Alberta Needs To End Equalization
October 13th, 2021 | JH
I was listening to the Real Talk podcast with Ryan Jespersen recently and he had an “expert” on equalization on the show. I suspect the intention was to get her to explain and reaffirm to the audience that equalization is totally awesome and anyone who disagrees just doesn’t understand. Instead, she had enough nuance about the issue that Jespersen had to end the interview by aggressively and exhaustively begging his audience to vote NO on the equalization referendum during this year’s municipal elections.
What is it with progressives in Alberta having such a horniness for equalization? This referendum is an obvious slam dunk for the people of Alberta to voice their displeasure about getting ripped off by Canada.
Vote YES on your ballot, because obviously.
Now regarding progressives, I suspect there are three reasons they are against this initiative.
1. The Spirit Of Equalization
Progressives love the notion of equality, or as is more in vogue in the era of wokeness… equity. By spreading out wealth evenly across the country, they are engaging in support for a plank of socialism that makes them feel like they are on the good side of a policy. Sharing is caring!
Conservatives obviously think deeper than kindergarten platitudes and can reasonably and logically point out the problems of equalization such as entrenching dependency and exploiting one region while fiscally rewarding another. Equalization disincentivizes development and work and politicizes favouritism.
None of this matters to progressives though, because their morality is predicated on SHaRiNg Iz cArINg! And they want everyone to understand that they display fealty to progressive orthodoxy.
2. It Makes Them Feel Smart
When a conservative complains about Equalization, progressives are always quick to pedantically point out that Alberta doesn’t give money to Quebec in a direct transfer, we all pay federal taxes and the money gets divided up from Ottawa.
They then think they’ve made some kind of slam-dunk conversation-stopper of a rebuttal and that’s the end of it. I’ve wondered why that is. Obviously, it doesn’t matter if Kenney is handing a novelty sized cheque to Legault on a stage and then shaking hands, or if we all just send the same money to Ottawa and then it gets handed out by Trudeau.
It doesn’t matter, because the effect is exactly the same.
So, why do progressive feel so smug and correct when they focus on describing the particulars of the process?
Because knowing how to explain the particulars of the process makes progressives feel that they are smarter than the person complaining about equalization. The pedantic detailing leads them to believe that because they understand exactly how equalization works, this somehow undermines the fundamental problem in the first place. It’s a weird form of patronizing, pedantic gas-lighting.
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I’ve seen this before in other areas of political discourse. A biology professor once spent an hour-long lecture explaining how the general pro-life claim that “Life begins at conception” is wrong, because there are a variety of cellular processes involved over the course of conception. He smugly and condescendingly showed off his in-depth understanding of the process and seemed to think that somehow that solved the notion of life beginning at conception.
When progressives go into deep and boring detail about an issue, they are trying to signal their intelligence. They equate their understanding of process with the unrelated rightness of their opinion regarding outcome. They agree with it because they understand it and think you will agree too…if only you understood it like they do.
3. They Hate Jason Kenney
The campaign to vote NO on this issue is being driven by progressives trying to embarrass Jason Kenney. If Jason Kenney had a referendum on treating people nicely and celebrating apple pie, progressives would be out in full force trying to vote against treating people nicely and celebrating apple pie…because screw Jason Kenney.
I don’t like Jason Kenney either,but for entirely different reasons than progressives. (I’ll be voting for Paul Hinman and the new Wildrose Party in the next provincial election.) I will still be voting YES on the equalization referendum because it’s obviously the correct thing to do for Alberta. All conservatives know this, but progressives are so consumed with hate for the man that they’ll cut off their own nose to spite their face.
It’s important to vote in this next municipal election. The way forward for conservatives is to govern locally and take extreme ownership on community level. The country is going in the wrong direction. The province is going in the wrong direction. At least people have a fair bit of control over their local communities and the representatives that go with them. (And man do we need better, non-leftist representatives on councils across this province.)
On top of this we get to vote for potential Senators for federal appointment. This is weak sauce, of course, and is nothing much more than ceremonial, but if you are a PPC supporter, you should have some options on the ballot.
One of the most important questions, however, is the equalization referendum. So, on the 18th, make sure you do a bit of engagement and involve yourself in the vote. We need to send a strong message about the unfairness of equalization.
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