I’m not a fan of engagement for engagement’s sake. It is a vacuous activity with few, if any, results.
Every political activity must have a purpose and this draws my angst about Reboot Alberta. It doesn’t have a purpose.
If the goal is to grow a progressive presence in the Albertan legislature there are other, better tools for that. Like joining a political party and organizing for them –taking a leadership role in Albertan politics.
If the goal is to speak your voice and be heard, well, join a debate club or start writing a blog.
Angry about a specific issue that you have an axe to grind with? Then figure out the process and people you need to make contact with to make those changes.
What makes it all even worse is that part of the leadership of Reboot Alberta still thinks that Allison Redford is a progressive. A progressive doesn’t cut the education budget worse than Conservative premier Ralph Klein. A progressive doesn’t pull the rug from people with developmental disabilities. A progressive does not maim and cause chaos in the healthcare system, undermining patients, doctors, and trust in the system. The word ‘progressive’ may have a variety of meanings to a various people but there is a fundamental understanding that being progressive requires an level of positive change through government and society.
And Redford hasn’t shown that. In fact, she has done the opposite. So when Ken Chapman chalks her election to the power of progressives in the province of Alberta I can only take a step back and shake my head.
If, at the end of the day, Reboot Alberta is reanimated from the dead it’ll be a detriment to progressive politics in Alberta. It will be a drain on the efforts of people to reach out beyond a select few, and will not meaningfully create positive change in the province.
Arguably, the contribution so far from Reboot Alberta has been a fundamental undermining of the progressive cause in Alberta. Ken Chapman wrote that it was a “motivation” of people in Reboot Alberta to create a new party then it’s a very destructive effort. Making way to separate people into a new party when there are so many other options that are just as good a group to work from pulls from the whole of Alberta’s progressive movements and undercuts its total contribution. It saps energy from efforts of people with very little in showcasing positive improvement for progressives in Alberta. It fundamentally hurts the implementation of progressive policy and the job of getting progressive people into government.
Fundamentally if progressives, liberals, and those frustrated on the edges of politics don’t give themselves a brutal shake, focus on the methods to attain change, and actually work on it, it is all for nothing. And Reboot Alberta — at least, in its current state and how it has been lead — does not provide any of these important things. It’s yet another distraction.