by Garfield Marks
In less than 100 days we will be voting federally, either for the “past” or for the “future” because, apparently, the “present” is unsatisfactory.
Here in Alberta, we yearn for the good old days when we had big pay cheques, big houses, big trucks, big bikes, big quads, big trailers, big boats and big payments. We worked hard and we played hard.
The world evolved around us, over time, and things changed. Our vehicles went from 350 cubic inches and five miles per gallon at 50 cents per gallon (4.5 litres) to 3.5 L and 50 miles per gallon or 18 kms. per litre at ($1 per litre).
Then the environment started having a mid-life climate crisis and consumers started looking for alternatives. Politicians started playing politics and pipelines did not get built and production began to suffer. Big paycheques shrank.
Four years or so ago, Albertans turfed out the provincial government of the day because they seemed so out of touch with the needs of Albertans. They voted for the future and things started changing but the big paycheques did not return, and even though the future was improving it wasn’t the good old days. A few months ago they turfed out the “new” provincial government and brought back the re-branded “old” government and Albertans have not yet returned to the good old days.
Four years or so ago, Canadians turfed out the federal government of the day because they seemed out of touch with the needs of Canadians. They voted for the future, a new government, and things started changing.
Yet oddly enough this “new” federal government, so disdained by Albertans, did what the “old” government was unable or unwilling to do. They bought a pipeline company for billions and moved forward and approved a new pipeline to encourage oil production. Necessary for those big paycheques and big oil for Albertans.
Albertans will still likely, vote to turf this “new” government out. Well, they want to bring in a carbon tax. That could cost Albertans $10 per week before rebates, and that is a tragedy. Never mind that this same “new” government invested billions to bring back the big paycheques, that $10/week before rebates is a no go.
This “new” government had nothing to gain, politically, in Alberta helping the Alberta economy in a political rivalry, so why do it? If they had not purchased and approved the new pipeline, they would have gained political support in a majority of other provinces, but now they are losing support in other provinces and could lose their majority in less than 100 days.
In 100 days we will be voting for the future or the past because presently we still have the big houses, big trucks, big toys, but not the big paycheques of the good old days. We voted for the past a few months ago and no big paycheques, yet, so maybe it’s the next time, is the charmer, when we get to go back to the good old days.
Since 1867 Canadians have seen many great economic engines, whale oil, furs, nickel, fisheries, forestry, coal, railroads, and they were great but temporary, and now we face another transition. Change is hard.
Henry Ford pushed through change on an unsuspecting and often times uncooperative and unwilling public. He was once reported to have said: “If I had asked what the public wanted, they would have said, faster horses.” But he voted for the future.
In 100 days are we going to vote for the future or for the past with dreams of faster horses? I am hoping for the future, you?