Rogue party activists to discuss ‘collaboration, and cooperation.’

Can Alberta's centre-left parties "work together?"
Can Alberta’s centre-left parties “work together?”

The latest episode of Alberta’s ongoing “cooperation on the centre-left” saga will continue on January 23, when rogue activists from the Liberalberta Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Alberta Party will host a “Soapbox, Suds, and Wings” night in Edmonton.

The event, which is being organized by Edmonton-Mill Creek NDP president Stephen Anderson, Alberta Party president William Munsey, and 2011 Liberal candidate Mike Butler, promotes “citizen engagement, collaboration, and cooperation” as the way of the future for Alberta politics.

In a December guest post on this blogCalgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Kent Hehr restarted the latest debate about cross-party cooperation and was stunningly, and strangely, rebutted by Liberalberta Party president Todd Van Vliet in a media release. Liberal leader Raj Sherman remained suspiciously silent during the very public rebuke, leading political observers to believe he sanctioned Mr. Van Vliet’s ill-advised response.

Edit: On January 8, Mr. Van Vliet announced that merger ideas would be debated at his party’s annual convention, scheduled for June 2013.

NDP leader Brian Mason has also spoken out against any formal electoral cooperation or merger with the other non-conservative opposition parties.

The main centre-left opposition parties (the Liberals, NDP, and Alberta Party) earned a combined 21% of the popular vote in the 2012 provincial election, down from 34% in the 2008 election and 39% in the 2004 election. In 2012, the three parties were pushed aside by a reinvigorated moderate Progressive Conservative Party led by Alison Redford and an aggressive conservative Wildrose Party led by Danielle Smith.

Mr. Hehr and Edmonton-Centre Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman have confirmed their attendance on the “Soapbox, Suds, and Wings” Facebook event page, as have 2012 Green Party Senate candidate Elizabeth Johannson and 2008 federal NDP candidate Dave Burkhart.

61 thoughts on “Rogue party activists to discuss ‘collaboration, and cooperation.’”

  1. I will gladly be there. But not to support a “centre-left” agenda as much as to try and find an alternative to government, if this one fails.

    IMO, the need in this province is for an alternative to the PC’s, if Allison Redford’s government can’t find a way to advance a moderate agenda. The Wildrose have had little success finding any kind of socially acceptable common-ground for people like me, who are fiscally responsible and socially progressive.

    If Madame Redford’s government can’t present this solution, then who will? I still doubt the ND’s will have any reasonable alternative, and I have forever thought that the Liberals are hostage to two things:

    1) An unreasonable attachment to a brand that simply can’t win in Alberta

    2) A leader who suffers from delusion of grandeur

    So, I will attend… but only in the hope that the new moderate party in this province is named the Alberta Party, and that Party can attract a leader who inspires Albertans about a completely new methodology and approach to moderate governance. Not “centre-left”, but simply centre.

    Fiscal responsibility, and a passion for social and environmental reality in a global context.

  2. Geez, enough with the centre-left stuff. I know it’s easy that way… but all MLAs are invited… and I have it on pretty good authority that at least one Wildrose MLA will be in attendance. Tomorrow, an invitation will go out to the PCAA.

    It’s about collaboration. Really…. let’s get people talking about possibilities… right, left, inside out. Who gives a rat’s arse? Let’s start thinking beyond the next election cycle and past the coloured buttons on our lapels. Might even be fun!

  3. I believe the tribes will always exist because it is human nature, my personal viewpoint is joint nominations can work but the parties must stay intact. Let democracy grow through having more cooperation as well as more choice. I hope we can all get together and find the paths that lead us to a better government. I have always been a strong supporter of minority governments because it seems the most democratic.

    In each constituency the Liberals,NDP,Alberta Party and Greens hold a joint nomination, the most organized and capable candidate for each constituency will win and represent the chosen area for their own party.Each party will go on to compete in the next election how they see fit. This idea was widely accepted by all sides at the last event in Calgary. I believe this must be considered for the next provincial election.

  4. Just want to correct or clarify that not only has Mason spoken out against this but resolutions on this have been defeated at a couple NDP conventions by a majority of delegates after healthy democratic debate. There will be far more centre left votes to be had next election now that Albertans are realizing that premier Redford is not the progressive she held herself out to be.

  5. I agree- it’s time to see where the common interest lies… and think about what’s best for Alberta, not what’s best for any particular party. Parties exist to serve the people, not to serve themselves. I hope the conversation will be productive, respectful and brave.

  6. To clarify resolutions were discussed and voted on at the 2008 NDP convention and before that. However a large group of us came to 2012 convention to speak to resolutions, but “time ran out” for discussion.

    They have not been discussed at a convention since the introduction of the Wild Rose, a great deal has changed since 2008, including a change in PC leadership, and a large loss of seats for the Liberals (leaving us almost equal with 5 seats to 4 and almost exactly the same popular vote), as well as the introduction of the Alberta Party.

    I think having another conversation 4 years later is not too much to ask. Mr. Mason simply stating that the party would have voted any resolution down, is not the same as the party actually discussing and voting it down. Since some of our respective leaders refuse to sit down and have said publically that there is no thirst for cooperation, we figured it was time we would show them many of us are very thirsty.

    Even long serving NDP MLA and former NDP leader and candidate in Glenora in 2012 Ray Martin, said at the Glenora all candidates forum, he suspects he would agree with his rivals in the Alberta Party and Liberal Party on 98% of things (both liberal candidate and Alberta Party candidate stated they agree on many issues).

    Why are we fighting over %2? there is more division in the PC party then there is between the Alberta Liberals/NDP/Alberta Party/Evergreen. I, nor should anyone, agree with any party %100 of the time, and they are always evolving. Can we not get together and compromise just a small bit to ensure that we have a much more powerful voice and a chance at enacting laws for the betterment of Alberta as opposed to a tiny opposition that spends more time every election fighting each other. In almost 25 years the NDP has failed to reach over 4 seats and we have been left with 0 more then once. It’s not our ideals that our the problem, many Albertan’s agree with NDP/Liberal platforms (which in 2012 were damn near identical) but do not vote for either as with the exception of a handful of ridings are not seen as a viable option.

    I invite all people of all political stripes to come to Soapbox, Suds, and Wings on January 23, agree or disagree let’s talk face to face.

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Democrats+aiming+lure+Redford+Tories/7288921/story.html

    http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/edmonton-glenora-candidates-forum-1.799297#ixzz2I3nDyDPG

    http://daveberta.ca/2013/01/unite-the-left/#comments

  7. Mike, I like your idea, but just for the sake of debate, what happens if the NDP beat the Liberals in every single riding and the NDP candidates go on to represent all 3 parties in every constituency in the province? It’s unlikely, sure, but if it DID happen, what would be the LiberAlberta plan to deal with the fact they won’t run a single candidate in 2016? Would there even be a need for a Liberal Party in Alberta in that case? Would Liberals recognize that and join other parties? I can get behind cooperating with other parties during an Election for the purpose of implementing proportional representation and then immediately calling another election to put a government in place based on that proportional representation but that’d be the only way.

  8. Stephen is right that it was debated at the 2008 NDP convention, but the second time was 2009, not prior to the 2008 election.

    I believe it’s also been debated at the NDP provincial council since then. Resolutions that don’t make it to the floor of convention are usually referred to council. Council is a body made up of the executive, plus one representative from each riding association.

    Finally, if there was a number of people at the 2012 ANDP convention who wanted to debate it, there are options for motions from the floor to change the order of resolution debate. I doubt that motion would have succeeded, but the option does exist.

    In the absence of this kind of motion, resolution committees tend to give resolutions that have been recently discussed a low priority in favour of other issues. I wasn’t a part of that process, but I suspect that is what got the anti-cooperation motion pushed to the bottom of the list.

  9. Lou you are correct that it was 2009, I was thinking 2008 as it was not long after the election, my mistake. However my point still stands that it hasn’t been openly discussed by all membership in nearly 4 years (even though the political climate is vastly different), I suppose with more organization people could have brought it to the floor in a number of ways. Seeing as there was already a resolution we assumed it would be discussed, wrong assumption.

