Before you judge

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I believe that many, if not most of you, have concluded already that politics is indeed a “dirty business,” evidence of which we are barraged with on a daily basis through various media. Anyone who dares to enter this arena must accept this fact and be prepared for the perils that await them. There are various motivations for why individuals seek public office some of which are noble while others not so much. As a body we have become so cynical and skeptical of politicians and the democratic process that far too many of us forfeit our democratic rights by choosing to ignore the matter and refrain from voting. This serves only to make a bad situation even worse.

A recent article in the St. Albert Gazette involving Cam MacKay, a current city councillor exemplifies the above perception to a tee. I will not attempt to excuse or minimize Mackay’s faux pas for which I am confident he will answer in an honest and unselfish way. However, before you pass judgment I ask that you consider what follows.

Any person who has followed St. Albert politics over the last number of years either by witnessing in person or through televised media (live streaming) what occurs at city council, should come to the same conclusion as I. The likes of Cam MacKay and his colleague, Sheena Hughes, are the “standard bearers” and “torch carriers” for all of the citizens of St. Albert. Without fail, they represent the common good and true interests of the people by steadfastly considering the merits and demerits of the issues through properly researched rational debate.

Unfortunately, group thinking and block voting on the part of the rest of council who in contrast are often pursuing political agendas that are not necessarily to the public’s benefit regularly thwart these efforts. If for no other reason than their perseverance, MacKay and Hughes should be both appreciated and admired.

By the time you read this advanced polling will have begun. I urge you to avoid a knee jerk reaction to the incident referred to above by considering the bigger picture and casting a well thought out vote. Select a candidate who you are confident will assist in levelling the playing field by bringing much needed balance to council. To do anything less will only ensure the perpetuation of the current dysfunction.

Murray Lambert, St. Albert

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