Less than 24 hours in to the current Albertan Election cycle and it is already difficult not to come out depressed any time you look at a social media feed.
The 2019 race to the Legislature comes at a time when Albertans have never been more polarized in political thought, and there will definitely be consequences for the losers with the two largest parties currently at the Leg presenting vastly different priorities for the Province of Alberta.
Someone will win, things will change and people will either be overjoyed or terrified depending on their disposition.
That isn’t the point.
What politics — especially party politics in the age of social media — fails to recognize is that Albertans ultimately still have to work and live together and falling hook, line and sinker into politics that tell you your neighbor is evil is unthoughtful, unpractical, unkind and is mostly false.
Here’s the thing, there will be people you disagree with every day and extreme, violent thought and action does exist but the majority of people exist somewhere in middle.
Life, as many of you know, is more practical than political and demonizing the people who think differently than you only leads to further negative consequences. Demonizing people anonymously online from the safety of your basement is doubly negative because not only is it ineffectual, it is also simply lazy.
Ensuring good government is important to everyone. What someone personally believes is a liberty that is intrinsically linked to a free democracy but, practically speaking, we all typically shovel our walks, say excuse me, smile at strangers, contribute to local charities, pick up our dog’s business, hold doors for each other and countless other mindless good deeds we all do throughout our day.
This is the practical nature of our world and it is important to remember these things over the course of the next month.
Political discourse in this Province will be ugly — perhaps more ugly than it has ever been in the history of Albertan Elections, but on April 17th, regardless of the outcome, we all have to go back to a world that doesn’t condone publicly screaming obscenities at each other over tax law.
Disagree with each other, make your voice heard online, in the streets and in the voting booth, but remember, a fundamental duty of living in a free democracy is to be a thoughtful, informed citizen that doesn’t resort to violence and hate simply to ensure infrastructure is funded in a way you politically agree with.