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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Is Bill 208 About the Kind of Alberta You Want?

Dr. Morton’s Bill 208 is potentially a demarcation point for Alberta – do we retreat behind a political and socially conservative “firewall” or do we pursue a future that is vibrant, diverse tolerant and inclusive? Do we engage the world as it is – not as we wish it was - or worse yet, that a small but active group “deems” it to be?

If the vision of Alberta represented by Bill 208 and Dr. Morton's intent to isoloate Alberta from Canada behind a policy firewall is the main stream consciousness then the people of this province are in for a bundle of trouble. If it is not the main stream thinking, then those of us with a different perspective better pony up Five Bucks for a PC membership, get engaged in the leadership issues and show up to vote for our view of the future. That means vote Hancock, Stelmach or Dinning…ideally Hancock who best represents this progressive conservative perspective!

The Calgary Herald recently had a front page story on a Leger poll saying Dinning and Oberg are potentially statistically tied based on the polling margin of error. Based on the same margin or error it would be just as accurate to say they are potentially far apart with Dinning showing a commanding lead. Just as important is the poll finding that Hancock and Morton were tied in third place. Only one of them will make it to the second ballot.

The Leger Poll results are not even close to being conclusive because 44 - 45 % of Albertans say they are currnetly undecided about who they support but the potential of a Morton victory is real and sobering.

The blogosphere is very active about Dr. Morton's Bill 208 – mostly in opposition from what I have seen. This proposed legislation and its future impact is a symbolic turning point for Alberta. Do we try a “perfect” a view of Alberta of the 1950’s or are we ready to be pioneers for our times and explore the potential of this province in the diverse greater context of Canada and the world?

Staying undecided in the PC leadership race is neither a smart or realistic choice. We have to make up our minds about the kind of Alberta we want and decide who we think can help get us there. Then we have to exercise our democratic rights if we are to be part of defining our future. Right now that means participating in the PC leadership selection process. It is more than a party leadership at stake - it is the premiership of the entire province for the next two years that is being decided too. That means the outcome directly impacts your life. In a democracy you always get the kind of government you deserve – especially if you opt out or are indifferent.