Nation, the recent silence on this blog has been due in no small part to my own pensive mood... I've found myself at something of a crossroads.
All of us in the political community had, in the days following the provincial election, decried the lack of voter participation. And yet, it's been almost a month now, and... nothing. The issue has simply died.
Not for me.
41% voter participation is a farce. A sham. An affront to democracy. And yet... we have to ask ourselves why? Why are people not voting?
It's easy to sit in front of my computer and pontificate about why people aren't voting. It's easy for me to decide that "most people aren't politically educated, so they don't vote". But the reality is, the only way to find out why people aren't voting is to ASK them - directly.
Which I've spent the last few weeks doing.
Overwhelmingly, the reaction I've been getting has leaned towards the argument that "without a viable alternative, why would I bother? We all know who's going to win anyway..."
Indeed. Generations of politically interested Albertans, knowing on which side the public bread is buttered, have found themselves funnelled into the PC Party. Red Tories, Blue Tories, everyone from federal Liberals to Albertan separatists, find themselves as PC's because - well, because they want to get themselves elected.
And the democratic process suffers as a result.
I've made no bones about my Red Tory views since this blog's inception. While I strongly believe in fiscal responsibility on the part of the government, I also believe that the role of government is to help those who cannot help themselves, and to protect our rights as citizens. Red Tories, by the way, can also be identified as "Blue Grits" - ideologically identical, the only difference is in the party which they support. Rather than being the liberal wing of a Conservative party, they're in the conservative wing of a Liberal party.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Voters are disengaging because nobody wants to stand against the PC Juggernaut. And so... I choose to be part of the solution.
I am hereby announcing my intention to run for the Alberta Liberals in the next provincial election, and in so doing, am also throwing my support for the leadership behind Hugh MacDonald (credit to AlbertaTory for the heads-up).
I have thoroughly enjoyed the friends I've made, and the time I've spent, in the PC Association of Alberta. I've been a member since age 16. However, I can no longer in good conscience contribute to the slow, painful death of our democracy. People aren't voting, because they feel they have no viable alternative. Albertans need a viable alternative... and if they can't support the Liberals of Kevin Taft, then perhaps they can support the Liberals of the Enlightened Savage.
EDIT: As most of you caught onto, this was an April Fool's prank. To those who caught it: Well done! To those who did not - better luck next year. :) I remain committed to running for office - but not for the Alberta Liberals.