Home Month and Year July 2023 Politics at its Worst!

Politics at its Worst!

Shane Wenzel

We have witnessed heated election campaigns before, but seldom with the level of vociferous anger witnessed during our recent provincial election.

Many voters are feeling betrayed by the country they love and discarded from the information highway. But when does reasonable anger end and irrational hatred begin? We witnessed both during this provincial election. Some have even related it to occurrences that appeared during WWII. That may sound exaggerated, but those who are still alive from that time can draw parallels if asked.

What I found most frustrating during this election was the assistance by the mainstream media with their ‘one-sided’ reporting and the peddling of some intentionally misinterpreted policies expressed by now Premier Smith. These misinterpretations appeared to be an attempt to concern, confuse and conflict good ideas by distorting what was really intended. I can relate this past election to a comment made many times by my now-deceased uncle who spent much of his life on the political campaign trail. He often said that politics is a ‘true blood sport’ not to be outdone by war. I am not sure we should really be calling elections a sport as they appear to be turning into mini wars between countrymen.

Interestingly, if you go back in history after women achieved the right to vote in 1920, opponents to that ‘right’ argued women would simply vote for the best-looking candidate, all of which at the time were men. Our current election elicited a lot of angry women on the campaign trail and at the doors, which was hard to rationalize by onlookers. Door knockers faced a tough job, in particular unpaid volunteer non-union doorknockers. I understand that could change in the future as many said the verbal conflict they faced at some doors and catcalling from ‘paid knockers’ they met on the streets “just isn’t worth it.”

Political campaigns are usually hard-fought and exhausting in Alberta. But this one was particularly challenging. Yet, overall voter turnout numbers did not change as much as people’s attitude. Let us hope professionalism can return to our elections.

On the federal level, with the recent passage of Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 headed for a similar fate it does not appear we will fall back into our ‘happy space’ tomorrow. The next stop will be the CRTC which was originally mandated to be controlled by Canadians but is now afflicted with ‘regulatory creep’ and has expanded beyond its original mandate into servicing big monopolies. It turns out we are faced with big monopolies holding control over what satellite programming will be allowed entry into Canada including popular Netflix, certain American and other news channels, all of which offered Canadians many more entertainment options.

Popular Facebook and other similar forums are also at risk for federal government censorship under the guise of ‘boosting Canadian culture.’ That seems somewhat odd, as the last I heard Canada was accused of having no culture or identity of its own.

The silent majority needs to start speaking up and letting government know we are here, and we do have an identity.

Stampede week – Calgary’s number one event along with Flames hockey and Stampeder football – cannot come soon enough!