The NDP sweep in Alberta has been described as an ‘Orange Crush’, with the NDP colour smothering the Conservative blue and Liberal red. Others are calling it an Albertan apocalypse. There is a connection there, for Orange Crush is also a song by REM, who also penned the apocalyptic ballad ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’.
It’s the end of some kind of world, for Alberta at least. And since the province’s oil industry has been the energy and economic powerhouse of Canada, it is also, if not the end of, at least a dire change in Canada’s world as we know it. There are already anecdotal stories of the possibility of millions of dollars in contracts being cancelled with news of the NDP majority.
The National Democratic Party was founded on socialist principles: the governmental usurpation of private property and income, to be redistributed as the government sees fit in lavish funding of liberal pet projects, such as universal daycare, universal education, universal health care, including unrestricted access to abortion, a pro-homosexual agenda, and, particularly bad for the Albertan economy, a radical environmentalist policy. Curiously, the founding father and first leader of the NDP in Canada, Tommy Douglas (voted the ‘greatest Canadian of all time’) and the one who instantiated universal health care, also defended eugenics and forced sterilization of the ‘mentally and morally unfit’ in his Master’s thesis, modifying his views after witnessing the horrors of Nazi Germany.
Of course, you won’t find eugenics in the current NDP policies, but they are still no friends of conservative, moral principles. Then again, as I consider this, I wonder how friendly the Conservatives themselves were to such principles, and how ‘apocalyptic’ this NDP sweep will really be. Canada’s socio-moral policies could hardly get more ‘liberal’, and none of the major political parties, including the Tories in whom many people I know place such hope, has a truly ‘conservative’ stance. Moral questions, such as abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’, artificial reproduction and so on, have been ‘decided’ by Canadians. Just to be sure, however, at the federal level, NDP leader Tom Mulcair has declared unequivocally (as has Justin Trudeau for the Liberal) that none of his MP’s will ever be permitted to vote for any limiting of access to a woman’s ‘right to choose’.
The central issue here, which none of the political parties is willing or able to address, is the role of government itself. Its metastatic growth, myriad employees, unmanageable salaries, benefits and pensions, all the interfering laws and polices, have grown under the Tories, as they will under the NDP. As Rex Murphy has written, the complacency of government is a big part of the problem, exemplified in the ‘let them eat cake’ attitude of Alison Redford, who apparently treated Albertan’s tax money as her own private treasure trove, and Jim Prentice’s too-clever politicism, removing the true conservative voice of Albertans by absorbing the Wildrose party into the one, big, bland Tory tent. Like King David, they have had their forty years of governance, and Murphy says that the NDP shake-up is a good thing.
Although I sympathize with Murphy’s analysis, and with disaffection with the political class in general, I also ponder the words of a wise man I know, that as bad as things are, they could always get worse.
At least the Conservatives, for example, allowed the partial funding of private schools and even homeschooling. I would rather government get more or less out of education altogether, but these policies are a step in the right direction. Jim Prentice also recognized the dire economic situation facing Albertans (and Canada as a whole), and tried to implement a prudent budget controlling costs to some extent.
Both of these may go under Rachel Notley and her untested, but zealous, NDP neophytes, who, from the utopian policies they are willing to make public, seem to consider money no object. Most Canadians, especially those with a proclivity to the NDP, live in an economic dream world, and most young voters in Alberta and Canada have grown up highly dependent upon the governmnet teat. All I can hope is that some kind of wake-up call is imminent. Who, pray tell, is going to pay for yet-further universal access to prescription drugs, daycare, and university education, as well as the lucrative ‘government jobs’ everyone is vying for these days? Canada is already more than halfway to a trillion dollar debt, with no end in sight, and the oil money is drying up like a old Texan well.
Reality is a very effective, but also often a painful, teacher. Albertans will know what they have voted for soon enough and I hope that they will realize, with the rest of Canada, that only within the reality of the moral law (and that includes a prudent economic policy) can a province or country be governed well.
May 11, 2015