As of writing this the dust has settled on the provincial election and the people of Alberta have chosen a new governing party. Some are happy with the change. Some are not. Everyone, however, will have to learn to work together if the many promises of economic change will come to fruition for Albertans.
In my column a couple of months ago, I wrote about the high expectations that I had for the candidates and how they should conduct themselves. I hoped that they would lead by example and stick to showing their policies and promises over mud-slinging and platitudes. I leave it up to you to determine how well that turned out.
That said, the election is over and it’s time to look to the future and not dwell on the past.
It is critical at this point that we agree on how to present Alberta to the rest of the world as a place that is open for business – but we can’t do that if we spend all our time fighting amongst ourselves and with other provinces. So, with the federal election looming, what we should do is lead our leaders by example and exemplify the values we all hold dear: respect, individual responsibility and collective action. With the provincial election behind us we get another chance to show the provinces and nations we are trying so hard to impress that we can do the basic fundamental thing to earn their respect: we can all get along… (can’t we?).
If Alberta is going to achieve the potential we all believe we have and enjoy our bright future, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. The world is watching. We want to put Alberta on the world stage, so we have to behave ourselves. If we can’t do that, we can’t expect anyone else to believe in us either.
To be painfully blunt, with this next election, we all need to get it together. We need to stop being tattle tales on which party did what. We need to stop digging up old photos and texts and tweets of people we disagree with. We need to show the world that we can adult like the adults we claim to be, and that it’s okay to move here, do business here and invest here. We need to grow up.
Everyone can agree that Alberta has potential for a bright future. The path to that future is different for everyone but we should work together, encourage people to reach across the divide and to never assume anyone who voted differently from us is lesser for it. Democracy is a multitude of voices. They do not have to agree but they do have to progress together.
We are living in challenging times for many reasons. That is not an excuse to become selfish and singular. It’s an opportunity to grow and succeed together. In Canada, and in Alberta, that means respecting each other, working hard and understanding what we owe each other and ourselves.