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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Premier 14 // Defiant, Courageous, Qualified

We know that Gary Mar had all the advantages going into this race.  He had the big money, the big bus, the huge raft of MLA's and their political machines.  Alison had none of that.  Defiantly, Alison stood on her record, her accomplishments, and her preparation for the role.    

Alison has something Albertans and Canadians admire, a self styled determination to make a difference.  Her experience is World class, and in the days to come, those who are not aware of her amazing life already will come to learn it.  The very act of defiantly stepping up and taking on the huge odds stacked against her from the start are a ringing demonstration of her courage.  This is the kind of leadership our Province needs, it is the kind of leadership we all crave and admire, and it is the kind of leadership Alison Redford is all about.

Many MLA's who supported other candidates are, summarily, worried about their prospects for a cabinet position in Alison's administration.  There are those who will be upset with the new government.  I, for one, am delighted to see this new brand of leadership and I think it's a great time to shake up the PC's here in Alberta.  The good old boys, the back room deals, the whisper campaigns... all of that must change.

One of the issues that helped slingshot Alison past Gary was health care.  I have a unique perspective on health care because I worked in the U.S. health care system as a respiratory care practitioner.  While doing so, neither I nor my family had access to health care.  Yes, that's right... I didn't have access to nor the ability to draw upon the very services I provided.  I treated many of the sickest patients in the hospital with highly contagious diseases that are transmitted via air or touch.  I prayed that I would not bring home some exotic disease to my family because I knew if I did, we would face financial ruin or worse.   Government leaders quietly looked the other way and corporate profits drove the ugly reality.  This, my friends, is precisely the kind of thing we must never allow to happen in Alberta. 

Together we are so much stronger than we are individually, and we are a compassionate people.  Yes, we care about our fellow citizens and we will not stand idly by and allow corporate greed or individual power lust to deprive us of the things we have fought so hard for.  We have earned the right to love our country and the people in our country.  We have earned the right to elect a leader like Alison.  We have earned the right to reject the kind of petty politics that create divisiveness when, in reality, our problems can be far more easily solved with collaboration.

Alison is defiant in her defense of our system of health care and the education of our children.  As for privatized health care, the so called two tier system so many advocate, I feel that if you're fortunate to have great wealth and you wish to have private health care at whatever level, that's no problem... there are planes leaving for the U.S. every 15 minutes.  You can be at the Mayo Clinic in a few hours getting whatever level of care you so desire.  Private health care is just a short flight (or drive) away for you.  By what right do the wealthiest 1% of our society presume to suggest that we should all pay for them to have more privilege?  Is it not enough that we have fought and died to provide them with a free country where they have so many blessings? 

And another thing... I am especially cheesed off when I hear members of our legislative assembly whine about the cost of health care.  Instead of complaining, wouldn't it be more productive to roll up your sleeves and get to work fixing it?  I would gladly roll up my sleeves and do the work if given the opportunity.  I admire Alison for her defiant stand on health care and for her wisdom in not caving in to untold pressures associated with this issue.  Instead of walking out onto the ice of this slippery slope, we can and should be willing to do the hard work required to make our health care system even better.  Sure, it'll be tough, but Albertans do not stand down just because the work is daunting or the work is hard.  Albertans thrive on the difficult to impossible, it is part and parcel of our DNA.

We have a leader who is defiant, educated, brilliant, courageous, and qualified.  The test of our courage is to rally together and support our new leader.  Nobody leads in a vacuum, it will take the efforts of all of us to support and assist her.  No matter how large or how small your position, you must understand and believe that in helping our leader and our Province move forward, you are building a better Province and a stronger Canada.

To those who will support Alison and work together to make Alberta even better, I salute you.  To those who will whine, back stab, and undermine somebody just because their own personal agenda wasn't served by her election.... that's puny, irresponsible, and it reeks of cowardice.  Instead, why don't you stand up straight, tie up your bootlaces, and be an Albertan.  Quit whining and start shining... our best days are all in front of us.

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