Of the many issues in the Alberta election of 2012, three stand out from the rest – control of decisions between elections returned to Albertans rather than staying with the provincial government, control of government expenses and a balanced budget leading to Alberta government’s financial accountability to the voters, and local government control for local matters.
The Wildrose Party supports the return of decision making to Albertans and ensures their participation even during the term of the government through a referendum, a recall, and a free vote for MLA’s.
– A referendum gives citizens the power to decide on future new matters such as safe
injection sites coming to your neighbourhood or legal bawdy houses in your area.
– A recall allows voters to remove an MLA from his job before the next election is called if
he does not support the issue for which he was voted in. Since Wildrose allows free
vote for their MLA’s, the voters will know if their MLA is standing up for them and if
he is fulfilling his election promises.
– A conscience vote or free vote (unwhipped vote) allows the MLA’s to vote
according to their own personal conscience. Conscience rights are listed in the Charter
of Freedoms and Rights even before Freedom of speech. Freedom of conscience is part
of personal responsibility which forms part of a citizen’s character. It is this freedom of
conscience which allows an individual to stand up for what is right, even if the law
allows it. Not everything which is allowed or which is a party’s official stand is right
for or beneficial to the society or to the individual.
The Wildrose Party backs control of government’s expenses through balanced budget, set salaries for top public servants, and a promise of $300 payment contingent on surplus. Wildrose intends to bring a balanced budget by controlling government expenses and by mandating financial accountability. One way of doing so is to set salaries for MLA’s, ministers, and the premier, and to remove their ability to vote in their own salaries’ raise. The realization of the $300 payment to each Alberta citizen depends on the size of government revenues which depend on the price of oil and gas. The government is made for people, not people for government, and the government officials are accountable to the citizens who voted them in.
The Wildrose Party wants to return control to the local level of government to decide on local issues. Local government bodies such as municipalities, school boards, and health boards know best what the needs of the community are, and are therefore in a better position to make decisions which match their needs. Using a referendum to decide on issues important to the community, the control returns to the local citizens. This includes infrastructure development, new school locations, and healthcare delivery options.
What is not important are the candidate’s looks, clothes, sex, marital status, or if they have or have not children. It is the potential MLA’s personal integrity as well as the platform and the policies of the Wildrose Party which are a better indication of how a government formed of those candidates will proceed.
The Wildrose Party supports the mandate for MLA’s accountability to their voters by passing the recall legislation, granting free vote for MLA’s and supporting freedom of conscience. It provides fiscal responsibility by bringing a balanced budget through control of government expenses and a mandate of financial accountability to the voters. Wildrose encourages the citizens’ right to vote on new issues during the term through referendum, and to take responsibility for making life choices as they see fit by returning local control to the people of Alberta.
The stand on the above issues is what sets the Wildrose Party apart from other Alberta provincial political parties. The endorsement of democracy and accountability by Wildrose should be reassuring to all voters.
Categorised in: Pensive Essays
This post was written by Barboria Bjarne