Represent Me, Really Me
Have I pretty much bored everyone to death yet?
So far in my blogs I’ve discussed about government’s inability to conceive, coalesce and carry through on a grand plan. The insistent principle that civil servants absolutely have to be civil towards all Albertans they are expected to serve. The unacceptable bribing of the most voters with our own money. The transition from reliance upon resourced-based budgeting to moving to a more stable tax-based budgeting and building up a fund from resource income that grows and supports us into the future.
Do I expect people to read this? Amazingly, people are reading these. These are heavy, far reaching topics and a completely different vision of how government needs to be serving us. These are some critical discussions about how to better serve Albertans now and into the future. They are complex and integrated discussions, not capable of being ground down into a single soundbyte.
I don’t expect my MLA to be able to read ever word and follow along with every thought in order to represent me. I don’t expect my MLA to go looking up historical natural gas pricing and royalty revenues for fun on a Monday evening. I absolutely expect my MLA to be prepared to discuss them with me when I raise a concern or an idea. I’ll do the research so they don’t have to, but they have to talk to me in order to benefit from my work.
We expect our leadership to be visionary, to be able to create a plan and follow through with it. Instead we’ve suffered through lacklustre governments living off revenues from a single booming sector of our economy hoping the good times keep rolling in. We really can do better than we have done in the past. We need a better, more comprehensive, more transparent approach to our government. We need to end the cynicism over our government and make individuals feel connected to the process. We need to treat ALL Albertans fairly and equitably and stop making overt and offensive assumptions about our neighbours.
We elect representatives to the Legislature. We do not elect political parties to the Legislature. We need our representatives to actually represent us. I know that’s going to be utterly shocking to some current members of government. Parties are a way of consolidating policy so that we can have these discussions, they are not meant to be dynasties and the the very root means of accomplishing policy. Discussions are the key - we absolutely need to be having these kinds of discussions in the open, in public, in regular forums in each and every riding of the province.
How can my MLA represent me when my MLA will not talk with me?
That is a massive disconnect in our province. When I’m bringing up complaints on how I’ve been treated by a public servant, I need to be listened to fairly and openly. I’m raising up a major problem I’m experiencing and I absolutely require someone to give me a fair hearing and help me resolve it through a change in my approach or a change ranging to a change in a horrible law.
You know what I see as the biggest problem in Alberta politics right now? To be heard you have to be an insider, otherwise you get written off as a wing nut not worth pursuing.
We are all Albertans. We all deserve to be heard. We all deserve to be listened to with fairness and an open mind without bias. When we, as citizens, bring up a point of contention, that is the exact moment where we are trying to bring our concerns forward. My experience has been that my concerns are brushed aside unless it’s a concern that targets the votes of a targeted demographic.
Again, that’s why I’m part of the Alberta Party. Our target demographic is Albertans. All of them. We want to reach the people who feel so disconnected from government they no longer feel they have a reason to vote. We want to reach the people who raise issues time after time and are told they don’t matter. We want to reach the people who feel they have a solution to a problem that exists for Albertans.
The Big Listen was more than a stunt, it was a commitment to have a genuine conversation with all Albertans and to carry forward and act upon the concerns of Albertans to make this province a better place. The Big Listen was a commitment to have a different approach to citizens across the board. The Big Listen was a commitment to have those conversations publicly, openly and to be accountable for how we represent ourselves - all of us as Albertans.
We are neither left nor right, we are not eggheads or hicks, we are Albertans. We are regular people who want something better from our government. We are people who go on BT Edmonton to make bacon and eggs. We are a fresh wind in this province, responsive to you as a citizen.
I have complete faith the Glenn Taylor can represent me because he has spoken with me and listened to my concerns. Making a delicious breakfast? That’s just the gravy you’re going to get when you attract incredible neighbours who care.