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My Values and Convictions

B-udgkRVEAA-AROThere’s an old joke that some politicians have principles – and if you don’t like those principles, they have others. It’s got roots in truth: some politicians will say and promise anything to keep their grasp on power.

Our current government is a case in point. Despite spending $28 million to call an early election to obtain a mandate for his “10-year plan,” Jim Prentice has already changed his 10-year plan three times in just 10 days. This is government by polling and image consultants, not government by values and principles.

My values don’t come from consultants and pollsters. Rather, they are the values that I was raised with, have fought for my whole life, and want to fight for as your MLA. One of the values that I grew up with is personal responsibility. Personal responsibility means accepting the consequences for your own actions, and fessing up when you mess up. When I make mistakes – and I will – I will take responsibility for them.

After nearly bankrupting this province during a period record revenues over the last decade, the Tories have not accepted responsibility for their mismanagement. Instead, Jim Prentice told Albertans to “look in the mirror” and blamed them for it. That is why the PC budget raises taxes by $2,500 on the average household, but does not tackle waste and misspending in the government.

Albertans are not the problem. Alberta’s government is the problem. Albertans are paying enough taxes. Alberta’s government is just not treating those taxes with respect.

Leadership means actually standing up for something other than just power. As the former Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, I fought for lower taxes, less waste, and accountable government. It was a job that I was very passionate about, and I remain committed to those same values now.

Too many politicians just want to be elected without any clear vision for the enjoyment of having an interesting job. If you’ve ever watched Question Period in the legislature, you will see these kinds of backbench PC MLAs asking “puff-ball” questions to PC ministers, written by the ministers themselves! They’re representing the government to the riding, rather than the other way around. It’s the kind of political theater that makes me feel sad for the state of our democracy.

When we have MLAs who just go with the party line and are afraid to speak out to their bosses, we get governments that are unafraid to break their promises. That is why Strathmore is still without a proper long-term seniors care facility.

I’m an independent thinker, and am not afraid of going against the party line when it conflicts with the interests of my constituents, or my values. I will fight for the values that I was raised with and for the interests of Strathmore-Brooks, vocally.

I will represent Strathmore-Brooks to the government, and not the government to Strathmore-Brooks.

On May 5th, vote for change.

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