First confession I've voted conservative,
2nd confession I've voted for the Liberals, the NDP and even for an independent.
Growing up in Alberta you always heard about the discontent with Ottawa, the East vs West mentality. So when I reached voting age I was eager to lend my vote to help fight the baddies from Ontario and Quebec. It felt like a sporting event choosing your side like in the battle of Alberta.
In my early voting days not once did I research a candidate. As long as I saw PC, Reform or CPC next to their name I voted for them. I had a sense of pride that I was doing my part for Alberta showing those fat cats in Ottawa that we were not going to be pushed around anymore. That it was time to take Alberta seriously and give us what was owed.
Looking back it was easy to tell that I was a victim of conservative propaganda, whether it was political opinions in the local newspaper, talk around the dinner table or a visit from my local mp (Stephen Harper) to my high school. I fell for the "us vs them", that Ontario and Quebec controlled all the power and that Alberta was a lone wolf in confederation that was getting the raw end of the stick. I heard the horror stories of how Pierre Trudeau and the NEP destroyed Alberta's energy industry in the 80s. How the rest of Canada was taking the billions of dollars from our oil and gas and leaving us with pennies.
I'm sad to admit that it wasn't until a conservative policy affected me personally that I looked at changing my vote.
While my initial change came from a place of anger and revenge, it also forced me to pay more attention to who and what I was voting for. Instead of blinding voting for a party based on regional affiliation, I choose to research their policies. And in this research, I discovered that for 12 years I had been voting against my own best interests and my moral compass. The vision of what I thought Canada and Alberta should be was not shared with conservatives.
Conservative politics in Canada have seemed to move away from the progressives of the past and towards an angrier and more spiteful ideology. They've failed to distance themselves from right-wing extremists, chosen to have limited support of women's and LGBTQ+ rights and have questionable immigration policies. They recycle old ideas and use gimmicks to excite voters. They promise to pay off the debt, cut taxes and increasing spending (not sure how you accomplish this while cutting your revenue).
Canada is not a perfect nation, there is lots of room for improvement. Whether it is establishing true universal healthcare, well-funded public education or respirations for first nations. There is always room for improvement, we don't need to "Take Canada Back", "Make Alberta Great Again" or "Secure the Future".
CN - In Alberta