Alberta’s United Conservative Party has whipped up a ludicrous hysteria against a children’s cartoon about Bigfoot — a typical case of the UCP’s diversionary scaremongering. But Alberta’s New Democratic Party has also been guilty of similar tactics that debase the standard of public discourse.
Joël Laforest is a writer, researcher, and organizer based in Calgary, Canada. He produces the Alberta Advantage podcast.
Jason Kenney’s government seems increasingly desperate, conjuring up dark conspiracies to explain its own failures. Beneath the lurid rhetoric, there’s a last-ditch effort to keep the fossil-fuel industry profitable and prop up a conservative “success story” that couldn’t endure.
Dave Barrett’s NDP government in British Columbia was one of the most impressive examples of social democracy in action during the twilight of the Keynesian era. But the BC NDP lacked a proper strategy to deal with the power of capital, which eventually forced it into retreat.
Triumphalist celebrations of Joe Biden’s hollow win over Donald Trump are a master class in ideological hubris. Canada’s New Democratic Party absolutely should not take the wrong lessons from his feeble victory.
The last time Canada’s center-left New Democratic Party was this important in Parliament, Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, was prime minister. In the 1970s, the social democrats were able to win important concessions. Today, the outlook is far bleaker. We need to demand real action.