‘Riding for the brand’

Dear Editor,

Some time ago a Red Deer journalist chastised our Premier with an old ranching chestnut saying he was “all hat and no cattle”.

t was a backhanded way of stating that the person depicted was quite simply a blowhard and not much relevance should be taken in that person’s presence and presentation. Another chestnut from that ranching era was “riding for the brand”.

It was meant to depict honesty and true loyalty to the ranch and the brand that it signified. Sometimes intergenerational transfers and life changes degraded or enhanced the reputation of those ranches for many reasons. The brand MLAs are hired to ride for is very specific; it’s the brand of the people in their constituency.

As our provincial health and political futures teeter forward it gives one pause to reflect on those in position to manage both, and their possible reasoning for actions and public statements.

Are they being innovative or simply” riding for the old brand”?? Old outdated thinking possibly based off nepotism and cronyism? Unfortunately, not all MLA’s in this province ride for the right brand, or for that matter, the right reasons!

As an early adopter of the Wildrose 1.0-10 years ago, we weren’t riding for the outdated brand. We made new representative tracks, fighting for what we thought more and more Albertans believed. Even after the historic undemocratic floor-crossing event Wildrose 1.0 came back with 21 MLA’s! Growing eventually to 22 from the initial 17.

Our present representatives need to heed the people! That was a very hard political lesson to be learned by the floor crossers. 

One flooring company sign in Calgary proclaimed, “Our floors are so tough even double floor crosser XYZ can’t wear them out!” 

It was a sign depicting furious democratic frustration of the people!

Going forward, all ‘representatives’ need to realize that is the true definition of their job description. It’s not about their “best job ever”, condos and expense accounts, white linen dinners, etc, it’s about “representing” their individual electorates!

The singular, I, me, my need to be dropped from their vocabularies!

The present leadership’s entrancing phrase of “servant leadership” should be truly and strictly adhered to!! Not used as an electoral tool.

Albertans deserve better!

The principled causes strived for ten years ago are even more relevant today but unfortunately seem to have been washed away with some nefarious agenda.

Change is afoot and hopefully, a political vacuum will bring about better things for Albertans! Not worse!

The important value judgements of riding for the Alberta brand, or not, will have serious consequences!

As a determined and proud Albertan, I wish for the best!


Rick Strankman

Altario, Alta.

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