Canadians throughout the years have been convinced that they have only one choice to choose between either of the Liberals or Conservatives. This particular "doctrine" has ruled out any opportunity for other political parties to rule the nation in any way.
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Despite the growing dissatisfaction Albertans felt with the ruling party, the election remained Jim Prentice's to lose. Though odds were stacked against him, there were too many missteps, and at the root of each was a failure to respect the intelligence of the Alberta voter.
In case you are wondering, I did not vote for the NDP this election. But what I saw on social media afterwards scared me and I wanted to address the arguments and tell you why we should remain optimistic about the future of our province.
The big surprise with the NDP's breakthrough is Alberta is seen as the country's most conservative province. Home of the oil sands, Stephen Harper, and the Wildrose party, there's plenty of evidence to back this up. But, Calgary and Edmonton both have progressive mayors, Alberta is the youngest province demographically, and Albertans are feeling the economic (not to mention environmental) downside to an oil dependent economy. Rachel Notley reminded everyone that Alberta is defined by... Alberta.
What is happening in Alberta? Conservatives, after all, are a constant in the prairie province. As certain as the Bow River swells every spring, Albertans habitually re-elect Progressive Conservatives.
We must reclaim our position as a strong advocate for human rights and peace. In order to do this, we must do more than increase our financial support to the Central African Republic. We must condemn the abhorrent acts of violence against women and children. We must advocate for religious tolerance and reconciliation. And we must denounce the international apathy that has allowed this crisis to drag on for so long.
The Syrian conflict has passed two sobering milestones. The civil war -- now entering its fourth year -- has now claimed more than 200,000 lives and forced more than three million people to flee the country. The Canadian government can and should be playing a more direct role in addressing the refugee crisis in Lebanon by immediately increasing our humanitarian assistance.
The reason Canadians do not look at the NDP as government material is obvious. Its public role has been to shout, scream and protest from the sidelines and that reality has and should not change. I would never question nor discount their public contributions -- Medicare and minimum wage -- however these admirable ideals were achieved with the adult supervision of the traditional governing parties.
As a founding partner and the only major donor, Canada committed to the Stop TB Partnership, and contributed a five-year grant of $120 million to the TB REACH initiative in 2010. Unfortunately, TB REACH is now under threat. New Democrats are alarmed by indications that the Canadian government has decided not to renew its funding to TB REACH past 2016.
Why hasn't my Facebook feed filled with at least the same level of indignation about our government's disgraceful treatment of our Veterans as it was about the a tobogganing hill? We must learn to calibrate our anger so it's proportional to the injustice or slight. Let's fight for the things that make life fun for us like tobogganing while also fighting the things that make life miserable such as payday loan companies, multinational corporations, venture capitalists, a failed War on Terrorism and the self-serving hacks in the media and government who enable it all.
Like an overwhelming number of Canadians, you said -- publicly -- that you didn't want to grant telecom providers immunity for handing over our sensitive private information to government without a warrant. But then at the last minute something changed. You voted for the Bill in Parliament, and I don't mind telling you that was a huge disappointment. I also can't help but detect a hint of shame in the blog post that you wrote explaining why you turned around and supported the Bill after speaking out so vociferously against it.
The War on Terrorism has been raging since planes knocked down the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001. Canadians have long felt insulated from the rush to hysteria and paranoia that has gripped many of our allies but now we're right in the thick of it.
Payday loan companies have managed to fly beneath the radar of public scrutiny for far too long. I suspect it's because their victims are the weakest among us who don't have a voice.
Mark Twain once said 'Give a man the reputation of an early riser and that man can sleep until noon.' Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney are responsible for three quarters of the national debt. Harper alone has added $170 billion. The Liberals get the rest. How either one gets away with even pretending to be fiscally responsible baffles me. Both parties have slept in well past noon. It's time for a rude awakening.