- Keith Brownsey, political scientist at Mount Royal College
I see only one solution here, and that's to elect politicians that DO say what's on their minds and engage in real debate, even if you don't agree with them.
Ray Martin ignored my effort to contact him and the only direct quote from him I've seen on his website or in his campaign material is a vacuous
The Premier's lack of vision and waiting on important issues has not gone unnoticed. Albertans deserve stronger leadership and more decisive action in the legislature.
But I'd still be more inclined to vote for Ray than Dawit Isaac because I don't believe I've ever met a politician more averse to "real debate" than Dawit Isaac. At least you know that Ray Martin is going to be fighting for what he believes in when he does battle against the corporate agenda. Who is Dawit Isaac going to fight? Apparently Isaac just believes in what nobody opposes, like strong, vibrant, and safe communities. He says he is neither right nor left. Fine, I resist those labels as well, but that's because I have an identifiable theoretical / philosophical / ideological approach that academics or theoreticians would recognize called pro-growth economics. And people do oppose pro-growth economics... every time they want to kill a free trade deal, a corporate or investment tax cut, and so on.
People tell me they are scared by politicians who are left or right wing ideologues. I'm not nearly as scared of them as I am of highly ambitious politicians who don't have an ideology. Why? Because an ideologue isn't in it for himself or herself. He or she is in it to push an IDEA. Now that I've reached the end of the campaign period I look back and wonder how Dawit Isaac could have put the enormous effort he did into winning this riding. I've wiped out on icy sidewalks several times by simply being out there so much, I feel drained after hours on the street, and I've faced rejection on a regular basis, which doesn't make anyone feel happier. I don't like interrupting people but often did because I felt I had to or else they wouldn't have a fully informed choice. I've done it because the public policy being pursued by this government is contrary to my education in law, business, and economics, and the other parties would pursue the misguided policy of fiscal overstimulus even more tenaciously. The average annual salary for an investment banker is several hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it's not certainly not because I can't get another decent paying job. Dawit Isaac is certainly a driven man but I don't know what's driving him beyond a need to achieve. What's been wrong with Ray Martin's service? You don't like his ideology? Well, what's wrong with it then, Dawit?