Ahead of the Heard. FILE PHOTO

Ag policy, or even ideas, lacking in campaign

Voters need more than candidates saying, “Don’t worry, trust me.”

According to polling statistics the next leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) will be the next Premier of Alberta. At present the contenders for UCP leader are quietly campaigning across the province. One hoped there would be some public debates allowing us to get a better idea of what the two big dogs, Jason Kenney and Brian Jean, are offering as to their vision of Alberta. Candidate Jean has presented some policy ideas, although many involve reversing NDP government decisions – not exactly visionary. Candidate Kenney hasn’t offered policy ideas for members to reflect on as to his hopes for Alberta, his stance being that it will be up to UCP members to decide on policy. That approach bears an ominous resemblance to a past election statement made by former Prime Minister Kim Campbell who memorably said ” … an election is no time to discuss policy.” She subsequently suffered one of the worst election losses in federal PC party history. I note this because history does repeat itself.

One does hope that folks running for political office will try to inspire the troops by presenting some ideas as to what they would like to see happen. Voters need more than candidates saying, “Don’t worry, trust me.” They expect some substance to give them an idea as to the candidates’ awareness of everyday issues. Sure, voters are susceptible to the cuteness factor of candidates but that doesn’t appear to be an asset any of the UCP candidates have in excess. This is no disrespect to the two main candidates but I suspect neither will get a lot of votes for their charisma and good looks as does our darling selfie master PM Trudeau – but then that might be a good thing. Charm and nice hair don’t seem to equate with common sense and competency. But I digress.

As to the reality of policies or lack thereof, your old war horse columnist recalls that most are political bromides without a lot of detail. That’s done on purpose of course to give those that win elections the ability to pick and choose what they will do once elected. The federal Liberal party stepped into that political trap – they made over 200 specific promises before the last election and are now having to break or delay many of them to the delight of the media who are keeping track. Perhaps the word “policy” is too definitive and in situations like a leadership campaign, candidates should present visions that address actual issues and concerns.

Telling UCP members over and over how bad the NDP government is does get tiresome and provides little insight as to the thinking capabilities of the candidates. If I were a UCP voting member I would like to see that the candidates have some idea as to what is going on in rural and small-town Alberta. For instance, it’s not enough just to say that Bill 6 – the farmworker’s rights bill – and Bill 17 – increased labour rights bill – will be repealed. Both bills address some issues that need recognition and updating and I expect the ag industry would like to know how they are going to be realistically and fairly involved in dealing with those and other issues.

Hopefully something has been learned from the failed farmworker rights consultation processes that the NDP government schemed up. I should add the previous PC government was no pillar of enlightenment when it came to honest consultation with rural Alberta – I cite the disastrous property rights consultation meetings that they carried out. Ironically that disaster was used as a template for the even more disastrous farmworker rights meetings organized by the following NDP government. But I digress.

Here is what I would like UCP leadership candidates to comment on:

Would you support the development of new irrigation on arable private and crown land?

Would you support Ecological Goods and Services support programs for landowners?

Would you support an investigation into the impact of windmill farms on birds and bats and fine operators for losses as oilsand operators are required to do?

Would you unequivocally support present supply management and support ways to increase Alberta’s share of national dairy, egg and poultry quotas?

Would you support the re-establishment of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency?

How will you improve rural and small-town health care delivery?

Being that all the UCP candidates are essentially city boys – I guess we should be thankful if any of them demonstrate any awareness at all of these issues.

willverboven@hotmail.com

Just Posted

Magician Steve Harmer levitates table Nov. 22

Clearview schools students watch illusionist float end table around gym

Don’t miss ‘Dark Winter Polar Nights’ at Stettler Public Library

International Holiday Potluck coming on Dec. 6

County balks at credit cards for tax payments

Ambulance mix-ups discussed by county council Nov. 8

Big Hank’s Tribute to Blues Christmas songs in support of Stettler Food Bank

Win 2 tickets to this rousing All-star line-up of 20’s 30’s 40’s 50’s and 60’s tunes

Stettler County campground broken into Nov. 13

Stettler RCMP looking for two suspects in B&E investigation

Magician Steve Harmer levitates table Nov. 22

Clearview schools students watch illusionist float end table around gym

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

VIDEO: ‘She is a tough cookie,’ says husband of found B.C. dog walker

Annette Poitras found alive in the woods on Wednesday morning

Opioid prescriptions up across Canada: report

The report shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent, while daily doses on average dropped

Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Kosovo president Hashim Thaci warns that Russian meddling has implications for Canada

Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Health warnings, plain covers for pot packs under proposed regulations

Washington governor tells BC don’t be ‘daunted’ by Trump

“I want to assure this assembly that no matter who is in the White House, it won’t affect Washington state’s relationship with Canada or British Columbia.”

Feds plan to spend billions on housing strategy

However much of the $15.9 billion will not be spent until after the next election in 2019

Most Read