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Letter: Neither Kenney nor Trudeau tolerate dissent or opposition

Reader who supports certain voter-initiated referendums argues some issues/matters should not be left up to the politicians to decide

Re: “Seems to have a double standard”, page 22, June 7 Albertan

While criticizing me for attacking Mr. Kenney, he (letter writer) says, “I personally hope Kenney loses the UCP leadership; he has messed up far too often.”

Yes, Mr. Kenney has messed up, and 49 per cent of the UCP members voted against him for doing so. Why? Because Mr. Kenney believes in running the party and the government from the top down. Several members of his government have quit or have been demoted to the back benches. 

The Alberta Recall initiative is a PR stunt. Did he allow for other initiatives to be voted on by the public? Answer: No. Did he actually explain how initiatives actually work? Their cost to the taxpayers? Do recall elections work, and, if so, where? 

What is the history of recall elections in the States? In California, where they have elections every two years, they also have recalls every two years. This past month saw the recall of the prosecuting attorney for the city of San Francisco.

Every election in California there are voters who want to see the breakup of the state. It used to be to divide the state in half (north vs south), but in recent elections, it was to divide the state along conservative rural areas from liberal areas, and some voters wanted to see as many as four or five separate states created out of the break-up of California. 

This past year, an attempt was made to recall the California governor, but that too failed. How successful have they been? In U.S. history, only two governors have been removed from office by recalls. The last one was the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, and he was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. That recall election cost the taxpayers of California $55 million.

The most recent attempt to recall the California governor, Gavin Newsom, cost the taxpayer another $50-plus million. Bottom line: most recall elections are not successful, and they are costly to the taxpayers. 

However, I do support voters initiating referendums. But they too can be costly, and if a voter is not aware of all the issues pertaining to an initiative, they can be confusing. Again, one should look to California elections to see the multitude of initiatives that were voted upon by the voters.  

In my opinion, there are some issues/matters that should not be left up to the politicians; they should be decided by the voters and called direct democracy. The bottom line for me is that public money should be spent on public services first, such as public education, police services, roads, bridges, dams, canals, emergency services, social services, public health services, municipal governments, defence, etc.; not spending money supporting private businesses. 

If we believe in “rugged individualism”, why should our politicians spend our money supporting private businesses? 

If Mr. Kenney truly believed in allowing for voter initiatives/referendums, he would allow Albertans to vote on such matters as public money being spent on private schools, charter schools, energy companies, as well as allowing voters to determine the status of coal mining operations in the west country, deciding on the sale of Crown land to private developers, deciding on funding for private health care, deciding the status of a provincial police force to replace the RCMP and deciding whether we should have a provincial pension fund.  

After all, perception is everything in politics.

However, the author is correct in claiming that PM Trudeau is an autocrat. The SNC-Lavalin scandal and the removal of two key Liberals from his government – Jody Wilson-Raybould (Attorney General) and Jane Philpott (minister of Health and President of the Treasury Board) – proved that Trudeau was unethical and he acted like a dictator.

What do Jason Kenney, Justin Trudeau, and Donald the Duck have in common?

One, they don’t listen very well, even to members of their own party.

Two, they operate as autocrats (“My way or the highway”). They don’t tolerate dissent/opposition.

And three, they believe that “the end justifies the means” – meaning they will use any method/tactic, even unethical ones, to stay in power.

- George Thatcher, Trochu

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