Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Western Triumphalism

I'm a bit over hearing this stuff about the West "being in."

First, all the snivelling that Albertans did the last election and the one before when their man didn't become PM, and they blamed us treacherous easterners. Let's look at history. First, provincially, in my lifetime, Ontario has had a Tory government (Davis), a Liberal/NDP (Peterson/Rae), a Liberal (Peterson), an NDP (Rae), a Tory (Harris/Eves) and now a Liberal government. For exactly how many years in the last 50 have Tories been in power in Alberta? Since 1971, Tories. From 1935-71, SoCred (i.e. Tories).

How about Federally? Alberta has returned nothing but Tory or Reform/Alliance MPs, apart from the occasional Liberal exception. Ontario? Gave Mulroney plenty of Tories, gave Harper some, gave Harper more this time. Ontario sends some NDP MPs too.

So to hear the one-party state complain that the rest of the country, in the last few elections, didn't wholesale go for the Tories/Alliance/Reform parties is ridiculous. Have you heard Ontarians complain that the rest of the country doesn't follow its lead? Never. Did you hear Atlantic Canadians lamenting their rejection ever, or saying "We should go it on our own?" No. Only from Alberta, which incidentally has fewer MPs than ignored and disregarded Toronto.

Further, in Alberta, the Tories commanded only 48% of the vote, but got all the seats. That means a majority of Albertans would rather have someone other than Harper as Prime Minister. Democratic deficit? That's Exhibit A right there.

So, please, let's get over "the West is in." No. We now have real national parties, which means we're ALL in. And if Harper tries to govern as if now Calgary and Calgarian values are those of Canadians, wonder how long he'll last. Not long, I'd say.

Let's also remember that the left wing parties still have a commanding majority of the seats. It is not the case that Canadians have embraced Tory values - 64% of Canadians voted for left-wing or centre-left parties.

Bush made the mistake of claiming a mandate with his recent win. Harper does not even have that. He shouldn't make the mistake of governing as if he has.

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