By Letter to the Editor on December 21, 2017.
As a very proud Albertan, southeastern Albertan, and Medicine Hatter I find it disappointing to read your guest columnist Paul McLennan. He is an armchair political analyst who seems focused on dividing us into categories of left and right. In the past he has focused his disdain on provincial left and centrist politics, now he is trying to rile up anger against Medicine Hat City Council.
In his Dec. 18 guest column, Mr. McLennan adds city council to his list of governments that are ineffective because they are left or left-leaning. Municipal politics are not party based. We elect our city council, including our mayor, based on their own individual platforms, not the provincial or federal political parties they belong to or support.
I believe Medicine Hat City Council is comprised of a diverse group of people capable of doing their best to represent the best interests of Medicine Hat. Though I do not always agree with their decisions, I respect the fact that each of these individuals stepped up to the plate, ran for a seat, and now put in the time and effort to address the plethora of issues associated with running our city, with the support and guidance of many people employed by the city.
Mr. McLennan seems hell-bent on dividing us as Medicine Hatters, as Albertans, and as Canadians. He does a great job in his guest columns of letting us know there is only one “right” ideology to follow to make our city, our province, and our country great again. Mr. McLennan’s focus on vilifying diversity of thought and calling for right homogeneity, is undemocratic. As is his misleading assertion “the hidden and unspoken goal of the leftist parties is to keep people down and dependent on the government.”
We are all in this together. It’s not left against right, us against them. Our city, our province, and our country are made up of very diverse people, who believe in and value diverse things and who have diverse experiences and knowledge. Each of our provincial and federal political parties attempt to represent that diversity, as do individuals on city council. As we have seen throughout the world, creating deep divisions among citizens and vilifying and disrespecting those with opposing political views rarely turns out to be successful.
Respecting diversity of thought and working together to find nuance is what helps us succeed as a city, a province, and a country — our goal should always be to remember that.
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