“rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated”
– Dr. David Swann (borrowed from Mark Twain)
Trying to gauge how rough this last week was for the Liberal Party in Alberta, I attended last night’s Town Hall meeting hosted by the Edmonton-Glenora Liberal Association at Robertson-Wesley United Church (which is actually in Edmonton-Centre). It was a fairly typical political gathering, with most of the around 50 attendees in the +50 age range, but there were some interesting parts of the evening.
– The hot topic of the week was barely even mentioned and did not appear to be on anyone’s radar. See Maurice Tougas‘ SEE Magazine column.
– Former Glenora MLA Bruce Miller was there, as was current Edmonton-Riverview MLA Kevin Taft, and former MLAs Weslyn Mather and Jack Flaherty.
– The Liberals will roll out five new policy positions over the next six months focusing on health, economy, environment, and clean government.
– After the Reverend Miller’s narrow defeat to Tory Heather Klimchuk in the 2008 election, the Glenora Liberal Association went dormant. I am told that many of the constituency organizers who had been around since Howard Sapers was first elected in 1993 were burnt out and moved on. More recently, the constituency executive has been reborn and reorganized by a group of young professionals who have begun hosting meetings, fundraising, and growing the local membership.
– There was a lot of talk about vote-splitting and the announcement by former Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen that he will be seek the NDP nomination in the newly redrawn Glenora constituency. Supporters of the Democratic Renewal Project were present and spoke for the need for Liberals to work with the NDP so not to split the vote. Though there were some sympathetic ears in the room, the majority of the attendees appeared to oppose the idea (not surprising for a room full of partisans).
– Glenora is shaping up to be a battleground in the next election. Elections in Glenora have been fierce since 2001, with each election since then being decided by less than 500 votes. Dr. Swann told the crowd that it was a priority that the Liberals elect an MLA for Glenora in 2012 – “We must win Glenora back!”
35 replies on “liberals organizing in glenora.”
Sounds to me like the Liberals got word of Eggen’s candidacy, and pulled people from all across the city to try and give the impression they still have something going in this riding.That’s hardly “Liberals organizing in Glenora.”
50 people might be a good crowd, but from the sounds of it, most were from other ridings, and some were DRP folks urging the Liberals to stand down. Were there any actual Glenora residents present? Who’s looking at running? I thought so.
The Liberals are fading here, they lost the initiative federally when Lewis Cardinal stepped up for the NDP, and now they are losing it on the provincial scene too. Sad really, they used to be players in this piece of political real estate.
to respond to my skeptical friend above:
– This event was in the works for a while, probably a month. Timing unrelated to Eggen.
– Probably about half the 50 in attendance were from Glenora
– Several high quality candidates are interested in running. You’ll find out all about it once the nomination gets going. Probably later this year.
– Though the association has been inactive, there remains a very solid Liberal base of support in Glenora. It is probably the easiest constituency for a Liberal candidate to raise money.
– There actually are a number of young professionals working to jump start the organization in Glenora. I suppose that is, as Dave says, “Liberals organizing in Glenora.”
– Constituency President Zack Seizmagraff stood up at the meeting and announced in no uncertain terms that the constituency association is absolutely going after a win here. Any electoral cooperation will have to take place somewhere else.
– Let’s be serious for a minute: it doesn’t matter who the NDP runs. They’ve never won Glenora, and the Liberals have won it many times. Glenora is home to many members of Edmonton’s Liberal party establishment – who do you think lives in all those nice houses? With a good candidate, some hard work, and some enthusiasm from a new generation of organizers, the ALP will remain competitive here for the next election and long into the future. Just ask Larry Booi.
“Glenora is home to many members of Edmonton’s Liberal party establishment – who do you think lives in all those nice houses? ”
Pretty much says it all about Liberals doesn’t it?
Just a point of clarification – the NDP has never held a riding called ‘Glenora’ before, but it’s held many parts of the new riding that came from other ridings. In fact, David Eggen himself has represented parts of the new riding.
Liberals would sacrifice three seats to the Tories to prevent the NDP from taking one from them.
Lou – That is a good point. There new areas from Calder add some strong NDP polls to Glenora. Here are the poll results with the breakdown of the new riding split between Calder and Glenora from 2008:
Voter transfer to the new Glenora riding;
From Glenora (Polls 1-9 & 18-44):
From Calder (Polls 9-27):
With the new boundaries and the growth of the Wildrose Alliance, it could make for an even more interesting race than the 2008 results suggest.
