Alberta Premier Rachel Notley amazes me some days, but not in a good way.
She’s an ideologue and, as I have often said, ideologues care about ideas and not people.
I’ve heard her argue that she isn’t an ideologue, but I don’t think she understands what the term really means.
The way Notley looks as her government’s policies it’s really just a matter of following principles and doing the right thing.
It’s about ideas, in other words. Take her stance on the carbon tax due to be imposed in a few short weeks. At her end-of-the-year news conference in Edmonton, the premier said that people had options when it came to rising gasoline prices the carbon tax would impose:
“I would say you wouldn’t notice in consumer goods, that’s different. I think we all know and many of us are ourselves people that note who has the best gas prices when you go to fill up and you go to the places with the best gas prices and if you see that there’s a few extra cents then it’s not just a question of having a more fuel efficient vehicle, it could sometimes be a question of taking a bus, walking, you know, those kinds of things in terms of the patterns of fuel use that people engage in.”
I think Notley was surprised by all the flak that offhand remark caused. From her perspective it really is about making choices. Don’t like paying higher prices for gasoline, well, walk or take the bus.
Notley just doesn’t get it. The point is that people shouldn’t have to make a choice between walking and driving their car unless there is some truly existential threat to this planet.
Of course, Notley and the other alarmists say there is an existential threat.
The trouble is that they never act as if it is truly an existential threat. You never see them taking the bus or walking. You never see them downsizing, moving into a small condo.
It’s just an idea to them. They aren’t about to change their lifestyles. They have no conception that their policies will affect other people’s quality of life.
In the real world, of course, government policies do affect people’s lives.
The carbon tax is going to make businesses less profitable. Some businesses will shut down. People are going to lose jobs. Those that have jobs will have less discretionary money because more of their paycheques will be spent on energy.
To bring in a tax of this nature, a tax that will affect every aspect of the economy, when hundreds of thousands of people are employed shows just how out of touch Notley is with the average Albertan.
Ideologues care about ideas, not people. People are just abstractions.