Breakenridge: Toeing the occasion line takes priority over native considerations

Breakenridge: Toeing the occasion line takes priority over native considerations

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For all of the outrage it generated, there was some reality in a latest remark from the federal minister of rural financial improvement.

Whereas being interviewed about her authorities’s about-face on the carbon tax, Gudie Hutchings credited the affect of Atlantic Liberal MPs and prompt that if the West wished comparable clout, “maybe they should elect extra Liberals within the Prairies.”

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It’s fairly cynical to suggest voters are being punished for electing the unsuitable occasion, however it’s most likely additionally true that the federal government can be extra delicate to our considerations if Alberta was a Liberal stronghold.

However this isn’t merely a hypothetical train — there are certainly Liberals on the Prairies, together with in Calgary. Did electing the “proper” occasion advance Calgary’s or Alberta’s pursuits in a optimistic and significant method? Because it seems, you’d be arduous pressed to seek out any proof of that.

Whereas Hutchings might have been clumsily making an attempt to enhance Liberals fortunes within the West, Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal has been doing his half to sink the occasion’s fortunes right here. Re-election was all the time going to be a tall order — particularly given the Liberals’ plunging ballot numbers — however after his latest vote on the aforementioned carbon tax about-face, Calgary appears to be like fairly barren for the Liberals for the foreseeable future.

There’s all the time a tough steadiness for MPs in toeing the occasion line and representing one’s constituents; it’s perfect when these two goals align. In Chahal’s case, he’s opted to be loyal to a crumbling model on the expense of his constituents. Breaking ranks together with your occasion won’t enable you win a cupboard place, however dropping an election makes that each one moot.

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Whereas the Atlantic Liberal MPs kicked up a fuss over the carbon tax being utilized to residence heating oil, Alberta’s Liberal MPs have meekly acquiesced to the federal government’s new double normal. When it was time to vote on a movement calling for the carbon tax exemption to be prolonged to all types of residence heating, Chahal (and Edmonton’s Randy Boissonnault) voted no.

However what was so essential about upholding the established order? In spite of everything, because the federal housing minister not too long ago instructed the CBC, there’s much less want for worth incentives now due to different authorities measures. What a possibility, then, for Chahal to face up and say a carbon tax break on residence heating for people right here can be the appropriate and truthful factor to do.

Sadly, Chahal has not been keen to face up and say something in any respect. His vote on the carbon tax movement was the closest factor to a said place from him by this complete debate. He managed to launch a statement on the war in Gaza, however couldn’t be bothered to place out an announcement defending the federal government’s determination or explaining why he deliberate to vote as he did on the movement.

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It’s not simply on the carbon tax the place toeing the occasion line has taken priority over being a voice for native considerations. In terms of the proposed Clear Electrical energy Laws and the potential damaging results right here in Alberta, Chahal has spent extra time sparring with the Alberta government than really addressing considerations.

Whereas the province is perhaps overstating the negatives, it’s not as if there aren’t negatives. Independent experts have identified varied points of the plan which are probably unrealistic and dear for Alberta. The worth of native illustration in authorities can be the presence of a voice keen to say, “I assist the general goals of this plan, however I’ll struggle for the modifications that may enhance these rules.” As a substitute, we’re solely getting the primary half of that assertion.

Chahal isn’t simply dooming his personal political prospects, he’s dragging down each different Calgary Liberal candidate within the subsequent election. The best way issues are going, Calgary is probably going going to finish up with a number of MPs within the subsequent governing caucus.

“Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” airs weekdays from 12:30 to three p.m. on QR Calgary

[email protected]

Twitter: @RobBreakenridge

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