Alberta election about identity, not policy
Danielle Smith winning re-election last week is a reminder that elections are more about confirmation bias and reaffirming our own prejudices than about working together to find solutions to collective problems.Our elections have become a lot like passengers on a plane electing the pilot: One candidate has years of experience flying planes and commits to following the rules of the sky. The other promises that everyone will have a first class seat, a great party, and limitless booze for the journey. While one is far more qualified to fly the plane, the other is almost sure to win the vote, and the plane's chances of achieving its destination are greatly reduced - and to add insult to injury, the number of first class seats didn't change, there's no room to party, and the booze fridge can only carry so much. The fundamental weakness of democracy, then, is the uninformed and self-interested voter.
Governance must be seen as a profession, not as a popularity contest. When people say things like: diapers and politicians should be replaced regularly and for the same reason, it misses the fundamental point that both deal with the uncontrolled faeces being produced, but don't create it.
In my experience, people who hate all politicians generally vote Conservative. People who think political parties are sports teams, where the outcome does not matter, vote Conservative. People motivated by division and hatred of the other, vote Conservative. People who feel that tax dollars are stolen from them to help greedy lazy people, vote Conservative. It is an easy set of groups to which to market. Nothing concrete needs to be offered, no commitment needs to be followed through, no truth is necessary.
The power brokers of the modern Conservative coalition consists, principally, of assorted supremacists:
- Ethnic supremacists (for example, white nationalists)
- Religious supremacists (the Christian Right, largely a breakaway from point #1)
- Socioeconomic supremacists (those wealthy people who delude themselves into thinking that their wealth was achieved without the help of the government-backed infrastructure and social structures of society)
They are supported by three broad categories of people:
- The naive: those who think that they will magically become fabulously wealthy some day while largely not understanding that $1 billion is unfathomably larger than the $100,000 they are aspiring to – and don't want taxed should they achieve it
- Cynics: people who think all politicians are corrupt, so what difference does it make who you elect
- Groupies: people who believe politics is purely a team sport, where the actual policy is not relevant, and the only thing that is actually important is "owning the libtards"
Catering to all these different groups within the large tent of the Conservative party is dangerous. None of them seek the betterment of society or the equity nor equality of the people. They speak of protecting the middle class, but have been the fundamental element at the core of its very destruction. The people who support them aren't bothered - all politicians lie anyway, right? There were obviously not enough first class seats on the plane. But at least these liars are our liars.
The Conservative Party is, in essence, the party of exploitative poverty. It seeks to divide society into owners and workers. But their key accomplishment is that they have convinced the workers that the egalitarian society promoted by the left means that people who they view as inferior, whether religiously, by gender, sexual orientation or identity, or simply by sports team (political party), will be treated as their equal, and that any action taken to bring about an egalitarian society constitutes government interference in the lives of workers. They seek to conflate working class and middle class, the latter of which is basically the mythical middle ground between owners and workers.
Back, then, to Alberta, where a Conservative premier who has openly advocated for the effective end of universal healthcare, was against public health measures in the face of a global pandemic, and is generally against anything that serves the collective good has been re-elected for all the reasons above, while the competent pilot is again left to sit in the passenger cabin.
This is, after all, Alberta, where being Conservative is a question of identity, not policy.
Posted at 04:06 on June 07, 2023
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