alberta election endorsements.

Over the course of the election campaign, I have identified candidates from all the political parties who would be good MLA’s in the next Legislature. Out of the group of more than 400 Albertans seeking office in the 2012 general election, I have chosen six candidates who I personally believe would make excellent additions to Alberta’s public life and I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorse.

Shannon Phillips in Lethbridge-West
Shannon Phillips is a dynamo who would bring new energy to the opposition benches as an MLA. With the two main conservative parties poised to sweep most of the province, the smart and politically savvy Ms. Phillips would bring a strong voice for her constituents on the floor of the Assembly.

Michael Walters in Edmonton-Rutherford
Michael Walters understands how to connect with and engage with large groups of people, which is a critical skill for anyone holding public office. As a seasoned community organizer and a quick learner, Mr. Walters’ would be a strong and refreshing voice to Alberta politics.

David Swann in Calgary-Mountain View
If you are troubled by the lack of honesty and integrity in politics, then David Swann is someone that you want in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly. Not a traditional politician, Dr. Swann is a voice of reason and calm in a political culture increasingly filled with blind partisanship.

David Eggen in Edmonton-Calder
From 2004 to 2008, David Eggen was one of the most effective opposition voices on the Assembly floor. Since 2008, he used the skills he honed in the opposition benches to become a strong defender of public medicare. He is a hard worker and Alberta politics will be better if Mr. Eggen returns to the Assembly.

Sue Huff in Edmonton-Glenora
Sue Huff provides a perfect example of how politics can be done differently in Alberta. As a trustee on Edmonton’s public school board, she maintained a positive tone while effectively advocating against the closure of core neighbourhood schools (a heated topic). As acting leader of the Alberta Party in 2011, she brought her positive tone to the provincial level. Hers is an effective voice that would bring a welcome change to the floor of the Assembly.

Ian Urquhart for Senate
Every few years in Alberta, we elect a non-elected position called a Senate Nominee (or Senator-in-Waiting). These elections have been held since the late 1980s in hopes that one day the appointed Upper House of Parliament in Ottawa will become elected. No matter what you believe about the Canadian Senate, this election is an opportunity to send a message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Ottawa Conservative Party that Albertans are not to be taken granted for. This is why I will be casting my ballot for Ian Urquhart.

A professor of political science at the University of Alberta, Dr. Urquhart was one of my favourite instructors during my time as a student. His candidacy gives political moderates and centre-left voters of all stripes an option other than refusing to vote or spoiling their Senate ballots at the polls.

19 thoughts on “alberta election endorsements.

  1. Barry Madsen

    Centrist parties “borrow” their policy from all the other parties. How can they be critical?
    The AbP candidate here took to piggybacking on the NDP’s commitment to public funding and delivery of healthcare and then laying out the additional details of their own plan with their time.
    Personally I would not trust anyone who’s idea of policy development is poaching from the other parties, avoiding the grunt work and then to top it off, insulting them for being “ideological”. I call that opportunistic, lazy and arrogant – not “smart”.

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  2. Chief of Staff to the President of Davberta

    These are great endorsements. Every one of these people would make a difference in our lives if elected.

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  3. Reg

    Barry, your lack of understanding of the ABP policy process is showing. Maybe do some research before you speak, and be more supportive of good ideas regardless of where they come from… You sound VERY partisan, very WRP…

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  4. Barry Madsen

    Of course I’m partisan. I’m a candidate for another party. I have done my research, talked to a number of different AbP people, sat next to the AbP leader go on and on about it. I’ve publicly stated “I do NOT like the Alberta Party” and gotten a big laugh every time. I have worked on all 5 of your leader’s previous election campaigns, but not this time, even though I was invited.
    I speak from a position of intimate knowledge on this subject and stand by my previous statements.

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  5. Reg

    You sound like an extremist, left or right, same thing… Apparently you don’t think the policies came from the big listens? Your bias is fascinating.

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  6. Reg

    Tho I do find the NDP vitriol and terror towards the AB Party hilarious. Always sound so threatened… Also, perplexing.

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  7. Brian

    Dave,

    As usual, a balanced appeal on behalf of 6 strong candidates across party lines.

    I think if people stop to realize that the PC dynasty was enabled by the failure of the opposition parties during that time, they will understand the fierce desperation of the NDP and Liberals as Albertans realize that they have not just been failed by one party rule but by their opposition parties.

    I am on the executive of one party but can always recognize great candidates and ideas from each of the other parties Barry. Running as a candidate does not excuse you. As an MLA you should always embrace good ideas that help your constituents regardless of ideology. The fact that you can not see that is a sad comment on your party and your candidacy.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful and insightful article Dave.

    Brian

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  8. Denny

    I agree with you on all of these except for Huff Dave. I’m confident that Ray Martin would be a better MLA than her, and has a better chance of winning. I’d also add Deron Bilous, Laurie Blakeman, Mo Elsalhy and Marlin Schmidt to the list. Other than that if I were in a given constituency I’d vote for whichever progressive candidate had the best chance of getting in.

