Monday, September 10, 2007

Denis Ducharme Doesn't Want to Run Again.

Denis Ducharme (Bonnyville-Cold Lake) says he is not running for the PC’s in the next election. This is unfortunate. He has done much to foster a positive change the culture of governance in Alberta over how well he handled the Marie Lake issue.

Politicians tend to forget to whom they owe their first loyalty in our partisan political system. It is not the leader. It is not the party. It is the constituency. Denis reminded us of that reality in the past few months and he reaffirmed the appropriate ranking of the relationships and responsibilities that a politician needs to honour.

We all owe him a debt of gratitude to setting the relationship record straight and especially for following through and sticking to his guns. In our system of government, it is after all the responsibility of all backbenchers – including and especially on the government side - to keep the Executive on their toes. Denis did that is spades in the past few months.

This political life is not an easy job. It takes commitment, courage and character. Ducharme was a quiet and competent exemplar in all three aspects. I can hardly blame Denis for stepping down after 10 years but I for one will miss him. Thanks for the work you have done on behalf of Alberta.