(SNN) Sporting her new special edition Che Guevara commemorative watch, NDP Premier Rachel Notley made a fashion faux pas that has people in Alberta seething with anger and confusion.
“Che was known to shoot the parents while the child watched and then shoot the child. Nice guy he was. She probably admired him growing up," quipped one observer. Loyal Albertan Trevor stated, “I spoke with a former PC MLA today who told me that he called her out on wearing this watch in the legislature, and she responded by saying that Che was her hero.” While Mary-Lou from Calgary wrote, “Seriously? This is not at all funny. If this is true she needs to be removed as Premier. She is not worthy. I actually question her sanity.”
Although Albertans are considered as displaced Texans by their provincial neighbours to the west, a landslide victory on May 5th, 2015, saw Alberta convert from a right-wing province to a socialist entity with what has become known as the “Orange Crush”. The democratic transformation had the left-wing state broadcaster CBC in shock and political pundits shaking their heads in disbelief.
But as the Premier who controls a multi-billion dollar oil industry, an established agriculture community, and medical research centres, Notley and party look up to a tyrant by the name of Che Guevara.
Che Geuvera, the 'hero' of Alberta's Premier
Che was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla warfare leader, known for his major role in the Cuban Revolution. Guevara's tactics for keeping people loyal to him was to create an atmosphere of fear; he was known for shooting defectors. He was also known to send squads to track people he deemed AWOL; he would capture and label them defectors, and would carry out summary executions, activities that Che proudly documented into his own diaries. He has become a known countercultural symbol of rebellion and hero to people who embrace a philosophy of anti-establishment.
As a counter-culture icon, Che Guevera has become a symbol used by many radical factions. Seen on T-Shirts and Protest Signs, to Campaign Buttons, and yes, Commemorative Watches, his likeness is used to express civil disobedience to ruling governments throughout North America.
The Alberta Schism from Right to Left
Rachel Notley and the NDP won in a fair election with a majority of the seats and popular vote. It was an election like no other, where the former Progressive Conservative Party that had controlled the province from 1971 to 2015 lost the throne in just three hours. A party that had become comfortable with the public purse and the power of Alberta's industry, it had rightly garnered an image of corruption and on May 5th, Albertans sent the old guard a message.
Today we have a government that has quickly lost its shine within three months of taking power; a government that is not politically centrist as many a voter hoped, but a Socialist government, and one where its leader sports a countercultural symbol of rebellion.
It has become obvious that Miss Notley and the NDP caucus have no intentions of being re-elected in Alberta. The only question that remains is: What do they have in store for Alberta, and indeed Canada, over the next four years?
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