The thought of this particular Alberta election was placing me in a state of pre (not post) traumatic stress. The anxiety occasioned by the continuing presence of Premier Danielle Smith. There I was in abject terror fearing she would succeed. If Alberta was cursed with the same conditions of the United States of America, I am convinced she would succeed. Proof of that statement? f former President Trump??? Happy to report that my fears are becoming calmed for many reasons. This is a different environment, it is world’s apart from the media hype, ignorance and lazy press that characterizes the USA. My optimism is also based on the strategy of the NDP – the Democrat’s bumbling ushered in Trump.
A preliminary matter – do think it fascinating that countries, political parties or anything that calls themselves united – invariably is not United. The prime example is, of course, the United States of America, which is in danger of falling asunder. First there was the sharp division between the Red States and the Blue States. But matters took a turn for the worse when the US Supreme Court ridiculously ruled on the abortion issue forcing states to almost going to war with one another. California has, for years, threatened to divorce itself from the union and this might just do it. There is no unifying presence or commonality in sight. The United Arab Emeritus is another jarring example. In my humble (but learned) opinion there is no unity there – the Ruler of Dubai bullies the Rulers of all of the other Emerita conglomerates, including Abu Dhabi. Extremely reliable facts and evidence has now come to light revealing the spying and tactics used by the Ruler of Dubai to control everything and everybody he can. I have promised myself NOT to get involved in that fracas (again). You may now spy on conversations with my Alter Ego.
Alter Ego: Alexis, You are now safe in Canada. The UAE is none of your business.
Me: I know! I know! But you know how I love proving that I am right. Even the trusty New Yorker has a series of articles. Not much work just to link them on this blog.
Alter Ego: What is the point? Keep a low profile for once!!
Me: You are right. I am wrong.
Alter Ego: Besides there Is another issue close to home that needs your attention. It is the so-called United Conservative Progressive Party of Alberta.
Me: Again, I am forced to listen to your words of wisdom.
So here I go.The United Conservative Progressive Party is most disunited. An Albertaview book review discusses this very issue. It is most refreshing to see that Alberta has a free press with independent views. PostMedia owns and controls most of Canadian newspapers and media th across the land, with its Conservative (with a big C) slant. Fortunately, there is competition, fodder for intelligent people. I have discovered AB Today, Walrus, Albertaviews. Not only newspapers and periodicals but entire books are written by intellectuals. These books often receive intelligent favorable reviews. Here is an example
The May 2023 edition of Albertaviews has Bookshelf section reviewing new publications, Marc D. Froese , a professor, reviewed Blue Store: The Rise and Fall of Jason Kenny. This well written review begins with a definition of populism.
“Populism is.a mode of political messaging organized around a false dichotomy in which we, the good people, must defeat our enemies, who are evil elites. In Alberta, populism draws from two deep wells of cultural discontent. The first is the myth of western alienation wherein the federal government treats Alberta like the goose that lays the golden eggs. This may hav been true once, bur arguably hasn’t been the case in decades. The second is a narrative in which Alberta is a victim of its own success. In mu barbershop there is a sign that says, “Please, God, give me one more oil boom. I promise not to piss it all away next time. Nobody can control commodity price cycles, but in Alberta populist narrative, maybe the right leader can force Ottawa to treat us half as well as they treat Queen.”
The book is a collection of essays that analyses the brief few year between 2017 and ‘his humiliation at the hands of his own party in 2022.”
Froese highlights several essays. His two concluding paragraphs must be read, now you have the chance.
“Today Alberta’s conversation movement is part of a global hurricane of authoritarian populism that is shaking the foundations liberal democracy. The fact that Danielle Smith has to remind us that the party wants to remain in Canada, despite passing legislation that rejects federal oversight, tells you everything you need to know about the bloody-minded hypocrisy of the moment.
Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Kenny’s time at the topic of Alberta’s politics was tragic , and we struggle to find meaning in the chaos and cruelty. It is, to quote that other grasping striver, “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Following his ouster Kenny dug deep and discovered the moral fortitude to reject the extremism that rejected him first. But of course he did. So much for the blue storm.”
The strength of this prose, this argument lies in the use of reason and the choice of words. Describing this moment characterized by ‘bloody-minded hypocrisy’ is brilliant. Describing Alberta’s conservation movement as being a part of ‘a global hurricane of authoritarian populism shaking the foundations of liberal democracy” says it all. Kenny is said to have dug deep to discover moral fortitude Fortitude is the perfect word: courage in pain or adversity:
Synonyms that further describe are; strength of mind, strength of character, moral strength, toughness of spirit, firmness of purpose, strong-mindedness, resilience, backbone, mettle, fearlessness, valor, intrepidity, stout-heartedness, steadfastness, tenacity, pertinacity, guts, grit, spunk. My favorites are guts, grit, backbone and intrepidity, because I am not fainthearted (the antonym of fortitude).
Further immense relief concerning the outcome of this Alberta election was found in my mailbox. Rachael Notley and David Sheppard mailed residents of Edmonton-City Centre a brochure. It was well designed with believable and much needed promises coupled with this fundamental truth. “Danielle Smith is too risky. She’s unpredictable and focused on the wrong things. Danielle Smith wants you to pay out of pocket for your health care. “A regular checkup to your doctor, does that really have to be something covered 100% by government?” Danielle Smith. Danielle Smith and the UCP want to gamble with your pension, pulling you out of the CCP and ruining your retirement security. It’s a risk Albertans can’t afford to take. Learn more: cantaffordUCP.ca.
Googled cantaffordUCP.ca website. It is well designed and most informative. If you want to learn more, be better informed – go there. If you do not, don’t. It is all up to you. Hahaha
My (most likely former) faithful readers relied upon the humor found on these pages to cheer. Do admit that I have been letting them down. These are rather troubled times, so there is the need to rely on outside sources. Fortunately there is availability. The New Yorker magazine placed in my mailbox provides a treasure trove of cartoons. A few of my very favorite shall be appended. Some are thematic, revealing my flawed human failings, aspects of my former life. One portrays is a woman attempting to compliment a man who seemed to be attracted to her. He is a man limited calibre, the bottom of the barrel, so to speak. Those were often the sort of man who found me attractive. Thankfully, they left my life, leaving me speaking of their future happiness much the same way as another cartoon depicts. The medieval aristocratic woman’s comment about her husband’s relentless suppression of the peasants is downright hilarious. I do not identify with her as I have never been married to a nude ruler. Well, not yet anyway, I say laughingly. Then a photo of my hair in rollers, my stylist Mickey and a hair dryer. It is a before photo, the after looked rather stunning, if I do say so myself.