Alison Better Listen to Lincoln

    Alison Redford and Stephen Harper could learn much from Abraham Lincoln. For example, one practice Lincoln adopted was to select the very best minds for positions in his cabinet irrespective of party allegiance. He didn't only surround himself with people who agreed with him, but also those that didn't. In fact his cabinet included all the men who opposed him in his party’s primaries. Lincoln understood the words of 6th century Chinese General, Sun Tzu, regarding keeping ones friends close and enemies closer.
    Additionally. Lincoln's lack of ego, often displayed in his trademark self-deprecating humor, (but rarely seen in modern politics), allowed him to seek advisors more brilliant than himself. He didn't need to be the smartest guy in the room, just the wisest. That range of opinion meant Lincoln had the most perspectives possible on every issue. This makes for better decision making, since it also meant he had to defend his decisions to some very intelligent, and not always cooperative, colleagues.
    Contrast this with the system we have in Canada. Unless forced by being a coalition government, no party leader, provincial or federal, would ever choose a member of another party for his ruling cabinet. They want to "govern by consensus". They don't want differing ideas at the table. They might argue about what's right way too much. They might not agree when the leadership wants to do something that may look a little self-serving, like flying off to Europe for “networking”. It's much easier to vote for things for ourselves and our party when everyone in cabinet agrees on everything. Consensus becomes the goal, not good governance.. What if the press found out there was disagreement? We can't have that! Our party would be rent by dissent! Except they already have MP fractiousness in the British Parliament which is our model and it doesn’t appear to spell doom for their parties.
    Decision making in a vacuum leads to costly, irresponsible and unpopular decisions. When everyone tells you what you want to hear, how can you possibly make well-informed decisions? All you ever experience is the echo of your own thoughts over and over. 
    One can only surmise this is the case for Premier Redford with regard to her jetting about the planet on our hard-earned dollars for reasons that, to the public, appear spurious. It seems no one in her inner circle has the political savvy or the courage to tell Redford she is creating PR nightmares for the entire party with amounts of money that do not really amount to much; $45,000 here, another $10,000 there; couch cushion currency in a budget the size of Alberta's. It's like Harper escaping the PR hit from an “accounting loss” of some two billion dollars (!) but is being dragged down by Mike Duffy's $90,000, that was certainly in no danger in ending up in Harper's pocket.
    Here's the problem for Redford and Harper; indeed all the parties in power; these are the amounts people like you and I understand. The staggering losses to the submarine fiascos and the F35 ongoing money-pit are so large we just let the figures slide by somehow. These amounts of money only exist in a parallel universe none of us are conscious of being in. But ten grand, we can understand.
    We know if we’re lucky enough to afford a winter getaway to Palm Beach, Florida, we can live pretty high on the hog for a whole week on $10,000, including flights, accommodations and a day or two at Disney World. Yet this is the amount we taxpayers were fleeced for a single flight, so Her Highness, (Her Heinous?) could fly home for Ralph Klein's memorial. Does no one tell her that the optics of expenditures like these are far more damaging than their dollar value would indicate? If she had more than simple Yes-Folk (the term 'Yes-Man is so sexist) around her, she would have been warned the anger and vitriol would stick like burnt cheese to pizza crust. On the National Post story about Redford claiming that the people of Alberta want to “move on”, among the armchair political pundits beneath the stories, not one person offered a word of agreement with her statement. The outrage was palpable. Those 120 commenters hadn’t moved on even if Redford had.
    Committing so many political gaffes like these informs the public of some stark choices before them. These unforced errors tell those watching closely that, either the premier's staff is incompetent and fail to warn her of looming PR landmines, or she is getting sage advice but is ignoring it. Which one do you prefer to believe?
    Furthermore, if she is ignoring the advice, is it because she thinks she knows better than anyone else and is therefore delusional, or that she doesn't give a flying fig about what the taxpayers think, which would make her more imperious and arrogant? Perhaps, given the disconnect between what Albertans think and what she believes we think, the answer is  “all of the above”. You can almost hear her telepathically project such thoughts as, ‘The little people always bellyache. You can't listen to them or it will drive you crazy.’
