Politics – Reflections from the brink and going forward.
The Provincial election in May 2015: This is a topic I might need a full year to develop and several bottles of whiskey to relive.
Personally, I was blessed with so many lessons in partisan politics; well considering my experience, a lifetime’s worth.
Even now, as I write this, my stomach tightens and my blood pressure rises at the thought of the work, the humiliation, and the appreciation for hundreds of people (many strangers) who stopped their lives to help me. I, of course, lost my bid for Edmonton Rutherford, as did almost all of my fellow PC counterparts. I don’t begrudge the people of the constituency; they chose to pursue a fresh path away from what looked like a set of tired ideas.
The PC’s ran a horrible campaign at the Provincial level, but personally, I feel we achieved many amazing things at the constituency. I was blessed to have had the support of hundreds of volunteers from all walks of political life, and a campaign team that was amazing in talent and dedication. We spent the most money of any campaign (that’s easy – and means nothing) in the Province, and frankly would never have been able to overcome the broader narrative developing against our Party. Not to take away from some of our really dumb mistakes…. like “The Blog”.
Richard Feehan, whom I ran against and of course won, was a classy and considerate challenger. We will almost certainly disagree on methods and the ideas required in running a government, but knowing what I now know about this nasty business, he deserves our support and best wishes.
But… what a hell of an experience! I still now want to puke; and that’s from the good memories 😉
Going forward, as I am still want to muse about politics, I must work to be WAY less opinionated here about the individuals and people of politics. I will still strive to be focused on ideas, to hopefully reflect on the inspirational ideas of others, maybe even invent a few of my own… but what I won’t do is attack, cajole or berate another political player here again. It’s too easy, it’s hurtful, almost always unfair, and it’s the path of the weak-minded. It is also how people win in politics. Which sucks donkey-balls…
We have an amazing Province and from all I can tell, the current government, the past government, and hopefully future governments, are, were and will be filled with people who care about our collective future. We will disagree on what it takes to get there, and even what “there” might look like… but I have gained something valuable from my very brief time in politics; my unending respect for those who put their name forward, regardless of party. It’s truly thankless.
Now… there are some things from the election of 2015 which are still worth talking about; reflection on the PC implosion from an insiders perspective, my personal failings as a candidate, our arrogant war-room, and the role of the media in this nasty business…. and beyond that, of course, I simply must talk about why I still think Alberta needs a fiscally conservative government to lead us in both good times and bad.
As I believe strongly in the words of Larry Kudlow... “that free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity.”