Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sad state of democracy in Alberta

Note: The Oct. 27. 2008 issue of the Edmonton Journal has a shorter version of this blog entry in its Opinion section.

In his column "We lack strong presence in Ottawa. With an NDP member elected, will Edmonton be punished?", Todd Babiak wrote, "The fact that this is a serious concern for any thinking person is worrisome for the future of democracy in this part of the country, which is in desperately bad shape and becoming worse with every election."

Kudos to Todd for pointing out that democracy in Alberta is all but dead. Not only are there Albertans who are not content with winning 27/28 electoral seats but apparently some think Edmonton-Strathcona should be punished for the gall to elect a non-Conservative. How pathetic, if it were not so scary.

Have any of the "elect only Conservative" populace ever wondered why Alberta had so few members in Stephen Harper's cabinet after the 28/28 sweep in 2006? Reasons include the
  • Quality of most elected Conservatives in Alberta
  • Fact that Albertans can be taken for granted if they repeatedly elect 100% of the party slate;
  • Need for a governing party to have a cabinet that reflects all of Canada
Alberta lacked a strong presence in Ottawa after electing nothing but Conservatives in 2006. Our one party voting pattern is pretty much a joke in the rest of Canada. Edmonton-Strathcona electing a high quality representative like Linda Duncan can hardly be blamed if Alberta is again treated with disdain by Harper with few cabinet members.

Maybe it's time for Alberta's school system to teach civics and what it means to live in a democracy? Many people here do not seem to understand the basics of how a strong opposition results in better government.

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