Alberta just got itself a woman Premier. Unelected by the general public, true, but with one of their other provincial parties also led by a woman, the odds of a woman elected to lead the province has just shot up.
We like to think of Alberta as moribund, staid, very right-wing with abortion nuts and prison fans. But Calgary elected an energetic Mayor full of interesting ideas and love of talking directly to Calgarians via Twitter. Alberta does spend big on green power development, even though their oil sands are what hogs the press. Calgary and Alberta are spending on public transit and expanding it. And now their PC party has elected a woman to lead them.
It is the shame of Canada that though we spout words about supporting gender parity, in reality our politics are as patriarchal as a medieval society. But apparently Alberta is starting to add a little feminine to its politics. Not Ontario, with the exception of Andrea Horwath who leads the NDP, the smallest of the three main Ontario parties.
Ontario is also the province that sends former provincial PC cabinet ministers to Ottawa, the ones who like the pork barrels and do bizarre things like delete “Canada” from their business cards. These ministers specialize in mean and resentment, especially resentment of the other party being in power. And their leader hates talking to the media and directly to the citizens. The Prime Minister might represent an Alberta riding, but his mean and controlling streak is straight from Ontario politics.
But Ontario isn’t done with breeding these kinds of politicians. Our PC party played briefly with politics of respect and debating ideas, and then that old wave of sourness and resentment rose up and they tossed out John Tory as leader, went for Tim Hudak, and are once again into meanness, us-them politics, dissing the Canadian value of co-operation and forming effective coalition governments, and attack ads -- cause who wants to educate the voting public when it’s so much easier to put them into a bad mood and persuade them on emotions and lies.
So of the heavyweight provinces in Canada, who exactly is the progressive one?