Ms Soapbox would like to make an announcement: She’s seeking the Liberal nomination in the provincial riding of Calgary Elbow. Calgary Elbow was left MLA-less when former premier Alison Redford resigned her seat on Aug 6, 2014…although it would be fair to say it has been unrepresented for quite some time now.
Are you nuts?
Most of Ms Soapbox’s friends and family support her political aspirations; however a few are afraid she’s lost her mind. (Her father suggested she take up golf).
So why plunge into politics now? And why pick the Liberals?
After years of grousing about politics, blogging about politics and inundating provincial and federal political representatives with thoughtful letters expressing dismay and profound disappointment over the general state of affairs in Alberta and Canada, the penny dropped. The only people the governing party pays the slightest bit of attention to (other than big business) are the politicians who cause a ruckus from the opposition benches.
The seed was planted. Events transpired, Alison Redford resigned and voila…an open riding.
Ms Soapbox is friends with politicians of all political stripes. After researching their policies and engaging them in spirited discussions, it became clear that the Liberal party best reflected Ms Soapbox’s values. She was delighted to discover that a number of Albertans felt the same way.
It’s easy to be a lawyer. You figure out what you want to do, make sure it fits within the applicable legislation and case law and you’re off and running towards your objective…and chances are you’ll attain it.
Politics is different. It’s fluid. It’s murky. It’s full of political operatives practiced in the dark arts. What you know to be true on Monday turns into a baseless rumour by Friday. A neophyte needs all the help she can get before she sets off into uncharted waters.
So Ms Soapbox sought out a creative, enthusiastic and ethical core team, starting with Mr Soapbox. We agreed, if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right.
Next up, winning the nomination. This entails asking people in the riding to sign your nomination form. The process is going well notwithstanding Ms Soapbox’s encounters with ferocious dogs and spooky cats lurking in supporters’ houses and a near death experience on Elbow Drive in the pouring rain at rush hour. Why the City can’t repair this road once and for all is beyond me.
Door knocking is an eye opening experience. The simple question: “do you have any issues or concerns about your government” unleashes a torrent of frustration.
People are tired of a government that doesn’t understand the distinction between partisan politics and government business. They are fed up with inaccessible healthcare, crumbling infrastructure, a shortage of public schools and the lack of predictable funding for post secondary education. They want a government that can think strategically about the future and politicians who are prepared to create an energy strategy that lasts longer than one election cycle. A diversified economy wouldn’t hurt either.
Substantive issues matter.
The whiz kids are on board. They understand the magic of social media and simply “make it so”. Websites, Facebook, Twitter, you name it, we’ve got it.
The printed material is ready to go. More photos are on the way although I suspect the shot of Ms Soapbox about to be blown into a ravine won’t make it on to the webpage.
Ms Soapbox completed her first TV interview and is learning the value of the sound bite…and it ain’t easy, she’s a lawyer remember.
Our volunteers are “with us”. Apparently there’s an art to asking for volunteers—“join us” sounds like a cult, “join with us” sounds like a church and “help us” sounds like a charity.
The Soapbox will continue as a progressive blog space inviting readers to discuss issues of common concern. Future posts will include a review of the Cambie Clinic litigation which threatens the ongoing viability of public healthcare in Canada, why P3s are not all they’re cracked up to be and why Frank McKenna, former premier of New Brunswick and now senior executive at TD Bank thinks the lack of upgrading capability in Canada is “value destruction on a scale never witnessed before in this country”.
Readers who would like to learn more about Susan Wright the aspiring politician are invited to check out http://www.wright4elbow.ca/
Ms Soapbox (and Susan Wright) would love to hear from you.