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Giving the game away

After being eviscerated in yet another Alberta election, Liberals and New Democrats are engaged in their usual exercise of moping around and trying to figure out why the left can't pick up votes here. Maybe they should read this incredible op-ed from the University of Alberta's Gateway, which just might contain a clue or two.

On election night Premier Stelmach gave a remarkable speech (remarkable, that is, for being garbled yet poignant), making a joke about how glad he was that his Ukrainian ancestors got on the boat going to Alberta instead of the one going to Argentina. How did one student react? TOTAL MELTDOWN. How dare the premier say that Alberta is better than Argentina?! What a "culturally insensitive" "jackass"! Doesn't he know that Argentina is a wonderful multicultural mosaic, just like ours? And if living standards there are a little different (don't you dare say they're "worse"!) it's all the fault of the same neoliberals who are pulling the strings here!* Our political system is just as corrupt!

Oh yeah, it's a big mystery why Albertans don't vote for the parties of the left. A real thorny head-scratcheroo.

*Note Dave Spart-style logic


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Comments (13)

Ironically enough, your Stelmach endorsement for the National Post pre-election made a point that this analy...er, girl with a typewriter could have gleaned from Stelmach's speech.

People are coming to Alberta. People want to live here. Its not unrealistic to believe that displaced Newfies and Northern Ontarians and Saskatchewanites want to replicate the governments that forced their home economies to the state where they have to leave the land of their birth and immigrate to our beloved RalphWorld.

Er, what's a predicate again? "Unrealistic" should of course read "realistic".

The real point is that even if Alberta were the worst festering hellhole on the planet, it should certainly be all right for the premier to say he's glad he lives here and not somewhere else. I would not expect the president of Argentina not to say he was happy to live in Argentina rather than Alberta. There's no Albertan alive who would take offence if he did.

But when a Liberal or a New Democrat says he loves Alberta, no one ever asks him to explain what he loves about it, and someone like Kevin Taft would certainly have a hard time answering the question, given the rest of his campaign rhetoric, and given the way the left outside Alberta (or even the general public outside Alberta) regards us. "Um, well, the people here are redneck planet-killing racist hillbillies, but... uh, the mountains are kinda nice."

The NDP next door in Saskatchewan has been running openly on the slogan "Don't let the Saskatchewan Party turn us into Alberta" (as if there's any danger of that). What does that tell you about what Alberta NDP candidates really think of our province?

I would seriously depair of Alberta's opposition parties if they were taking their intellectual marching orders from college paper editorials, Colby. While that fishwrap is indeed uniquely pathetic in its desperation, this is pure fish barrel BLAM.

All in all, Stelmach trying to make Alberta look great by comparing it with Argentina is laughable since Alberta’s electoral system is just about as corrupt, if not worse, than that of any other “third world” country—anyone who tried to find out where they should vote using Elections Alberta’s website or calling their phone lines should know what I’m talking about.

Whoever puts their website together has a sense of humour. This is the featured quote on the sidebar. I'm not absolutely certain, but I'm pretty sure that that was the key democratic issue in Iraq and why Hussein kept getting re-elected - Elections Iraq didn't do a good job of publicizing the polling locations.

Oh, and if you wanted to run against him, you'd get shot in the head, along with your entire family.

But mostly the poor communication as to the location of polling sites.

I don't know what faculty the author is in (wild ass guess: something in the Arts) but the Dean should bring her in, apologize, tell her that they've either clearly failed in educating her or that she clearly hasn't learned a bloody thing but, in any event, here's your tuition cheque back and best of luck to you.

I would seriously despair of Alberta's opposition parties if they were taking their intellectual marching orders from college paper editorials, Colby.

God, yeah, if this were an accurate representation of their intellectual style, they'd probably get slaughtered in 11 elections in a row or something.

Just curious: when do you intend to start despairing of Alberta's opposition parties? I hate to break it to you, but if you were actually here you'd be considered about a quarter-century behind on this.

UofA Student:

Memo to Kristina: Just because it goes over well in a Poli Sci seminar taught by Lois Harder doesn't mean it is editorial-worthy.


I spent a couple of months in Argentina and Uruguay in the 1970s. Most of denizens of those two states that I met considered them to be the only civilized countries in Latin America. They expressed particular scorn for Brazil, which they enjoyed telling me was a Third World craphole that was never going anywhere. The word multiculturalism was then not in use outside Canada, but I can assure you that nobody I talked to in Argentina was even remotely a multiculturalist.


Surely Conservatives can find more worthy targets than the editorialists at a college newspaper. Shooting fish in a barrel, no?

Lord Bob:

Surely Conservatives can find more worthy targets than the editorialists at a college newspaper.

My uncle was a provincial Liberal MLA for many years. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met in my life and I'm filled with respect for him. I've also talked politics with him on occasion so I can so, no, there's really not.

Dick Estey:

Right wing tittering, let me suggest, is as misguided as Ms. De Guzman's "analysis". She and her ilk are running the country notwithstanding the contradictory flags flying over many of our legislative halls. How else to explain the continuous expansion of the nanny state, even in our last bastion of hope, Alberta? How else to explain our "leaders" unwillingness to confront the contradictions of multiculturalism, or the rampant racism that is aboriginal affairs, or even the uncertainties surrounding "global warming"? It's no challenge finding sanctimonious "progressive" pap to ridicule amongst ourselves in the back shadows of the web. The challenge is finding leaders with the conviction and the balls and the ability to take some real conservative policy into the national spotlight. Where are the right wing Maude Barlows and Naomi Kleins and David Suzukis anyway?

Corporate Fat Cat:

Where are the right wing Maude Barlows and Naomi Kleins and David Suzukis anyway?

Getting laid and paid in the Centre of the Universe. I have better options than a life sucking at the public teat; many of them don't.


Hmmm, methinks if he said USA instead of Argentina the reaction would've been completely opposite


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