    In many ways a movement for cooperation or merger is often best handled at the grassroots level, may be a great way to reinvigorate politics in Alberta, even though many partisans may paint it as destructive. I don’t think as things stand now that there is a whole lot to destroy. The hope of something vastly better is worth the minimal risk in my opinion. If you agree or disagree come on down on January 23, it will be fun!

  10. “I don’t think as things stand now that there is a whole lot to destroy,” notes Stephen. And that’s the point. Voters made it overwhelmingly clear last year that in most seats they believed that it came down to the Tories versus Wildrose. Even in many Edmonton seats where there was little evidence that the WRA had support,many voters who had never voted Tory before did so reluctantly. Afterwards, they were proud of themselves for having slayed a potential dragon though many believed even then that Alison Redford could not deliver on both her spending promises and her no-tax-increase delusion. Why would they change their minds next time when the WRA will likely be even stronger unless there’s a “third force” with a real chance of winning as opposed to a set of candidates from small parties with platforms only dissimilar to the very, very discerning eye? And yes, PR should be an important part of a “third force” platform. But it can’t be the whole thing, as Brian Labelle and others have suggested. How many voters are going to vote for a candidate who stands for PR and an early, expensive election and nothing else versus candidates who are running on economic and social issues even if the stands of the latter on these issues are mean-spirited? If, as Sue Huff suggests, the idea is for the parties to serve the people, not for the people to serve the parties, there is an obligation on everyone from the centre to the left to work together to produce detailed, moderate, costed policies with sources of revenue clearly stated for one election. Then they need to unite behind one candidate in a riding to give this province a chance to at least partially set aside its unfortunate history of governance by one party and one ideology.

  11. I think that this event should be called what it really is. Alberta Party 2.0.

    The Alberta Liberal Party has a leader. The NDP has a leader. Both are against merger. The Alberta Party has no leader go guide them in this process.

    I think the P.C. party for the sake of Democracy in Alberta needs to be taken down in the next election.

    Former Conservatives & Liberals worked together to form the Saskatchewan Party was formed that way.

    The successful merger to take down the P.C.’s could happen in Alberta from the right, between WRP and Alberta Liberals. With a right party and a centre one coming together.

    The old Social Credit and Liberals did it in B.C to come together under the BC Liberal banner.

    Many members of the current Alberta Party were aware of the good structure the Alberta Liberals had to fight an election and looked to do a reverse takeover in 2010 but failed.

    I think all parties need to work hard to fight for the votes of everyone with great ideas. If some P.C & Liberal M.L.A’s crossed the floor to join Smith to take the hard edge off of her party she could beat the P.C. Party.

    What is the objective at the end of all this. A new centre left party to govern Alberta. Is it to break the P.C. in the next election to perhaps let all parties have a better chance and make Democracy stronger.

    Or is it the objective to start a movement to replace Alberta Liberal & NDP leadership to have a joint convention with the Alberta Party to form one new one to take on the P.C and the Wildrose in the next election.

    To the NDP and Liberal folks who want this I say you are being disloyal to your leadership. These issues should be addressed within the framework of the Liberal and NDP. Knowing that each day you spend on this issue is a day closer to the election.

    Wade Izzard

  12. Well said Alvin.

    Brain its not my idea, its the idea that has has been agreed on by almost all in this movement as a solid first step to build trust. Proportional representation would skew the vote to the cities and leave out a lot of rural vote where I believe we need to start connecting and making policy for. This is really a debate that has to happen at a convention to figure out which way to go.

  13. Hey Wade,

    Sask and BC are not comparable. Both prov’s created a new conservative party because the previous con party was disgraced (in sask half the cabinet went to jail) and a strong NDP government.

    This is not Alberta party 2.0 it is in response to the Alberta party and the other three progressive parties. In a first past post system you can’t win when four progressive parties are being drowned out by two strong conservative parties.

    I want more progressive MLA’s in the legislature so my views are represented. I bet if 30 progressive MLA’s where around our budget would be more progressive and considerably less conservative in March because the PC’s would worry about their left flank as much as the right flank.

    This is not a movement to replace leadership of the parties. Many of us want to pressure the leadership to think outside the box. There are thousands of former candidates, volunteers, party workers of all progressive parties, but they only get 150 delegates to a convention because people give up as it is a futile waste of time fighting each other and the PC giant.

    The best way for more progressive MLA’S is cooperation. I support joint nominations at the constituency level. Even if you are against this, I suggest to everyone we should at least support consider a non aggression pact among sitting MLA’S (maybe to make it fair give the NDP the Lethbridge riding they came close in to make it 5/5 and Alberta Party/ Green party a riding or two). I suggest this to be supported by everyone because last election 7 out of 9 ridings won by progressives could have easily been lost (all riding’s except Mason and Notley’s riding). To avoid a possible complete progressive wipeout there should be at least be a non aggression pact amongst sitting MLA’s. I want more, but this is something that is reasonable that could be a great starting point for cooperation.

    I look forward to the night and see what brings us together.

  14. Wow, I was pretty excited to read about this until I saw who’s behind it. These are some of the most politically disorganized people I can think of.

    Mike Butler has run under several different party banners, he seems to go wherever he can be a candidate. To me, that says that he is more interested in being elected than in standing for a specific set of values. His campaigns are always embarrassing, with homemade signs that are completely off message from whichever party he’s pretending to represent. Last time out he ran as a Liberal but was busy online trying to sell signs to the Greens through his printing business.

    Stephen Anderson’s family insisted on having Stephen’s own NDP lawn sign in the provincial 08 campaign, despite the fact that he was running in a different riding from where they live. I guess telling their neighbors their son was running trumped supporting the local candidate. I’m sure the neighbors were thoroughly confused when Stephen’s name wasn’t on their local ballot.

    Stephen and some of his affiliates came out to support Mike Butler at the contested federal NDP nomination in 2008 and voted to cut the candidate presentations short, lest they miss the all important Grey Cup that was happening that day. I mean you wouldn’t want to know who or what you were voting for, let’s get this thing over with because FOOTBAWL! A much better candidate who had worked hard to bring out swing voters lost and many new party members expressed extreme disgust for the way the proceedings were handled (ie railroaded).

    Most of Mike Butler’s supporters for that nomination meeting should have been disallowed anyways, as he turned in his new member sign-ups a week later than the constitution of the NDP allowed for at the time. The events listed here were the catalyst for me discontinuing with any real work or support for the NDP.

    TL/DR: I would love to attend a co-operation event. Run by anyone except these clowns.

    Enjoy your tea party on the moon, you space cadets.

  15. Why isn’t it comparable, James? The Sask party has a mix of fed Tories and fed Libs, the BCLP is almost 50/50 to the dot in terms of sitting MLA’s. What happened to trigger the party structure is irrelevant. What IS relevant is voters continually reward this mix of party membership with government status. Moreover it exists in other jurisdictions successfully besides BC and Sask and has had similar success.

    Also, out of curiosity: why does Dave always say liberalberta party when talking about VanVliet &usually Sherman but not liberalberta MLA when talking about Kent Hehr? Is it because you hate the name liberalberta but are bias towards Kent and like him so won’t pin the name on him? Very interesting.

  16. In 1993, we had 33 Liberal MLA’s and they were not even a speed bump in slowing down the Klein agenda.

    Winning is the only way to break this cycle James.

    I would not matter if we had 40 seats if the P.C party has 47 they could still do what they want.

    Wade

  17. @Ryan – It’s because I think the name is silly and while they insist they don’t want people to call them that, it remains on the header of their website and all their media releases.

    @Wade – In 1993, the Liberals won 32 seats, not 33.

  18. I’ll try be brief and hope to have some great discussions with all you folks next week in person. But in the meantime …

    Wade wrote “you are being disloyal to your leadership. These issues should be addressed within the framework of the [parties].”

    Others have expressed the opinion (not necessarily on this page) that this has been dealt with and need not be dealt with again.