    I have to strongly disagree with Barry about “borrowing” policy. I’m not familiar with the particular policy he’s referring to, and in general I find Alberta Party policies to be overly vague, but I see no reason why a party shouldn’t be willing to say “Oh that’s a good idea, if you add this that will make it even better.” A perfect example of this would be when the Liberals came out with their support of implementing a new tax bracket at $100,000/year – something anyone would expect the NDP to agree with. Instead of doing what would make sense and saying “hey that’s a great idea, but what would be even better would be adding other brackets at X amount as well” it seems that they had the need to oppose it simply because it came from the Liberals and said “Oh no that’s terrible don’t make people that earn nearly twice as much as the average Albertan pay more!”

    I really wasn’t impressed with any of the campaigns this election and ended up making the choice of who I voted for based on who I think would make the best MLA for my constituency – not based on any of the disappointing central campaigns.

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  9. Denny

    Of course I wouldn’t have expected the NDP to have put it in the phrasing “hey that’s a great idea…” It’s a partisan election after all. Something more along the lines of “The Liberals promise of a new tax bracket at $100,000 doesn’t go far enough, we would also implement new brackets at 80,000 and 200,000 etc.”

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  10. Barry

    You are entitled to your opinions. Your personal judgements of me and the other parties are no less hostile than mine of your party’s. I’d just say we disagree and there I shall leave it.

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  11. Reg

    My party? I don’t have a party, I don’t support the NDP or the ABP, I support good ideas tho, and balanced information.

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  12. Reg

    Denny: it does often seem like the NDP are generally against many things “just because”. They feel overly negative in Alberta, but I feel like that’s Masons leadership mostly.

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  13. Jared Burton

    Barry as a New Democrat candidate in this election don’t you think that petty and immature comments about a fellow contending party is unbecoming of you? If this is how the Alberta NDP candidates conduct themselves – like mere trolls on comment sections of websites – then I am glad I will not be casting a vote for your party this election.

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  14. Concerned Albertan

    While I agree with some of the above comments more than others, the above conversation is the perfect example of why the centre-left parties in Alberta are their worst enemies.

    Why can’t they get past partisan politics and WORK TOGETHER? Perhaps the results of this election will teach all progressives a thing or two about the need for cooperative politics….. (or not. After all, the last 41 years haven’t seem to have done it.)

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  15. Jared Burton

    I absolutely agree with Concerned Albertan, and perhaps my tone was more inflammatory than necessary. Clearly uniting progressive parties would be most beneficial to forming a legitimate opposition years down the road – there’s certainly time to do so after this election. Liberals suffer from poor branding that harkens back to the NEP days, NDP is too left for most Albertans albeit they now offer a much more grounded viewpoint than past elections, Evergreen suffers from being viewed as a ‘one-issue party’ and very limited resources. The option for me is the Alberta Party which I view as a credible alternative and a change in the way politics is done in Alberta. I’m sure the Alberta party would welcome any progressives with open arms after this election, clearly it’s time for some sinking ships to be abandoned.

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  16. Midge

    Thanks, Concerned Albertan

    The Alberta Party has already moved past partisan politics,and isn’t waiting any longer for others to lose the labels they cling to and catch up.

    VOTE FOR WHAT YOU WANT, NOT AGAINST WHAT YOU DON’T WANT

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  17. Concerned Albertan

    HI Midge.
    Many of us in Alberta have been doing EXACTLY what you’re suggesting for years already – that is, voting for what we want, but to no avail, because first-past-the-post makes sure the centre-left parties all remain weak and fractured.

    If things continue with each party going it alone, it will be fascinating (if not horrifying) to see how many more elections progressive Albertans will put up with this divided nonsense. Another 40 years perhaps? What fun.

    In particular, as the Alberta Party is so new, it will be interesting to see how many elections it will take for its members to become disenchanted with the 4 way centre-left split, before they, too, realize that cooperation is the only possible answer for anyone of a progressive or moderate mind set in this province. Basically, what you’ve recommended is the same old line we hear from all 4 parties: “My party is better than your party, and we’re going to win. So vote for us, and us only!”

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  18. Robin

    I’m really not sold on the idea of Centre-Left cooperation. I mean, it is reasonably clear that there are too many parties vying for too little real estate but what exactly is the motivation for a typical New Democrat voter to support the Liberals? Even ignoring the existence of the kind of voters who federally swung between the NDP and Reform, who do exist and alone provide a pretty decent counter argument, what is there? Seriously, for every Kevin Taft that might cause Dippers to pause and consider it there is a Decore (with deep and painful cuts) or a PC reject like MacBeth (who might have been from the Lougheed wing of the party but if that is what a voter wanted then they could join have joined the PCs and fought for them to choose a Lougheed Tory) or Sherman (who oddly enough has one of the more progressive platforms that Liberals have run on in my memory at least, but still).

    I might be more of a partisan New Democrat than the average voter but yeah, good luck convincing me that I wanted most of the Liberal’s leaders to be Premier.

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