    Redford is going to have an uphill battle in this next election by all indications. For any chance to win, she better think about surrounding herself with people who exhibit the quality and adversarial tendencies as Lincoln’s advisors had. She certainly pays well enough to hire the best brains. Her Chief of Staff makes more than Barak Obama's does, but then, Obama has Republicans in his cabinet, too, not just Democrats. Redford will also have to actually listen to that high-priced help, in order to make better decisions. Otherwise, Albertans better get used to the idea of Premier Smith.

More Stories:
  • Helping African Grandmothers Wetaskiwin Grands 4 Africa held a tremendously successful luncheon and program in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in its work to support grandmothers and community recovery in 15 of the African countries most affected ...
  • The Terry Fox Run Rocked the City of Leduc On average, 500 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day, making fundraising and awareness events like the annual and nationwide Terry Fox Run critical. This year marks the 32nd annual Terry Fox Run for cancer research. ...
  • Keep On Learning Foundation Launched In Maskwacis Submitted by Felisha Crier Hosein My name is Felisha Crier Hosein, the founder and president of the ‘Keep On Learning Foundation’, a non-profit organization created as a way to make a difference in the lives of First Nations’ ...
  • Meet N' Greet Summer Party Summer vacation is over, kids are back to school, gardens are cleared, lawns are mowed, and you don’t know your new neighbour. Well, have a Meet N’ Greet - Show N’ Shine. On Saturday September 13, 2014, Pat & Jean Trottier ...
  • Manluk Centre Officially Opens Although Wetaskiwin’s Manluk Centre Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics & Fitness has been in operation since June 26th of this year, final touches such as the Donor Wall had to be completed. With great anticipation and careful ...
  • While You’re Making Plans, Life Happens — The One Welcomes A New Face That pretty well sums up Leduc’s 93.1, The One, radio station’s new morning man, James ‘Gruff’ Gushnowski. Gushnowski was born and raised in the small community of Innisfree, located about an hour and a half east of Edmonton, ...
  • Kimto Stage At Waterworks Theatre Brings In Kevin Roy Wetaskiwin and region is whirling in first class entertainment this summer; Loonstock, the RCMP Musical Ride, NASCAR racing, Jay Semko and Punchdrunk concert, Tour of Alberta, Wetaskiwin’s Summer Showcase, the RAM Harvest ...
  • Playhouse For Fun The Millet & District Lions Club of Millet, like many other non-profit organizations in our area, raise funds for community projects. Over the past few months, the Lions Club has been at various events selling raffle tickets ...
  • City Of Leduc More Dynamic Than Ever! The Annual Leduc Community Registration Day is an informative and fun day for the entire family. This year was no different. Hundreds of Leduc and area families converged in the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) on Saturday, ...
  • Parade Of Programs Kick Starts Fall And Winter Season On Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 the Wetaskiwin Drill Hall was a flurry of activity as community groups representing athletic clubs, arts, culture and educational opportunities were displaying their products and services. ...
  • Edward Wolfe Leduc can trace its earliest roots to individuals looking for a new start, and as a place that opened its arms and welcomed people from all over the world. At first, it was a refuge for early homesteaders seeking an opportunity ...
  • Salvation Army Outdoors The Wetaskiwin Corps of the Salvation Army held its church service as well as its annual BBQ and Corn Roast in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Lions' Campground on the last day of August. It was well attended by Salvation ...
  • Calmar Burger Bar - Gone For Now! The Burger Bar has been an icon on the main street of Calmar for decades and is known far and wide for its delicious burgers, green gravy (yes green!) and favorite fast food eatery for many of Calmar’s local residents. Fear ...
  • Sears Kids Cancer Ride Comes to Leduc On Sunday morning, September 10th, a little before 9:30am, a group of cyclists were greeted by Shawn Nawaz and his family, owner of the Leduc Sears Hometown store. They were part of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride that ...
  • New Sarepta Demolition Derby On Sunday, September 7, 2014 in New Sarepta, a demolition derby in support of minor hockey entertained 1600 spectators despite Mother Nature’s grumpy mood. They were prepared for hard fun and did not care about a little rain. ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia