It’s very interesting to watch the story of Alberta’s political right continue to unfold. While Premier Rachel Notley continues to run the province under a very different philosophy than underpinned Alberta for decades, the political right continues to struggle to gain traction on the new landscape.
Jason Kenney and Brian Jean and their associates are trying to find a way to put together the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties as an effective challenge to the NDP. This week, we learned of a meeting set for Red Deer on April 15 among folks who define their own political philosophy as being in the centre of the spectrum.
The list of attendees reportedly is to include former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandell and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark. And we are just now getting into a Liberal leadership race and it is unclear what prospective candidates stand for, or what they have to offer to Alberta’s citizens.
The political right ran this province. The 44-year dynasty of the Alberta PCs had taken over for the Social Credit party of Ernest Manning and William Aberhart. There were disagreements among citizens from time to time, but not to the same extent as we see today. Today, democracy makes room for a wide variety of citizen views on all manner of subjects. The challenge is to find a political philosophy that does the same thing. The challenge is to find a political organization that can take that broad range of views in an increasingly pluralistic society and give it the structure needed to run the business of Alberta.
In my time, Peter Lougheed was the best premier this province ever had. He was able to articulate a vision of what Alberta could be and sell it to the people who lived here. But I don’t know if even Lougheed could craft a political party out of this stew in which we find ourselves today. The word “consensus” is only used in a sentence when people lament the fact there is no consensus on anything anymore. In a world where social media makes everybody a commentator, consensus is going to be increasingly elusive. I just hope the political right can find a leader with a voice that can articulate a vision that is something other than being the antithesis of the NDP. For me, the search continues.