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The Article

Ald. McIver’s upfront philosophy makes him effective

Philosophical colleagues repeatedly insist Ric McIver is the only really politically honest alderman on city council.

I stress the word ‘politically honest’ because no one is accusing other aldermen of not being dedicated to the betterment of the community in general.

It’s simply to myself and many other Conservatives in our city the bulk of our aldermen serving time on council appear to have their own political agenda which they do not necessarily promote—or perhaps expose, is a better word—in their campaign literature.

The Ward 12 alderman believes council has been hijacked by many with a liberal-left agenda and rather than simply wanting to serve their community by providing top-rate community services seek to impose their lib-left political philosophies through the backdoor on us.

Again, I couldn’t agree more.

The sudden emergence and speeding up of a smoking ban as of Jan. 1 next year was the latest example of riding roughshod over people’s rights and it’s significant you never saw that proposal being promoted by aldermen in their campaign literature during the past municipal election.

It just came out of the blue haze—so to speak—and was shoved down our throats, like it or not.

The 47-year-old former entrepreneur believes it is a politician’s role to represent the voters in their constituency rather than try and socially engineer them.

“I’m a live-and-let-live kind of fellow,” says McIver, “the fewer rules on society the better.”

In that, he quotes President Thomas Jefferson who declared a “government that governs best governs least.”

Instead, we are getting nanny-state politicians at all levels of government telling us how to live our lives.

“People must be free to make their own decisions,” insists McIver. “We need laws to prevent people hurting other people, but we do not need laws to force people to live a predictable life.”

He contends that if everyone had common sense we wouldn’t need many rules at all. But perhaps—just perhaps—it isn’t the job of the nanny-staters and those who would regiment society to save us from from ourselves.

“Most people know if they eat too much sugar, eat too much salt, or drink too much liquor they will injure their health and perhaps die. They know, too, that if they moderate their intake of sugar, salt and liquor their bodies will be healthier and their lives longer.”

Yet is it a politician’s role to dictate lifestyles to individuals? Frighteningly, that is what an increasing number of politicians and government agencies are doing—even Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jim Dinning has proposed a special tax on “unhealthy food” as has Jack Davis, head honcho at the Calgary Health Region.

So how is it in a solid conservative city—we haven’t elected a Liberal MP since 1968—we have a liberal-left council?

McIver believes paradoxically it’s because we’re so prosperous and so comfortable we don’t pay much attention to municipal politics or who sits on city council. He believes being upfront about party and political affiliation would change the face of council for the better.

“If not running under party labels, we should have slates of candidates with very specific policies and proposals that are fully explained to voters before election day.”

It’s hard to argue with that—and perhaps it should be McIver who puts together that slate and leads it.


Paul Jackson
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