Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

Sarah Palin in Canada can only go so far

with 2 comments

According to The National Post, Canada’s conservative paper, Sarah Palin made quite an impression in Calgary, Alberta, probably the only place in Canada where people will listen to her drivel. The Globe and Mail‘s coverage was decidedly more fair and balanced, noting that Palin’s approval rating in the United States remains quite low.

Among Palin’s supporters in Calgary were members of the Wildrose Alliance party. I had never heard of the Wildrose Alliance, so I assumed they were a far-right party Alberta-based party that thought the Canadian Conservative party too moderate. And in looking at their platform, it appears that I was right. They rehearse some of the talking points of the United States’ Republican Party, including “school choice,” super-low taxes and super-small government. They call for “innovative new ideas that deliver health care more efficiently,” which undoubtedly is code for more private sector involvement and market-based initiatives (some of which I might support, provided nobody lost access to the high-quality and affordable healthcare the Canadian system already provides). The Wildrose Alliance party also recognizes “that families are a cornerstone of society and must be maintained.,” their paean to Christian conservatism.

But, and here’s the important but, not only will they never have real power, (and least, I sure as hell hope they won’t), but they’ll never be able to touch Canada’s universal healthcare, or support of gay marriage, or abortion rights, or other good things that are so entrenched in Canadian cultural and political life.

There are lunatics and idiots who support Sarah Palin in Canada, sure. But they are in an extreme minority, and can only go so far. And I though I’m living in the United States now, I’m thankful that Canada, despite it’s unfortunate Conservative government right now, remains a sensible place that I can call home.


Written by David Weinfeld

March 7, 2010 at 10:56

2 Responses

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  1. Note that in the Globe and Mail story Wildrose Alliance Party leader Danielle Smith is quoted as saying of Palin’s speech: “It was great. I think the themes she was talking about resonate just as much with Albertans as they are [sic] with average Americans”. While I’ll leave the claim about “average Americans” to others, I will point out that Ms Smith compares the citizens of a province to those of a country. This is no mistake. Alberta is perhaps the only place in Canada in which Ms Palin might find a receptive audience.

    As for the agenda of Ms Smith and her party, unless they leap on the federal stage they’ll be unable to touch universal healthcare, gay marriage, or abortion rights. And, of course, if they do decide to run for Parliament, the party will most certainly fracture the right, leaving us with a situation not unlike that found in the days of the old Reform/Canadian Alliance.

    Brian Busby

    March 7, 2010 at 13:27

  2. Here in the US, the fringes are getting exposure they did not used to get. Because they’re often freaks, the news shows give them air time – which probably swells their numbers.

    These types have always been around; there is a historic anti-government strain in America – what’s been called the paranoid style of politics.

    But in today’s increasingly dysfunctional political climate they are gaining traction. And they just love them some Sarah Palin.

    Anytime the angry and ignorant gain traction, we need to worry. And I’m worried.


    March 7, 2010 at 17:58

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