Lobbying is a competitive business

Dear Editor,

Approximately 10 per cent of Alberta’s 18,000 beef producers participated in the recent plebiscite on the Alberta Beef Producer’s checkoff and by a margin of 51.7 per cent to 48.3 per cent chose to retain the freedom to ask for a refund.

Now let’s get to work on our shared goal of telling the positive story of beef while enhancing the wellbeing of producers, consumers and our province.

One of Ralph Klein’s most cynical observations was: “Show me a big enough parade, and I will be happy to lead it.”

He knew what he was saying. Frankly, the goal of every single outside organization in public affairs is to create a parade, either real or imagined.

Politicians don’t lead, they follow.

People call this sort of activity lobbying. Fair enough.

It is a competitive business, especially with so many government favours available to the persistent and persuasive.

Lobbyists outnumber politicians in every capital city in the free world including Canada.

Our country has more than a trillion and a half dollars of public debt and growing because most of them are lobbying for more government, not less.

Politicians live well. Lobbyists live better. Taxpayers and their grandchildren get the bill. What to do? What should be done?

I say it is time to lobby for less government.

I don’t mean “lobbying” in the sense of whispering in the ears of the powerful. Quite the reverse! I ‘mean’ talking to the public, intelligently and persistently.

I believe my friends in the conservative movement, the Alberta Beef Producers and the energy industry made a mistake believing that their hopes and dreams could be achieved if only they were “at the table” and a “friend of the government.”

Consider those pipeline companies that spent three billion dollars on the pipeline approval process “playing the game.”

There’s not a spade in the ground on the major projects like Trans Mountain.

The big government game isn’t one we can win.

However, the left can and they are! They’re a patient and tireless lot with a plan, a clear vision of where they want to go and how they want to get there.

Look (as in Google) at the 1933 Regina Manifesto, and give them credit.

They didn’t think they would get what they wanted by being quiet insiders.

They set out to change public opinion, to make noise, to create a parade politicians would lead, and it worked.

Now, what can beef producers, taxpayers, the energy industry and others learn from their success so we can change the ‘game’ and get a better outcome?

Our answer is to study how change occurs, study history and attend the upcoming Essentials of Freedom conference the Economic Education Association (EEA) has slated for Feb 8 – 9 in Calgary.

Speakers at the “Things That Matter: An Agenda for Alberta” Conference will discuss how change occurs, how citizen/taxpayer involvement is critical to restoring sanity to Alberta’s budget, and how sound economic policy is crucial to recreating the Alberta Advantage.

See more info at freedomtalk.ca.

Lobbying is a competitive business and right now, anti-beef, anti-energy lobbyists are winning the competition. Meat tax anyone?

Join us, help us give citizens/taxpayers the information they need to defend our producers.

An informed electorate can turn the tide.

Alberta’s producing industries are the best in the world and, to borrow a phrase, what is good for the beef and energy industries, is good for Alberta.

If you eat, please help us compete.

Danny Hozack, Alberta Chairman,
Economic Education Association

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