Thursday, April 7, 2011

No Bluffing in Bluffton

Tonight was another one of those watershed moments that has happened to me on the "campaign trail" when I met with rural Albertans in another rural Alberta town. I listened, and we talked (and talked) about the real issues that are affecting their everyday lives and existence. Those people, and those issues, are why I am running to be Alberta Party Leader. This leadership race isn’t just a contest to me; some match to be won. It’s much bigger than that. Sue Huff, our interim leader, said it best last Friday at the Jeff Blodgett Alberta Party event in Calgary, “people are hungry for change”. And I can tell you tonight, once again, Albertans aren’t bluffing. They've had enough, and yes, they are willing to take action. And that is what I want to be part of – making positive change happen in my beloved Alberta.

The good folks in Bluffton, and many other parts of Alberta, tell me they don’t have time to wait. Their land and their livelihoods are at risk. They fear the government will come and take their land for a completely wasteful power project which is not needed and not wanted – except by big multinational interests. They fear the government will let real estate investment trusts come and take their farms, and then rent them back to them. They fear that our government would rather industrialize Alberta's farms, while they ignore proactive local agriculture initiatives. They fear our government will continue to destabilize public education, closing their community schools, then lease out the buildings to private companies while their kids get bussed for miles instead of walking. They fear our government will continue to “farm out” its responsibilities to more corporate and entrepreneurial control – who would then charge a “user fee” – we wouldn't want to call it a tax.

From what I hear on the campaign trail, the people of Alberta aren’t bluffing. They are seriously looking for a party that can send new elected representatives – and they are willing to elect them – to the Legislature in Edmonton. They want true, authentic MLAs who will represent their hopes and dreams for a better Alberta, for their children, grandchildren and communities, whether rural or urban. They are looking at two young parties. The Alberta Party is one of them.

And that’s where you and I come in. With the Alberta Party we can listen and clearly hear what Albertans want. And we can bring the change that’s been 40 years coming. This I believe. With the creative and innovative energy the members of The Alberta Party can bring to our beautiful Alberta, the time for action and transformative change is now. But, I am told, we better be prepared to “transact” soon – to actually deliver on what Albertans are telling us. They aren't bluffing in Bluffton, Red Deer, Coaldale, Airdrie, Lloydminster or Banff – and every other town and city in our beautiful Alberta. They are willing to see what we can do. But we have to show them we will act upon what we hear. To them, the time has come for a Big Change.

Come and join me, first as a member, then as a volunteer, and then as a voter to bring the change Albertans want.

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