Why Alberta doesn’t count for much in federal thinking
This will be my last political blog post for a while. Today’s post is primarily inspired by an excellent article written by Don Martin. He was a political correspondent for the Calgary Herald for over 30 years, and has many interesting stories about budding politicians including Ralph Klein and Stephen Harper.
In my recent posts, I have been arriving at a conclusion about how Alberta fits into federal politics and why it continuously gets poorly treated, even by a Prime Minister who holds his seat in Calgary.
Don has some very insightful things to say, and he does so in an eloquent manner. Rather than try an rewrite what he says, I have chosen to quote in full. However, I have added the bold highlighting, which support many of the conclusions I have written about over the past couple of weeks.
“After a third of a century covering all three levels of politics, this much I know to be true.
- The worst politicians don’t know when to leave.
- Comebacks from retirement are always a bad idea.
- A provincial premier will never be a Canadian prime minister.
- Standing firm on party principle only lasts until it clashes with the party’s popularity.
- All campaign promises are delivered with fingers crossed.
- Every broken promise can be rationalized. And every rationalization can be traced back to doing what’s best for the party in power.
It’s also an unfortunate truism that to cover Alberta’s place in Confederation is to experience constant frustration with distorted priorities. A province contributing far more than its share to the national cash register, while providing hefty horsepower to Canada’s economic engine, remains largely an afterthought at the cabinet table.
The prism view of decision-making in Ottawa, even under the reign of Calgary MP Stephen Harper, fractures into light shining on Quebec, Ontario and B.C., in that order.
Until Alberta voters become less predictable, this will never change. The truest blue of the provinces will always be ignored as a dead zone by any Liberal government and taken for granted as an electoral birthright by Conservatives.”
So my question to Albertans is very simple. Will you choose to do anything, or just continue to be taken for granted and treated accordingly?