Danielle Smith’s Unbridled Audacity: Making Alberta Politicians Accountable to Albertans

I’ve got to say… Danielle Smith has a heck of a lot of audacity.  Just who does she think she is, anyway?

Danielle Smith just put forward the latest plank in her campaign’s election platform that would make Alberta's provincial politicians accountable to the citizens.

It’s all contained in her proposed Alberta Accountability Act.  It transforms MLAs from being Edmonton’s representative to the people into what they should have been all along: the People’s Representatives to Edmonton.

That’s pretty radical, even for Canada.

Politicians have, until this announcement, been pretty much untouchable.  They lie to their constituents, set their own salaries and hand out massive pay hikes to themselves when the rest of us are lucky not to have to take a pay cut just to keep our jobs.

Danielle Smith is going to change all that, and politicians in the rest of Canada ought to sit up and take note.

The proposed changes Smith intends to make are great, if you’re a citizen.  They’ll make the job of politicians much much more difficult because, instead of having to win their job once every 4 years or so, they’ll actually have to earn them with every single vote cast in Parliament.

Oh, those uppity Wild Rose folks… they’ve got a lot of nerve demanding that politicians actually represent the people who elect them, don’t they?

At long last the days of “All Hail the Party Chief” may be finally coming to an end and it looks like Freedom is about to return to Alberta.  Thank God!

The platform announced yesterday is hardly earth-shattering, especially in the wake of British Columbians explaining to their provincial overlords who the boss really is.

You’ll recall that British Columbians sent the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) packing in a referendum forced by voters last year.  Naturally BC’s unelected premier Christy Clark immediately told us we were to blame for all the money this was going to cost.

She conveniently forgets the fact that her party flat-out lied to British Columbians and we were, for a change, willing to stand up for ourselves and tell our overlords to go pound sand.

Danielle Smith obviously learned something from that experience and is applying the lesson to Alberta.

No more voting on Party Lines.  If a proposed law is for the benefit of the citizens of Alberta then every Albertan should be able to recognize that and ensure their MLA votes for it.  If they disagree with the government’s claim, they will make sure their MLA votes against it.

It will finally turn politics into something based in reality… if a government wants legislation passed it will actually have to explain why and defend that position or face the consequences of having MLAs recalled or worse, face a referendum on the issue.

Only a party mired in its own grand vision of itself could possibly be against these long-overdue reforms.  Only another unelected provincial Premier, Alison Redford, would have the audacity to tell Albertans there is no need to hold politicians to account for their actions.

Only a government that believes they have some divine right to govern would be stupid enough to try selling that position during an election campaign.

Thankfully, Alison Redford is just that stupid, just that self-absorbed, and precisely that deluded.  Contrary to her own beliefs Alison Redford is not entitled to govern anyone.

Redford opposes rolling back the recent 30% salary increase for Alberta Cabinet Members because, well, it’s in her own best interest.  She thinks she’s supporting her salary when the reality is this:  her own self-righteousness on this issue alone will ensure she not only loses her 30% salary increase, but that she loses her job entirely.

The Wildrose leader went on to say she believes a taxable total wage of about $125,000 per year, with no committee pay, is about the right amount for any backbench MLA. Cabinet ministers, party leaders and the premier would get more. In 2010-11, the average yearly paycheque for MLAs hovered just under $163,500.

Given the average Canadian income is just $40,000 per year, I'd say 3 times that average is a pretty cushy living, even for an MLA.  Given how many families have to work to pay for that high salary, I'd say it's incredible.

Lifelong politicians like Alison Redford have long forgotten who pays their ever-escalating salaries.  We mere mortals, the mere citizens she holds in such contempt are the ones who have to earn every penny she so greedily feels entitled to.

Funny how those on the receiving end of $163,000 a year (or 4 times Canadian's average annual salary) are never satisfied, isn't it?

It’s no wonder I find Danielle Smith so refreshing… she’s been one of those mere citizens her whole life.  She understands where the rest of us are coming from.

That understanding is made clear in her 5-part Wildrose Pledge to Albertans (view the pdf), which calls for balancing the budget (gasp!), helping families (oh, the horror!), giving back Albertans some of their own money in the form of the Alberta Energy Dividend, ensuring patient-wait times are reasonable and, lastly, that politicians be accountable to those who elect them to public office.

Only a career politician who believes she’s entitled to the contents of your wallet, like Alison Redford, could possibly be against such common-sense measures.

I may just have to tell my wife to pack up everything because we’re moving to Alberta.  Why?  It’s the only province that shows any sign of moving in the right direction.

It’s sure nice to have some hope for this country once again!

Thank you for that, Danielle Smith, and for showing us what Integrity looks like in a politician!    It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen that anywhere in this country…

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