Now that Alberta, the traditional conservative stronghold where oil and gas have reigned for decades, and Stephen Harper built the base of his majority, has unceremoniously turned the conservatives out, and the news echoes of hints of a national win for the federal New Democrats, watch for the predictable and lamentable headlines as investors and the Bay Street moguls ‘reposition’ their investment accounts to prepare for the ‘socialist hordes’.
Rachel Notley and her crew of neophytes are setting a new course for Alberta in circumstances bereft of the flood of tax revenues once taken for granted by former premier Klein. Making do with less, while providing the kind of integrity without puffery, is not new to New Democrats, and with a history in provincial legislatures of delivering more balanced budgets that any other political party, Premier Notley can only continue to polish the national image of the NDP.
The national media, of course, are watching the roll-out of the latest political ads from the three major parties in Ottawa, as if they were the latest recordings of pop music stars, dissecting the content for images, tone, and even for policy that will guide the upcoming campaign prior to the October national election. With all three parties currently locked in a 30% plus or minus tie, qualities like experience, likeability, trust and occasionally even a glance toward the specific policy positions are shaping the conversation among the talking heads on television.
We have had more than enough of the Harper government’s pandering to the corporate sector. And while there are two opposition parties vying for our votes, at least those of us determined to throw the Harper gang out of office, the choice between the NDP and the Liberals is not merely a choice between Mulcair and Trudeau....although many would like to simplify it to that. Such a simplification, and reductionism insults all voters and certainly both opposition parties.
On the ‘which man is more capable and experienced to govern’ question, Mulcair wins hands down.
On the question of which party deserves to have a “turn” at the humungus job of national governing, the NDP,
· having proven itself in multiple provincial parliaments, and
· having served a lengthy apprenticeship in Ottawa, and
· having given Canada some of the best policy options in our history (the National Health Act, for example, a gift from the Saskatchewan NDP government of then Premier Tommy Douglas, and
· having been guided, since its inception by the course charted by lighthouses that point toward a more equitable, more compassionate, more inclusive, more open and more willing to actually listen and pay attention to the needs of the underbelly of our society, a segment that has grown over the last decade
· and offering a counter-balance to the traditional “corporate-supported” Liberals both now and throughout its long and honourable history all the way back to David Lewis and Ed Broadbent who railed against multinational corporations and they excessive power and influence
· and providing leadership on the environment, while still exploring the business of our natural resource potential
· and offering $15/day national day care
· and restraining our military muscle in favour of humanitarian, compassionate options and training and intelligence, rather than more bombs which are stimulating recruitment for ISIS
Clearly it is time for a Mulcair NDP government majority in Ottawa!