Christmas in Wildrose Country: That noise on the roof may not be Santa Claus! It could be the UN, here to steal your turnips!

Posted on December 24, 2015, 1:50 am
10 mins

ILLUSTRATIONS: Will Santa have to come armed and armoured like this to be safe on Alberta rooftops in case the province’s loony right mistakes him for a UN trooper bent on world government and turnip confiscation? Below: Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman and NDP MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas. Below them: A sinister I [HEART] [ALBERTA] [BEETS] bumper sticker. A sign of things to come?

Merry Christmas! If you hear scuffling on your roof in the wee hours of this morning, it’s probably just Santa Claus.

If it’s accompanied by a low thumping sound, though, it may not be the hoof beats of Prancer, Donner and Vixen and could be the muffled blades of a black helicopter dropping United Nations storm troopers onto your rooftop bent on collectivizing your root vegetables.

Strankman-LCome Christmas out here in Wild Rose Country – which, nowadays, is supposed to be spelled Wildrose Country – and it can be hard to know whether to break out the milk and cookies or the Swiss Arms CZ-858 you bought last summer after Stephen Harper and his “public safety minister” told the Mounties to take a hike and dumped the ban socialist gun-grabbers wanted.

Thank goodness for small mercies, because it turns out that Bill 202, the private member’s bill being snuck through the Alberta Legislature by Estefania Cortes-Vargas, the New Democrat MLA for the riding of Edmonton-Sherwood Park, is part of a global conspiracy to impose world government on Alberta. If you doubt the government’s sinister intent, just consider the name of this law … The Alberta Local Food Act!

Even if it wasn’t obvious from the name, you don’t have to take my word for the dark machinations behind this legislation, which the Legislature hasn’t passed yet. Consider the message from Stand Up for Alberta, one of the groups associated with Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition, which says it really is part of a UN plot to subject Albertans to a totalitarian one-world government!

See, it’s all part of UN Agenda 21, which as the Broadbent Institute’s Press Progress explained after spotting this particular bit of Alberta political ephemera, is a conspiracy theory dreamed up south of the anti-psychotic-medicine line by the likes of the John Birch Society and Glenn Beck, America’s answer to Ezra Levant, that the idea of sustainable development is part of a Trojan horse for sneaking in socialistic global governance.

EstefanaAnd it’s bigger than just Rachel Notley and the NDP, SUFA explains. Turns out all sorts of neo-Commie politicians in Alberta’s big cities are involved. Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford were in on the scheme too, and probably those old socialists Dave Hancock and Jim Prentice as well. “From Stelmach, to Redford, to our current premier Notley, we have had premiers with ties to the United Nations or the Socialist International in one way or another. Even at the municipal level there has been dealings between the current mayor of Calgary and the United Nations.”

I’m not making any of this up. I cut and pasted it right out of SUFA’s Facebook page. So, obviously, if you’re one of those naïve Albertans who drives around with an “I [HEART] [ALBERTA] [BEETS]” bumper sticker on your Subaru, you’ve been duped by the Socialist International and some guy in a brand new pickup truck powered on purple gas may just have to take you out! And I don’t mean on a date.

After all, it’s obviously only a small step from Bill 202 to farm collectivization under United Nations supervision.

OK, enough sarcasm. There is a serious issue somewhere under all this weirdly paranoid foolishness.

While Press Progress is probably overstating it when it suggests a formal link between the Wildrose Party and SUFA, it is quite right to point out the friendly and deep connections between SUFA activists and the party’s almost entirely rural caucus.

ILoveAlbertaBeetsA video accompanying the Press Progress story shows Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman introducing a speaker from SUFA to an anti-Bill-6 rally in the eastern Alberta town of Hanna on Dec. 11. Bill 6 is the NDP’s controversial farm-safety law, which if you believe the Wildrose Party’s narrative is universally hated by every farmer in Alberta. (It isn’t.)

In another video, apparently recorded at the same event, Mr. Strankman warns the audience that Hutterites, collective farmers who first came to Canada in the 1870s to escape military service in Russia and now own vast tracts of agricultural land in Alberta, “under this legislation they may too also be persecuted because of the different religious belief that they have. …”

The persecution would take the form of the state forcing them to pay into Workers Compensation for any commune member who received a T4 tax form from the colony, which, if you’ll forgive me, hardly comes up to a Biblical standard for persecution or even that of 19th Century Russian military service.

But the point is that this kind of paranoid lunacy has become quite common in Wildrose circles, and in the federal Conservative Party as well under Stephen Harper’s leadership.

This was certainly the kind of thinking behind the late Harper Government’s refusal to sign a landmark United Nations treaty to keep firearms out of the hands of human-rights abusers and criminals because Canadian gun-enthusiast groups imagined it was part of a plot restrict their ability to buy and sell weapons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will sign the treaty. One hopes he’ll restrict their rights to buy and sell weapons too!

It’s scary to wonder if the same kind of thinking might also have partly driven Mr. Harper’s attacks on collectively owned farm institutions such as the Canadian Wheat Board, which was sold off for a song last summer to Saudi Arabian interests.

Mr. Strankman, of course, was a militant market fundamentalist farmer jailed for a week in 2002 after being charged under the Customs Act for illegally selling barley in the United States as part of a scheme to defy the Wheat Board.

Hailing Mr. Strankman’s law-breaking as courageous and principled (unlike the civil disobedience supposedly once advocated by Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, which infuriated conservatives), Mr. Harper pardoned him in August 2012. Three months before his pardon, Mr. Strankman had been elected as the Wildrose MLA for Drumheller-Stettler.

