Minimizing partisan attacks the right move

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It’s refreshing to see a party leader try to reign in partisan attacks.

“Don’t go over the top in attacking the NDP,” is exactly what United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney said in a 10-point memo to nomination candidates that was leaked to Postmedia last week.

While the memo warns nomination candidates that anything they say can be used against them by those in opposition or in the media, it also advises them to stay positive and “be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat.”

Whether you like Kenney, hate him or are even luke-warm to him, it’s hard not to at least like the message he’s sending.

Sure, the memo might’ve been a result of recent slams over potential UCP nominees having posted anti-LGBTQ  and anti-Islamic sentiments on their social media pages, but it’s still the right move, not just for the party in purging what some see as its “alt-right” and “hateful” views, but for politics in general.

I like a good attack every now and then – mudslinging makes for great dinner theatre – but in the grand scheme of things, it does little to further Alberta’s interests or make it a better place.

Now, if only other parties could do the same.

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said the action is nothing more than the UCP doing damage control, and slammed the UCP for “homophobic bozo eruptions” and “flagrant abuse of tax dollars.”

Never mind an Edmonton NDP MLA expensed $35,000 for mileage. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly what most members of the media in this area make in a year total, but I digress.

Turncoat and NDP cabinet minister Sandra Jansen is worse, and in fact one of the most infamous for spewing vitriol on Twitter. For all her claims Kenney and his supporters attack her, she throws way more, at least on social media, to the point where it’s starting to look like she’s got a touch of Kenney derangement syndrome.

Here’s the thing, Albertans aren’t stupid. Most of our moral compasses aren’t broken. We don’t need politicians to stand from on high and preach to us about how terrible certain actions are. They don’t need to reaffirm that what we think is wrong is actually wrong. Bully tactics aren’t lost on us – it’s easy to see when someone’s putting another down just to make themselves look better rather than trying to just do better themselves.

Politicians are employed by the people, not the other way around. It’s not up to them to dictate to us how we should feel about something.

I’ve voted against candidates numerous times over their constant attacks. I don’t need someone to list the reasons why others suck or have sucked in the past – I can decide for myself if they do or not, thanks. If you want my vote, tell me why you’re the best candidate and what you’re going to do for me, the community, the province.

With an election right around the corner, let’s keep the focus on policy.

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