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Is common sense coming back to politics?


by Susan Hofforth



One thing that can be said about global politics right now is that everywhere has seen some shake-ups. People are voting for change. Perhaps not the right change, but something that isn’t the same as what we have had up until now. Something different, a vote that says people are frustrated. Frustrated with what? That’s not quite clear, but one of the strands is a combination of side effects that comes with mistrust of the process. Talk of foreign powers tampering with the US election, fake news, attack ads, social media that seems like it can’t be stopped, and the insignificant but divisive issues that are given too much importance so that the important issues can be left unsolved and unaddressed because they can’t be controlled by an election machine.


Those who voted for the change were as shocked as everyone else when change happened. When the NDP took power from the PC party in Alberta after 44 years… When the UK voted to leave the European Union… When the Republicans swept to power in the United States, led by a man no one really thought would be a good president.


The PCs in Alberta went down hard. People were angry, finally, after so many years with a party that thought it could do anything it wanted and as a result of so many years with the same political group, no other political parties had opportunity to govern in Alberta. But it was a wake-up shake-up for the PCs, who are now looking to a return as the new joined United Conservative Party, led by Jason Kenney. In his victory speech last week, Kenney said that “hope is on the horizon, and common sense is coming back.” He may have just been talking about his vision for Alberta, but maybe common sense will prevail in politics. Whether those words are true, or just a good slogan, common sense is what people want. People want good government; they want a government that works and doesn’t interfere with the important parts of their lives.


Good government is one that has strong opposition, and can speak and be debated. In Alberta, we may be too quick to blame the government when things are not going our way without seeing the real cause. A good debate is what is needed, to talk frankly about the issues, and not focus too much on political correctness over offensive old-school attitudes which is what it seems to come down to, despite the fact that neither side intends to be either of those things.


This is not to say that I am taking a stand for or against either the UCP or NDP party whenever the next provincial elections come. Just that it might be good to have some common-sense debate both for and against political correctness. It is not a good idea to just vote with our frustration, fear and irritation.



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