Alberta in a new epoch

  • May 6, 2015

Yes, I know I’ve been quiet lately.  For really good reasons, unfortunately.  And it isn’t over quite yet.

The days of having literally thousands of readers has passed me for right now.  I’m preoccupied with much more important issues to me personally.  So I’m a little surprised when I’m asked - from multiple people - why I haven’t blogged on the Alberta 2015 election.

First off, it’s true that I stepped back a little bit for now.  What is not open to question is that I remain a member of the only political party I’ve ever joined.  I am proudly a supporter of the Alberta Party and I firmly believe in the potential of a new energy in Alberta politics.

I’m so very proud of our leader, Greg Clark, to be the first elected member of the Alberta Party.  Tonight I called Mr. Clark the most upstanding politician and leader of a party I have ever known.  I happily stand behind that tonight.  Greg, thank you.  Thank you for sticking through three elections.  Thank you for having the nerve to stick through it all.  There must have been some tremendously gut-wrenching moments questioning whether you should run again in Calgary Elbow.  I’m glad you did, and I’m tremendously glad you’ve won.  I remain incredibly proud of you.  You, above all, remain my inspiration for something better in politics in Alberta and I hope you’re soon joined by many more Alberta Party MLAs.

Second, congratulations to Premier-elect Notley.  May you be the first premier in 20 years that I don’t dislike.  Please remember, my hopes for you are simple.  Please properly fund the programs that Albertans need.  Be fair to Albertans.  Stay approachable.  And most importantly, do not ever forget that your election was in significant parts hope for our future and a rejection of the past “dynasty.”

It’s well known and made clear that I believe that Alberta’s Maintenance Enforcement Program is horrendously broken and does not fairly serve either parent.  We need a properly funded department that is responsible and accountable to both parents.  We need a department that is fair and even handed and does not worry primarily about covering their asses and focuses first upon serving our children.  My children.

I oppose silly unenforceable laws that get passed for vanity’s sake.  Distracted Driving laws are useless if they can not be reasonably enforced on a day to day basis.  It offends me that prior governments have been more concerned about the vanity of the laws they’ve passed above the purpose the laws are meant to serve for Albertans.

I have very little faith that appointments to the public service will be non-partisan and for the good of Albertans as a whole.  Prove me wrong.  Give us managers and appointees who care about their communities.  Negotiate contracts with fair and reasonable provisions that specifically exclude golden parachutes that cost me and all other Albertans money directly from our pockets.  I work hard to make things better around me.  I know many in the public service who work as hard as I do to create positive change in their corners of the world.  Support the work and the effort, do not reward cronyism.

AISH recipients need and deserve our support.  No, it doesn’t need to be a gold-plated reward, but I never want to see the cost of rent skyrocket while we nickle and dime those who most require our assistance.  Peg AISH to the rate of inflation and let all Albertans have a fair shot at a dignified life.

And the stuff I can’t talk about on a blog?  How about contacting me and we’ll talk about it?  Or at least be approachable so when I have a problem so I get a better answer than, “The system is working as intended.“  I deserve a good life, just like every other Albertan in this province.

To Mr. Jean, please understand that even if I disagree with some of what you stand for, I’m equally in support of you.  I want a strong opposition and I’m cheering you on for your doggedness and determination.  Do not quit.  That specifically includes crossing the floor in the quest for power.  Just as I hope we never return to terrible government I felt I’ve suffered through, I equally hope that we never return to a weak and ineffective opposition.  Your role is important and critical for our governance.  Please, never turn your back upon it.

Mr. Prentice, I have lost every shred of respect I ever possibly had for you.  In resigning, you have proven you never came back for Albertans but only came to Alberta for power and the office of Premier.  You have refused to serve in the role you were given and that is shameful.  Bluntly spoken, shit happens.  If you don’t like the sandwich you’re served you either eat it and hope for better down the road or you go hungry.  I’ve had to eat a lot of really lousy sandwiches the past 15 years.  I’m hoping my next meal is tasty.  We need to spread around the prime cuts, not just horde them to a select few for 44 years.

Yes, the voter is always right.  It’s past due that we look to new ideas and a new energy ahead.

In the end, I voted not necessarily for whom I wanted to see in power, but I voted strategically for whom I thought would do the best job representing me and my community.  I was one voice in over a million.  It might not be exactly what I wanted, but until the next election my MLA will represent me.  I sincerely hope she’ll do a fine job.

I’ll do my best.  Do yours.