Monday, September 18, 2006

Goodbye Ralph

So the members of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party will be choosing a new premier for our province later this year. I don't know a whole lot about most of the candidates, but I've heard a few things.

First of all, Ted Morton seems overly right wing to me, and I tend to be a little bit right wing politically. Maybe he has a few good ideas, but he seems overly focused on disputes between the province and the federal government, and I'm not impressed with his views on addressing root causes of crime. Here's a quote from a September 13 Edmonton Journal article: "After Hancock said the province should tackle crime by tackling its root causes like drug addiction, Morton shot that his parents 'don't care about root causes,' but want criminals arrested and punished." Has Ted Morton ever heard of the statistics that show that longer jail sentences tend not to reduce crime rates? (Unfortunately, I don't know where those statistics come from. If anyone can tell me, please leave a comment.) I'm not saying we should abolish jails. I do think they form some deterrent, and at the very least, they keep violent people away from potential victims. But reducing drug addiction and other things that motivate people to commit crimes will probably make a much bigger difference than just being tough on offenders. Doesn't the US have tougher sentences than Canada, but more violent crime?

Meanwhile, there's a lower profile candidate named Gary McPherson who seems impressive. He's the director of the Canadian Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, which has something to do with using business to address social problems. Things like that make him look more caring than some other candidates. But his web site doesn't say much about his policy ideas yet. My friend Grace has met him and thinks he'd be good.

I think I'll keep an eye on this campaign. If a particular candidate inspires me, or if it looks like someone I don't like might win, maybe I'll join the party (it only costs $5 to influence the future of this province) and vote.

1 comment:

Grace Choo said...

Hm, I sure didn't hear that about Ted Morton, but thanks for educating me! I'm not sure how a person like that can lead the future of Alberta. If a person doesn't understand the core of social issues, then how is he able to tackle the problems?

I heard that Jim Dinning is definitely wayyy ahead too -- which may be true.

I haven't had time to educate myself on everyone's platform (well, they're only now beginning to unveil their policies anyways) but I have a bit of a negative feeling towards successful business people. I mean, they really have to show me that they care wholly about all regular Albertans -- not just the rich by doing them favours when they get elected.

Btw Alex, Social Entrepreneurship is not just about using business skills -- it is using ANY professional skills to enhance the livelihood of our community.

Gary hasn't released his policies yet, but I believe it will be soon.

Indeed he has a low profile right now, perhaps also due to the fact that he was the last entrant to the race. However, what I appreciate about him is that he is going to bring a very different set of experience from all the other contenders -- in the way he understands social issues. He is a man who definitely has people's well being at heart. Albertan's well being at heart.