My wife is my best friend. She isn’t my best friend because she is the easiest person to get along with, she isn’t my best friend because we agree on everything, she isn’t my best friend because she doesn’t see my faults or let me know about them. She isn’t my best friend because she showers me in affection, and she isn’t my best friend because she is the mother of our four children. She is my best friend, because she is her true self with me, and I am safe to be the same with her. Imperfections and all, she loves me, because she is there when I need a hand up, and when I need a kick in the pants. She has unvarnished honesty with me, and she challenges me to do more and be better person, and I do the same for her. I’ve never had a more loyal honest friend, and I feel blessed to have been her husband now for over 20 years. She doesn’t sugar coat much, works hard, and has high expectations and standards. She is as honest as the day is long, and when she gives out a compliment, it is heartfelt and profound.
When I was on the campaign trail for the first time, she told me I should get in touch with Aaron Tippin and see if I could get permission to use one of his songs as my “Theme” song. She said that when she heard that song, she thought of me. I thought she may be pulling my leg a little and teasing me, but I thought I’d play along, ask the name of the song, then get the punch line. She told me the name of the song was “I Got it Honest”. I must admit, country isn’t typically my first genre on the play list, and I had not heard the song, so I was still waiting for the punch line. Apparently, there wasn’t one. She found me the song and played it for me.
I was honestly moved that she saw me in that light. She respected me for the morals I had and that I had demonstrated them over the years. I knew money could buy a lot of things, that it couldn’t buy integrity, a person’s word is worth something, and although we may not have had all the shiny things out there, but what we had we worked for on our own, and the best thing I could pass onto my kids was a legacy of hard work and integrity. Be proud of who you are, what you have, because you earned it, your word is worth something, and you got it honest. She gave me the nod to run, because she said we needed at least one person in the legislature that she, and others in our area could trust to do the right things, when it was going to be tough to do, and I wouldn’t forget who I was.
I’ve maintained that the problem with Politics is that there are too many professional politicians involved. There is a machine that is running in behind them to keep the status quo, where that murky world does not come into the light of day. I believe the way that real changes can be made is not only at the general election, but at the party level, the grass roots as it were.
I’m going to stray a little here now and write as a UCP member, not as the MLA, simply because my office phone, and emails have been swamped by folks who have concerns with the decision that the UCP Party Provincial Board made regarding the format and venue of the leadership review in Red Deer on April 09. Please note, as a party member, I did not have any input into that decision. As a party member, I voted at the AGM in the fall for members who ran for those positions. I like many were encouraging folks to be part of the process, and we had a high degree of interest in rural Alberta. Specifically, where I have heard that the majority of members who registered for the SGM were indeed from Rural Alberta.
I’d like to thank everyone for renewing, or buying your memberships, and in light of the recent developments, I’d 100% encourage you to still vote, and encourage others to purchase their memberships if they haven’t. I’d like to still have a live vote, complete with voting stations in our constituency for all members, and certified elections representatives, to know for sure, regardless of the official mail in ballots, of how the people out here in Lac Ste. Anne – Parkland feel about the leadership. It would be a great time to catch up, talk about what matters to you, and to find out what direction we are heading together.
I believe what we have seen demonstrated recently is an Ottawa style of politics being played out right here in Alberta, and the only way we get back to our values, is to make sure that we have a very strong representation in the party, as well as at the voting booths not only at Leadership Reviews, but at the Annual General Meetings, as well as at the general election. If we don’t continue to participate in the process, we leave it for those who like to stay in the swamp, where the best interests of the people may not be best represented.
At the end of the day, for the folks out in our area, win loose or draw, we know that “We Got it Honest” and working together, that swamp is going to get a heck of a lot more shallow over the next few years if we keep working together, and not let others divide us, even if they want to change the rules of the game while it is still being played. Let’s continue to be Strong and Free, and keep doing the right things for the right reasons, with honor and integrity.