Monday, January 11, 2010

Political Contradictions and Alberta

Progressive. Conservative. Centrist. These are political labels that define our perspectives on a variety of social and fiscal issues.

Fiscally conservative. Socially progressive. And vice-versa. These are combinations that are made when one or the other are not working in and of themselves.

As Albertans, can we find wholeness in what appear to be political contradictions? As someone who labels herself "progressive," I have seen those who are fiscally conservative cut a whole range of programs and services that are needed in order to be socially concerned. Yes, I suppose it is possible to be in favour of gay marriage and not care about abortion while being tight with the purse strings, but being "socially progressive" goes far beyond these issues. Issues which often cause people to vote Conservative because of so-called "family values," even though the result of that kind of government is cuts to programs deeply needed by families.

Progressives care about the Arts, education, healthcare, and the poor. In short, we care about people rather than corporations. We care about a diverse society with rights and protection for all, not just the elite few of the very rich. It's about everyone having an equal voice, whether one is a CEO or working single mother.

The term "progressive conservative" has become an oxymoron in our current political lexicon in this province because of the extreme right-wing route that party has gone down. Whether or not it is too late to get back to its "Red Tory" roots remains to be seen. As a social activist, I feel I need to stay away from the label "conservative" altogether. It carries too much baggage. We need something new, something better - something progressive.


Shawn Birss said...

Thanks for the blog. What happens when I "follow you".

Paula E. Kirman said...

I am not sure - I think when you log in, you are shown what blogs have been recently updated.

Red said...

Why didn't I say this??? I couldn't agree more with your point. People talk a really good line and you'd think they're a lefty of some kind and then they go out and vote PC because they can't find anybody else to vote for???