Stoking the anger

Mark Zuckerberg’s corporate motto for Facebook is ‘Move Fast and Break Things’.

In a democratic country, it’s a highly effective, self-serving strategy to get what you want without regard for others.

Personally, Zuckerberg earns his highest returns from sites promoting hatred and violence. He has shown little, if any, enthusiasm to change his ways regardless of the consequences to humanity.

Premier Jason Kenney has embraced this strategy of moving fast and breaking things.

Right out of the gate, Kenney went after those with little power and those we despise or are jealous of in times of our own hardships.

Handicapped individuals receiving AISH, farm labourers, students, teachers, nurses, patients, the homeless, public servants, doctors, drug addicts, retirees with defined pensions, academics and children in poverty.

His second strategy is to pass legislation so fast neither the free press nor the Opposition has a chance to engage people in public conversation about what this legislation will actually mean to individuals, businesses, families and society as a whole.

His final and most important strategy is to keep the UCP base angry and supportive as he enacts his real agenda which is to undermine democratic institutions, dismantle public education, privatize public health care, make elections less fair and ignore environmental concerns—all of which in the long term benefit a very small minority.

Kenney’s ‘Fair Deal Panel’ currently touring the province is equivalent to Donald Trump’s rallies—consolidate the anger, keep that anger burning and grow the anger.

Anger and hatred are great outlets for immediate gratification, but most pastors, psychiatrists, mothers, teachers, social workers, policemen and judges witness daily how anger and hatred destroy lives.

Most professionals agree anger will continue to fester and grow until we stop blaming others for our problems and start taking responsibility for our own current and past actions.

Albertans and successive provincial governments have much blame to accept for our current financial mess and little of that can be attributed to Rachel Notley’s four short years.

And yes, there are some federal inequities that need to be corrected, but we Albertans are responsible for most of our current economic woes.

We are addicted to oil, easy money and no sales tax.

Rather than wrapping ourselves up in anger and blaming others, it would be much more helpful to have a panel touring Alberta looking for innovative ideas as to how to diversify and grow the economy.

We live in an interconnected world.

The world price of oil and now climate warming anxiety makes it even more critical for Alberta to explore new opportunities.

Do we want to be economic leaders in Canada or bitter complaining laggards like our friends in Quebec?

Many have floated the idea of following Quebec’s successes in

Confederation, but have they truly been successful? Over the last 50 years with successive calls for separation or ‘uniqueness’, Quebec has gone from fifth to seventh among provinces in GDP per capita and from 30 per cent to 22 per cent in its share of Canada’s population.

Do we really want to become a welfare state living off others? What has happened to our independent, entrepreneurial spirit?

Breaking things and moving quickly are short-term highs for a small, exclusive group of people, but absolutely dangerous for the long-term.

Anger never wins in the end, but its consequences hurt many, often for a lifetime.

Kenney wants Albertans to believe our current woes are political, but they’re not—they are economic. Economic woes demand rational longterm planning and investments with wise and strong political leadership.

Political only require stoking the anger.

Kenney, unfortunately, has chosen the latter.

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