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Albertans just won’t learn

Let’s see: In spite of the earthquake in Rocky and what’s going on in Iraq, last I noticed, the price of a barrel of oil was still under a hundred bucks. And yet, in the middle of the weekend the price of gas is hiked eight cents per litre. To my way of thinking, this kind of makes Alison Redford look like a shoplifter at a dollar store.

I find it amusing that we expect our politicians to be candidates for Pope while we remain blind to our own shortcomings. Could it be that our former premier’s greatest shortcomings came in the form of not living up to our expectations? Our hope that with her being intelligent (I’m not saying smart here) and educated, we might see some significant changes from her government. She even had the endorsement of Peter Lougheed. Unfortunately, she lacked Ralph Klein’s charisma and Lougheed’s savvy, which makes it rather hard to forgive her faux-pas.

Redford, as they say, is history. Where the Progressive Conservative governments have failed the people of Alberta all these years is in protecting us from corporate victimization. We live in one of the most resource-rich places on this earth, and yet so many of the services necessary to the public are substandard. Think for a moment how many millions of dollars are being picked from our pockets with an eight-cents-per-litre increase in pump prices. The oil companies are so arrogant that they don’t even try to lie about why we are being fleeced. We take this because we know that our government won’t do a damned thing about it.

Face it: Albertans will only elect a small ‘c’ conservative government. Those vying for our votes always seem to promise change that amounts to attempting to re-invent the wheel. The key to good government and prosperity lies in looking to the past for examples of success. Since Alberta has been governed by dynasties, we need to examine these eras at their peaks. Lougheed’s Conservative government is perhaps the most relevant. We could all be victims of the biblical principle of reaping what you sow.

Never mind the Old Testament condemnation. Think of the practical principal of sowing sparingly and reaping sparingly. Farmers are well aware of the concept. All of these years of cutbacks have done nothing but bite us in the rear. We needed visionary management, but got sucked into the model of corporate slash and burn. By erasing the deficit, we only created a deficit of a different form.

This time around, the federal government is not our enemy. What’s good for Alberta is good for Canada. We need protection from corporations who have entrenched themselves so deeply into our lives that our economic well-being is dependant upon share holder dividends. We have the resources — the need for them isn’t going to change any time soon. These same corporations still do business with states and countries who have retaken the ownership and management of their resources to the benefit of the people. If our government will not do this, they deserve the same fate as our former premier.

Jeff Hanson

Red Deer County

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