Welcome to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
I am a little ambivalent about the Alberta PC Leadership campaign.
There are some poor candidates, some good candidates and some so-so candidates, but regardless of who succeeds in becoming Alberta's next premier, they will inherit a party which has, truly, given up conservative concepts long ago.
Just as we see Toronto and Ontario begin to see the folly of pointless liberal spending, moving towards more of a small "c" conservative point of view, suddenly, in the last several years, we see our own Government moving ever farther left.
Which I think is pretty unhealthy, all in all.
But as somewhat neutral as I am (I will vote for Ted Morton as leader, but will ultimately vote Wild Rose next election), I think one thing should be pointed out.
The one alleged contender, Allison Redford, has been our Minister of Justice now for some time, and has been driving force behind the ironically named, "Safe Communities" program.
Well, in the backyard of the Legislature in Alberta, Edmonton, we have seen an ongoing carnage on the streets, making Edmonton, of late, better known as the Murder Capital of Canada than for any of it's past Stanley Cup and Gray Cup wins.
33 homicides in Edmonton, so far, in 2011.
In Calgary - a city of 250,000 more people than Edmonton - 3 homicides so far.
That's some easy math to examine - a city almost 25% smaller with a murder rate that is 1100% higher.
And consider this as well.
Edmonton is clearly the small "l" liberal stronghold of Alberta. With half of the Liberal MLA's and the only two NDP MLA's, there is no question but that the political climate in Edmonton leans to the left.
With the University of Alberta, and the profusion of Government employees, there is little question why - but, if Edmonton is so much more "progressive" than the rest of Alberta - well, then why do people in Edmonton kill each other 11 times as often as in Alberta's largest city?
Economic factors? No doubt. But then, again, one might question why the "progressive" capital of Alberta has done such a poor job of answering the needs of its citizens compared to the laissez faire capitalists in Southern Alberta.
And one might particularly ask why Alison Redford, the leader of our so-called "conservative" justice system in Alberta has been such an abject failure in making people in our capital city safe.
As we weigh into yet another PC leadership race, you might want to think about these things.
You might want to ask yourself, "What kind of province would I expect to see under an Alison Redford leadership?"
There was a time when Alberta was truly a conservative province.
When the government stood up to unions, when they advocated a society based upon freedom and individual responsibility - which, in the long run, provided us with lower unemployment and higher wages.
And then the government decided, with their pockets flush with money, that it was easier to coddle everyone, instead of making difficult decisions and telling the electorate that they can't have everything they want. They decided it was easier to be liberal than conservative.
And the result?
Well, 33 less voters in Edmonton.