All right, so, now that the scenario that some (apparently many) of us feared, and that all pollsters comfortably, self-assuredly and wrongly predicted, has thankfully failed to materialize, let us see if there are some general lessons that can be learned from the recent provincial election in Alberta, which may be of relevance beyond the immediate impact of the consultation on those who happen to live there.
Archive for the ‘Alberta’ Category
The upcoming election in my province is often described as one that may “bring change”, as the Progressive Conservative Party (PC), in power for 41 years, may go down to defeat to a relatively new political formation, known as the Wild Rose Party (WR).
I agree that this election is about change, but whether or not on Monday night one will be able to say that a new leaf has been turned over, depends on what one regards as “change”.
If a cash-strapped province or state had to make painful cuts to public services, the immediately noticeable effect would be the outright elimination of some of them.
One would not think of, say, laying off a fraction of all bus drivers and asking the remaining ones to work longer hours, in order to keep all existing bus routes active — some would be phased out, based on various considerations of priority, in order to minimize the inconvenience to denizens, while continuing to offer as much of the original transportation as possible. Some people, however, would have to go to work or to the grocery store in some other, less convenient or more expensive way.
We all understand that, sometimes, financial hardship is simply a fact of life. And I do believe that most of us are willing to endure painful sacrifices, in the pursuit of a common good.
What exasperates people, is the perception of a general lack of vision, of a concrete, well thought out crisis management plan, on the part of those in charge of overseeing operations. Particularly disconcerting is a reassuring public rhetoric, filled with generic statements of understanding of the gravity of the situation, and of resolve to ensure that the period of scarcity be weathered with minimal suffering and no permanent damage, and a concomitant pattern of actions suggesting all but the opposite.