    I couldn’t disagree more with either of these positions. First of all, as a member of the NDP for over 26 years (Gawd!), I have never pledged allegiance to any leader and never will. I have some thoughts, honed over the years, about party leadership and will share them next week in person. Mark is correct in that our convention delegates have defeated resolutions that called for collaboration/cooperation/merger/whatever but that doesn’t preclude any individual members from talking to people. Sure, I have a position on this issue but as a long-lost button I used to have said, “If you can’t change your mind, are you sure you still have one?”

    Progress doesn’t occur in a vacuum and talking to people with different ideas can only help you to improve your own, either by seeing the other side more fully or having the holes in your own argument pointed out. I always invite people to change my mind: the more important the matter; the more people I invite.

    Politics or not, humans only improve when they engage with other humans. We need to do more of it, not less.

    None of us are going into this with the authority to do anything other than – oh, that’s right – no authority whatsoever. So, we’ll have a beer, eat some wings, listen to some people we don’t usually get to listen to and, hopefully, go home with our thoughts provoked a little bit.

  19. Hah! That doesn’t look brief at all.

    Anyway, Dave, “Liberalberta” is silly. Did they actuallly change their name to that or is it just their logo?

  20. Hey, pretty cool to be “rogue” at my age! Sarah Palin better watch out
    But I’m going because it’s what I’ve been doing for the last 8 years – what ever I can to help build a better democratic way of government for our province.
    Some time ago I was working with a group trying to open them up to a less cultist attitude about their party, and the question came up “What if we get someone we don’t know?” Sorry, but I think that is the best thing that could happen to any organization! The more people I don’t know, the more new ideas we have an opportunity to build on. I still see so many people who cling to their labels and define others only by those labels; who can’t see any way to make change happen other than make everyone the same as them.
    I would love to see everyone leave their labels, buttons and signs at the door of this event. I’d love to see a “swear jar” for every time some one used the old words – right, left, conservative, liberal, ‘progressive’ or any party name. I’m excited by the names I see on the guest list on Facebook – lots of folks I know, but even better, lots I don’t know.
    I’d love to see anyone there from any party who wants to work to make a government that is responsible and responsive to US, not to any party organization, who looks at ideas before ideology. I get that we need to work within our existing system, but until we can make that system work FOR us, nothing will change.
    Hope to see you there!

  21. Midge, I love the “swear jar”! Given the way we all crutch on labels in politics, the swear jar concept might just produce enough revenue to help get something off the ground! You’ll recall that the Reform Party funded itself in the early days by literally passing the hat at meetings and events.
    You all know that I put myself out to pasture when the last election was called — to the delight of at least some of you, I’m sure. These days, I watch the game and from time to time, I comment on it.
    I actually am not nearly so interested in what consensus you rogues come to as I am in you finding a structure that will allow you to reach consensus. I was at the Pints and Politics event in Calgary not long before Christmas, and I think its great failing was that there was no organization to the meeting…just, as Kent Hehr told me, “a chance for everyone to talk to people in the room, and we’ll do something organized next time.” As a consequence, what I observed was plenty of conversation going on among small groups of people who already knew each other, but not a lot of intermingling and cross-pollination.
    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “We’ll do something organized next time” from self-proclaimed progressives in Alberta, I’d have enough money to start my own party!
    If all you do is have drinks, appetizers and unstructured conversation, then you can call yourselves The Cocktail Party because that’s all it is — a cocktail party. For far too long, a cocktail party (with or without beverages) has been an accurate description of what the Not-conservatives in Alberta have had on offer — lots of talk, but no clear plan of action. When it comes time for the rubber to hit the road, the Progressivemobile is up on blocks.
    The people of Alberta deserve so much more than that, and you have the capacity to give it to them. And no, I’m not suggesting you need a five-point plan for world domination by next Wednesday…but a format for discussion, tracking of comments, and someone to lead the discussion and help draw it towards consensus on Exactly Who We Want to Be, What We Want to Stand For, and Where We Want to Go Once We’re All In This Together would, I think, be productive.

  22. Dave: Very good points.
    Midge: Agreed, and I love the swear jar idea!

    I also was at Kent’s “pints and politics” event and met you there Dave, In fact I and a few others drove down from Edmonton specifically for the event as we have been working at this for awhile now. I agree lack of organization was an issue, also the fact that it being organized by Ken Hehr, to a large degree made it mostly a Liberal event, well that and the fact that it was in Calgary where the NDP has a serious lack of support. I still found it positive as I met many others and had some great discussions.

    We are hoping to have more organization to this event and through months/years of conversations have really begun to narrow down some idea’s. We are also building a contact list of those who are interested in working together. We are allowing all to speak on the “soapbox”, mind you time will be limited to each person, we see this event as a way of drawing like minded individuals together for discussion, and a way of building relationships/trust, and repairing some of the damage done by fighting one another for years.

    We are hoping to hold more formal events in the future, but felt that it would be hard to get people drawn to some form of board meeting to start out.

    Also with both Raj Sherman and Brian Mason publically stating they are looking for their parties to become the “big tent” we felt it important to show party brass that there is a thirst for working together in the hopes of something better, and many of us are worried that they will both remain in their tiny tipees by continuing on the same path.

    I agree, I dont want to be the “cocktail party”

    P.S. Dave that will be $3 for the “swear jar”, and I guess I owe $2

  23. To be fair, Dave T, before the last election, members of the Alberta Democratic Renewal Project launched a concrete Change Alberta campaign with street signs, social & public media, and website presence to promote progressive inter-party cooperation and strategic voting. Previously, they had approached all the centre-left parties with only the Liberals and Greens showing interest (kudos to both, by the way, as they were ahead of their time).

    Unfortunately, the message for strategic voting was co-opted by the Conservatives, which, of course, in aid of the Tories, the media took up as though it were the greatest, most unique idea since sliced bread.

    One can only wonder how long it will take progressives to acknowledge the clearly impassible roadblock that FPTP and non-cooperation pose.

    The Romans were right, of course: “United we stand; Divided we fall.” No truer political words will ever be spoken.

  24. I’m a life long Liberal, and I want nothing to do with the NDP. But I do like what I’m hearing about teaming up with Wildrose. As part of an alliance with Danielle Smith we have a chance of getting into power and smashing a 40 year old dynasty. Teaming up with small parties like the NDP and the Alberta party will make us like them – losers.

  25. I would that if Joe Anglin and Wildrose can coexist, I don’t see why our MLAs would do any worse in the WRP caucus.

  26. Hello Mimi,

    The Liberalberta logo is a logo.

    It’s still the Alberta Liberals. Feel free to call the party the “grits,” Alberta’s Liberal Opposition, or Liberals.

    I’m not quite sure what Daveberta and friends are trying to do by using the wrong name.

    Vincent

  27. Hey Ryan,

    BC and Sask are not comparable for 2 reasons.

    1. Both Sask party and BC liberal party are the product of defeated and destroyed PC and Soc cred parties. In Alberta the PC party is alive and well.

    2. In both Sask and BC you had a strong NDP governments who used disgraced con governments as examples of failures. The new parties came out of the ashes of former con parties because they knew they could never win embracing the record of the previous con government.

    The Liberals who embraced both Sask party and BC Libs are conservative Libs (remember that libs didn’t just join con parties. Two or three Liberal Mlas joined the NDP cabinet in a minority. As well former BC liberal leader Gordon Wilson defected to the NDP as a cabinet minister.)

    This doesn’t work in Alberta because most conservative liberals already have left and joined the PC’s. Also very few that are left would join the wildrose. The ideology is to far. For god sake they advocated universal college last election how can they work within the Wildrose party.

    Hey Wade,
    I agree in a two party system the government won’t listen to you as in 1993. But if we had three parties(or cooperation to maximize seats among NDP, Libs, Alberta party, Greens) the government responds according to political risk. If the PC’S were scared of losing seats or government to the progressives as much as wildrose they would have a more balanced budget. The reason the budget will be wildrose is because they are scared the wildrose could win the next election. They have no fear of us as we remain divided.

    See you all Wednesday.

