Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Leadership in Calgary-Fish Creek

On Saturday, January 14th, my team of dedicated volunteers (whom have dubbed themselves the "O-Team") and I spent the daylight hours knocking on every door we could find, blanketing 2 communities in Calgary-Fish Creek.

I heard a lot of good ideas and strong opinions. About health care. Policing. Seniors care. Fiscal responsibility. Education. Child care.

One area that mirrored a discussion I've been having both online and in real life centred around the idea of an MLA as a "leader" versus an MLA as a "servant".

Ralph Klein is often cited as the most effective leader our party has seen since Lougheed. Ralph liked to say that the key to political leadership was to figure out where the parade is going, and then get in front of it. I liked Ralph, as a leader. Policy-wise, I've always been more of a Lougheed Tory, but Ralph's idea of leadership jives very nicely with my own. I'm a populist - power to the people.

The thing is, as I look at the people in Fish Creek, I don't see a lot of people demanding an MLA to "lead" them, in the conventional sense. We don't wake up, roll out of bed, and say "I wish I knew what to do, I hope a politician tells me what needs to be done.". In Fish Creek, we're ALL leaders. Leaders in the community. Leaders in our churches, or our volunteer organizations, or our households. And, yes, we're leaders in the political sphere as well. The ideas I've been hearing at the doors are the sort of ideas that can build the Alberta of the future.

We in Fish Creek don't need to be led. We need to be served, by someone who understands that your ideas, your hopes, and your expertise are what truly matter.

I ask for the honour of serving you. Let's harness all of the leadership in Calgary-Fish Creek to lead our fellow Albertans to a better future for all of us.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I disagree, Joey. Ralph Klein was a servant, not a leader. A leader does what is right, not politically popular (though the two may occasionally coincide). A servant does what the people want, and generally, people choose the path of least resistance. Everybody talks about leaving a better world for their children, but very few are actually willing to pay for it or make any real sacrifice whatsoever. After eliminating the debt, Ralph did sweet f a, because Albertans didn't want to pay for it. And Ed Stelmach got to carry the bag when he acted like a leader and did the things that were necessary to make up for the benign neglect of Ralph's last nine years in office. I think history will be much kinder to Ed than to Ralph, and deservedly so. Ralph was an amiable buffoon, and you would do much better to be more like Lougheed, or even, God forbid, Stelmach. An MLA is not a "servant."