Opinion: Freedom fries rather than freedom politics

This week’s editorial takes on the idea of a ‘freedom’ political party

Let freedom ring with some freedom fries, freedom poutine but without freedom political parties.

The announcement of MLA Derek Fildebrandt’s Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (FCPA) has all the markings of a great separatist regime. The use of the word freedom has been bandied about by ultra-conservative and liberal folks for quite some time now and Fildebrandt’s intentions aren’t lost in the party’s name; to make Alberta great again.

The best way to do that appears to be the name of freedom. This message isn’t dissimilar from the current situation in the United States where the ‘Make America Great Again’ movement shows a, ‘you’re either with us or against us’ attitude.

Disguised under the cliché of freeing people from the bonds of a heavy-handed confederation, Albertans are led to believe that this newly-minted separation party will help us in the long run. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve always been vocal about my thoughts on party politics in that they hurt, rather than benefit Albertans and the FCPA will only make things worse. Hopefully Albertans are smart enough not to fall for the freedom trick.

If one were to look closely at the situation, any kind of protectionist/separatist ideal mirrors those of other regimes around the world where extremists have taken over governments. Their philosophies are quite similar, if not the same, but fall under different names or pretence.

We have to remember that this type of separatist vision doesn’t have room for other ideals or processes; it’s quite specific in its intent and any other deviation from this focus is seen as antagonistic to its message.

Freedom has several definitions but the gist of the noun is to be free from external control or influence. Quite frankly, anyone who is free from any kind of control is a loose cannon. We operate our daily lives with different rules, guidelines, or restrictions that ensure we don’t become sociopaths.

The United States is in the midst of a situation with a president who acts as if the rules don’t apply to him. We’ve seen what this does for international relations and how it has affected trade issues in Canada.

Slapping the word ‘freedom’ on something should remain for the business entrepreneurs in the United States where they sell freedom along with the many political lies they make citizens eat. And yet, Americans are having their freedoms stripped on a daily basis because they don’t agree with all the actions of their president.

Even as we individuals communicate with other people, behaviours such as politeness, tact, common courtesy; these are tools we use to ensure a positive interaction. We put ourselves personally within certain constraints that are for a long term benefit.

If someone doesn’t agree with your sense of freedom does that make them any less wrong?

We’re in a situation in the world where we need less separation and more inclusion. This idea of freedom is a bit of a misnomer and needs to be looked at from the perspective of the long-term benefits of a community, nation and world.

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