  28. THis is Alberta Party 2.0, old partyless centrists, or PC shills, posing as progressives, trying to turf the Liberal Party. You just have to follow the dots and the folks connected with this whole amalgamation idea. The only problem, is that amalgamists think that combining 4 + 5 Ridings will equal 9 or more in reality. In fact it will disengage and disenfranchise the base of both the ND and Liberals, and WILL NOT grow a credible political foe against the Tories.

    The only way to grow a political foe against the Tories, is for well meaning and uber intelligent folks like He-nt Ke-hr and Ho-rey Ko-gan to get Tory base and Tory voters and get Tory MLA’s to cross the floors. But in some alternative universe, these geniuses seem to think that combining third and fourth place supporters and voters is like 4+5=9 or more, when in fact any Albertan with a shred of sense knows that 4+5=0, politically speaking.

    The time for vote splitting experiments was over, last election proved that. It also proved Albertans are brand loyal, despite overwhelming odds and this was evident when the Alberta Party crashed and fell off the cliff, mostly due to its narcistic and uninspired leadership, which failed to attract voters, let alone keep its party leader, or even win ONE riding. The AP experiment essentially failed democracy in AB. Vote splitting caused that, YES IT DID.

    This new attempt at a vote splitting experiment is just that, a Toryland concocted distraction designed at keeping centrists and progressives to keep infighting and ensure that they never pose a threat to the Toreez from the Left or centre.

    Brian and Raj should pay no attention to this mass distraction, concocted in Toryland. The best course of actioin is for the Liberal to build their party, bring in donations, and get voters, and that takes hard work, walking door to door and talking to people with your mouth and using your brain. There are LOTS of these types of people in the Tory party and they need to be asked to leave a dithering party. But He-nt Ke-hr and Ho-rey Co-gan, won’t even want to try something that sensible, to them it makes more sense to destory the Libs.

    What these genius amalgamists are completely missing is that 70% of the progressives are sitting in the Tory party. So why are they ignoring them and not trying to get them? The only explanation can be that either they are completely and utterly stupid and can ‘t add, or they are in fact working as friends of the Tories to disempower the progressives to ensure Tory Largesse. The latter seems to make more sense.

    Having been through so many elections in AB. I have to say, Dr. Sherman has proved to be political juggernaut. He won his riding the first time in 2008, a political new comer, he again won the same riding under the Liberals, albeit by 118 votes and won a resounding 95% popularity as leader of the Liberals.

    From the newspaper, it was clear, the Liberals had $150,000 total cost, won 5 seats at a $1.50 per vote. The vote splitting experiment AP had much more, volunteers borrowed from the Liberal Party and even with more money could not win shxt, not even ONE riding. The ND’s spent almost $5 per vote and got ONLY 4 ridings with $600000 dollars spent.

    So what this means, the most politically and economically viable route to growing the center is strengthening the Liberal party, especially when ALL pundits claimed the Liberals were to have zero seats. They proved resilient beyond anybody’s expections, despite the Lakes of Fire.

    The best value spent and best ideas and most likely to grow will be the Liberal Party of Alberta.

    Chris LaBossiere says:

    “A leader who suffers from delusion of grandeur”

    As usual, Chris, you are all cl-ass! Such venomous language should never be uttered from a washed up party president. Talk about grandeur, the big listen or big cookie or big hug, did not resonate with Albertans, NO IT DIDN’T! You guys got absolutely rejected, and any new party called AP 2.0 will get rejected even more and give the Tories a 75 seat landslide. They flipped you guys the big middle finger, yes they did, yes they did! Ideas are cheap, you can hear ideas in Tim Hortons shops almost every 15 minutes, so don’t kidyourself. You guys are expired donuts. Count the votes, if you can count. To me, folks who ignore the vote count and can’t even get ONE damn seat, are the ones suffering from delusions of grandeur. Either that, or they are Toryland shills. This whole fake amalgamation charade, I bet my bottom dollar, is just that. Todd Van Vlient summed it up perfectly in his press release. Good work Todd! The Liberal Party its supporters and voters are more unified than ever and very resilient brand and will continue to grow with the new leadership and empowered individuals that are driven to seize the future.

  29. @Chris, btw, it does not matter which new leader was present in the AP. Progressive Albertans don’t want NEW parties. Regardless of what leader the AP would have had, the result would have been the same, so Please DON’T blame your ex leader, he could not even stand staying with you guys, much longer after the election, he realized what a waste of time it was, despite what he may have claimed, I wouldn’t feel any different, losing so badly. Its also confusing for Albertans, they don’t read papers and wholesale rejected the Kleenex paper concocted idea of the AP. Its hard not to feel sorry, for lots of well meaning folks, ex Liberals were mis-lead and wasted so much precious time on a idea that ended up disempowering so many centrist votes to the Tories. Those good and well meaning people left the Liberals at a time when it was different. Its time for everybody that loaned their precious time to the AP experiment to packup and come back to the Liberals and be part of a party that is on the path to growth and has excellent policies and an ability to actually connect with voters. Best of luck to Brian. Brian, shut your doors and keep a look on the back door as well, don’t waste your time with some of those confused individuals who have no sense of political loyalty and no sense of poltiical direction, it will just water down the dippers and you will be lucky to be left with one seat next election.

  30. @Dave still didn’t answer my question of why you selectively use liberalberta party, you only seem to use it when speaking of party members you obviously don’t like, when Kent Hehr is mentioned he is simply a “Liberal MLA” could you please specifically explain why Kent isn’t a Liberalberta MLA when mentioned? I don’t deny it’s silly, or that they use it on press releases my issue is your selective use of the term based on your very obvious bias.

    @James Anderson the party was divided on universal university and I surmise now that Corey hogan is no longer the decider of party policy this is not the feeling of the majority of members. Also, as I said, the circumstances of Cretan are irrelevant, I know them very well. Yet you explained them again to me? I’m wondering why it wouldn’t be a success in Alberta as you say. Are you 100% ruling out the possibility the conservative liberals would go to the Wildrose if they to such an approach as I mentioned? Seems like not only a general and unproven statement but also completely opinion based.

  31. Neal (Gray, I assume)

    I think personal attacks are unwarranted, and I normally wouldn’t respond, however as this is a public forum I will defend all your very WRONG accusations in point form.

    1. “These are some of the most politically disorganized people I can think of.”

    In 2008 when I ran provincially in Edmonton Mill-Creek for the NDP, I raised 10′s of thousands of dollars for our campaign and held a few very successful fundraising events. We were able to rent a campaign office in a prominent location on Whyte Ave (unlike Edmonton Millwoods, it was our own and not shared). We were able to afford if I recall 3 leaflet drops, thousands of signs, and I spent over 3 months full time knocking on tens of thousands of doors. Through my hard work and organizational skills the party decided to pay for a full time campaign manager. If you feel I am so politically disorganized check out the copy of Brian Mason’s message at the NDP convention in 2008 shortly after the election,

    http://www.ndpopposition.ab.ca/node/2484

    “Stephen Anderson did an excellent job in Edmonton Mill Creek, a riding that had no campaign to speak of in 2004, but Stephen and Laura turned it into a riding we can take in the next election.”

    Now before you do it, I will be the first to admit that this hard work did not turn out to increase our vote. However as opposed to most of the province were the NDP vote went significantly down we mostly held our vote. This I feel had little to do with lack of organization in the riding and more to do with what went on in the province. Now if you would like to take a look neither Eggen nor Bilous did all that well their first crack at an election either.

    2.”Stephen Anderson’s family insisted on having Stephen’s own NDP lawn sign in the provincial 08 campaign, despite the fact that he was running in a different riding from where they live. I guess telling their neighbours their son was running trumped supporting the local candidate. I’m sure the neighbours were thoroughly confused when Stephen’s name wasn’t on their local ballot.”

