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Rocky View assistant editor doesn't agree with crossing the floor

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 01:33 pm

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As a journalist and political junkie, watching the storm hovering over Premier Alison Redford and her conservative party, is something I live for.

And while I feel for her, it had to happen eventually.

Politics, to me, is the most important and fundamental career path there is – in its idealistic state anyways.

The call to help change, mould and evolve laws and policies that ideally benefit us all, is my true definition of public service.

Democracy, while not perfect, is a system and an ideal that should be cherished and defended tirelessly.

Those who say they are “too busy” to vote when the time comes, or believe that their voice won’t be heard, are the most frustrating of all, and they couldn’t be farther from the truth. For me, I can’t understand why people don’t care – then again I have no idea how you can watch soccer for hours on end.

The media, hold those in the public service to a level where they are held accountable for every decision they make.

Interviewing politicians for me, is an experience, as one side believes – no matter which political colour they wear – what they are doing is so important that it can sometimes overlook mistakes in judgment, because let’s face it, no one is perfect.

The other side of me, as a journalist has a responsibility to remain non-biased, something we are heavily criticized for, if we write an article someone didn’t agree with.

We are endlessly targeted during elections for grilling candidates, asking questions that make those running for office uncomfortable or looking into someone’s life.

We do this to ensure – in theory – that the voters, the people who elect those who shape this country and its policies, have all the information that they could need to make a choice best suited for their set of beliefs.

That’s why, when a politician crosses the floor as Donna Kennedy-Glans and Len Webber did this week, it invokes a betrayal for me. (See story on page 14).

That bond is something that shouldn’t be abused or overlooked.

Elected officials are there because the majority of their constituency voted for their set of beliefs, and on the candidates’ ability to recognize what that is.

If a candidate doesn’t feel that they can best represent their constituency under the current political party, the answer is to step down.

Quit, move on and try again later under a new political banner.

Not to switch sides, even if it’s an Independent seat, because to me, you’ve left all the voters hanging. There isn’t enough political swing in the Independent seat to achieve anything, it now becomes making partnerships and “deals” to help pass a bill.

That’s not what you’ve been elected to do, and you’ve taken the decisions out of the voters’ hands, which is fundamentally wrong.

Our system of government is what holds us together, like it or not, and those that we place our beliefs and trust in, should understand that.

I feel for the voters in Calgary-Foothills and Calgary-Varsity, and I hope Airdrie’s politicians remember how important our voters’ voices are, and put us first.


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