I’ve been blindly poking and prodding at the Mythical Centre everyone seems to insist exists in Albertan politics, insistently pointing out that our current government run by the New Democratic Party isn’t all that aggressively socialist after all. In fact, I don’t even have to go as far back as Peter Lougheed, widely considered one of the Progressive Conservative’s most reasonable and productive Premiers, to find similarities between the energy plan of the NDP and the PCs–Rachel Notley’s policy is nearly identical to that of the late Jim Prentice.
Which seems… odd… given how Canada and Alberta’s mainstream media has a never-ending lineup of pundits screaming of the coming plague over the NDP’s governance.
Yesterday, journalist Jason Markusoff published a story in Maclean’s Magazine outlining Mr. Prentice’s recommended approach to making Canada a true energy superpower, as opposed to the blustering would-be powerhouse we saw during the years Stephen Harper was Conservative prime minister.
“Prentice’s arguments are striking not only in their closeness to those of Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but also in how far they diverge from the orthodoxy of today’s Conservative Party, where Michael Chong is the clan’s black sheep for daring to advocate a price on carbon,” Mr. Markusoff wrote.
In the book, Mr. Markusoff observed, Mr. Prentice “gives Notley credit for instituting a carbon tax and suggests he’d helped lay the groundwork for her approach.” (Emphasis added.)
Mr. Prentice also credited the approach taken by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Notley with more success than the “amateurish” bullying favoured by Mr. Harper and his acolyte Mr. Kenney.
These so-called Centrists that everybody insists exists ought to then be confronted with the basic reality that Notley’s NDP is behaving a lot more like Lougheed’s PCs and not the Communist Diktatorship Post Media pundits have cooked up in their feverish imaginations.
Hell, Jim Prentice even answered the open-ended question I was concerned with regarding Indigenous treaty rights: (emphasis mine)
Mr. Markusoff quotes Mr. Prentice’s argument that if Canada won’t commit to serious coastal protection measures as demanded by so many people in British Columbia, “then we shouldn’t be shipping oil at all.” The late Conservative premier also advocated that Alberta help bear the costs of protecting the West Coast and include Canada’s Indigenous peoples as full partners in our national energy policy.
There remains the big question–with Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney slated to win the PC leadership race and steer the party into an iceberg, are the Centrists everybody insists exist going to wake the fuck up and vote for the not-terribly-liberal NDP? Or are they going to continue slamming back that delicious Red Scare whipped together in the dingy basements of Alberta’s gasbag political pundits?