On April 19th I attended the preliminary meeting held by several Alberta Party "Edmonton Decore" residents to discuss forming a Constituency Association (aka CA), even though I don't live in that riding.
I bet you are thinking "Huh? That's a weird way to start a blog post... what the hell!" .. ... Well, you see, this not the first of these types of meetings I have gone to, while trying to find my political home. I've been blessed by various organizations within the current Alberta Government, that control the boundaries of where riding's reside. My current riding is Beverly-Clairview, but when the writ drops for the next provincial election I am in another riding. I thought that other riding was "something else" but upon further investigation it seems that about a 2 block area where I live, has some how been shuffled over to yet a different riding. After speaking to some folks that deal with those areas, and even after having my address... they were also unsure of exactly where I would be at election time so the boys in the mapping department had to get involved. And thanks to them, I finally know where my home is. .. .. Yep, you guessed it. Edmonton Decore. But only after the writ drops. Needless to say, where I am and where I will be complicates what CA I can be involved in and what I am capable of doing.
And it is frustrating because I know I want to do something, I want to get involved, I want MY voice to be heard, along with the other voices. As I look around the area I am in and I talk with the people in "the hood" or with people I run into while shopping or having coffee... I hear the same stories. "... and they just don't seem to listen..." .. Well, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure any of the political parties would cut the mustard. But what really hooked me into knowing I was in the right place, was the single policy of the Alberta Party that stated how elected representatives must communicate with their constituents on a regular basis and must present those values to government. They are to vote on issues based on the people they represent, regardless of the Party position (unless it's on a budget issue type of thing, which seems fair). Another huge issue for me, was the releasing of information about funding. Unlike other parties who won't tell you who is backing them financially, the Alberta Party seems to think none of that information should be kept secret.
I like that. I really REALLY like that. ... Anyway, getting back to our first Decore CA meeting, there were enough people there to form the CA but we agreed to hold another meeting and to get even more people involved in the process. Which is certainly a good thing. Maybe there is an urgency to get this done (which I can understand) but it's more important to do it right the first time, and we want to make sure that it is done right.
One thing I do want to comment on... one of the folks attending is a member of the Alberta Party. And also a member of other parties. He made it perfectly clear about his associations, which showed he has honor. You know the really great thing? Not one single person there tried to shun him. We had nothing to hide, all topics were discussed... Which is all about politics being open and transparent.
From a "politics" aspect, I don't have a desire to be "a" politician. In some aspects, it's a dirty word. Provincial and Federal parties alike, have grown into this habit of wanting to "rule" and seem to have forgotten the part about "serving" those they represent. I was making a few comments in Twitter, using the term "being a public servant". One of my friends said back to me "Public service is that not servants..." and I get that. They are not butlers or maids, etc...I didn't want to imply that, but I do think elected officials need to be a servant, or a voice, for the folks they represent. Yes, they are supposed to be providing a "service to the public"... and many seem to have forgotten that simple fact. With that said, I do have a strong desire to help bring "service" back to what it needs to be.
I'm not sure just yet how I can help with that... The next step is another meeting after the Federal election, in which to form the CA, and get the ball rolling. And I will try to help in whatever areas that need it.