Last night I had the opportunity to meet with Harvey Locke, the liberal candidate running in the federal by-election to become Calgary Centre’s new MP.
Calgary Centre, along with the rest of Calgary and most of Alberta, has been a Conservative fortress since the ’60s. There was a lot of discussion last night about how this was warranted. For a long time, Western Canada felt the Liberal government in Canada was based in the East and had no benefit in protecting Western interests. For a large part, Western Canada was right, and some of the policies by the Liberals unleashed such righteous fury and unholy hostility that the consequences are still felt today. And as an Alberta girl, I am on the side of the West with this.
But you know what? Times have changed. Our political landscape is no longer than of the ’60s, or the ’80s. Power has shifted, ostensibly to the West. You’d think that with the Prime Minister based in Calgary, we’d have more of a voice now. You’d think. But the tradition of voting en masse for the same party, in perpetuity, this political inertia found here means our voices are more muted than ever.
The Conservatives know they don’t even need to do the bare minimum to win, while the other parties discount us for being unwinnable.
This by-election is different, though. There are hushed conversations, ripples beginning to spread through our city about the need for change. We’ve seen it at the municipal, and actually at the provincial level as well. Change might spread all the way up to the federal level on Nov. 26.
This is why I’m voting Liberal this election. No, I haven’t always agreed with all their policies, but I see a party rebuilding right now with a new voice. It’s exciting and I want Calgary to have a new voice too.
Locke seems to be a genuine stand-up candidate, who has devoted his life to environmental conservation but still understands how this must have context within our society and our economy. More importantly, he is prepared to stand for what is right for Calgary, not for what his party brand tells him to.
Most importantly, is to vote. There will be no change at all if we do not get out there and make our voices heard. I encourage everyone living in Calgary Centre to make it out to vote on Nov. 26, no matter what the weather or your level of apathy. Change is possible.
Word of the day:
Misanthropy: Hatred, dislike or distrust of mankind