I do try to put some effort into understanding what is happening within the political world, albeit from time to time I do tend to jump to "mini conclusions". Most of the time the conclusions I come to are pretty close to reality, but not always. In this post I am not going to link the hell out of the various articles and blogs done concerning the Alberta NDP's and Governments dealings with the recent funding issues with foster parents. Instead, I want to comment more about the politics of the politics.
After several days of prodding the NDP for some answers on twitter, I was told that they got news of the issue late Thursday night and the legislature was not sitting on Friday. They had to verify "things" and broke the story (per say) on Monday. And of course, we all know what followed.
I was told by the NDP twitter person that "in this business it is extremely important to be accurate otherwise you get burnt". And I can understand that, after all politics is an incredibly dirty game. When you deal in the "public" side of things, you best have the i's dotted and the t's crossed. But with that said, most people that know something about me, know that I love to think out of the box, rules be dammed, and let's put some common sense into issues.
Had I "been" the NDP, I would have been pounding on Ministers door first thing Friday morning, stating what I had found out, saying nothings been verified, and wanting some answers and insight. Is this against the politics of being a politician? Is it against the rules? Well, if THAT'S the case, then change the rules! Even if those WERE the rules, I would still have pounded on that door. This would have put the Government on immediate notice of the issue. Had action not been taken at this point, then by all means take it public. Why wait because it's the weekend?
During the twitter discussions yesterday, I also received a tweet from @CupeAB (we don't follow each other by the way) asking, "Do you also agree with @premierstelmach that foster parents should have spoken up, on Friday?". Well, that's really a very good question. Put yourself in the shoes of being a foster parent for a moment. If you are one, then I am sure that you are painfully aware of how frustrating and complicated it is in dealing with the politics of being a foster parent. Do you go running, screaming, and hollering (or any other form of complaining) to the Government, risking getting your hands slapped and cuffed upside the head, knowing that perhaps if you say too much or the wrong thing, that in the end, you might very well be investigated, and have the kids you love and care for, be removed? Now I am NOT saying that this happens, but I am fairly comfortable thinking that this might very well be what a foster parent would think.
To me, the bottom line here is that you, the politicians that represent the people, seriously need to STOP playing the game of politics. STOP making it a dirty game, STOP with the prissy rules, and get BACK to reality.
I know it can be done when it needs to be done, because I have done it. When I worked as a volunteer Probation Officer dealing with Young Offenders, I had a situation where a youth under my supervision was in a situation where he had violated his probation, and the potential of harm coming to a baby was potentially a reality. I tried dealing with the police, and was told "you are his probation officer, you need to deal with it". So I did. I talked with the youth, he agreed things were bad and agreed he needed to go back into custody. I took him down to the 'system' in the wee hours of the morning, spent several hours arguing with government paper pushers, woke up the Crown and insisted a warrant be issued, so he could be taken into custody. The Crown *finally* agreed, I signed the warrant, and the youth was taken. In court, the warrant was upheld, and the youth was able to receive the services he needed. And as a side note, you will all be happy to know this youth was able to change his ways using that help, and I understand he has been successful in getting on in life.
Thinking out of the box works some times, perhaps those in charge should try doing it a bit more.