Where are the candidates?

It seems a lot of politicians aren’t talking right now, even though fall elections are only a few short weeks away.

It seems a lot of politicians aren’t talking right now, even though fall elections are only a few short weeks away.

I wonder why.

Everywhere political issues are simmering. No doubt, every municipality has its own backlog of niggling issues that raise the ire of coffee shop politicians who like to talk the walk but have no intention of ever walking the walk.

It’s a shame.

So why are people holding back? Are they simply procrastinating? Are they afraid? Are they trying to avoid the potential of subjecting themselves to political backbiting and mudslinging and name calling until the last minute?

Are they harbouring the secret plan of slipping their papers into the municipal office at the 11th hour thereby being declared “acclaimed” with little or no effort expended.

That seems cowardly.

It is true politics is a blood sport. This sport really takes off during this silly season when the slippery planks of political platforms are sometimes nailed together with empty promises, half-truths and unrealistic statements.

It is unfair, however, to tar and feather every councillor or mayor or potential candidate with this mindset.

Most candidates speak the truth, or at least their perception of the truth. Most candidates want to make a difference — they want to see their towns and cities flourish, bring more business to their dying downtowns, keep taxes in line, eliminate potholes and budget sufficiently for snow removal.

They want their towns to be balanced and provide equal recreation and cultural opportunities, plenty of playgrounds for young families, lots of green spaces for everyone, no waiting lists for longterm care and an impressive selection of shopping venues.

Realistically, they have no clue how to make this all happen. Many outspoken, opinionated individuals have never darkened a council chamber’s door or even sat on a municipal related board or committee.

Ignorance is bliss and it can also very verbal.

Running for municipal politics or any level of politics, for that matter, is a grave responsibility.

What if you actually get voted in?

What if, after the official results are finally in, you find yourself seated at the big council table with your own nameplate?

It is then, no doubt, you will begin to discover what it’s like to live in a fish bowl with many eyes curiously watching you as you flounder about in water a little deeper than you thought, trying to understand the process, the Municipal Government Act, the rules, the regulation, the protocol.

And it is when you also may discover “transparency” is overused, overrated and decidedly scary.

It can get you into all kinds of trouble.

And it is then you will, no doubt, discover confrontation is part and parcel of the job you have undertaken. It is true, popularity might have got you in, but it is not to be looked at as a lifeline to help get you out when you are sinking in a muddy mire of dissention and criticism.

Stepping into the political ring is not for the faint-hearted but it certainly is an opportunity for individuals who want to be leaders, activators and decision makers.

Every municipality needs these people.

So where are you?

— On The Other Side

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Rabbits saved from barn fire in Ponoka County

The Ponoka County East District Fire Department was called to a barn fire

Bashaw peewee club’s season comes to an abrupt end

Players decide not to go into playoffs without one of their teammates

Ponoka man attacked by dogs issues plea to town council

Troubles with bylaw and handling of court case prompts presentation to council

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read