Tuesday, May 18, 2021

When it's the caucus, it ain't "revolt"

The recent dissention inside the ranks of Alberta's governing United Conservative Party caucus amidst the Kenney government's steep plunge in public approval? Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of people, as far as I'm concerned. 

But it's still galling to see how commentators and political scholars who should know better insist on seeing a caucus discussion as a "revolt" that the boss has to "put down" to prove his cojones or something.

Political scientist Duane Bratt describes in lurid terms how Premier Kenney had to "put down this caucus revolt... this insurgency."  And the "rebels"? They proposed that the party was formed around "shared principles, integrity, and common-sense approaches to governing," not "blind loyalty to one man."

Let's be clear: any political caucus formed around blind loyalty is closer to fascism than to parliamentary democracy. These "insurgents" are elected representatives of the people of Alberta. If they choose to review their support of the person who leads a government because they support him (and so long as they support him), they are not rebels or insurgents.  

They may believe in "freedom" -- for Covid deniers and maskless rodeo fans but not for same-sex couples or people in need of health care or decent schools. But they have been given voice and vote in the legislature and they are entitled to use them.

Doug Ford was also in similar trouble with the populace recently, and David Mocrop, in the Washington Post, no less, decided he had to go right away:

It’s time for Ford to go. He must resign.

Getting rid of a premier with a majority government is difficult outside of an election. But Ontarians cannot wait to hold Ford accountable at the ballot box.

Moscrop gave the briefest glance to a caucus "revolt." But instead of encouraging Conservative MPPs to consider their options (admittedly bleak!), he seems to encourage some kind of extra-parliamentary intervention.


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