It's taken me a few days to deal with my disappointment, and anger, over the results of the latest Alberta provincial election. Despite all the media hype about the electorate being ready for a big change, nothing really changed. The Conservative party, who have been in power for 37 years, actually increased their majority to the point where they now hold 72 of 83 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Voter turnout was embarrassingly low too, at 41%. Yipee, more 'democracy,' Alberta style.
So I moped around for a few days, muttering discontentedly to who ever would listen, or to myself if there was no one around. My Green Party lawn sign has been taken back inside, to wait for a Federal election, whenever that may be. Yesterday, while I was moping and muttering some more (to myself --it's gone back to business as usual around here everywhere but in my head, I think), I remembered reading something by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh a month or two ago, about writing "love letters" to our politicians instead of negative protest-type letters. And I figured, we've got (at least) another 4-5 years of this guy and this party--I can't just sit around and mope for 5 years.
So, in the spirit of using what we've got, and making like water that encounters a rock, I've decided to do what I can to try and engage with this Premier and my local MLA, and talk to them in language that they can understand, about the things that matter to me. I'm going to write them yet another letter, and maybe even screw up my courage and make a telephone call or two. I've got to do some serious thinking about how best to phrase things in a way that can get through to these guys, who seem to value The Economy over all other things. I'm open to any and all suggestions on this front, because this isn't a type of writing or talking I'm used to doing.
I encourage everyone to write to their elected representatives too, because when a politician gets one letter each from ten people on a certain topic, it has a much stronger impact than getting ten letters from one person.
In the meantime, I'm glad that Chile's Stress Less in March challenge has given me the kick in the pants I needed to get up earlier in the morning every day this week for some stress-busting meditation and Tai Chi.
Picture of 1970's election coverage courtesy the Glenbow museum, when the government in power was still the same one we have now.