Tag Archives: Larry Ashmore

Alberta’s Evergreen Party to discuss name change, choose new leader.

Alberta Greens

Alberta Greens logo, circa 2009.

2008: Led by George Read, the Alberta Greens run 79 candidates and earn 4.58% in the provincial election, the party’s highest level of support ever.

Joe Anglin

Joe Anglin

2009: After a divisive leadership vote, the Alberta Greens, now led by Joe Anglin*, dissolve when the party is unable to unable to file financial returns with Elections Alberta as required by law. As a result the party was deregistered and became unable to run candidates in the 2012 election.

2011/2012: The Evergreen Party was registered by Elections Alberta and ran 25 candidates in the 2012 election, earning 5,082 votes or 0.394% of the province-wide vote. Coming full-circle after the provincial election, the Elections Alberta prohibition against using the “Green Party” name expired.

On September 29, 2012 the Evergreen Party will hold its annual general meeting at the Chateau Louis in Edmonton. At the meeting, the party will debate ditching the “Evergreen” name in favour of something similar to its previous name – the Alberta Greens.

Janet Keeping

Janet Keeping

A leadership vote will also occur at the annual meeting to replace outgoing leader Larry Ashmore. The contest will see recent election candidates Mike Donnelly and Janet Keeping contest the leadership. Mr. Donnelly was a candidate in Wetaskiwin-Camrose and is a printing press operator. Ms. Keeping was a candidate in Calgary-Varsity Calgary-Hawkwood and is the former president of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation and the executive director of the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre.

* Mr. Anglin is now the Wildrose Party MLA for Sundre-Rocky Mountain House-Rimbey.

Alberta Party decides to remain an Alberta party. Could a Liberal merger be next?

Alberta Party Logo

The Alberta Party

Members of Alberta’s eternally optimistic political party, the Alberta Party, met in Calgary for their annual general meeting this past weekend.

Dave Taylor MLA

Dave Taylor

At the meeting, members debated and decided to remain a political party. After the party’s less than stellar debut in the May 2012 provincial election, the party’s only ever MLA, Dave Taylor, penned a blog post suggesting the party fold or become a think-tank. In the spring election, with 38 candidates province-wide, the party earned 1.3% of the vote.

Having elected no MLAs in the last election and being leaderless since the resignation of Glenn Taylor this summer, the Alberta Party could have easily folded and moved on into the sunset.

On May 25, 2012, in response to Dave Taylor’s comments, I wrote:

The focus on the “Big Listen” process gave that party an opportunity to demonstrate what it was doing differently than the other parties, but it did not successfully articulate to the general public why this made them an alternative to the long-governing Tories. By simply defining itself as a moderate party, the Alberta Party deprived itself of any natural electoral base and positioned itself in an already highly competitive area on the political spectrum. Their message became even more difficult to articulate once the media narrative dominated by the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose Party was solidified.

This year was a bad time for moderate or progressive opposition parties in Alberta. With the Tories selecting a moderate leader in Alison Redford, many traditional Liberal voters and potential Alberta Party voters flocked to or remained with the PC Party.

Raj Sherman Liberal Party leader Election 2012

Raj Sherman

More than a few people have suggested that the Alberta Party merge with the Liberal Party, which dropped from eight to five MLAs in the spring election. With provincial New Democrats celebrating their 50th anniversary at their convention in Edmonton this weekend and reaffirmed its opposition to merging with other opposition parties, most mainstream political pundits did not pay much attention to the Alberta Party meeting, but attendees Tweeted that Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman and Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr popped in to say “hi,” as did Evergreen Party leader Larry Ashmore.

If I were the leader of a political party which has failed to form government for more than 80 years, I would be eyeing the Alberta Party’s biggest asset, its name. In a land where the Liberal brand is dirt, most diehard Liberals would still likely oppose any merger that included a name-change.

The Alberta Party faces an incredible challenge if it seriously wants to build a functional political organization before the next election, and just having a great name will not be enough.

alberta election called for april 23, 2012.

Alberta Election 2012

Alberta’s provincial election will be held on April 23, 2012. In this election, the number of constituencies are increasing from 83 to 87 (the first time increase in seats since the 1986 election).

As of today, the Progressive Conservatives, NDP, and Wildrose Party are the only parties to have nominated candidates in all constituencies. Click here to find a full list of candidates and their website and social media links. The list will be made official 14 days after the election is called.

To find out which constituency you live in, visit the Elections Alberta Street Key website. You can also find maps of the new constituencies on the Elections Alberta website. Once you find which constituency you live in, you can register online to add your name to the voters list. I have also prepared a list of 15 constituencies that I will be watching in the election.

On Twitter, follow the #abvote hashtag for election tweets.

