Today’s letters: Alberta’s political shakeup

No more parties

Re: How Alberta’s Wildrose Defection Went Down, Dec. 19.
This is just one more example of why the use of political parties to form the basis of what we loosely refer to as democratic governments have been a failed experiment in political representation. Political parties inevitably attract the corrupt and ideologues thinking that their personal views are not only superior, but also representative of the citizens that they represent.

Unfortunately, the results of this experiment have resulted in a downhill slide into corruption, contempt for democratic thinking and undue power for special interests. There is only one solution and that is to get rid of these parties and their leaders and replace them with a permanent civil service. Laws of significance and financial decisions can be enacted by referendums, where participation is required by law.

Maybe then we would have a chance to wake up in the morning and live in a country where the stench coming out of our governments would be a little less similar to that of the country farm.
Brian Muckle, Bath, Ont.

I was quite astonished to read that Preston Manning was one of the architects of the recent mass floor crossing by Wildrose MLAs in Alberta. Is this the same Preston Manning who used to advocate that MPs should always vote based on the views of their constituents, who advocated for the use of more referendums and who proposed that voters have the right of recall. What happened to that guy?

Perhaps Mr. Manning’s behaviour can best be described by paraphrasing what he once said about Prime Minister Jean Chrétien: “That type of irrational conduct can only be described by virtue of having a screw loose.”
Terry James, Vegreville, Alta.

Smith’s ‘delusion’

Re: Pioneering Single-Party ‘Democracy,’ Andrew Coyne, Dec. 18.
Danielle Smith clearly thought she embodied the Wildrose Party. This delusion will be quickly realized once all the turncoats are turfed from office in the coming election.

As for Jim Prentice, he is doing the same thing each previous Red Tory premier has done once gaining power: He replaced all of Alison Redford’s friends with his own friends, including appointing former Liberal MLAs as key political advisers.

Eastern Canadians will never fully understand the dynamics of Alberta politics. The Wildrose will survive as the official opposition. The pathetic Liberal and NDP parties will never form any substantive power base, as Mr. Prentice has seen fit to include many of their ideological supporters in his inner circle too.
Grant Dorosh, Stony Plain, Alta.

It really is a shame that a single-party democracy has taken hold in Wild Rose Country. How can a party that has been sullied by former premiers Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford now enjoy power, which could last for the next century? This tells you a lot about Alberta voters.

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice must be the most gifted politician in our land, to have pulled this off. Watch out Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the national stage is waiting for Mr. Prentice’s coronation as your successor. I think Alberta is the first act of the Jim Prentice show and the conquering of Ottawa will be the grand finale.
Brian Davidson, Pincourt, Que.

Reading about Danielle Smith jumping into the ranks of the Alberta government reminded me of the captain of the Costa Concordia, who conveniently “fell” into a lifeboat as his ship began to sink. Is it any wonder we have such little regard for politicians?
Frank Casey, Calgary.

One of the many defects of our political system is that it allows MPs and MLAs to desert the party to which they were elected and join another one. If an MP or MLA feels he can no longer support his party, he should resign and run in a future election for another party, or as an independent.
William Bedford, Newmarket, Ont.

It boggles my mind that some politicians find themselves so detached from any sense of duty and respect for the elected office they have been sworn to uphold. I would suggest that Danielle Smith totally missed the point of being elected to office, never mind being the leader of the official opposition, and that any further time she spends in office is a travesty of the highest order.

Ms. Smith was elected to maintain the public trust and to provide a balanced and opposing view to the party in power; to serve as a check and balance and perhaps a sounding board for alternate ways of running the province of Alberta. The people who elected her have every reason to feel betrayed and appalled. She was elected to represent them, not to shop around for other positions that might offer her a greater share at the goodie bag, at the public’s expense.
Ed Reczek, Calgary.

Alberta’s Wildrose Party merging with the PCs is like the National Post merging with The Globe and Mail — a horrible prospect, indeed.
Robert B. Kalina, Oakville, Ont.

Perhaps it is time for the Progressive Conservative party to change its name to the All Alberta Congress Party. After all, it is following the practice of the Congress party in India, which routinely lured opposition leaders with the promises of cabinet positions.
Sudhir Jain, Calgary.

Rise of the left

Re: Alberta Runs Out Of Democracy, Jesse Kline, Dec. 17.
Jesse Kline doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The mass defection of Wildrose MLAs to the PC party is merely a reunification of splintered conservative groups. What Mr. Kline fails to understand is that many centrist Albertans voted PC, only to keep the ultra right-wing Wildrose from winning the last election.

We may now see the NDP and Liberals discuss a merger of their own, to form a very powerful alternative to dominant Tory rule. The demographics of Alberta are changing and we might very well be in store for a shift to the left in the future.
Bruce Heringa, Edmonton.

With the Wildrose Party rejoining the PCs, it is excellent to see the conservatives reuniting in Alberta. The Wildrose party ended the day that Jim Prentice was elected Premier. With the collapse in the price of oil, our province now faces serious challenges that require a stable and strong government.

However, the stench of corruption remains in the PC party. The fact that Doug Horner, Alison Redford’s finance minister who approved all her irresponsible and arrogant abuses of taxpayer dollars, is an insult to all Albertans. This man has no place in the PC party as it turns over a new leaf.
Iain G. Foulds, Spruce Grove, Alta.

No ‘scruples’

Re: The Wildrose Nine Sell Out, Tasha Kheiriddin, Dec. 18.
If Danielle Smith and her Gang of Nine had any scruples, they would have taken on the task they had been assigned by the Alberta electorate and by Wildrose Party membership of being the only real, credible opposition to the Progressive Conservative hegemony in the province of Alberta.

Rather than taking what the Premier told them about what he intends to do as gospel, they could have waited to see what he actually did and supported what was good and in sync with Wildrose values, and mounted a forceful, principled opposition to anything they opposed.

There was no urgency in what they did. It can hardly be said that, in Alberta, the Liberals or NDP where at the gate trying to break it down and take over.
Hermina Dykxhoorn, Calgary.

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