“Red Deer needs a cabinet minister,” says the chamber of commerce.
Yes, the fact is we need a seat at the table, but do we have a politician worthy enough to sit at the adult table?
Yes, I believe we do. At least two.
For far too long, Red Deer has been electing invisible politicians, seat warmers, trained seals, caricatures of what we think we want as politicians. People representing in some shallow way what the population wanted. Perhaps we want invisible politicians. But that is not what we need.
The subject came up due to the recent provincial election, but it is the same in all three levels of government.
Federally, too, there is a cabinet that makes the decisions and sets directions and implementation, but there is also a somewhat cabinet-like table municipally, involving a few people, including the city manager, mayor, downtown reps, developers and others, who kind of set the game plan, at least in my opinion.
This came up over coffee one day.
It started when someone asked who decided to spend a million dollars of our taxes on a piece of art saying “Welcome to Red Deer?”
The question remains then about whether the citizens of Red Deer want a seat at the adult table?
Do we accept just paying the bills as our only role?
We spend millions of dollars every year on politicians, for what? Photo ops, ribbon cuttings, welcome speeches and to vote.
Will we get a cabinet member from Red Deer? I think we might, but just at the provincial level, because the table is small and Red Deer is not seen as a major player needing to be heard.
As for the federal table, that is not even on the horizon. Just saying.
Garfield Marks, Red Deer