The 28th President of the U.S., Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing.” Politicians focus on what they think will give them the best chance of re-election; a statesman will take a principled stand even if that means standing alone.
The drastic political changes that have taken place in Alberta are indicative of a quest by taxpayers to find reliable principled leadership. True democracy is not distributed based on wealth, political status, social class, or alliance – each person in a democracy is equal. A true Statesman will not allow the anchor of cronyism to bog them down; regardless of whether it manifests itself externally or internally within a political party.
The people of Alberta will have a dilemma in the not too distant future. Their dilemma is making the choice of who can best provide principled leadership. The differences can be subtle in appearance but ultimately have proven to be profound in outcome. The rhetoric of power often blurs the role of a representative; focusing on the principles that brought them to public life goes a long way in overcoming the pitfalls of becoming just another politician.
Statesmen fill history books with chapters of accomplishments and accolades, while Politicians are relegated to being mere footnotes in the back pages. We have to ask ourselves whether we want a chapter or a footnote from the representation we choose.
The following article was compiled by a small group of Official Opposition MLAs who get together each week to talk through a legislative policy issue. As part of the process, a short commentary is compiled and then edited. The editorial committee members include GRANT HUNTER, Cardston-Taber-Warner; RICK STRANKMAN, Drumheller-Stettler; DAVE SCHNEIDER, Little Bow; WES TAYLOR, Battle River-Wainwright; RON ORR, Lacombe-Ponoka; MARK SMITH, Devon-Drayton Valley; DAVE HANSON, Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills; DON MacINTYRE, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake; and DREW BARNES, Cypress Medicine Hat