(File photo)

(File photo)

Letter: Keeping politicians accountable

A recent article in the Red Deer Advocate on expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital contained some quotes from Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer South, that are examples of a politician doing his or her job as mandated by the majority of voters who elected them.

He is reported as saying “the principle of fairness dictates that people living in central Alberta should not be profoundly disadvantaged when it comes to health services,” and goes on to say, “I’m very optimistic we will see some very significant beneficial progress on this really important community need.”

When politicians are elected they are chosen to do the job they were elected, and paid well, to do and to act on the sentiments and needs of the people who voted for them. When politicians use their elected positions to promote their own personal views and ideologies they are often not representing the majority in their respective constituencies. They are using the platform given to them to promote their own agendas and perhaps gather favour with a particular group that they believe support their own views and not necessarily the views of the majority.

Part of the blame lies with the silent majority who remain unheard as some politicians seek to divide Albertans by promoting ideas that only act to breed discontent at the least and outright hatred at the worst. The good minded people who have chosen to remain silent need to step out of their comfort zones and speak up when they hear or see something they know to be wrong. Whether it be by way of social media, e-mails to those in power, or taking the time to write a letter for publication in a local newspaper.

On the other hand, when an elected representative does or says something that indicates they are doing their job correctly positive reinforcement is warranted even if it seems a bit sad that it is needed to encourage future desirable behaviour. Promoting and working for better health care opportunities for central Albertans is beneficial for our community, short term and long term. Perhaps some of our elected representatives could show some courage, and go even further, by putting their own personal views aside and encouraging vaccinations and indoor masking which we desperately need in the short term to deal with concerning COVID variants and a pandemic that refuses to go away.

John McBeath, Red Deer