Professor Kevin came out today with a proposal to have the Legislative Assembly of Alberta meet in various locales around Alberta.
As part of his ongoing assertion that democracy doesn't really exist in Alberta (mainly because his party never wins), Taft suggests that a travelling roadshow of all 83 MLAs will help reconnect Albertans with their government.
The idea of bringing government closer to the people is a noble one, i'll admit. But we don't need to keep reaching into what the Liberals seem to believe is an endless pit of money to do it.
The Legislative Assembly of Alberta entails some pretty pricey operations. Moving 83 MLAs, their support staffs, all of the necessary parliamentary clerks, etc. will be a massive undertaking both logistically and financially.
What's even more puzzling is that, in the Journal story, Taft has a quote that explains why this is unnecessary when he talks about the "age of instant communications and conventions attended by hundreds".
The fact that the province is more connected than ever means we need to do a better job of making it easier for Albertans to plug in to what's happening in the Capital. Better and more user-friendly access to Legislative proceedings and a dedicated communications budget for MLAs to communicate with constituents (like Ottawa has) are just a few improvements that would be much cheaper and far more effective than a travelling legislature.
If we still want to get MLAs out from under the dome (again, a noble idea), why not have the newly-formed all-party committees take their meetings around the province? This again has far fewer budgetary concerns attached and would allow communities to hear more focused proceedings about issues that are more relevant to their area.
Personally, I think this proposal is entirely politically motivated. Taft made the announcement in Lethbridge and went to great lengths to assert that Lethbridge would be the first stop on the roadshow. This strikes me as nothing more than an attempt (and a weak one, at that) to try and shore up support to hang on to a Liberal seat that's in jeopardy.
In other news...
Brian Mason has brought in former BC Premier Dave Barrett to trumpet the idea of Public Auto Insurance. If having the most disastrous BC Premier in modern history as its spokesperson doesn't convince you that this is a bad policy move, I don't know what will.
Speaking of the NDP, the Liberals have finally taken their lead and spent some of their debt on TV ads. They miss the mark, though.
If hearing Kevin Taft speak hasn't motivated Albertans to Liberal yet, what makes them think that more of the same will change people's minds? They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
And finally (and most importantly), tomorrow is it.
After nearly two years of my life in British Columbia, I am finally returning home to my motherland, Alberta.
I said when I left that living in BC would mean my identity would be much less about where i'm from.
I was wrong.
I have been blessed with opportunities that took me to every corner of our great province. No matter where I was, be it in my hometown or a place I was visiting for the first time, I ALWAYS felt at home in Alberta. I have learned that those feelings, at least in my case, don't (and will never) change.
We live in a great country and i'm glad that i've had the opportunity to spend some time living in a different part of it. I will look back on my time on the coast with fondness for the people I have met and the things I have learned.
The most important thing I have learned, though, is about home.
My home is 661,848 square kilometers of mountains and prairies, of forests, rivers and lakes, of proud communities big and small, and of the kindest, hardest working people one could ever hope to meet. She is beautiful in every sense of the word.
And I can't wait to see her again tomorrow.