A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a letter to Calgary Sun columnist Paul Jackson regarding one of his columns about newly elected Calgary MLA’s Dave Taylor, David Swann, and Harry Chase. I’ve posted my letter and a link to the column, so you can also read it.
‘March 2, 2005
Dear Mr. Jackson,
Yesterday, I read your column “Taylor-made” published in the Calgary Sun.
Though I am very glad to see that you are impressed by Mr. Taylor, I take issue with your comments regarding Mr. Swann and Mr. Chase.
In the column, you stated that “[m]y preconceived ideas of David Swann and Harry Chase proved bang on, though. Simply put, on every issue whether Kyoto or health care, Swann and Chase are utterly out-of-touch with the average Alberta voter.”
Now, you may not agree with the type of politics or policies which Mr. Swann and Mr. Chase support, but to say that they “are utterly out-of-touch with the average Alberta voter” seems to be a pretty bold statement. Perhaps they are out-of-touch with the average Conservative voter (probably because they are Liberals), but considering that less than 50% of Albertans voted in the last election, it would seem to me that it would be very hard to clearly define what the opinions of the “Alberta voter” are. I highly doubt that the majority of Albertans have a monolithic unified stance on every issue. In fact, I would dare say that many Albertans have many different opinions on many different issues.
As the MLA’s for Calgary Mountain View and Varsity, it is not their mandate to be in touch “with the average Alberta voter,” but to be in touch with the average Mountain View and Varsity voter.
Also, your comment that “the provincial Liberals haven’t been a force in Alberta politics since the First World War” is just blatantly false. In the 1955 election, Harper Prowse led the Alberta Liberals to an astoundingly large opposition for the time against Ernest Manning’s Social Credit Government.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Alberta Liberals were on the verge of forming government. You may remember the 1989 provincial election which saw Ralph Klein nearly defeated by Liberal Candidate Gib Clark in the Calgary Elbow riding. In 1993, the Alberta Liberals, led by Laurence Decore, received 39% of the popular vote across Alberta and elected 32 MLA’s (compared to 44% and 61 seats for the Klein Tories). So, the statement that “the provincial Liberals haven’t been a force in Alberta politics since the First World War” is just plain incorrect.
I hope that in further columns, you will not only take an objective journalistic look at your column, but also consult historical facts (All of the historical information I provided in this email can easily be found either on the internet or your local library).
cc: Mr. Rick Bell
Ms. Licia Corbella
Mr. Guy Huntingford’
As of 12 days later, I’ve received no response from Mr. Jackson or the Calgary Sun.
(I’ve just written another letter to Mr. Jackson and will post it soon.)