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Sunday, June 16 2024 @ 07:06 MDT

The Power of One.

Alberta PoliticsIt is often said in today\'s age that it is impossible for one individual to make a difference. While this is often true, occasionally one person can make changes, or at the very least, make those who can make the changes very uncomfortable. Take Marie Geddes for example. This Camrose, Alberta senior has managed to make the Klein government, notorious for it\'s insensitivity, squirm. Ms. Geddes decided to go on a hunger strike to protest the conditions in the long term care facility in which she lives. This action gets picked up by the national media and soon Ms. Geddes is on everyone\'s TV screens.

This all takes the Klein Tories by surprise. A flustered health minister asks the Auditor General to look into the matter. The AG does a quick investigation into the matter and finds that not only are the standards the government has set for private long term facilities woefully inadequate, but nearly a third of the facilities don\'t even meet those standards as there is no enforcement.

So a now infuriated health minister chides that something must be done, that our seniors deserve better. Which is all fine and dandy except other members of her government have also been sounding off and the impression is that they still don\'t think there\'s a problem, and if there is, it\'s not their fault.

After all, the minister of infrastructure says, the AG is an accountant and doesn\'t know what good care looks like. The premier, when questioned by the opposition as to why his government has been asleep at the switch, calls the opposition liars and that the allegations are unfounded.

What Ms. Geddes has caused is some very uncomfortable media scrutiny to fall on the Klein government. Up to this point Ralph and his government have had a pretty easy ride in the Alberta press. Now that the press has turned on them, on at least this issue, the government doesn\'t know what to do. It\'s releasing contradictory statements to the press. It\'s lashing out at critics in the same way a cobra lashes out when it\'s cornered. Ms. Geddes has lifted the rock of the Alberta government and all the roaches are busily scurrying to find new cover, or at the very least get us to point the flashlight somewhere else.

Where is this all likely to head? Well, if they follow their usual pattern on this, the Klein Tories will attempt to study the issue to death in the hopes the Gomery Inquiry will distract from it. Given how fickle the media is, it\'s likely that Klein and Company will succeed. With a federal election probably only days away, media attention will focus on that and the heat will be turned down in Edmonton and this issue will fall to the back burner, if not off the stove entirely. However, there will be a brief moment in history where Ralph Klein and his band of merry reactionaries couldn\'t control the media. Though Ms. Geddes will likely be unsuccessful in having her plight corrected, she has done us all a service in showing that one person can make a difference and at the least make those in power uncomfortable, even if they\'re still not listening.
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The Power of One.
Authored by: Anonymous onFriday, May 13 2005 @ 04:51 MDT
We can always hope that our political leaders are capable of better than that.

(Of course, Ralphie could just try throwing money at it - instead of actually thinking it through)