Here are some useful website and social media links to Alberta’s political parties and their leaders:

Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta
Facebook Twitter YouTube
Leader: Alison Redford (MLA Calgary-Elbow)

Alberta Liberal Party
Facebook Twitter
Leader: Raj Sherman (MLA Edmonton-Meadowlark)

Wildrose Party
Facebook Twitter YouTube
Leader: Danielle Smith (candidate in Highwood)

Alberta NDP
Facebook Twitter YouTube
Leader: Brian Mason (MLA Edmonton-Highands-Norwood)

Alberta Party
Facebook Twitter Vimeo
Leader: Glenn Taylor (candidate in West Yellowhead)

Evergreen Party
Facebook Twitter
Leader: Larry Ashmore (candidate in Livingstone-Macleod)

Social Credit Party
Leader: Len Skowronski (candidate in Calgary-Hawkwood)

Communist Party – Alberta
Leader: Naomi Rankin

Separation Party of Alberta
Leader: Bruce Hutton

tories nearing a full-slate of candidates, opposition parties all over the map in election preparation.

After a week away from the blogging world, I spent some time this weekend catching up with plenty of election nomination candidate updates. Alberta’s political parties are all in varying degrees of preparation for the upcoming election and for the next session of the Legislative Assembly. The Spring sitting of the Assembly begins this week and the provincial budget is expected to be tabled by Finance Minister Ron Liepert by the end of the week.

NOMINATION UPDATES

Following a busy few days of more than 20 nomination meetings across Alberta, the Progressive Conservatives now have nominated 85 candidates in 87 constituencies.

Recently nominated PC candidates include Linda Johnson in Calgary-Glenmore, Bridget Pastoor in Lethbridge-East, Steve Young in Edmonton-Riverview, Kelly Hegg in Airdrie, Ron Casey in Banff-Cochrane, Maureen Kubinec in Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, Christine Cusanelli in Calgary-Currie, Jason Luan in Calgary-Hawkwood, Donna Kennedy-Glans in Calgary-Varsity, Mike Allen in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, Everett McDonald in Grande Prairie-Smoky, John Barlow in Highwood, John Kolk in Little Bow, Cris Basualdo in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood, Matt Jeneroux in Edmonton-South West, Stephen Khan in St. AlbertSandra Jansen in Calgary-North West, and Bev Esslinger in Edmonton-Calder.

In Edmonton-Mill WoodsSohail Qadri defeated controversy-prone one-term MLA Carl Benito to win the PC nomination. Mr. Benito is the third PC MLA to lose a nomination contest in the run up to the next provincial election. The PCs have been unable to find candidates to run in Calgary-Buffalo and Edmonton-Strathcona.

The NDP, with more than 70 nominated candidates, acclaimed University of Alberta student Aditya Rao as a candidate in Drumheller-Stettler last weekend.

The Liberal Party, with only 29 candidates nominated, recently chose Pete Helfrich in Banff-CochraneWilson McCutchan in Calgary-WestLes Vidok in Innifail-Sylvan Lake and Jason Chilibeck in Red Deer-South. Liberal leader Raj Sherman is expected to release key parts of his party’s election platform in Calgary and Edmonton today.

By my estimate, the Wildrose Party has 81 candidates chosen across the province, including recently nominated Tim Dyck in Calgary-Bow and Tim Copithorne in Banff-Cochrane. The party held a campaign school in Red Deer last weekend, drawing candidates and campaign workers from across the province. The Wildrose Party has been accused of launching another round of negative push polls aimed at Premier Alison Redford.

The Alberta Party recently nominated Brandon Beasley in Calgary-Shaw and will soon nominate candidates Midge Lambert in Battle River-Wainwright. On March 4, Alberta Party members in Lacombe-Ponoka will choose either Tony Jeglum or Brent Chalmers as their candidate in a contested nomination.

EVERGREEN PARTY

Celebrating two years since reforming their organization, the Alberta Party is no longer the newest kid on the political block. Rising from the ashes of the financially-mangled and now-defunct Alberta Green Party is the new EverGreen Party. Leader Larry Ashmore is carrying his party’s banner in Livingstone-Macleod. Mr. Ashmore earned 937 votes as the Green Party candidate in Foothills-Rockyview in the 2008 election.

THE RETURN OF JAMES FORD

In the electoral realm beyond political parties, Sherwood Park Independent owner James Ford announced that he will run as an Independent candidate in Sherwood Park. Mr. Ford is better known as the Independent candidate who placed a strong second to Conservative Tim Uppal in the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. Mr. Ford’s candidacy in the federal elections were in response to Mr. Uppal’s nomination win over Strathcona County Councillor Jacquie Fenske, which many in the local Conservative establishment believed to be unfair. Ms. Fenske is now the nominated PC candidate in the neighbouring Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville constituency.