Editorial – Do as I say, not as I do

Chris Clegg

By law, when you run for municipal office in Alberta you must reside in the village, town, city, municipal district, county, etc. where you reside. It only makes sense. Why would anyone be allowed to make decisions affecting the local government if they did not live there?
In addition, you must be a fully elected candidate to serve on the council of the said community. This not only makes sense, but it is the law.
And who makes this law? The Government of Alberta.
This is the same government that allows an unelected person to be the premier of the province. The top dog. The big cheese.
How is it any person can serve in the top position in Alberta and not be elected, especially when the same government dictates you must be elected to serve at the local level?
If anything, the criteria to serve as premier should be even stronger, or more precise, than councillor.
As strange as political winds blow, a southern Alberta MLA has stepped aside allowing Danielle Smith to run. Apparently, chinooks don’t only blow leaves off the trees in southern Alberta. Chinooks rid themselves of MLAs, but only when it is convenient.
Along comes an opportunistic Smith, who doesn’t reside in the riding No matter. What’s good for towns and cities in Alberta is good for. . .oops – not good for the province when it comes to elections.
And there is little doubt the citizens of that good region will be dumb enough to elect her with the promises of everything from streets paved with gold, to wine flowing from fountains on every street.
Did we say dumb? Maybe Smith should run in Falher or High Prairie so the good citizens of those communities can get in on the gravy train. I doubt MLAs’ Todd Loewen or Pat Rehn would willingly give up their seat, however.
What a crazy world!
Imagine if you will, if Smith decided to run for mayor in Peace River, Falher, McLennan or High Prairie. It would not be allowed. Someone would surely contest the nomination and as well they should.
But she can run in southern Alberta and run the province? Heck, she can run the province now and not be elected! How crazy is that?
It is problematic in the sense that it would be difficult for any party to elect a leader who is not a sitting MLA. It certainly reduces the field of candidates. Alberta only has 87 MLAs. But if John. Q. Jones wants to be the leader of a party, he/she simply runs in the constituency they reside in and the resident MLA be damned and step aside.
It is wishful thinking to suggest the laws should be changed to do away with this lunacy. Once again, politicians make laws to serve only politicians, and the citizens be damned.

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