The Albertatory hiatus is over.
My voice on this blog has been dormant for six months or so with only two exceptions. I've decided to make the exception into the rule.
I may now reside in British Columbia, but my connection to the province I love and the issues that drive its public debate remains strong. So thanks to a spirited discussion started by Will and fuelled by Larry, i'm back in the saddle.
What's new, then?
The previous post links to a great discussion that's been going on at Larry Johnsrude's blog regarding negative advertising in Alberta politics.
My contribution to the discussion along with Will's has prompted a response from fellow Johnsrude-regular Robert Gerard.
In his response, Robert suggests that I feel that Premier Stelmach should be free of scrutiny.
Au contraire, mon ami.
To suggest that ANY political leader should be absolved from scrutiny in the public eye is akin to Stephane Dion's "this is unfair!" outburst. A hearty dose of public scrutiny is something that everyone who holds an elected office should expect. Its a fundamental part of western democracy.
What William and I are suggesting is not that Premier Stelmach be given a free ride. Even if we were, its pretty obvious to any media watcher in Alberta that that ship sailed a long time ago.
What I believe we ARE suggesting, however, is that the opposition have their policies and performance subjected to the same kind of scrutiny.
For too long in Alberta, the debates between government and opposition were ignored. With a change in regime, the media and the electorate are finally paying a little more attention to the goings on at the Legislature.
The opposition has been going on the offensive and getting media coverage attacking our positions.
Its time for us as a party to take note and start firing back.
If we don't, how can we expect people to make a relatively fair comparison between competing visions for the province?
Public discourse in Alberta deserves no less.