THOUGHTS ON A BY-ELECTION
There will be lots of chattering-class speculative and extrapolative commentary on the consequences for the UCP and Jason Kenney over the Brian Jean victory in the Fort McMurray Lac La Biche By-election. Media and partisans will have a lots of click-bait baises to feed.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
I see today as a new Baseline for Alberta to measure our progress in our economy and our society, and how we will now see ourselves al Albertans.
I see the byelection of Brian Jean as a trailhead and the starting place of another path for yet another Citizenship Journey. With the Jean victory and the April 9 UCP Leadership Review Vote, I now have a sense of urgency about the political path we are now heading down.
This Citizenship Journey is upto and including the May 2023 General Election. I am reminded of the African Proverb: "If you want to go fast walk alone. If you what to go far, go with a group."
Regardless of your intent, fast or far, This Citizenship Journey will not be a walk in the park on a sunny day for us as persons nor us as the people we call Albertans. The political processes and election outcome may well define and determine what it means to be an Albertan for the foreseeable future.
I strongly believe the next year or so will be a march into the darkness of tribal political battles with the blessing of a robust, and at least for now, Democracy. The battle fields will polarized hyper-partisan inter-party UCP vs NDP ideological assaults and leaders personal punch-ups .
Then there are the Far-Right interpersonal Kenney vs Jean clashes, regardless of the results of the April 9 UCP Leadership Review Vote.. That will aid and abet a UCP vs Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta - WIPA hostilities. that promises to be vicious and vile.
There will be lots and lots of skirmishes and conflicts. They will seen as crusades by the combatants over many different issues and concerns in many places and spaces. But in reality they will all be about the same thing, achieving and allocating political power to impose a doctrine, a dogma and a Ruler, if you are battling from and for the Conservative Right.
The Political Ends of those Battles will be the Taking of Power. Those Ends will justify using whatever Means "necessary" for those who are fixated on the fight and singularly focused on winning at all costs.
Values like honesty, trust and integrity will become distorted battle cries. They will be touted as goals of being or becoming better for the benefit of everyone. There will be cliches paraded but they will be nothing more that reassuring charades to divert attention from the truth of what's really going on, the pursuit of power.
The real goal of these political battles will be an Ideological Victory for the winner and the Vanquishment of the enemy loser.
Where does that leave the nonpartisan, or should I say non-combatant, citizen?There are so many known unknowns, both immediate and emerging. There are the inevitable unknown unknowns as well. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity will be the New Normal for many.
We are not sure where this march into battle will lead us nor leave us. We are not sure about what will be obstructing our way as we each try to understand and adapt to new realities, many of which are beyond our control.
We are not even very clear about what will be achieved at the end of this journey. What is the collective consensus about our preferred future? How can that be established on a battlefield?
Could we, in the heat of battles, strive to define, design, direct and decide that preferred destination given our polarized political culture? Can Influence be Powerful in the hearts, heads, and hands of Citizens devoted to Democracy?
FEARFUL UNCERTAIN AND DOUBTFUL?
The time from now up to the next election are Days of Living Dangerously as an Albertan. As a citizen you have choices to make. Either step up, as a Citizens and,get engaged. Or choose to be be passive, complacent, and compliant. Take a seat at the political table. If you don't then expect to be on the political menu.
You can have an impact or be impacted. But don't be duped and mislead into Indifference. There is too much is at stake to unconcerned or disengaged.