GUEST: Longform interview with Western Standard President, Derek Fildebrandt.
Alberta has always been a political battleground, and political innovations have happened there since the early days. In tonight's episode of the Ezra Levant Show, Ezra and Western Standard President Derek Fildebrandt discuss Alberta's legacy of political entrepreneurship and how the rest of Canada views it.
Ezra praises Alberta for being a place of innovation, while Derek notes that the West, in general, is a place where people are willing to break beyond the traditional molds of things.
Derek talks about how Alberta is a place of political innovation and experimentation. The Reform Party, the Wildrose Party, and the United Farmers Movement all came from Alberta. The Canadian Commonwealth Federation, which became the NDP, came from a combination of Saskatchewan and Alberta.
In contrast, British Columbia has a two-party system, the NDP and the B.C. Liberal, and only recently added the Green Party. Alberta's willingness to step outside of the traditional bounds of a typical two-party system makes it unique.
Ezra notes that Alberta's political innovations and progressive ideas are often looked down upon and condemned by the center of power. He remembers being a young man involved with the Reform Party of Canada and being demonized by the central Canadian establishment.
Sheila Copps even called Preston Manning, the party's leader, the David Duke of the North. This resistance to political innovators from Alberta hurts the feelings of Albertans who want to be good Canadians.
Ezra cites Danielle Smith, the current premier of Alberta, as a modern example of a political innovator. Smith is a young woman who is energetic and active. She is with a new party, the United Conservative Party, and is a good talker who spends a lot of time on talk radio. Smith is also a political innovator in terms of policy. On paper, these are the things the CBC and the Toronto establishment claim they love to see. However, when it comes to Alberta, these things are often met with resistance.
Alberta's legacy of political innovation is unique and has made it a battleground for politics. However, the resistance it faces from the Canadian establishment makes it difficult for Albertans to feel like they are good Canadians. Despite this, Alberta continues to produce political innovators like Danielle Smith who are willing to step outside the traditional bounds of a typical two-party system.
This legacy of political entrepreneurship and innovation is something that should be celebrated and embraced, not looked down upon and condemned.