I know Brent a bit, when he was in the Klein Progressive Conservative government. He was smart and insightful and had a great legal mind. He was also an independent thinker then. I formed these impressions from political meetings and convention conversations but mostly from some consulting work I did for the Alberta Minister of Justice and the Speaker of the Alberta Legislature.
I was reviewing the risk management policies for the Government of Alberta as a result of a defamation lawsuit brought against Stockwell Day, a Minister in the Klein Cabinet. The issues were complicated, politically laced and competing values were everywhere.
Brent grasped all of this in one and was immediately able and interested in exploring the issues, the implications and all in the context of the goal of public service and the greater good. He was not a guy who as concerned about the "Party" or his position in it. He was a democrat and a politician with character and competence.
I have to say I was sorry to see him join the Harper government. I always thought he was better than that. Well I was right. It took some time but the Brent Rathgeber I knew is back to being himself again.
Rex Murphy has a take on this that puts some more context on what I am trying to say.
Last Wednesday as a good day for democracy. Citizens need to be very careful who they vote for and why. We get the government we deserve, especially if we don't vote or vote mindlessly.