Also, here are the 2004 poll results with the voter transfer to the new Glenora riding boundaries:
2004 Voter transfer to the new Glenora riding;
From Glenora (Polls 1-9 & 18-44):
From Calder (Polls 9-27):
I am a voter in Edmonton/Glenora and I am tired of the votesplitting. The Liberals and the NDP should merge and stop fighting. I voted for the Liberals when Howard Sapers was my MLA and I voted for Larry Booi in 2004 — not the NDP — because I am a retired teacher and he fought hard for teachers. Heather Klimchuk is a nice lady and an invisible MLA. The Liberals are strong here and voters in this riding are smart. It will be a tough fight for Eggen.
I’m with Mike R. Though I wouldn’t support a merger, these 2 parties in Alberta have similar policies. Even on the resource royalties issue, where the Liberals adopted the Tory policy in January, they seem now to have abandoned it judging by what David Swann said at the Glenora Liberal town hall meeting on Thursday; the defection of Dave Taylor seems to have liberated the Liberals a bit much as the NDP caucus in the early 90s felt less constrained on several issues after Stan Woloshyn bolted their caucus for the Tories.
More to the point, the membership in these 2 parties mostly think the same, though obviously there are more people in the NDP who want socialism at some point in the future, though few protest the essentially liberal policies that the party proposes for the short-term, which do not threaten the capitalist system as such. In my DRP work, I’ve talked to lots and lots of rank-and-file members and voters for these parties, and whether or not they support cooperation, their personal views on policy issues are pretty similar to those you’ll find in the other party.
Clearly, neither party has many active members anymore. A well-advertised city-wide NDP health forum where both Brian and Rachel spoke in February attracted 50 people. Next week, six NDP constituency associations will have their tiny AGMs together in one small hall, rather than renting six phone booths. The Glenora Liberal meeting, though advertised to other constituencies, and featuring the party leader, had 50 people present, a few of whom are not Liberals.
Obviously, the Tory move of several of his best polls out of the former Calder seat, and bringing in some former Castle Downs polls into the new North West seat has caused David Eggen to abandon the succesor seat to Calder. That suggests that the NDP, despite the brave talk about growing support which polls don’t reinforce, doesn’t think it can get the additional 1000 votes or so that it needs to win North West. And the Liberals, I suspect, know that a David Eggen candidacy in Glenora, if opposed by something less than a superstar Liberal candidate, will simply re-elect Heather Klimchuk. Pride goeth before a fall, and these two parties, which are not growing but which together can be a force in the next election rather than a sideshow for the battle of the Right, will have themselves to blame if they do nothing to respond to the Mike Rs throughout the province who are “tired of the votesplitting.”
I’d heard/read on the news that Swann was sticking by Taylor’s energy policy – although I admit I’m having trouble finding a reference to that right now.
If what you say is true, (that Swann is dumping the Taylor royalty policy) it seems a little crazy to me that the Liberals can have such wild swings on its energy policy based on one MLAs opinion. This is Alberta’s major industry, and how you approach it is one of the major fault lines in provincial politics. If a party can swing to the right on it and then swing back to the left in a six month period, who’s to say it can’t swing back to the right again next time the wind blows? Those kinds of swings, and a lack of conviction in any particular direction, is pretty much at the heart of the criticism of Liberals by many New Democrats.
Lou: I believe I heard Swann say that the Liberals would be keeping the same oil & gas policy.
Alvin: In the case of vote-splitting leading to the automatic re-election of PC MLA Heather Klimchuk, I remember people saying the same thing about PC MLA Drew Hutton when Bruce Miller and Larry Booi joined the race in 2004 (and that was without a strong Wildrose Alliance). Miller and Booi ended up in first and second place with Hutton trailing in third. One would suggest that these results and a less high profile NDP campaign in 2008 would have resulted in Miller’s stunning re-election. Miller ended up 130 voted behind Klimchuk.
NDP votes + Liberal votes from previous elections ≠ PC defeat.
Also, the numbers from the remaining parts of Edmonton-Calder (Edmonton-Northwest under the interim boundaries) show the following results from 2008:
Alvin, how long will you and the handful of other members of the DRP persue a course of action that neither party, Libs or NDP, have been receptive towards? Assuming your words continue to fall on uninterested ears, will the DRP’ers return to their traditional partisan teams shortly before the next election?
I hope so, because if you keep running your 3 man band about the evils of leftist vote splitting during an actual provincial campaign, all you are apt to do is get picked up by the media and convince a lot of would-be-voters for either party that they are better off not voting.
Very few people are interested in your proposed solutions, so all you are left with is a doom and gloom message. I’d like to see the DRP commit to folding their tent by 2011 if they continue to get nowhere. If you’re serious about electing progressives from either party, it would be the proper course of action.
