RHETORIC ET AL.
I have been noting over the past couple of days that the pre-vote rhetoric in the PC Leadership Race is REALLY cranking up. To be fair, I say that of all sides and have even been guilty of it myself.
Right now, it looks as though this race can be run by one of two people... Jim Dinning or Ted Morton. These two men represent different visions for Alberta and different styles of leadership. Each appeals greatly to their supporters and generally dislikes the views and supporters of the other.
What is getting lost is this: the PC Party of Alberta has remained successful for 36 years due to its ability to welcome a variety of viewpoints under our tent. It is this kind of pragmatism that has kept our party in government and, increasingly, it is what drives up the popularity of the federal Conservative Party led by Prime Minister Harper.
In fact, the Prime Minister can serve as a very good example to both Dinning and Morton when it comes to building the inclusive party that can regain some of the lost confidence of Albertans.
When the PC Party and the Canadian Alliance came together in 2003, there was animousity on both sides. Those from the Alliance side of the merger were less than thrilled that they were now under the same banner as the likes of Peter MacKay, whilst those from the PC side were equally disgruntled at being a member of the party of Rob Anders. Some of that animousity continues to this day.
The key point, though, is that these divergent viewpoints remain united under one party. And more importantly, the Leader of said party has led in a pragmatic way that has shown appeal to both sides of the divide.
The lesson that Prime Minister Harper provides should be front and centre for both Mr. Dinning and Dr. Morton. Our party and our province deserve nothing less.
As I mentioned earlier, i've also been caught up in the rhetoric trap of late. Perhaps the fact that I am not on the ground fighting the fight has given me a broader perspective on the whole thing... or perhaps i'm just in a friendly mood today. Whatever the case, i'm going to take a step back and make a pledge.
If Ted Morton wins, I won't rule out a return to Alberta. So long as I am not purged or blacklisted, I will continue to maintain my ties and offer my support and input to PC Alberta.
I would hope that, under the same conditions, those in the Morton camp would agree to the same.
I have finally heard both the Dinning and the Morton campaign songs. I will gladly concede this one. The Morton tune may not be up for any music awards, but ours is just plain awful.