Another PCinYYC collaboration– I’ll be the one writing in italics (CR).
I just read a letter from Wildrose Alliance Party Executive Director, Vitor Marciano, which warns me that “the Stelmach PCs could force through a new Provincial Sales Tax at virtually anytime”. The next sentence tells me they “need my donation today to mount an effective campaign against this new tax.”
Wait a minute, Premier Stelmach has said several times that there will be no provincial sales tax under his leadership and Doug’s comments have been taken completely out of context. He has advocated for a “long term fiscal framework about spending and saving … and must include a review of taxation levels and systems of taxation.” Yes, he mused about a provincial sales tax – and the people have spoken loudly and clearly against that. From most people’s point of view this discussion has passed and we should all move on – I share this sentiment.
I was very impressed by Premier Stelmach’s strong stance against a provincial sales tax at the PC AGM in October. Several times he was unwavering in his decision that while he was the Premier it would not be an issue up for discussion. He pointed out that we are the only province in Canada without one and the only province not in debt – we must be doing something right.
But before I am ready to move on, I want to share what I know about the ‘Real’ Doug Griffiths – the man behind the politician – because it reveals something about politics in Alberta that we need to pay attention to.
For those of you who have met Doug, you will know that what you see is what you get. Doug is principled, articulate and visionary. He is a father, husband and great personal friend to many, many people. He understands complex policy, but takes a common sense and practical approach to issues.
Doug likes to cut through the politics and put all solutions on the table. He wants to get the job done and his motivations are clear and simple – future generations – his boys and your kids. Doing what is right because it is the right thing to do. This is a brave stance in a turbulent political environment, but it is the only stance Doug lives for.
To me this is why the PC Party is different. We have representatives that are willing to look at all options, listen to all opinions, and speak up when necessary. Our party is cultivating a culture of engagement and discussion. It is an exciting time. I challenge you to talk to your PC MLAs one on one if you have a problem, need direction, or have a brilliant idea for our province – they listen. They live for this stuff – especially Doug. His community knows he does and respects him for it – he won the last election with79% of the vote in Battle River – Wainwright in 2008.
I have to admit that I am biased when it comes to Doug Griffiths, since I have had the opportunity to work for – or with – him. He makes an excellent boss. His inclusive style is always open to suggestions, questions and comments. He listens to every angle and compares his opinion to yours; he responds after giving your position careful examination and consideration.
I’m fortunate enough to call Doug a friend. I have approached him for advice more times than I can remember. As a passionate young woman in the party it could be easy to get lost and become apathetic towards the cause, but Doug doesn’t let people like me (and you) slip through those cracks. He knows how important it is to foster the next generation of PC leaders. He will be ushering us in – and is welcoming us.
I like that whenever I go to him with my latest idea or struggle he looks at it objectively. I never expect it to be sugar coated. I expect it to be honest, caring, and upfront. His encouragement is from a thoughtful place – he meets you where you are at and puts himself in your shoes (which is hard in this case – I’m a big fan of pointy-toed heels). I am so thankful that Doug takes time to listen to me and give me calculated advice. With everything else on his plate he still makes sure to pour in to Alberta’s people.
The way that Doug has responded to Vitor Marciano’s fear campaign against the supposedly proposed sales tax speaks volumes about Doug’s true character. Wildrose Alliance MLA, Rob Anderson, wrote a commentary defending his friend and former colleague. Alberta Party organizer, Ken Chapman, called Doug “the kind of progressive, forward thinking and consciousness raising kind of politician we need in Alberta.” Heck, even Graham Thompson from the Edmonton Journal came to Doug’s defence.
While both these commentaries are completely accurate and more or less sincere, they are also politically motivated. If you read between the lines, you see two new political parties trying to become or represent something Doug Griffiths embodies with a high degree of grace and ease – a true progressive conservative.
This drives me crazy, but also makes me laugh. Doug is a sought after, highly intelligent politician and he stands firm with Team PC. Of course the two latest political parties on the scene would be vying for Doug’s attention – whether that is by firing him up or flirting with him. They want people like Doug to stand firm with them … and those people are hard to find. Graceful, go-getting, gutsy people are what the PC attracted and still attracts. I am excited about those stepping up to run in the next election and I am excited that these two new parties will allow our PC candidates to define themselves even further.
Doug is also, by all measures, a Minister-in-waiting. He holds the title of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance. He has excelled in his positions, and has written a book based on his popular speech, “13 Ways to Kill Your Community”. He holds an Honors Degree in Philosophy, specializing in Environmental Ethics. A rural guy with urban flare!
Like I (we) said before, Doug is a principled, articulate visionary. The kind of representative you would want as your Minister of Environment, Employment and Immigration, or Advanced Education and Technology – my top vote the latter. He makes a great spokesman for Alberta, crosses all political and geographical lines, and raises the bar in political discourse.
Will the real Doug Griffiths please stand up? This Progressive Conservative would like to see you take the stage, challenge those who strive to twist what this party is about, and represent the ‘real’ values the PC Party believes in and advocates for.
A real party full of real people having real discussions … what’s not to love? So proud to be a PC member, and so privileged to know I can count on leaders, like Doug, to push me to be all I can be.
PP and CR