to boost tourism/give Calgary a better ocean view seems quite sensible.

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