Thursday, November 12, 2020

The partisan nature of no-position non-partisanship

There's a new group of non-partisan ideaers 'TheNext30' that have published their debut idea: 'The last thing we need for progress is a polarized Alberta'. As a follow-up here is a Twitter thread where one of the group's founders discuss what non-partisan means for them. Of particular interest is this statement:

The article, much like this statement, sounds great on the surface but only by avoiding the elephant in the room: Alberta's corrupt purposely divisive government.

In fact even avoiding the elephant in the room they cross into the bounds of unAlbertan heresy, take this paragraph for instance:
How can we reduce our economy’s and provincial budget’s exposure to the volatility of oil and gas prices? How can we build an inclusive social fabric so that every Albertan feels like they belong? How can we ensure that Alberta’s energy sector thrives in a low-carbon emissions future? How can we walk the path of genuine reconciliation in a way that honours Indigenous knowledge and culture and creates new opportunity?

Go ahead, ask a UCP minister any of these questions, what is the response going to be?

For the first question, in recent months, you'll likely be pulled into a debate about how oil demand will be here for years to come and that thus must mean Alberta's bottom of the barrel bitumen will be in demand and to say anything otherwise is anti-Albertan. It was a year ago they'd tell you there is no need to diversify at all in fact it's only due to COVID and the Saudi price war that diversification has even entered into the UCP lexicon and it much like any other word they speak has been redefined to fit their narrative.

Sorry TheNext30 but you're going to need to exclude the UCP types from your partisan premise.

It's hard to discuss ideas when the problems are the subject of dispute and used for political purposes and it's even harder when the problems are deliberately obfuscated for corrupt purposes.

How about the next one? Making every Albertan feel like they belong? Sounds like partisan socialist claptrap to me. The Alberta government has made it clear every Albertan doesn't belong. Letter after letter, concern after concern, many from non-partisan groups who may have even majority voted UCP have expressed concern over what the Alberta government is doing and what is the response? They're somehow aligned with "the socialists". The UCP routinely claim they "will not be lectured", that their mandate to do whatever they want whenever extends from that one election they won, and they even put earplugs in. 

As I stated in 'Alberta's Great Panderer' war is the only language the UCP knows and their entire legitimacy as a government among their remaining supporters rests on the idea Alberta must be at war with everything and anyone who opposes Alberta's core identity of oil & gas or is against the government routinely giving them breaks at the expense of everyone else. They're not just a partisan, but an enemy.

Well how about the next question? surely this one will be non-partisan...

How can we ensure Alberta's energy sector thrives in a low carbon emissions future?

Oh Geez.

Sounds like a question "those who say they're concerned" might ask, but not one the Alberta government chooses to ask. Instead the government has chosen to go after critics with their joke of an extended inquiry. You should be careful TheNext30 as asking such unAlbertan questions will surely get you branded as a partisan or at the very least as "those who say they are concerned".

I could go on but I think my point is clear.

I suggest TheNext30 go tell those on AISH the government fucked over so they could try to cook the books to cover for their criminal giveaways that they just need to try not being so damn partisan. Maybe the government wouldn't have torn up doctor's contracts if doctors didn't stick up for themselves and let Tyler Shandro camp out on their driveways. Maybe the election commissioner wouldn't have been fired if he took a more non-partisan approach and didn't bother to investigate anything.

Now I'm not saying anything is wrong with wanting to have a discussion about these things or that they are in fact partisan but to ignore Alberta's climate is likewise a partisan position. Let me explain.

Let's look at their closing paragraphs:

Exploring these and other big questions in an environment of mutual respect can help people to find their voices. It can also shine the light on the many inspiring leaders throughout the province whose ideas and character can serve as examples for us as we struggle to find our way in a changing world.

Above all, it can help illuminate the fact that we are going to have to come together to face the future with confidence and hope — and that doing so will be necessary if Alberta is going to thrive over the next 30 years and beyond.

This is how our path can differ from the one that’s been taken by our American neighbours and why it can lead to a better future. But it has to start now, with all of us. We had best get to it.

There's that elephant again. It goes unmentioned but is also implicitly present. "Coming together to face the future with confidence and hope [because the current government is ignoring it]", "doing so will be necessary if Alberta is going to thrive over the next 30 years and beyond [especially since the current government rejects the very premise of the problems]", "This is how our path can differ from the one that's been taken by our American neighbors [who much like us were (and still are) rejecting reality in favour of staunch American exceptionalism]".

For a long time now folks in Alberta have been trying to have these conversations and for a long time now those who have have found themselves under perpetual demonization by a province that has been captured by corporate interests but when it comes to the UCP, this isn't partisanship, it's all out class warfare. Albertans of every political stripe are under attack. Albertans' wealth is being looted. Concerns are met with highly paid issue manager propagandists. Any objective non-partisan, left or right winger, should be able to see this. If you can't then perhaps you are too partisan or too obsessed with the perception of being non-partisan to the point that the rules and taboos of non-partisan-ville themselves become a partisan position.

Canadian Trends has been a non-partisan blog for nearly 10 years and was also one of the first publications to correctly identify the UCP's motives and I'm sad to say that so far my forecasts have been quite accurate regarding them. Partisanship is not firm opposition to a sitting government, partisanship is not taking a position on an issue, partisanship is blind support for a political party. I can say the Alberta NDP had good policy and that I supported the NDP government without supporting everything NDP and I can likewise vehemently oppose the UCP government due to their corrupt criminal lying fuckwad policies and attitudes without being against "Conservatives". Hell conservatives can be against the UCP and still be conservatives.

The non-partisan discussions TheNext30 wants to have have already been had, and were deemed partisan. That ship has sailed. Alberta's situation now is that it is under siege by a criminal cabal that has weaponized division and is hell bent on looting this province for every last penny and asset it has and that is the only discussion that needs to be had now if we want any future at all in this shithole and any true non-partisan that isn't so partisan to their belief in non-partisanship should recognize it.

Some might say we've lost our way but I would say we've not gone far enough.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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