    OK, there is some truth to this, one proud family member had one small sign of mine up along with your wife’s Christina Gray as they were proud, the house is on a side street and I highly doubt anyone took notice especially not 3279 voters that Christina would have needed to win (keep in mind that the placement of the sign was not my decision and it was taken down after I found out). If you recall in 2008 I lived just outside Mill Creek boundaries and was technically in Millwoods (although since boundaries have changed I do live in Mill Creek now), Since you obviously were so involved heavily in signage since you noticed one tiny sign of mine in the riding, you may recall that I plastered my house with Christina Gray signs, I still have them since no one in your campaign picked them up, if you would like them back just let me know, I feel not picking up signs after an election is very disorganized and does allot of damage to supporters.

    3. “Stephen and some of his affiliates came out to support Mike Butler at the contested federal NDP nomination in 2008 and voted to cut the candidate presentations short, lest they miss the all important Grey Cup that was happening that day. I mean you wouldn’t want to know who or what you were voting for, let’s get this thing over with because FOOTBAWL! A much better candidate who had worked hard to bring out swing voters lost and many new party members expressed extreme disgust for the way the proceedings were handled (ie railroaded).”

    How do you know who I was supporting?, I took the time to come to a nomination meeting and encourage others to attend as well. Also it was not grey cup but a home game for which we had season tickets too, I did not railroad anything I simply asked if after listening to both candidates speak if I could vote, before guest speakers spoke, David Eggen was guest speaker whom I have listened to many times before. We did not cut the meeting short, we came, listened to both candidates and voted and the meeting carried on. Also your view that she was a better candidate is your own. Obviously as she lost the majority in the room disagreed with you. I never heard one member complain or exhibit “extreme disgust”.

    3. TL/DR: I would love to attend a co-operation event. Run by anyone except these clowns.

    Enjoy your tea party on the moon, you space cadets.

    I love when a person resorts to belittling and personal attacks. It shows their incapacity to have a respectful, intelligent, dialogue, and often shows that their points are generally very weak.

    Also Neal, It is not just Mike Butler and I who have been organizing this event, Will Munsey Alberta party president, and Janet Keeping the leader of the Green party have also been involved, as well as many others. I think that all of our organizational skills have proven to be fairly affective, in a few short days we have confirmation from over 100 people and have managed to garner alot of interest. (over 100 people may not seem like alot, but keep in mind that LIBERAL/NDP conventions usually have roughly 250 attend.

    I would encourage you to attend, however only if you can leave the personal attacks at home, as we are hoping for a open, respectful discussion.

    All the best,

    Stephen

  32. Neal your negative attitude is not wanted at this event anyways. Your anti democratic by trying to invalidate voters.Its no wonder you have not run for election again you don’t like democracy.If you are calling down a Canadian tradition like the Grey cup go jump in a lake.

  33. And now we know why rational people don’t bother to get involved in party politics: the intemperate invective hurled at people who don’t whole-heartedly agree with every thought, word, or deed issued or executed by party “faithful”.

  34. Hey Ryan,

    I explained it again because you don’t get it. Circumstances matter because they can’t be repeated if it is different. In Alberta, unlike BC or SASK, most right wing liberals (if their is any left) are not going to skip hop the PC party and join the wildrose party(moat right wing liberals already joined the PC party). In BC and Sask they were embarrassed of the previous con government but the most important is righty liberals hated the ndp so much they would join to get ndp out of their. In Alberta name a important liberal or former MLA who has joined the wildrose? Thats why Alberta is different no disgraced con party and no socialist party in power to stop get it? I bet no former liberal mla would ever embrace the wildrose.

  35. Hey Neal Gray

    Just wanted to talk about the nomination you where refuring to in your post. You where good friends with the person I was running against and I believe you where president of millwoods beaumont at the time.

    So I’m sure for you it was a non starter when I decided that I would continue my fight for fixing mental healthcare and drug addictions treatment across Canada. Its too bad you could not drop your differences between us and work together but I guess that’s what has been the norm in Albeta. As many people just give up instead of finding a way to work together and start attacking each other. We must stop fighting each other and finally defeat this conservative government.

    Your talk about cheating to win is bullshit and if you guys where more organized for the vote it might have been different. Politics is and always will be about people. If you let things go, worked with other people more often you would have more friends and supporters.

    Maybe you can let things go and come out again to fight for your principles.I am talking about building an allied effort of independant parties against the conservatives.

    So please point you energy in the direction of changing this province to be a better and more democatic place.

    An allied effort between parties is must occur to chage government here in Alberta.

  36. Martin Levenson has it right. There is a sneaking suspicion among a good portion of the population that only petty, mean-spirited people get involved in politics and who wants to deal with such folks. I applaud Stephen and Michael for responding so generously to charges that are bizarre to anyone who was not directly involved. Let’s stick to the arguments for and against cooperation on the centre-left and avoid personalities. Obviously there are going to be both people one likes and people one regards as shitheads on both sides of the debate. Frankly, if personalities were what it’s all about, I’d support Alison Redford, who is far more intelligent and accomplished than the leaders of all the other parties. I object to her policies, not to her as a person and I would be happier to have Brian Mason as premier because of his policies, though I don’t think he’s either as clever or as personable as the premier.

  37. Stephen;

    I thought you tossing Mike Butler under the bus by dismissing him as a key person in helping make the suck fest to be AWESOME and very funny.

    @NoMoreVoteSplitting You are great and you seem right on.

    @Ryan is right with regard to that the Liberals & Wildrose could come together at some point for the united cause of sending the P.C’s into the dustbin of Alberta history.

    @Dave 33 or 32 seats was a typo, but I am always a glass is half full type of guy so I hope you will cut me some slack on my numbers.

    @MikeButler I have learned from you that you can never work with people who do not respect you or themselves. This cadre of former/current Liberals, Alberta Party, Greens and NDP do not respect you. Hell they can not even give you credit Mike for helping bring everyone together for this political reach around–glory hole fest. Remember politics is about kissing ass or kicking it. If what you are doing is not A or B then what you are doing is a waste of time. You are of course well meaning and that is what makes this worse.

    @MimiWilliams I thing the coming civic election is a much better topic to talk about over beers and wings(you are right). If Alex B. chooses to show up and spread his lies it could be a very interesting event indeed.

    @ChrisLaBossiere I guess your P.C. asskiss failed & your attempt to create a super left party to kick some ass is doomed to fail too. Your mind is as closed as you want the City Centre Airport to be. Of course being a pilot of this unite the left project is going to make it hard for you to bring it to a soft landing, when you have no place to land.

    @James new parties are not the answer. A new government is. To hold our nose and vote for the party that has the best chance to end the P.C’s rule in Alberta (even if it is only for four years).

    Cheers

    Wade

  38. @Wade,

    Here here! Its sad how partyless centrists and their failed leaders keep harping on about how great their ideas are. Well good for them. People from all walks of life have great ideas. The question is, what do they have that is so entrancing that they will get votes, despite going door to door and handing out a billion pamphlets, the answer to that..drum roll….NOTHING! Yes, Libs took a direct hit, but the structure still stands, despite the odds.

    As these amalgamists, something I bet concocted in corporate Tory Calgary, vie to take almost another 200,000+ voters to the edge of a political cliff for next election, its beyond easy to see, that their ultimate goal, is to ensure the Tory largesse. Nobody should fall prey to these guys. They had lots of time to prove their false case and they utterly and politically failed. They lack the depth and the savvy to connect and resonate with regular Albertans credibly. Therefore, it will just leave voluteers, supporters and voters expired, a monumental waste of their time. In Tory country almost anything goes, I bet my bottom dollar, this new vote splitting experiment, perpetuated by amalgamists is attempting to re-engineer the continued Tory rise. Sadly, these ex-Liberal volunteers and such have wasted so much time and for them to not even get one seat and it amounts to a false sense of hope. AP 2.0 is another attempt at vote splitting and nothing more. If these amalgamists could count, they would have credibility trying to get Tories to cross the floor to the other parties, but instead, they think combining combining third and fourth place will somehow lead to creation of first place. All you have to do is connect the dots, they all lead to Toryland. Enough said. I feel sorry for people who have wasted their vote for this, wasted their time volunteering and been given false sense of hope and a false sense of political change. What a waste of money. A new gov’t is the only answer. The best way to do it is to turf the existing one, politically that is build the existing ones much better, with better outreach, solid policies, and bringing in good people and purging all opposition parties of Tory tentacles. WR and ND’s beware as well.

