Friday, October 14, 2011

Reg Alcock 1948-2011

Sad and unexpected news, as former MP Reg Alcock died this morning at the age of 63.

I'm sure most will remember his time in Cabinet, but what will stick in my mind was a mild controversy I helped stir up at the 2005 Liberal Policy Convention. I was president of the University of Calgary's Liberal Club at the time, and having not yet grown jaded about the LPC's policy process, our club had put forward a resolution to legalize marijuana. We'd pulled off a small miracle by getting it prioritized at the Alberta convention, a feat that required hung over youth showing up bright and early Sunday morning to vote.

So this sent the policy to Ottawa, where we'd created a bit of buzz with pamphlets and t-shirts. Reporters began asking MPs about the policy, and Reg was blunt saying he supported legalization, since it was the only way to break the back of organized crime.

Maybe he should have stuck to the government line, but I respected his willingness to speak his mind, even if it meant having to field an angry call from the PMO. We invited him out to an event at our club shortly afterwards, and he was equally blunt there, speaking honestly on a range of issues. I know everyone came away impressed.

It's hard not to like a Western Liberal who speaks his mind. He will be missed.



Post a Comment

<< Home