Unfolding in Alberta right now is the full reveal of what happens when a seemingly conservative populist economic reform type party takes power.
Their attacks on all things public commence immediately; healthcare, education, the front lines in public service. But what comes next can knock the underpinning of a progressive society.
The UCP government is backing a private member’s bill that is literally going to reopen women’s health issues in Canada.
Technically, it’s not an official government position. But, conveniently enough, a regiment of hard right social conservative MLA’s just happen to agree with this private member’s bill, and it’s effect may be profound.
How does this affect the Greens you may ask?
Because the two narratives of the “I’m personally opposed to [issue] but would never impose that on women” and “I cannot tell or force my MPs how to vote” are not compatible.
Either you stand up for human rights or you don’t.
The Greens went bizerk at a handout the federal NDP launched in the south Vancouver Island region that outlined Elizabeth May and the Green Party ambiguity on social issues. What the NDP did was to quote directly from May and some of her candidates.
What the Greens pride themselves on is this utopian vision of “no whipped votes”, and the new found culture wars proves this ideal to be dangerously naive.
Except for environmentally conscious social conservatives. They love this right to vote their social conservative views while hiding in a party that pretends to be progressive.
These positions are incompatible for the left. In our view, social justice and environmental justice are inextricably linked, and there is no room in this movement for those who would take away from women.
But the Greens have made them welcome. That’s inexcusable.
In a federal parliament that is now sitting in a minority govt situation, the even harder-right conservative party is spoiling for a fight on social issues too. They sought out social conservatives at the grassroots level and they installed Andrew Scheer as leader.
As Alberta is showing, despite an official promise not to reopen such issues by “The Government”, the caucus is more than happy to unanimously endorse the proposal when offered as a private member’s bill.
Imagine now a strengthened Green Party with its “do not whip votes” greets such an issue.
So to those now call for a merger between the Greens and NDP can probably go pound sand.
Social conservatives and related libertarians have no place in a progressive party.