June 14th, 2024

Elected officials and candidates should be prepared to be held to a higher standard

By Letter to the Editor on June 30, 2021.

We may have some elections coming up in the remainder of 2021. Alberta has municipal elections in the fall and a federal election may be up coming for the country. While election fatigue is a real issue which may just compound our existing COVID-19 fatigue, some believe the federal election may be timed while the people are at their weakest mentally, emotionally, physically and financially due to COVID-19 fatigue.
Elections ideally allow for the possibility of change, renewal, hope optimism, or….. more of the same.
Heaven knows, the country needs some kind of positive federal change.
Perhaps I have unrealistic expectations, but am always disappointed with the content and extent of the candidates’ awareness of the issues and their ability to articulate, clearly, concisely and competently answers or plans of any real significance.
Too often I feel like I have attended a high school student council election campaign: whoever is the best looking most popular, makes the best promises…gets elected whether their platform makes any sense or not.
(OK, it’s been a long time since I have attended one of these, so no disrespect is intended to high school students.)
Provincial and federal candidates have been notoriously biased on whoever can generate the most campaign contributions (regardless of how they go about it) for way too long.
I am hoping election campaigns may be able to evolve over time, perhaps starting with this municipal election.
I hope candidates will attend forums and have website material prepared with substantial, specific, concrete information, facts, and plans for economic and social betterment based on real dollar cost analysis; research and analysis of future needs; how to attract manufacturing and employment for the future for Lethbridge and southern Alberta; benefits, pros and cons and an understanding of how their ideas/plans may affect the tax base; and have answers for real tough questions and issues.
We have some exceptionally talented members of city council and I respect and thank them for their service and their sacrifice.
Municipal politicians often have the most difficult role out of all levels of governments because they are the closest to their constituents and do not have anywhere near the same level of protection and insulation as their provincial and federal counterparts have.
They often, whether they want to or not, have to be more accountable/responsible to their constituents without the added bias of any party affiliation or ideology.
There comes a time, however, when the status-quo becomes stagnant and creative, innovative new ideas and new faces are required.
I hope this municipal election can serve as a test for competency, not fluff. Human resource professionals will tell you past behaviour is the best predictor of future performance for employees.
It is one of the reasons why behavioural – motivational job interviews are so common today. The same holds true for politician wanna-bes.
The best candidates should be chosen based on their previous accomplishments; not who they are or who they think they are. A candidate may have volunteered for numerous NGOs or sat on all kinds of boards, or was/is a successful businessman. If they did all of these without really accomplishing anything or through what some may call unethical/nefarious behaviour, are they truly the best candidate?
Please be informed, active and aware, question the reason why a person wants to become a politician , and what they can and will do to improve your life.
Les Elford

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Fedup Conservative

As my conservative friends all say. How can you vote conservative when there aren’t any conservatives anymore they are all damn Reformers and you can’t trust any of them, Kenney has certainly proven that and no one wants what O’Toole is promising. It is a problem and makes the choices really small.