Since December18, 2014 many people in Alberta and beyond have reached out to me in the last 15 days regarding the decision I had made, where I had refused to join the 9 other Wildrose MLAs in the recent floor crossing to join the Progressive Conservative caucus.
This has inspired me to write today to perhaps provide clarity to the decision, describe my principles and beliefs and to thank everyone who have been so kind with their comments and support.
As I had said in my press release, when an election is called Albertans expect and should be able to participate in well managed, fair and fully democratic election system and believe there is a clear commitment made to voters and to the communities when one gets elected. It is a contract -- no different than any other contact where an agreement has been reached between parties that involves an obligation to provide service in exchange for personal, shared beliefs and in some cases financial support.
Similarly during a term of office, if or when a change in Party allegiance is apparently required, a fair and fully transparent and open system should be available to the public (the electorate), to fairly determine how the elected representative should move forward at that time.
Unfortunately, the process followed by our former Leader and the other 8 members, circumvented all opportunities that should have been involved where the electorate could have been consulted prior to an action taking place. This obvious abuse of our democratic system has been well exposed no was a poorly conceived plan that has only resulted in the tarnishing of the reputation of the Leader, the 8 others that followed her and has succeeded in casting a shadow on the governing party as well.
Truly, it has been a difficult challenge these past days but my remaining colleagues, staff and I soldier on, we have reorganized ourselves, selected an interim leader with vast experience and we will continue our job as the Official Opposition. In my case, I will continue to serve all of my residents in my constituency, no matter what their affiliation politically, to ensure we grow our communities and have the programs and services that are required, as the representative for the area in the Legislative Assembly to the best of my ability.
I have been humbled with all of the wonderful compliments I have received from people from my own riding, across Alberta, other provinces and members from other political affiliations, who see this recent chain of events as a threat to democracy and what our forefathers had set in place decades ago for a fair and open political system.
To all Albertans and Canadians, I say thank you and Happy New Year!
Pat Stier MLA