Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Asked if he’d lead the way, Young simply said: “That’s a good question.”

Of course what the world was looking for Steve was a good answer.
In Don Braids world, however, you hit a grand slam, bottom of the 9th,  down by three home run.
There is an old expression, in baseball, football, basketball and virtually every sport except golf that says "You play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back" well it applies in golf too, but only to the caddy.
The same hold true for politics. Party politics, by definition is not an individual game, it is a team game where the members, to use an obscure reference to cowboys,  "Ride for the brand". There is nothing to be gained by the sort of brinksmanship Steve Young, the MLA for Edmonton Riverview played. It will ultimately only serves to undermine the publics confidence in all politicians.
I do not care who Steve wants to drink beer with, I don't care if it's Raj Sherman, David Eggen,  Putin or whomever. But to be suckered into saying something stupid to Don Braid of the Calgary Herald about who you don't want to drink beer with is a fairly sizeable oversight. 
Especially when the person you don't want to have a beer with is someone I have had a beer with, and enjoyed it, Premier Allison Redford.
I make no bones when I am unhappy about some policy of her government with which I cannot agree, but in this case Steve you stepped over the line from addressing  behavior to addressing  personality, a surprising frailty for a former police officer; a role that by definition is more concerned with what people do than who they are.
Reporters like Don Braid, Paula Simons or Graham Thompson are, like the police,  expert at catching people off guard. In media school 101 or the first day of police academy, right after the hair cut, they teach you that just because a reporter asks a question does not mean you are obligated to answer.
The same interrogation technique of befriending is used by both the media and the cops to gain trust, insight and ultimately a conviction. And Steve you are guilty.
You might not be wrong, or even remotely incorrect, but  you are guilty  and you can thank some of our mutual friends for asking me to be nice.
If you want a lesson in how to separate yourself from your party and leave with your conscience intact,  have a chat with former Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber. 
He stood up and resigned over a principle. A principle that ultimately might not be any more important in the grand scheme of things that who you drink beer with, but Brent did it right  and resigned to sit as an independent member of parliament before publically voicing his displeasure with the regime in power. I give full credit to his junior hockey career for his understanding of team dynamics.
In caucus tomorrow I expect the MLA's will slap the table with glee in hopes of not being the one with the question that starts "Premier, why'd you blow 45 grand on a trip to Africa and why does your EA live in the Matrix Hotel?"
You will be alone because you are tainted. Tainted by that  stink that follows people who aren't satisfied with the pay rates of School Board Trustees of City councilors but who still want  their ability to vote without following party line.
Your team is your team, like it, hate it, quit it, but don't tear it down in public.