Conservatives look ahead

Last week’s resignation handed down by former Premier Alison Redford was not a shock to many Albertans.

The last several months for her have been rocky to say the least – accusations of overspending, bullying, members of her own party saying so long and such. Ultimately, she really no choice as it was clear the public had pretty much had it (approval ratings slid to new lows) and no doubt pressure was being put on her from within as well.

What is shocking is to see how this sense of entitlement holds on, in spite of the fact it’s clear the public is getting extremely weary of it. These are good times for some, but many Alberta families and residents aren’t exactly charging ahead economically. To see those in government positions spending money so irresponsibly (the $45,000 trip to Nelson Mandela’s funeral for one example) doesn’t sit well with regular folks.

Following Redford’s resignation we heard many comments that the issue runs deeper than with her. Some point out the Progressive Conservatives have simply been in power for too long.

With that comes a creeping sense of entitlement, and being obviously out of touch with Albertans. When you feel like you can spend thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a trip, which wasn’t really necessary for you to attend in the first place, the writing is really on the wall. Her response was surprising as well – Redford obviously wanted to see the whole thing just blow away, but it wouldn’t.

She was eventually forced to pay it back way after the fact – too little, way too late. Albertans’ confidence, already wavering, was shaken and the end was inevitable.

As Redford moves on in her life, and continues with the party, it will be interesting to see what newly-appointed Premier Dave Hancock does with his new position.

This is a huge opportunity for him to show that change is indeed possible, even within a party that’s been running things for decades.

Earlier this week, party members met in Red Deer to hammer out changes in leader selection. On Sept. 6, a first vote will take place for a new premier and if one candidate has more than 50% of the vote, they will be elected. If none of the candidates receive more than 50%, a second vote will take place on Sept. 20 between the top two nominees.

Albertans can only hope that changes like these and a new attitude in the party itself will make for a more responsible government that is far more sensitive to the people it serves.