There have been a number of people who have done their best to point out what should be blatantly obvious to the leaders of the day regarding where they are falling short and are failing the people they are supposed to represent. Over the last two years, we have seen some of the best, but also some of the absolute worst traits of leaders that are in the forefront in Canadian politics. Although the wording varies, the following theme has emerged by those offering sound advice to the leaders of the day; be truthful, be honest, listen to what matters most to folks, be a leader, and if you get something wrong be big enough to admit it.
We all make mistakes, if you don’t, you simply are either untruthful, arrogant, or are only pretending to look busy. What we are seeing is that the leaders who are comfortable enough in their own skin, don’t have to pretend to be something else, or to try and convey the false truth that they are above making mistakes, or listening to others. Unfortunately, many of the leaders that fall in that category, are either unheard of, or blasted in the mainstream media. The ones that seem to get a pass, or the positive limelight, for some odd reason get a pass, or perhaps as one shining example, there are $600 million reasons why he gets a pass. In our country, power is granted by the people, and it can and will be taken away from those that forget that. It’s our job to ensure that the leaders don’t change the rules to take away our rights and freedoms or become complacent when it begins to happen.
I am encouraged to see that there has been a resurgence of Albertans who have taken notice of how we the people are not being served by many of the same politicians we have selected to represent our best interests for our counties, school boards, cities, provinces, and of course our country. It is encouraging because with all that has happened over the last few years, and all of our freedoms that have been compromised that it is not too late. Change can be made through our democratic process, and when folks organize and flex their democratic muscle even the big household names in Canadian politics can be changed, new leaders can emerge. However to ensure we don’t get more of the same, ongoing engagement will be required.
If you take out one of the “regulars”, and don’t put a new leader in place, ensure that there is a support system to make the changes required. If not, then the same old same old in behind-the-scenes players will get their hooks into the “New Guy / Gal”, or the establishment itself will undermine the changes, and you are back to square one. I believe it is imperative at this point in time for folks not to only show up and vote in the general elections, but to darned well be sure they have a party membership, to have those job interviews of the potential candidates before they are even selected to run in the general elections. Drop the fake news feed, role up your shirt sleeves, and make sure the people in the race are good ones, not duds.
More than a number of folks who knew me before I got into politics have been reaching out to me to get my opinions of the “Goings On” of the system, government, the parties, the existing, and emerging leaders. There are also a number of people that have reached out to me that I’ve met after becoming an MLA as well, because in their words, I have yet to become a “typical politician”. For the record, I never intend to be. The folks that ask my opinion know there are things I can talk about, and things I can’t. If you ask for my opinion on something, it can at times be very unvarnished. For the vast majority of the calls, its greatly appreciated. As one gent stated he may not agree with everything I say or do, but he sure as heck agrees with most, and can respect the things he doesn’t.
What I do know is that what may be portrayed as a person’s “Public Image” can be the furthest thing from the truth. When you have a chance to spend more than the 2-minute maximum time with someone at a meet and greet event. When it comes to many of the “Big Names” I’ve met over the last few years most have not been as they appear in the papers or on TV. I’ve been rather disheartened that the system keeps churning out more of the same, that they along the line, have not been able to maintain the basics of what make good leaders, and they all boil down to the public having an inability to trust them. Picking the best of the worst should not have to be our only options. Having regurgitated public names, part of the system keeps popping up is how we got here in the first place.
Most recently we have had one heck of a battle in Alberta, the UCP is showing that as a new party it is having some growing pains, but with that it is indeed viable and growing. It’s not on the brink of chaos as some may have you believe but is literally maturing as an organization before our very eyes. It’s a healthy process, and the folks I know have a common goal that is bigger and above themselves.
I am encouraged that there has been so much interest by Albertans to take interest in the party, to join, and to quite frankly to stand up and be unapologetically conservative. To take part in a leadership review, and now to be able to be part of nominating races, as well as the upcoming and inevitable leadership race for the party itself. I believe that there will be more than the same usual names that get circulated regularly in the media, that there will be new faces stepping forward that will indeed capture the interest again of everyday Albertans. Defining what a conservative is these days can be challenging, but the one thing that is universal is that conservatives rally behind their common beliefs and are respectful of the items that they may not necessarily agree with of others.
Whomever will become the new leader, will be inheriting not only the legacy of two previous conservative parties that merged to root out the socialists that had taken the reigns of power, but to be honest of their own misgivings of the past.The new leader will do well to remember that trust of their colleagues, members, and Albertans is paramount to ensuring that they will continue to govern going forward.
It’s our job to ensure that the words of wisdom that many are giving are followed, be truthful, be strong, listen to others, be consistent, be unapologetically conservative, and when you make a mistake, own it. Albertan’s can forgive an honest mistake, we’ve all been there ourselves, the common goal is to ensure that no matter what, the socialist ideology does not take root in Alberta the same way that it has in Ottawa. We need to make sure that Alberta can remain Strong and Free