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Wednesday, 28 May 2014 14:23

Take part in political process with both eyes wide open

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Speculation went on for weeks that Jim Prentice would throw his hat into the ring to lead the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.

 

It was finally made official when he picked up and handed in his nomination papers and released his platform to the public May 21.
There are two others who also want to be the next Premier of Alberta. Ric McIver, a first-term MLA and Thomas Lukaszuk, former deputy premier and long-time MLA.
All three will make claims over the next three months that they are the best choice for Albertans to lead the PC party into the next election. Each man has his own strengths and weaknesses.
Prentice initially released a five-point campaign which included overseeing a fiscally-responsible government, restoring the faith of Albertans in government and restoring the balance between property rights and the environment.
McIver intends to speak to as many Albertans as possible during the next three months and find out what is important to them. He also sees the need to earn back the trust of Albertans as does Lukaszuk, who pointed out he was the first to say there was an issue with entitlement in government.
Some will see apples, bananas and oranges when it comes to choices in candidates. We see the fact that it’s all fruit. All three are still Progressive Conservatives, and if one’s political values don’t align with the PCs, well, one can’t fit a square peg into a round hole.
It’s fine to pay lip service to the fact the government needs to be more accountable, open and transparent, but it is easier said than done. Two of the leadership candidates have sat in government through this so-called time of entitlement. Why say something about it now? Why not speak up about these concerns when they had them while sitting in the Legislature?
Albertans should remember this isn’t the only chance they will have to vote for the next premier of the province. This is simply a Progressive Conservative leadership campaign. It is not a general election.
PC card holders need to choose the leader they feel best represents the party’s values and will lead them to success in the coming years.
These men represent only one person. They do not in fact necessarily represent the views of the PC organization as a whole, since their campaign platforms do not have to be vetted by the association.
 The voting population as a whole has a responsibility to either endorse the pick of the party or show their dissatisfaction in it when the next general election rolls around. They do that by voting for the candidate and party of their choice.
And if the public is interested in scrutinizing the PC candidates and even taking part in the vote, by all means purchase a party membership and do so, but take a closer look at the policies the organization runs its leadership election under. Even though residents have to be 18 years of age or older to vote in a general election, individuals as young as 14 can purchase a PC party membership and vote for a party leader — thus helping choose the next premier of the province. Does anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with children choosing political leaders?
Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor