Opinion Letters

The false hope of the UCP

Dear Editor,

On July 22nd Albertans were presented with a significant shift in our political landscape. With the merger of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties, we, the citizens of Alberta, now have the choice of a blow-the-budget left or a fiscally prudent right. The choice couldn’t be more clear.

That, at least, is the rhetoric that the combined forces of the UCP would very much like us to believe. The UCP, in creating a boogeyman other, shields itself from having to create responsible policy and explain the infighting, hatred, xenophobia, and misogyny that have largely defined their existence on the Albertan scene. It is, after all, far easier to point blame elsewhere than offer up realistic, sustainable plans for future government.

MLA Ron Orr, in the July 6th Lacombe Globe, painted a rosy picture of the future where egos would be put aside in the desire to put Albertans first. Yet even before the voting results were released, reality was far different than Mr. Orr’s fantasy; Derek Fildebrandt was throwing knives at Brian Jean, and there are already many whispers of a Wildrose 2.0 splintering off.

Mr. Orr also wrote of a young generation of conservatives, a group that is indeed a strong, smart, confident collection. We (I have always identified as a small c conservative) are individuals that are indeed intelligent and engaged, qualities that have left many of us frustrated with the false rhetoric being put forward by the hyper-partisan form of Wildrose Conservativism.

This ongoing rhetoric of the UCP makes it sound as if the right wing alone is equipped to stand up for Alberta and work towards a prosperous future, that only the right is the gatekeeper to fiscal prudence.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

To borrow the words of Greg Clark, leader of the Alberta Party, Albertans aren’t right or left wing. We’re builders and doers who want responsible and accountable spending but also care about our neighbours, regardless of their age, sex, ethnicity, or religion.

We cannot allow the promise of a balanced budget to sway us into buying half-truths and destructive social ideals. Fueling anger and frustration is not the way forward but is the complete opposite of what is needed to collectively build a positive future for all Albertans.

Despite the propaganda of our political establishment, we indeed have a choice that goes beyond a simple binary. It is now our democratic responsibility to investigate party platforms and find what best aligns to our values and needs. Tens of thousands may have decided to merge two parties, but millions of Albertans have the democratic right to choose our future without pressure or duress.

- Myles Chykerda,

Lacombe, Alta. 

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