As Dave has pointed out, a dropoff in NDP votes in Glenora helped elect a PC last time. Likewise a dropoff in Liberals votes in Calder & Bev-Clairview helped election a PC. Often having two articulate and strong candidates marginalizes the PCs. To some extent the Libs & WRA showed that in the Calgary by-election. There is no proof that an “anti-PC” movement exists and that such voters will coaless around a single progressive candidate, as your theory dreams might happen.
The biggest problem the NDP have with Liberal policy is that it is bought and paid for by big business. The NDP have a long-standing policy against accepting corporate donations (with the exception of small businesses meeting certain criteria), while the Liberals accept donations from the very corporations we need to rein in.
Yes, it is true that the NDP accepts donations form unions and labour organizations, there is a difference: those are democratic bodies, whose members have a say in whether they contribute. Two of Alberta’s largest unions (one of which is your own employer, Dave) refuse to contribute to any political party at the direction of their membership.
When the Libs ditch corporate donations, and the bought policies they pay for, then they will have more credibility among progressives.
With all due respect to the members of the NDP and Liberal Parties of Alberta, when I read your discussions about electoral chances, I never (read never-ever) read anything about rural Alberta.
I met both Liberal and ND candidates for my constituency during the last provincial election, and they were lovely ladies, but they were both poor communicators and had nothing to say to a rural crowd.
While I am all for a much stronger opposition… and would love to see more progressive ideas in our legislature (as opposed to moving further to the right), as a rural Albertan I have no attraction to either of your parties and see zero attempt to woo a very disgruntled rural populace.
Sadly, the dissatisfaction in the country is being exploited by the WRA… and rather well. At many large events in rural communities that are organised to voice dissent of government or corporate agendas, there is a WRA organiser “beaking” right along with the crowd… and when the meeting is over, that same organiser has his membership book out.
In many cases, there is little talk of what the WRA actually stands for… other than a clarion call like “we feel your pain.”
Sadly many of us in rural Alberta self-identify as small ‘c’ conservatives, even though are basic values are largely community-focused and charitable (very small ‘l’ liberal). Yet without representation and between-election presence, neither of your parties has any profile to turn people’s minds away from their own pre-conceptions.
I believe your failure in rural Alberta has much effect on your failure in larger centers. Be it true or not (not really), many Albertans still think of themselves as inherently rural, even though their families have been in the city for more than a generation. When rural Alberta remains so big ‘C’ Conservative… yet dissatisfied with that party… and their only option to show their dissatisfaction is the WRA, support grows mightily out here… and those in the city who still see themselves as essentially as rural Albertans take a lead from that way of thinking.
Of course it’s just my observation and you can discount it easily, yet I get feeling pretty lonely out here when no one of the opposition parties ever seems to pay attention to us to spend the time and effort to be out here between elections,
Just a couple of thoughts before I get back on the tractor.
Do NDippers really think that the Liberals sit around a table and count who made the most donations when writing policy? We’re talking about the Alberta Liberal Party not the IMF or World Bank. Cut the high road conspiracy crap and get a reality check. At least the Liberals bring new policies sometimes —- the NDP are stuck in 1970s Socialist Land. Nationalize the Oil sands — more government control — more big brother telling me and my family what to do. There is only one thing more scary than another NEP — an NDP government in Alberta.
As someone who will in all likelihood be shuffled off to the the Edmonton Glenora riding from Edmonton Calder I am expect more of what already happens EXCEPT with my current MLA (PC) and the previous PC MLA and that is being a forgotten neighbourhood devoid of attention again.
It has been wonderful having the MLAs office in our neighbourhood because it has meant that our neighbourhood has received recognition. I expect that now that we are going to be amalgamated with Edmonton Glenora all parties will be equal opportunity ignorers. I would love to be proven wrong but experience and a healthy does of cynicism leads to doubt.
I have one other point about Alvin’s post above, although Dave did touch on it somewhat.
I think it’s premature for Alvin to suggest that the NDP is abandoning the new riding of Edmonton Northwest. Eggen can only run in one riding, and he chose the one where he lives. There is an obvious advantage to running where you know your neighbors, the parents at the local school, etc. And perhaps he does see Glenora as more winnable – but I don’t think it means the other riding can’t be taken. I think the split provides an opportunity for the NDP to pick up two seats, not one.
The fact that, two years before the next election, the NDP doesn’t yet have a candidate in Northwest shouldn’t be seen as ‘abandoning’ any riding. I don’t think any of the four/five provincial parties has nominated anyone yet. By AB NDP standards, Northwest is good political real estate. A hungry candidate will start with a higher NDP vote than Eggen himself started with in Calder in 2004. And that doesn’t even factor in the effect of the Wild Rose Alliance and it’s potential to split votes on the right.
