Do you remember that children’s tale from long ago when Chicken Little was walking in the woods and an acorn fell on her head? Her immediate assumption was that the sky was falling. In a hysterical panic, she ran all over the place, meeting up with Loosey Goosey, Ducky Lucky, Henny Penny and a host of other equally frightened farm yard animals who stridently declared, “The sky is falling!”
That is the kind of rhetoric that I have been hearing since the election victory of the New Democratic Party on May 5th. After a 44 year reign, the Progressive Conservative party was asked, by the electorate, to hand over the reins of power to another group of people with a different philosophy of governance. Over 70% of the legislature seats “changed bums.” (no pun intended, honest!) When Albertans look for change, they look for change in a big way.
In the stunned aftermath of such a turn of events, Chicken Little would have felt herself in good company hearing all the dire predictions about the imminent collapse of the economy and all manner of other calamities.that are sure to beset Alberta in the next four years.
I will, with empathy, concede the fact that for Jim Prentice it probably felt like the sky was falling—at least momentarily—but I think that it is time to take a deep breath and give grateful thanks to God for a number of things:
- We are blessed to make our way to ballot boxes without armed guards at the door.
- We are fortunate that the handover of power is accomplished without bloodshed and violent conflict.
- We continue to live by the rule of law and know that the transition will be respectful and dignified.
- That, in defeat, the leaders were able to, at least minimally, congratulate those who won and thank those who had worked hard throughout the election campaign.
- We are still able to greet our neighbours, even though some may have voted differently than we did.
- We have the freedom to ask questions, engage in peaceful protests and challenge those who govern us.
All of this is cause for grateful thanks!
In the coming months, the Notley Crue will make mistakes.
It is the nature of our human existence and governance is never easy.
However, let’s stop acting like the sky is falling. We live in one of the most privileged areas of the world, with power and wealth beyond the imagining of millions of people. Rather than wasting our breath running around like chickens in the farmyard, let us share that wealth in ways that are life giving, not just for us Albertans, but for the world. Let us shine a light on generosity, kindness, compassion and striving for the well being of all.
I think that Jesus would be rather proud of us if we could do some of that, no matter what our political inclination.