Conservative politicians’ reaction to PM’s missing-Alberta gaffe suggests they suffer from world-class insecurity

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PHOTOS: Are the hillbillies above what our conservative politicians want the rest of Canada to think of when they hear the word Alberta? They should just stop! Below: Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Robert Thivierge), Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, and Alberta’s grownup premier, Rachel Notley.

Bad luck for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the province he left out of his Canada Day speech during his now famous oopsie-moment on Saturday was the prickly crybaby of Confederation, Alberta.

In Alberta’s defence, at the official level we’ve been acting more like adults here since Rachel Notley of the NDP became our premier, but there are still plenty of conservative politicians around to stomp their little feet and threaten to hold their breath in response to the PM’s goofy gaffe. He shoulda known!

I guess we ought not to be too hard on Alberta’s various stripes of conservatives for trying to cash in on this. After all, it’s not very often our normally rather politically astute prime minister hands them such an opportunity.

It’s also a reversion to a well-established pattern of childishly resentful political behaviour under several officially Conservative premiers, which was, naturally, picked up by the angry right-wing barking chain on social media.

Still, it would have been better, don’t you think, if they’d reacted with a modicum of humour instead of cringe-worthy self-righteous whining that makes them sound like hapless provincials who’ve just toppled off the turnip truck from Two Hills, Three Hills or Manyberries? (Apologies to the residents of those fine Alberta communities.)

The graceless antisocial media reaction by politicians like Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel of the Conservative Party of Canada and Brian Jean, leader of the Opposition Wildrose Party here in Wild Rose Country, is reminiscent of those insecure local politicians in places like Swift Current or Sarnia (to use a couple of non-Alberta examples) who fly into a full-blown swivet if anyone dares to suggest their hometown ain’t a “world class city,” whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean.

Does anyone think that if Mr. Trudeau accidentally leaves Berlin off the list of cities printed on the back of his Summer 2017 European Tour T-shirts that the Germans will doubt their place in the world? Uh, no …. Because they have reason to be pretty confident of what it is.

Ditto, no one in Paris or London – or for that matter Washington, D.C., even in the age of the pathetically insecure Donald Trump – will feel the need to choke back sobs if anyone omits to mention their city’s undisputed world classiness. It would never occur to them, of course, to doubt where they fit into things.

But we’re having a tantrum because Mr. Trudeau forgot about Alberta in a recitation of Canada’s provinces and territories? Seriously?

We’re in hysterics because he didn’t explicitly recognize that we’re the biggest, bestest, most important part of the Canadian geographic and economic anatomy, and then forgot to plant the anticipated great big smacker right there?

What does this suggest to you? It suggests to me that our conservative politicians out here may not be nearly as confident about our – and, of course, their – place in the great scheme of things as they would like us to believe.

They are, in other words, obviously suffering from insecurity on a world-class scale! They’re acting like a bunch of hayseeds and, in the process, convincing the world that’s what the rest of us Albertans are too.

Thank goodness we have a premier who acts like a grownup and doesn’t embarrass us!

Message to Alberta conservatives: It’s time to put on your big-politician pants and pantsuits and laugh this off like the meaningless misstep it was.

Categories Alberta Politics Canadian Politics