  39. Wade, I did not throw mike Butler “under the bus” I just didn’t think it appropriate for me to speak for him.

    “It is not just Mike Butler and I organizing this event”

    Also if you feel it is such a “suckfest” why have you confirmed attendence on facebook?

  40. Stephen;

    I see that is you and William who are admins on the facebook event page. It is also good that you are not speaking for Mike he is able to do just fine for himself.

    I think it will be a “suckfest” I have not problem with being proved wrong. The people are always the X factor in any event.

    There are a lot of very bright and well meaning people who have plans to attend which will make it interesting. Until Raj Sherman & Brian Mason show up I am unsure about how interesting it is going to be. There is always that excellent chance it could happen.

    I do not understand the timing if this kind of event. Why now? Why not wait until the Alberta Party has a new leader that might be able to bring people together? Why is this talk happening when the Legislature is out of session? Who is pushing this agenda and why?

    It is my hope that the event is as billed. For people to have a few beers. Get a chance to be on a soap box for 5 mins. Perhaps to learn something new.

    Mike did not like snide comments I made about the event. Then blocked me of facebook. Not a very free speech thing for him to do. Also it tells you a lot about Mike.

    To be fare to DAVE who is the writer of this blog. Lets me have opinions he may not agree with, but still allows me to type them in typo’s and all. Which is what most fair minded people should do.

    My remarks on this blog may be pointed and seem to offend at times, but it is a good way to get people to think about their positions on things. I also do not hide using some made up name to express how I feel. I should be held to account for the public opinions that I have. I also really hate it when others pretend to be me on the internet.

    Politics is I think is something that an adult should always see as something they should do in the long run of their adult life. I waited until my 30′s before I got into politics or took out a party membership. I have core ideas that I am not willing to sell out. Being an Alberta Liberal is one of them.

    Mike Butler has a core idea and an agenda is bigger than any one party. He is also willing to knife any person or party that does not fit that agenda. Others who plan to go to this event feel the same way although their agenda may be different than Mike’s.

    Leaders come and go. People in parties come and go. But brand and being loyal are very much apart of the system that we have. Voters want people who have ideas and who can lead. In places, other than Alberta it means voting for different parties from time to time.

    I just hope that when I do attend I get a chance to say what I have to say without being sidelined. Plus, it will not be as easy as pushing the delete button. I could really careless about being welcome. Because when you have ideas you are willing to stand for being uncomfortable from time to time is apart of that.

    Cheers

    Wade

  41. Wade

    Yes, Mike is very capable of speaking for himself,

    I hope it isn’t a “suckfest” and I really hope to prove you wrong, your right though it really depends on what people make it. It’s hard to say who will show up, all (sadly) 9 NDP/LIB MLA’s have been invited as have all party presidents and a number of former candidates from the 4 parties.

    The timing largely has to do with 3 reasons,

    1) People have been talking about it federally for awhile now.

    2) The Calgary by-election proved that together we may have beat the conservative as she only received %36.87 of the total vote.

    3) After the Calgary By-election, Kent Hehr Liberal MLA for Calgary Buffalo called on this site for merger and has been widely in the media.

    4) The Liberal party after doing poorly in the 2012 election was almost tied with the NDP popular vote and had only 1 more MLA elected then the NDP. Although many of the 9 MLA’s including Raj Sherman himself barely won with just a few hundred votes.

    5) Introduction of the Wildrose party stole many of the Liberal vote by being seen as the progressive choice, many voted out of fear of a more conservative government the WRP.

    6) The Redford PC’s have recently reneged on many of there more progressive election promises E.G) Education, Health Care etc.

    7) If we dont start talking early it will be to late to build trust/plan for 2016 election.

    8) Kent Hehr and a number of others have been holding similar events in Calgary which myself and Will Munsey along with Janet Keeping (Green party leader) and Mike Butler attended and found the conversation very useful, which inspired us to host an event here.

    9) Both Raj Sherman and Brian Mason have stated publically that they both aim to be the big tent for progressives, and many are concerned they will both be left in their tiny tepee’s.

    10) Both Sherman and Mason have stated there is no thirst for cooperation, after many months/years of speaking to people we disagree and feel it should be discussed, it may just show them there is.

    I could probably go on but I think that gives a pretty valid argument why timing is good now.

    Many individuals are posting their thoughts and that is what I am trying to encourage people to do, We will do our best to ensure time for everyone who wants to stand up to speak, of course to ensure that I hope you understand time will be limited.

    I will let Mike speak to blocking you, I have not blocked anyone and have only deleted one comment as their was name calling, I assume that Like Daveberta I feel I cannot allow people to use the site to degrade and falsely accuse people and resort to name calling, that is the only reason I will delete any post or block anyone. As you may have noticed I simply respond and engage in positive discussion.

    It’s great that you feel that adults should be involved in the long run, I have been involved a long time as well. I have core idea’s as well and although I am an NDP member I can never say I agree with any one party %100, so being NDP is not one of my core values, especially seeing as parties and leaders change.

    I can only speak for myself but I will not sideline anybody unless they are disrespectful or rude, I hope everyone brings their idea’s and is respectful of one another, the last thing we need is the press to see further fracture between us, and a disorderly disrespectful meeting. I am sure that would delight the conservative parties.

    I look forward to seeing you there, all that are willing to be respectful are VERY welcome to attend.

    Stephen Anderson

  42. Correction #5 with intro of wrp the pcs were seen by many as the progressive choice and many voted out of fear as opposed to hop for the pcs

  43. It is people like @Wade Izzard that are the reason why New Democrats reject the characterization of Liberals as “progressive”. How could a truly progressive party find any common ground with the uber-right Wildrose Party? Liberals in Canada, both provincially and federally, have a long-establisehd patten of campaigning on the left and governing on the right. They are just as devoted to the market fundamentalist, free-market, corporatist agenda as the various flavours of Conservative. Yes, their social agenda is less medieval than Wildrose or federal Conservative, but on bread & butter issues, which is really where most elections are won and lost, there is little to distinguish them.

    New Democrats believe in a number of fundamental truths:
    - people are more important than property, and individuals have more rights than corporations
    - sweat investment, that is investment of labour, must be protected and respected just as much, if not more, then financial investment; this means that workers are entitled to just as much reward from their work as bosses (who after all, are profiting from the workers’ labour)
    - the “invisible hand” of the free market must be regulated to ensure fairness and justice
    - every Canadian must be given an equal opportunity to succeed in life, and social and economic barriers to that success must be taken down

    I could go on, but I think you can see where I’m going. When you examine the different parties’ policies through this lens, you can see a wide gap between what NDP members stand for, and what Liberals and PCs stand for. This is why a so-called “merger” is never going to happen.

    There may be Liberals who share NDP values, and were simply misguided in their choice of party; they are alway free to tear up their Liberal Party cards and sign NDP cards. But a “merger”, non-compete agreement, or anything like that? No.

  44. There are people from all parties that espouse and have overlapping values with folks on somethings from other parties, folks like He-nt Ke-hr seems to short sightedly think that precludes a merger. Some of you goof bags need to quit sniffing paint. Have you become so desperate, blunted and short sighted that some of you see, that you just don’t belong in politics anymore, some of you are expired and out of ideas and maybe time to move on.

    @Alvin, sorry, I disagree with you supporting Red fraud. I can’t support somebody this waffly and, flip floppy and dis-honest. You are wrong, i would take Raj, Danielle or Brian any day as a premier. Honesty and Integrity are far more important than anything else. Ethics and morality don’t hurt either. The Preem, with such infinite intelligence that you adore, has done F all correctly.

    These are the hallmarks of successful leaders. Yes Honesty and Integrity are the hallmarks of excellent leaders in corporate and gov’t leadership. YES THEY ARE. YES THEY ARE, I thought you were much wiser Finkel, boy was I wrong. Red Fart is a failed leader. Opposition parties should keep hammering. Danielle, Raj and Brian are heros.

