Nation, I committed to posting your messages as you try to convince me - and the millions of members of the E.S. Nation - to vote for your candidate of choice on October 1st.
The second message I got today was, like the first, from a backer of Alison Redford. That's the way it's worked out. If the next one is ALSO from a Redford backer, I'll post it just like I would a message from a Horner or Mar backer.
This is your chance to make your case. Step up on the soap-box that is The Enlightened Savage's blog.
Submitted text begins... now.
As I thought about what to write you, I remembered something that Alison said months ago at a Calgary event "the PC Party today will never elect me as their leader, but the PC Party that we need to be - will".
I think that this speaks a lot to where Alison has been trying to move the conversation. The focus has been less on existing Party members and more on engaging new Albertans to join the Party. This entire leadership race should have been about nothing but party renewal and proving that the new Leader of the PC Party can listen, respond and speak on behalf of all Albertans - not just the traditional base of PC Party members. After 40 years in power, we need to prove that we are still relevant.
Working in government for the past three years I have had the privilege of being part of Safe Communities and seeing real change being made not only with respect to gangs and crime but on the root causes of addiction, mental health and work with at-risk youth. I also though saw just how much things needed to change. There is a mentality that “well, we’ve always done it this way” stifling new, creative and bold ideas that could actually mean better government and services for Albertans. And not just with respect to the nine departments connected to SafeCom, but across all areas in government.
The only reason that we made progress was because of who was leading Safe Communities – Alison Redford.
The exhaustive list of policies that Alison has released rely heavily on employing the Safe Com model. Forcing departments to work together, engaging in actual consultation to develop public policy and looking at the outcomes we want to achieve will be core principles in Alison's govenment. I know that this works. Alberta is leading the agenda of cross-ministry work across North America. We even had people from Obama's team come up to ask us how we were able to do something of this scale as there is such a gap in cross-department work in all governments.
Until the last three years, Alison's experience is almost entirely international. And actually international - like there are bodies of water involved. These continents are our future markets and Alison knows how to work with governments and stakeholders amongst different cultures. It's another area that people can put a "checkmark" beside when they think of what our future Premier needs to be able to do.
On top of all of this, I really think that Alison has laid out policies that matter. My sister is a teacher, my sisters and I all have auto-immune diseases and require a lot of contact with the health-care system, my grandparents are in their mid-80's and about to be seperated after 63 years due to varying health care needs and both my parent's careers rely on the success of the energy industry. I think that her policies speak to what Albertans are asking for and I think that is the mark of a good leader.
I think that Alison, as a mother, wife, daughter, also allow her to bring a different lens to government. She wears her heart on her sleeve - which is both good and bad! You know how's she's feeling and she'll always fight for what she believes is right. I would hazard a guess that at about 75% of our SafeCom announcements, Alison had tears and hugs for all of the participants. She cares and connects with people in a way that makes me feel like I'm the Tin Man! I've also seen her in meetings with energy leaders - she's focused, smart (which they love!) and not afraid to tell it like it is. I've also heard people call Alison a "bitch". You know, I think I'm ok with my Premier being labeled a "bitch" every now and then if it moves Alberta forward. If she was a guy she'd be deemed strong and deliberate but c'est la vie!
Anyway, I think that Albertans are ready to give the PC Party one last opportunity to prove why we should remain in power. And unless we seize this opportunity and actually elect a candidate that will govern differently, encourage new dynamic community leaders to run for MLA and inspire Albertans to believe that change is possible - I believe the opportunity will be lost. The window is open for 8 more days.
I hope you'll consider giving Alison at least one of your votes on October 1.