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Letter to the Editor: democracy and membership in Alberta

Letter to the editor by Sandra Kim

Have you heard the phrase “Membership has its privileges’!” Typically used to sell an AMA membership for when you are stranded on the side of the road and are in desperate need for some assistance.

It is true that there are certain benefits to those who hold memberships. An important part of membership in any company or organization is to both participate in the development and reap the rewards of plans which have put into place.

Right now, a small number of Albertans hold a very important membership in an organization that has the ability to dramatically shape the future of our beloved province.

Perhaps it is the old Wild Rose background that formed by political upbringing, maybe it is the hope of something more for the province I love and call home. It could also be the heavy weight of disappointment that I have pressing down on my optimism for a stronger Alberta.

I was led to believe that democracy was for the people, and by the people; that there was a healthy pride and conviction in having Grassroots Governance for Alberta. I look out over the prairies, hills, valleys and mountain ranges and question where that conviction of grassroots democracy has disappeared to. I do not see it taking form in our elected officials, who are to speak with our voice, not the voice of partisanship. I am not seeing that democracy taking any steps forward when I listen to speeches, directives, shifting sand policy, and make-you-forget feel-good announcements. There seems to be a lack of deep soul-searching within the elected UCP, to reflect on the reasons each one claimed to campaign on. Was it to truly represent those to whom your seat is indebted?

All these questions and wondering brings me back to the benefits that I have as a member of an organization. An organization that claims that our leaders, elected by the membership, need to listen; ignore us at your own peril. Has the time come to take the back our own voices, to challenge those who claim to rule and govern over Alberta? Membership has its benefits still, and perilous times could be coming for those who have ignored the masses for too long?

Is Alberta stranded? I ask you, does membership have its privileges? Time has come for a Leadership review.


Sandra Kim, Wetaskiwin