The problem with Alberta is we have no political parties in the middle

Re: “Kenney’s priorities are misplaced,” David Marsden, Opinion, April 14.

The comment, “Kenney has lost all sight of the value of education,” should come as no surprise to Albertans who value the importance of education.

The problem is it is not just the Kenney government in this new pandemic world that has lost sight of the value of education.

The fact is that every provincial Conservative leader from Ralph Klein forward has eroded our public education system through cutbacks in funding and by throwing contempt on our educators.

These governments have done this at all levels of education, from preschool to the highest post-secondary institutions.

These actions should come as no surprise to Albertans, because this is what populist governments worldwide do. In their minds, an educated voter is a dangerous voter.

ALSO READ: Kenney’s priorities are misplaced

In this respect, King Ralph was just a long way ahead of the curve, as evidenced now by populist-movement politicians such as the leaders of Ford Nation and, of course, the greatest of all the modern populists, that “stable genius,” the Trumpster, our “friend” to the south.

Unfortunately, the word “progressive” as formerly used as a description of a provincial party (Progressive Conservative) has long ago lost any meaning in Alberta.

Lest one accuse this writer of being a “leftist” or a “socialist,” please note that one should have serious concerns about our only other major political party, the NDP, as well.

Their strength and primary support comes in large part from our public service unions, who wield tremendous powers when they threaten strike and deprive the taxpayers who pay their significant salaries and indexed pensions of essential services.

The problem is that this province is caught between the rhetoric of two parties of extremes, one spouting from the left, the other from the right.

No one is left standing in the middle. There are no “progressive” politicians in the mould of Peter Lougheed left in the present political landscape.

The irony: The last time Albertans had a realistic opportunity to elect a middle-of-the road government was when Laurence Decore led the provincial Liberals against the Progressive Conservatives, led by Ralph Klein.

Double irony: Who did Decore beat out as leader of the Liberals in their convention prior to the election?

None other than Klein, who promptly changed his political spots from Liberal red to Conservative blue.

Who says a leopard can’t change his spots?

How much different would this province be if Klein had run as a Liberal?

Hopefully, sometime in the not too distant future, in a universe not too far away, Alberta can find itself in a position where we have a political choice that provides us that beautiful balance between social conscience and the spirit of individualism and enterprise that Albertans are famous for.

Can history repeat itself? Maybe yes, maybe no.

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