No bed of roses

Conservative types are happy these days with the election of the Kenney government in Alberta. Fair enough. They are also quite giddy with the prospects of Andrew Scheer’s federal Conservative Party forming the next government in Ottawa.

But there’s this to consider. Scheer has a whole country to appease. Support for the conservatives in Alberta he can pretty much take for granted. Where regional interests have to be played off against each other, Central Canada is going to get the lion’s share of attention. It doesn’t matter how much Mr. Scheer may sympathize with Alberta’s woes. If there’s a conflict, he’s going to move toward the middle – of the country and the political spectrum, probably. That’s what all parties of any stripe eventually realize if they want to get elected or stay elected. It’s fine to be a righteous purist – nothing easier when you’re in opposition. But reality intrudes and compromises have to be made. Many Albertans don’t get this; or else they do get it but don’t accept it. So they get angry and support breakaway conservative outfits, such as the Reform Party, who can stand up for the right, as it appears to good old Prairie populists.

But as we’ve seen, the Reformers had to get down off their high horses and join forces with regular conservatives to get anywhere. Likewise provincially. The Wildrose movement was made up of the same sort of people – fed up with the wishy-washiness of the PCs and promoting a purer form of conservatism. Well, guess what – it only got them so far and back they went under the big tent of small ‘c’ conservatism.

Mr. Kenney is vowing defiance to all who don’t measure up to Alberta’s holy mission. Shut off the taps, and such nonsense. He’ll eventually figure out the only way forward is by way of negotiation and compromise. Scheer is going to find out the same thing at the federal level, if he gets elected. And true blue Alberta conservatives will get mad at him for not being a real conservative. It happens every time.

Share this post

Post Comment