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

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Santa Claus

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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.

Come 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.

And 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.

A 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, 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 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.

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 Strankman's law-breaking as courageous and principled (unlike the civil disobedience supposedly once advocated by Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, which infuriated conservatives), Harper pardoned him in August 2012. Three months before his pardon, 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 David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaPolitics.ca.

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