    The oil will keep coming out of the ground, regardless who is premier.

    Thank god for the dinosaurs. Tories have given the dinosaurs no respect.

  45. @jerrymacgp It is the NDP that work hand in glove with the Conservatives. Both in Alberta & at the Federal government.

    The NDP hate the Liberals worse than any other party. They are the ones that propped up the Harper Conservatives before the got their majority. Jack Layton was also the one who brought the Paul Martin government down and the Kelowna accord along with it.

    Great things have been done in Canada when the Liberals & the NDP work together. But sadly the Jr. partner in that kind of political arrangement does not get the reward from the voters as it should.

    The NDP worked with Harper to set out to destroy the LPC. Layton in the last election punched harder and asked better more pointed questions to Iggy than he did Harper.

    Liberals in Edmonton lent their vote to help elect Linda Duncan. But the same quarter was not give to the LPC in Edmonton Centre to Jim Wachowich when he first ran the same year Linda did.

    A non-compete agreement could have worked in the last provincial election. I would have helped elect more NDP then Liberal MLA’s for sure. But the NDP would rather see a seat go Tory than become Liberal.

    David Eggen almost lost again to the Tory in the last election because of this. It was his luck that the ALP had one of it’s weekest people run. So the vote did not split off in favor of the P.C.

    The Liberals are a progressive party. History has shown that. It is not because of people like me that ND’s should reject the notion of Liberals being progressive. I would have no problem voting NDP if it worked out for the common good of being progressive.

    Why I am not an NDP’er is because they are comfortable with a Conservative government. Remember the 1980′s and early 90′s under Mulroney. The NDP and Liberals had an almost equal amount of seats in 1984. But the P.C’s kept on rolling. Ed Broadbent got a nice appointment from Mulroney after his time in office. Free Trade came in and hurt Labour in Central Canada.

    But the most fundamental truth about the NDP is that they are willing to live with a Conservative government over a Liberal one. Because most believe that in the long run it will benefit the NDP because someday they will be able to fix the mess the Tories put us into when they get into power. But all if us suffer in the meantime because of the Tory polices in the meantime.

    You are right there are many Liberals who share NDP values. In Alberta, I have yet to meet an NDP’er who shares Liberal values.

    Your party does not like people who disagree with the leadership. Kent Herr would have been booted seconds after pulling his stunt if he had been an NDP’er. Raj and others have been more open to hear what he has to say.

    Democracy needs to be fixed in Alberta. That objective is the one that should be the most important one for all concerned. What is happening now is not healthy to have a one party state that is around for decades. Once that is system is broken in Alberta all parties can have a fair chance in having their ideas & policy become law.

    Wade

  46. Wade you made a comment on my personal page that I thought was un called for and rude. So I deleted it and blocked you from my friends,because my friends would not say that on my page.

    Your right free speech and democracy is of utmost importance but my personal facebook page is like my house.Its mine. you are to my knowledge aloud on our public forum and at our event as long as you can act with respect.

  47. @MikeButler

    It was snide comment. Which you should feel free to post and let others decide how rude it was.

    Friends talk to each other and communicate when they have a problem with something they have said or done.

    Respect is when you would communicate with someone in an adult fashion. I did not rate as a person who was even worthy of message. Had I been more important to you, I might have heard from you before you decided to delete me from your account.

    I could not care less if you decide to block me from your forum facebook event site.

    You do not have respect for Brian Mason or Raj Sherman. You have little respect for the process of getting elected with the sloppy way you conduct yourself during writ periods.

    Raj wanted to boot you (as you should have been) I thought you earned your right to represent the ALP in the election.

    After Raj listened to a voice of reason. He agreed to allow you to stay. His reward for that is just a few short months later for you to lead the charge to boot him (a man who got 93% in a leadership review) for his job as Alberta Liberal Leader.

    I guess that is politics. But before you talk about respect Mike you should give it in return. You do not have to like Raj. But you also do not have to lead the charge to get rid of him. Because you the political mastermind that you are think it would be best for the Alberta Liberal Party to dump him.

    The NDP put up with you and your run that handed the riding to Fred Horne taking out Rick Miller. Then dropped you like a bad habit.

    But this time with this event you get to kick both Brian Mason & Raj Sherman in the face at the same time (you would do it to the Alberta Party too but they do not have a leader).

    When the Alberta Party does get a leader. Mike I am sure you will become best buds. You will run under the banner of mental health for the Alberta Party. lose again. The Alberta Party will vote over 93% to keep their leader (because they will have had to put up with you) then you can have a new event after the next election to get rid of that leader and move on (all done out of great respect).

    I would call this event the Mike Butler political hat trick of 2017. I can not wait for it.

    So the third man in the picture at the heading on the top of Dave’s block post should have a question mark over one of them.

    The question would be “Who is Mike Butler going to screw over next?”

    Wade

  48. Wade, I would much rather run as an Independent Liberal before I ever run under Raj Sherman or the “Sherman Liberals”. I supported Raj for his leadership and did everything he asked of me because he was leader of the party during the election. I have learnt that I cannot follow any person I do not believe in but I know my principles and philosophy is Liberal. It is not a party for me it is a philosophy that I must stand for. Raj has misrepresented that original philosophy and taken the policies of this party way to the left where the NDP are. We must go back to the center with our policies and it is too late for Raj to do that because voters will never believe he will do that. This is why we need a new leader Wade.

    As far as the NDP I have some really great friends that I have made there but I do not believe in shutting down corporations or business. I love business and I think it is vital to our way of life and the success of our province. I think corporate donations are a part of politics and should stay that way. Business people also need to be represented and I would like to do that for them, they are people also by the way. I would like to see more average people start businesses and understand how hard but rewarding it is to own your own business.

  49. I’ve been content to mostly let others conduct this debate. But I have to respond to some of Wade Izzard’s comments:

    “It is the NDP that work hand in glove with the Conservatives. Both in Alberta & at the Federal government.

    The NDP hate the Liberals worse than any other party. They are the ones that propped up the Harper Conservatives before the got their majority. Jack Layton was also the one who brought the Paul Martin government down and the Kelowna accord along with it.”

    In 2008, the NDP offered power to the Liberal party. Every member of our caucus signed a deal that would have eventually give Michael Ignatieff (or anyone the Liberals chose as leader) the keys to 24 Sussex.

    The coalition talks were initiated and pushed by the NDP. All members of the Liberal caucus signed the same deal, including Mr. Ignatieff. But Iggy reneged on the deal almost as soon as he became leader – arguing that the Liberals didn’t need the NDP to take out Harper.

    Three years later, Harper won his majority, Iggy brought the Liberals to near ruin, and Liberals like Wade still say the NDP will do anything to destroy the Liberal party and keep Conservatives in power?

    I don’t know why the Liberals chose to keep Harper in power, but I do know that it was their party, not ours, that kept him there. Blaming Jack Layton shows that at least some Liberals have learned nothing from the experience.

  50. Mike Butler wrote: ” I think corporate donations are a part of politics and should stay that way. Business people also need to be represented and I would like to do that for them, they are people also by the way.”

    Nobody is denying that business people are people, and there is absolutely NOTHING preventing business people from making political donations AS people.

    However, if they can ALSO make political donations as “corporations” or businesses, their interests are over-represented in the political process, and that’s what many people object to.

    Furthermore, corporations themselves are NOT democratic organizations, and cannot claim to be representing the interests of all their employees. At least labour unions and federations make a pretense of being democratic.

    Personally, I would like to see ALL political donations eliminated and campaigns paid by the public purse after establishing a threshhold level of support. That way, everyone campaigning would start with a level playing field, not one distorted by corporate or union contributions.

  51. Coming in late to this discussion, it is interesting to see how the conversation morphed from talking about cooperation to people slagging each other and their respective parties.

    Some of my thoughts:
    1) As was shown in the provincial election and the Calgary Centre by-election, one of the key issues was not the policies or personalities of particular parties but the voter turnout.

    2) The provincial election was a referendum on the Wildrose party and its fitness to lead government. It failed. The fact that progressive parties failed to take advantage of this is due in large part to not having policies (or not marketing them correctly) that appeal to mainstream voters.