Notwithstanding the media narrative that the Wildrose Party is on the rise (again) and the NDP is surely doomed, this tendency toward the most extreme fantasies of the U.S. right is a problem for the Alberta Opposition, just as it is for the federal Conservative Party, which in all but name is the Wildrose’s national auxiliary.

Federal Conservatives as a party have now reached a point where Canadians who live in cities and plenty in rural areas too can barely vote for them, except in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Arguably that’s a problem for all Canadians, both because of the extremist doctrines being pushed by what is still a mainstream party and the fact genuinely conservative voters increasingly have no political home.

Plus, of course, it’s a potential problem for Santa Claus – at least if he’s planning to deliver presents to Alberta’s children tonight, with or without a Kevlar vest.

If Santa decides not to visit Alberta because of reasonable fears for his safety, you can count on it that the Wildrose Party will blame Rachel Notley.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

8 Comments to: Christmas in Wildrose Country: That noise on the roof may not be Santa Claus! It could be the UN, here to steal your turnips!

  1. Val Jobson

    December 24th, 2015

    There is definitely a strain of rightwing lunacy and maybe it’s been exacerbated by the internet. Someone told me years ago that if the Liberals were elected they would take away the farmers’ land, as if the Liberals were the same as communists or whatever.

    But Strankman may have a good handle on some Hutterites’ fears. In the late 1980s my university history class visited a colony. We had a talk with the leader, and I came away with the distinct impression that he feared and expected to be persecuted by the government. I think it’s been a part of the group’s history and self-image.

    I suppose there is a germ of truth in farmers’ paranoia in general, since agriculture has always been a tool of government policy, for good or ill.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      December 24th, 2015

      It is ironic to me that Hutterites, who normally eschew political activism, are being painted as heroes in this particular fight by a group pf people who usually disparage them. Their critics are a group for which politicians like Mr. Strankman naturally speaks. Living communally and treating employees as unpaid family members gives the Hutterites a significant competitive advantage over conventional family farms. The amount of land they control now in Alberta is large and growing larger because of a successful business model that really exploits some members of the collective family. Do we really imagine there’s a way out for a kid who has been pulled out of school after Grade 8? Do we really imagine there is no power structure within a Hutterian colony, no winners and no losers? If we understand human nature, we know this cannot be true. My own view is the government made a serious mistake in the post-Bill-6 brouhaha by giving Hutterite colonies a pass on the bill’s sensible and socially beneficial requirements. What is now to prevent other agricultural enterprises from arguing they too need to exploit their workers on a comparable scale to survive? As for farmers paranoia in general, it would be justified if it were directed at the right source, market fundamentalists, implementation of whose doctrines has marginalized family farming and will destroy it as an occupation. Farmers are in the unfortunate position of not being able to increase what they charge for their produce in the face of rising costs. And what their products fetch keeps going down because they have been persuaded, or at least acted at the ballot box like they have been persuaded, that they no longer need co-operative institutions to protect them but can depend on a “market” run by predatory multi-nationals.

      Reply
  2. December 24th, 2015

    If one is to believe the likes of Braid at Cowtown’s Daily Blatt (and certainly if anyone has his frosty finger firmly on the torpid pulse of the Barking Mad Cow Right in Alberta, it’s Doktor Don), volks say the current Diptatorship up Edmonchuck way is a feast of fail right out of the gate. Gosh, who could have seen THAT coming?
    Nary a word is heard about multiple decades of clownshoe diplomacy as perped by the Pretty Cheapjack party, natch – after all, an honest review of the cruise of the S.S. Purblind Chicanery (as piloted by yer humbly arrogant skipper, Cap’n Ralphy Tavernbelch and his merry tribe of moocher-takers) might turn up some macrame-vest-sized holes in their collective seamanship going back a LONG ways, along with more than a few leaky seabags.
    All jokes aside, though – if the Right would like to try and force their way back into power, I know a lot of folks who will be more than happy to hit them where it counts – in their fat little pocketbook. Wise up, marks – enough with the failed agenda comedy tour, you go TOO far. Happy holidays to all! 🙂

    Reply
  3. TENET

    December 24th, 2015

    Great, inspired, insightful.

    Reply
  4. Alfredo Louro

    December 24th, 2015

    This is not lunacy on the part of WRP, it’s desperation. The one constituency they imagine would support them no matter what is farmers, and Bill 202 is a real threat to the WRP ideological grip over farmers, as its explicit intent is to support local food production.

    Reply
  5. ronmac

    December 24th, 2015

    Santa Claus comin’ down the chimney to steal your turnips. That’s probably been on every child’s secret xmas wish list since the middle ages. Leave it to the NDP to finally do something about it. Two thumbs up

    Reply
  6. Rod Adachi

    December 25th, 2015

    Next, the WRP will claim that global warming is not related to El Niño but is caused by El Notley.

    Reply
  7. David

    December 28th, 2015

    I think the conservatives must be going through the various stages of grief. They seem to be at anger now. I also think they did not really expect to lose both the Federal and Provincial elections. They seem to be much crankier now, especially after the Federal election.

    There seems to be a growing urban/rural divide in Alberta that the Wildrose seems to be trying to exploit for its advantage right now. However, I am not sure it is a very good political strategy in the long term. The overwhelming number of Albertans live in urban areas and while they may pay some attention to the farm safety debate, mostly because the volume is so loud, I don’t think it will really be a deciding issue in how they vote in the next election.

    All of this apocalyptic talk is also dangerous, not only for the obvious reasons, but it can also backfire. If it turns out things are not so bad in a few years, the messengers will start to lose credibility even with rural Albertans.

    Reply

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