Breaking news: Canadian politicians disagree; this is apparently newsworthy?


Hello interwebs!

Over in the Glorious Commune of Canuckistan, there’s a bit of a shuffle going on around one of our political parties–actually, two of our political parties. They share the same name and colour, but they’re different, I promise you.

That would be the New Democratic Party (of Canada) and the New Democratic Party (of Alberta). For anyone not in the know, Alberta is a province and its government would be vaguely comparable to a State-level government, but other than sharing a name and flag and colour, the Albertan NDP are not by any means accountable to the Canadian NDP. They are separate elections covering different levels of government, and they have platforms that highlight their disagreements. Despite the differences between the two parties, they are both stereotyped to being the “Socialist” party of Canada. As a Socialist, I disagree, but right now that’s not important.

In the past provincial election, the Albertan NDP won a crushing majority in the Legislature and busted a 44 year winning streak from the “Progressive” Conservatives (bearing in mind that the Albertan PCs were still further to the political left than American Democrats). In the last federal election, the Canadian NDP were reduced to third party status down from official opposition, and now the Canadian NDP are fighting over the carcass of their unsuccessful campaign. There’s a leadership election calling for its current leader, Mulcair, to step down–but there’s also a bit of a thrash occurring over something called the “Leap Manifesto.”

Why yes, intelligent commentators, I agree: Be immediately suspicious of anything called a “manifesto.” In short, it’s an announcement of to-be-debated policy points, some of which are left-wing economic issues and some of which are environmentalist (i.e. anti-heavy industry [oilsand]) issues. An intelligent person might assess the manifesto point by point rather than reflexively convulsing at the thought of objection to building more pipelines through First Nation land but whatever, you do you, Notley. You are representing the Texas of Canada, after all.

Anyway, I don’t know why the fuck the media is having a heyday over this. Two levels of government disagree on policy? Oh my goodness! Say it ain’t so! A shattered third-party political group thinks it needs to rebrand following its devastating losses? Fucking radical!

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the Canadian NDP decide what their platform is going to be for the next election, as long as they figure it out before it starts. I see no reason why the Albertan NDP can’t look at federal policy and disagree. I mean, Alberta has a long history of bitching about its treatment by Eastern Canada (sometimes fairly, other times not so much), regardless of which federal party held power, why would that change simply because we voted in a new government? The new federal government still budgeted under the assumption that Alberta would be the rest of Canada’s sugardaddy too.

I for one appreciate that the two parties are arguing openly. It speaks to me of a much healthier democracy that the fiefdom Our Glorious Infallible Overlord former Prime Minister Stephen Harper ran. At least this way we can actually assess what our delegates are doing for us.

Stay sexy & informed lovelies,