    3) Vote splitting – yes it is happening, but until combined vote is more than the PC vote, it is irrelevant.

    4) In regards to a form of PR and under-representing of rural areas: find a balance. Currently cities are vastly under-represented compared to rural areas. A PR form of government should be able to address this better.

    5) Have all opposition parties (including Wildrose)run the next campaign on electoral reform. Find an easy form such as STV that can be easily communicated to the voters. It is in the interests of ALL opposition parties to do this, if you want to have more seats/power/money then you currently do.

    Finally, I didn’t go to Kent’s pre-Christmas pint night despite the fact that I live 3 blocks away. From the sounds of it, I didn’t miss much. I must say, is it that hard to get a simple agenda written up? Next time, get a rep from all attending parties to write up a few bullet points to direct the conversation. The post by-election Calgary Centre progressive pint nights at the Broken City are a good model to follow.

    Chris

  52. The main point I am so upset with going ons in Alberta politics is having to vote for a progressive party I’m told I have to vote PC. Is that not screwed up? All because of small differences of libs, ndp, greens, alberta party etc. I have three very close family memebers who voted PC last election after a life time of voting Lib or NDP. They said to me the ndp/lib candidate has no chance in their berb riding of edmonton (even worse in calgary or rural ridings I assume). I couldn’t counter their rationale. Something needs to change or many progressives will continue holding their nose and vote PC because sun media tells you their liberals (even though they always disappoint progressives). Does everyone remember “I never thought I’d vote PC” campaign? Something needs to change or maybe I’ll vote the Rhino party as they have as much chance of winning 80 out of 89 ridings as the NDP or LIBS, the riding I live in included.

  53. @Lou Arab

    First the Liberals & the NDP have a long history. In that during much of it the NDP has done what it can to out flank the LPC with much success.

    Second, that every member of the NDP Caucus signed an agreement to give Iggy the keys to sussex drive is a bit much. Iggy was not comfortable with the other partner in the agreement the Bloc. Also most Canadians were against the ideal of the coalition and seemed to be bad policy. In the end it worked out very well for the NDP that Iggy did not do it.

    Take things to present day. If Liberals for Linda Duncan helped get her elected in Edmonton to make her the only opposition M.P. in Alberta. Where were the NDP for Harvey? Polls showed over and over the Liberals were in second place. The NDP vote shifted to the greens to hand the Tories another win.

    Linda could have come out to support Harvey. There was a chance to work together for a common good, but the NDP blew it. We do not even have to go as far as giving the keys to power to the LPC. They were not even willing to have one more opposition seat in the HOC.

    What is even more insane are Liberals like Kent who took the by-election result as a signal to push for more co-operation when the Liberals have no dance partner or any other party with enough goodwill to work for a common cause or a the big picture.

    So now a hard right winger like Joan is the M.P. for Calgary Centre. Whose political values do not represent the majority of people in her riding. Just like M.P. Laurie who represents Edmonton Centre.

    The last thing you say with “I don’t know why the Liberals keep choosing to keep Harper in power”? Is very funny. There not much in recent history to support that statement. The NDP is on record voting for Harper Conservative Budgets and is on record a being a reason for the fall of the Paul Martin Government.

    I give Jack Layton credit for running a better campaign than the LPC. He was able to make inroads for the party in Quebec and the rest of Canada too. Iggy was not prepared for the fight and lost the election and seat for the LPC.

    Did he ruin the LPC? Only time will tell. Will the NDP and the LPC merge someday. History shows that it is unlikely. With recent events like what took place in Calgary very unlikely.

    These Rogue Party activists that want to discuss ‘collaboration, and cooperation.’ Should really think about what they want, why and about the timing and how people view what they are doing before they do it. They should respect the Leaders and parties in these talks.

    Lou I have seen this topic come up again so many times. It seems to rip and divide the ALP and the NDP are often silent, but pointing how the ALP is dead while people are kicking it.

    Liberals need to wake up and work on doing it better than the rest. We 5X’s less than the N.D.P and elected more M.L.A.’s. For an average cost of about 22, 000 per M.L.A. which is tens of thousands of dollars less than any other party.

    The ALP has good policy. Has bright and talented people. Can and will do better in the next election. They just need to change the culture with in the party and stop giving others the chance to kick us when they think we are down.

    Wade

  54. Phew, I wasn’t accused of being one of the disorganized organizers. Then I’d better not tell you that I couldn’t find my wallet this afternoon.

  55. Wade is correct. This last election was testament, that the Liberal Brand AND the Liberal Party are extremely resilient! Yes they are, self-deluded spoilers, take note of that! You don’t just toss away such a resilient brand and structure, is absolute balderdash to even think such a thing. The three rookie Liberal contenders simply did not win because they were new and never ran a campaign before, like their seasoned incumbents like Taft, McDonald and Chase. The WR, AP and Liberals, all took an upper cut to the chin in the media fueled paranoia against the WR. So what this means, is that its all up hill for the Liberals and it makes NO sense to casually rollup 5 Resilient ridings for a merger pipe dream. A merger means a few or some will goto the ND’s and the rest, have no place but to goto the the PC party and it is willfully negligent and stupid to promote this Tory benefitting behavior. So, merger propagandists fail to mention the benefit of a merger is only their per$onal benefit and benefit to the Tory party. The best thing for democracy, is to bring supporters, donations and voters to the Liberal party. It is THE most resilient starting point to jump start the progressive center in AB. AB Libs have thoughful, talented people, prepared to organize and put the work forward to growing the party. Liberals have excellent policies. The growth of the Liberals is happening NOW. Areed, Wade, the Liberals ran the campaign on a shoe string budget and managed STILL to get 5 ridings, because they had a committed team and a strong vote presence in those ridings. The amalgamists really don’t have a focus, vision, or any idea of what direction to take anything. They have undermined their own credibility, not to mention a possible trust deficit they created against themselves within the party, after having claimed to be “loyal” Liberals. They should be under no false notions, they have severly tarnished their personal branding by trying to turf the liberals in their dream merger experiment. Its pointless to focus on these individuals, who are nothing more than vote splitting spoilers who are either Tory agents intentionally trying to destroy a party of proven resiliency, or mean well and don’t even have a shred of a clue, whatsoever. Either situation is NO good for democracy, AB voters and the Liberal Party. The best path forward is the continued growth of a party that proved beyond a doubt, its resilience in the worst possible scenario. There is tremendous value and stability at the core of the Liberals. Poor Raj, now has to deal with the same crxp and back biting that Kevin, David and others have had to deal with. These spoilers need to be called out and cast out for bringing nothing positive or productive redeeming qualities and ideas to build this Resilient party. Regardless of who the leader of this party was or is, any leader would have to deal with these divisive spoilers. Smart, loyal thoughtful, visionary folks will not spend a second hearing a word they have to babble. With continued hard work, co-operation with each and other parties, the Liberals will fare extermely well in the next election, they have already been through the worst case scenario and landed on all 4 legs. One of the keys to Tory success has been loyal MLA’s, loyal supporters and hard work. If they can do it. So can the Libs. YES they can.

  56. There seems to be a lot of talk of “Smashing the Dynasty” in the comments section. I wouldn’t vote for anyone that wants to “smash the dynasty” especially when it looks like that is the only goal. I don’t want a party or an alliance that is only in it to get into power and get the PCAA out of power. Have the PCs been in power too long…probably but offer something better, If you join to beat them with no plan you are giving them my vote.

    I want a party that wants to and has a good plan to improve Alberta in ways that the existing party cannot. Joining the liberals and wildrose does not create that nor should it even be considered as their philosophies are completely different even on fundamentals like fiscal policy and taxation. Merging the Alberta, Liberals and NDP seems more feasible but give us a damn plan instead of whining about how bad things are. Complaints are like assholes, everyone has them. I want a party with solutions to real issues.

  57. I think it’s long overdue to give Daveberta a shout out and thank him for being the go to place for Alberta politics, I look forwrd to meeting:) thanks for the venue of great discussion:)

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