Op-ed: Big Tent Nenshi

While it’s been a decade 13 years(!) since I left Alberta, I like to keep a weather eye on politics in the Old Country. My latest offering, courtesy the National Post, builds on some earlier thinking on the subject, and puts forward a modest proposal for a political shake-up in the province in the run-up to the 2016 election. In about 700 words it manages to bury the current governing party, then bulldoze three or four others in order to lay the foundations for a new progressive alternative headed by Calgary’s own Naheed Nenshi. Needless to say it’s already made me just loads of new friends on the twitter.

Here’s the opening:

With the recent resignation of Premier Alison Redford, the venerable Progressive Conservative Party is once again adrift. Internal divisions and unpopularity sank the last two leaders, and no one now seems eager to assume command. Commentators use words like “free fall” to describe the party. Opponents describe it as in “disarray.”

Simply put, Alberta’s big tent party is collapsing in on itself. Having lost the party’s right wing to Wildrose last election, the departure of Redford now makes it unlikely it’ll be able to hold on to the centre-left voters who rallied to her side in 2012, either. Let us assume for the moment, however, that the party tries to save itself by shifting to the right, leaving the centre and the left of the province’s political spectrum wide open. What, if anything, will materialize there to oppose them?

Click here to read on. Shout-out to my good friend Phil Zinken (it being Friday, you should probably follow him on twitter at @zinkep) for prodding me to think about these issues, and helping me stay informed of what’s going on on the ground there.

photo credit: cliff1066™ via photopin cc

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