Beyond Mad

Alberta, it's time to move beyond mad.  We had our say in the democratic process and now we need to gather up the pieces of our political and economic game and figure out how to help each other for the benefit of Alberta as a whole.  As I watched the election results roll in, the Twitter eruptions both good and bad, and the final Prentice speech, I was reminded of a family event from about twenty-five years ago.  It involved a vigorous game of Uno, a very competitive five year old, and assorted other children and adults.  We had several games under our belts already and we weren't of the belief that you should throw the game just to keep the five year old happy.  We were and still are a competitive bunch, and the little guy was plenty smart - he didn't need any help.

We played several rounds and he won a few and lost some.  We were down to the last game of the night and it was going to be the one that decided the ultimate winner.  Cards were dealt and away we went.  Well, the game didn't turn out quite how he expected.  He lost, and almost instantly he threw all his cards into the air and launched into an angry diatribe accompanied by what we called crocodile tears.  The whole campground heard the outburst and I was sure other parents were judging us quite harshly and from a perspective of self-righteousness.  As soon as his cards left his hand airborne into the trees and brush around the picnic table, he started to reach for the rest of the cards with the intention of sweeping his arm across the table and sending the remainder of the cards flying.  Later, after we had helped him find his equilibrium again, he had to pick up every card that had gone sailing and apologize for his behaviour.  He learned a valuable lesson about life that night and about losing.  He learned how to manage himself differently in the future when things didn't quite go how he planned, he learned how to move beyond mad.

Some Albertans who had been mad woke up on May 6th and felt like they had won the game, others who figured they had the game in hand before the election woke up roaring mad afterward.  Prentice just threw all his cards into the air and left the game entirely which was rather revealing.  So with him out of the equation, that leaves the rest of the Albertans who voted and those who were elected - or not- trying to piece together how to move ahead.  In our collective madness, we have voted out a handful of extraordinary folks along with the less than extraordinary, to make our point.  We have evicted the good with the bad, and now we need to step back and take a breath.

As we pause to breathe, please thank the good ones.  You know who they are.  They have devoted endless hours to showing up at our events, represented our causes in the Legislature, and missed their own family milestones and celebrations to fulfill their responsibilities to Alberta.  They responded to our requests for meetings and asked how they could help.  When you spoke to the good ones, they looked you in the eye instead of looking past you to scan the room for someone with more influence.  They stood up for causes that didn't fit their party line and were brave enough to cast votes based on their conscience and our input.  Let's begin the journey beyond mad by using week two to register our thanks.