Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Stlemachites: Taking Progressive out of Progressive Conservative

It's not like I am even the least bit surprised by the latest utterances from Iris Evans.

'When you're raising children, you don't both go off to work and leave them for somebody else to raise.'

Oh brother - yet another conservative whose contact with the economic and social realities that so many Alberta families face. In Calgary, even a modest house is going to cost around $300,000 or more - which makes the mortgage payments several thousand per month for a family starting out with a 5% or 10% downpayment. When average household incomes are between $40,000 and $65,000, that makes the costs of just putting a roof over the head of the family, and food on the table. Much less dealing with the endless costs of educating and raising children.

The 'user fees' that are levied over and above the taxes used to fund our schools are not cheap. Few, if any families, can afford to not have both parents working. One family I know and admire is far from the luxurious "dual income lifestyle" that Ms. Evans' comments suggest. It is a struggle for them from month to month, and the parents sacrifice hugely both career and income in order to raise their family. Yet, there is no way that they could raise their family if it wasn't for the economic contributions of both parents.

Evans' commentary is beyond ignorant of the realities that today's families face in Alberta, but also reflects other aspects of the growing presence of a TheoCon dominance in the Stelmach government.

Whether one looks at the content of Bill 44, which essentially creates a false hierarchy of rights that places religious belief ahead of other fundamental rights. Instead of fostering equality, it will in fact only serve to produce further bigotry and ignorance.

The cancelling of funding for GRS also reflects a similar, ignorance guided prejudice that lurks within the Stelmach cabinet.

While many Albertans fondly remember the era of Peter Lougheed (I am one of those), and respect the sense of balance and wisdom that his governance brought to Alberta - a balance that made Alberta truly one of the great places in Canada to live. Under Lougheed, the Progressive Conservative party was truly both progressive and conservative. Today, the party has lost any sense of understanding of the meaning of progressive. Under Stelmach, they are becoming a party that is not just conservative, but in fact truly regressive.

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