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Forget uniting the right, Alberta, it's time for politics to coalesce in the middle

Politics in Alberta has turned into a game for the fringes and their loud, angry voices lay waste to the vast majority of Albertans in the middle.

The Alberta legislature is teetering on a place that represents the fringes of Alberta politics and not the masses of people who are in the middle, says Metro Calgary editor Darren Krause

Metro file photo

The Alberta legislature is teetering on a place that represents the fringes of Alberta politics and not the masses of people who are in the middle, says Metro Calgary editor Darren Krause

It’s lonely in the middle right now. Or just quiet.

Only for the time being, I hope.

It’s time to muzzle talks to unite the right and to stifle the agenda-driven politics of the far left.

Alberta, it’s seriously time we coalesced at the centre.

Us middlers are generally a group of modest, hard-working Albertans who believe in social progress and appropriate fiscal management – at the same time. Not one trumping the other. (Pun intended.)

I believe the vast majority of Albertans fit in the centre – some leaning left of centre, some to the right – but you can draw a fairly tight circle around us on the political spectrum and it fits a whole swath of this province's citizens.

That’s why I found it so disturbing last week that one of the candidates for the PC leadership, Donna Kennedy-Glans, said she was withdrawing from the campaign.

“Right now, politics in Alberta is polarizing and there is limited opportunity for centrist voices to be heard,” read a statement Nov. 8 from the Kennedy-Glans camp, upon her ceasing campaign operations.

No room for us middle-folk. Well, isn’t that heartening?

Others are, in fact, seeing centrists need a place to talk.

The fledgling Alberta Party is holding a weekend retreat Nov. 18-20 in Calgary, inviting all centrists to come together.

No one wants the polarizing Alberta politics we’ve endured over the past 18 months to continue. We’ve already seen what it does to the politically charged, most recently with the Sandra Jansen bullying debacle ultimately forcing her withdrawal from the PC leadership race.

The aftermath of the Clinton and Trump U.S. presidential election demonstrates how quickly this could devolve into nothing more than a gutter war, laying waste to common Albertans, merely the collateral damage in an ever-clashing, extremist theatre of political combat.

That means most of us will suffer in one form or another.

Politics has dangerously become a game for the fringes; one in which only those with the loudest, angriest, most condescending voices can play. And those who openly defy the fringes – be it on the left or right, federal, provincial or municipal – are swarmed by each side’s rabid minions (often on social media) and bullied into submission… or worse yet, silence.

That’s why it’s time for majority of Albertans to step up and refuse to let the fringe dictate the province we’re going to have. They can be part of the conversation, but they shouldn’t own it.

And if, as Donna Kennedy-Glans said, there appears to be no room for a centre voice in this province’s politics, one that represents the vast majority of Albertans, then it’s high time we make some.

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