calgary clipper wrote:The Alberta Party exists and it is legally registered to function provincially. However; those in the party (very few right now) are unwilling to take this issue on.
Not enough people are paying attention to what is/has been going down. The mindset in conservative politics these days seems to be incrementalism - first get elected and then we will tell you what we are going to do - rather than stand for something first and get elected on this basis.
Thanks, I was not aware that such a party existed already.
That aside, I think one problem with the right is its inability to market its ideas to the left. To take an example, the left is often concerned with the downtrodden, be it economic, cultural, or otherwise. That being the case, the left would natrually be concerned about the state of Canada's First Nations languages or sign languages. If a right-wing party could be smart enough to package its opposition to the Official Languages Act properly, it might win some moderate left-wing votes. It could argue for instance that all the resources going to official bilingualism also further threatens First Nations languages and sign languages. For example, a candidate for a job in the Federal civil service in Alberta who knows English and American Sign Language, for example, would be overlooked in favour of one who knows English and French, even though the deaf are in far more need of help than French-speakers in Alberta.
The same could apply to Cree or Blackfoot. A candidate who knows English and Cree would be discriminated against in favour of one who knows English and French.
If we should adopt what the Bloc Quebecois is proposing, essentially regional bilingualism, then an Albertan who knows English and American Sign Language, or English and Cree, etc. would all have the same chance of getting the job as one who knows English and French.
The same, by the way, would apply in Quebec. Someoneliving in Roberval (a totally French-speaking community except for the Innu-Aimun living in the adjacent community of Mashteuiatsh) who knows French and Innu-Aimun would have the same chance of getting a federal public-servant job as one who knew French and English, and maybe even a greater chance owing to the local demographics, with Innu-Aimun being more useful there than English. Likewise with one who knews French and Quebec Sign Language.
Such a marketing approach might be able to attract voters from both the right (owing to the money saved through the repeal of the Official Languages Act) and the left (owing to the removal of barriers to users of sign languages and speakers of local indigenous languages to finding employment in the local federal public service).
Some on the left might object that that's not enough and that we should provide more incentives to learn those languages. If that happens, then at least we could kill two birds with one stone. Instead of giving money to the local indigneous communities (beyond treaty obligations of course) and give Francophones hiring priority in the public service, we could instead simply give speakers of indigenous languages hiring priority in the local federal public service, along with users of sign languages. This would come out to the same as Official Bilingualism except that at least it would kill two birds with one stone, thus reducing the need for funding for those languages, and no more funding for French in Alberta even at the federal level. Still better than nothing, and more rational in that at least it's preserving local languages and culture rather than Quebec language and culture.
Some on the extreme left might insist on increasing funding for indigenous and sign languages and French. Well, I don['t see any room for compromise with them seeing that what we have now would be preferable to that! Obviously any compromise must take us at least in teh right direction, however small the steps might be.
Another marketting plan would be to show that the Alberta Party can agree with the Bloc Quebecois on the idea of regional bilingualism, thus eliminating accusations of bigotry, racism, linguicism, ethnicism, or other forms of prejudice from the left. In fact, it could even show that it is more capable of working side-by-side with a party of different majority ethnicity and language than even the NDP (which opposes the Bloc on this front). Of course I would not advise that the party launch attack adds against the NDp, but I think most intelligent persons would see the irony of the left accusing the right of ethnic prejudice while the Alberta Party would prove more compatible with French-Canadian aspirations in Quebec than even the NDp.