I’m no longer involved in provincial election planning for the NDP, so I can’t speak with authority – but I suspect Northwest will get a lot of attention from the party between now and the next campaign. If by November 2011, the NDP hasn’t named a candidate there – then Alvin’s critique will be valid. But it’s way too early to say that now.
I have to say that vote-splitting in Edmonton-Glenora is as exciting as watching paint dry. Edmonton-Glenora will be won by the candidate who actually does the work on the ground by knocking on doors and fundraising.
Even with the door knocking and fundraising neither party will come close to matching the money that the Conservatives will raise and as a result will be at a financial disadvantage. This financial disadvantage gives the Conservatives an unfair advantage in their ability to get their message out and needs to be addressed. Which brings me to Alvin Finkel and his attempts to see a progressive government elected through taking away choices for voters by manipulating the democratic process.
Forget the tried and failed vote splitting tactics used by Paul Martin and the Liberals to maintain power while being questioned about their involvement in the sponsorship scandal. The real problem in Alberta is people are not engaged and are not voting. Quit trying to manipulate the system like the Conservatives otherwise we will be electing a government no different than the Conservatives.
I support the NDP because of people like David Eggen who actually knock on doors in his constituency and is willing to run for a party who prides itself on what it stands for and not how many times they get elected.
When he first won in Edmonton Calder he knocked on almost every door in the constituency. He also has the advantage of running for a party who wants to see coporations and unions banned from making donations. This is a more sincere way of dealing with the problems of our democratic system than playing games with constituencies in the hopes of electing a progressive government.
It all boils down to Integrity and it is surely lacking in a conversation about vote splitting that has nothing to do with electing the best person or party for the job.
Neal suggests that the DRP is a “3 man band.” In fact, though we have no paid staff and little money, we have signed up almost 1000 Albertans. Our Edmonton steering committee has 16 members and our Calgary SC just a few less. Neal wants us to return to “our traditional partisan teams.” But most of us, regardless of our party memberships, are strategic voters.” ” Very few people are interested in your proposed solutions”–actually, many are, including the leader of the Liberal party who reiterated that personal support Thursday night, though he did not claim to be speaking for his party.
Jerry says that “when the Liberals ditch corporate donations and the bought policies they pay for, then they will be more credible among progessives.” So, are the 8.5 percent of Albertans who vote NDP the only progressives in the province? Most, though not all, Liberal members whom I have met are quite progressive. Anyway, how are we defining progressive. There are many progressives who see both the NDP and Liberals as objective stooges of the capitalist class, propping up a dying economic system. They aren’t wrong, but their view has little likely impact on politics in the real world.
Richard Parks’ “blame the voter” approach strikes me as strange coming from a partisan of a party which tries to understand the underlying social structures that contribute to social phenomena. But then, just as there are some in the Liberal party who are individualist in their understanding of how society works, there are obviously some in the NDP who think that way too.
Lou’s point that David Eggen is simply running in the riding where he lives raises the obvious question of why he did not do that all along. He provided excellent representation for the largely blue-collar workers of Calder, the traditional support base for the NDP, and now seems to figure that he cannot get elected in the successor seat. If he can’t, no NDPer can. It would be strange if the NDP could win white-collar, high-income Glenora with so small an injection of the former Calder vote. Unless the NDP is indeed planning to make its messages even more liberal than they already are, it would be surprising if they won that seat despite their good showing in 2004 when the Tories were relatively weak across the city.
I think that the real reason that the two parties don’t unite more is that their active members, despite their progressive views, are well off and can live very happily under Tory regimes whose policies mostly oppress those who aren’t doing well in Alberta. As a relatively well off person, I’ve been content for years to play “let’s pretend” in terms of NDP bullshit claims about likely breakthroughs, and even now have to admit that the Tories’ lack of compassion means that I pay far less taxes than I should. The DRP strategy, as some have suggested, is one of desperation. But most of us are not that desperate and those who are will not benefit from the arcane arguments of the party activists.
I would suggest to Alvin Finkel and his DRP members that your strategy to unite the NDP and Liberals has been a failure.
The main argument I hear from the DRP is that we need to stop splitting the vote. Well what happened in the Calgary By-Election that elected Paul Hinman of the Wildrose Alliance? In this case the NDP recieved less than 200 votes and the Liberals still lost. Even with all the anti-government sentiment voters and the DRP’s influence, the constituency still went conservative.
Then we have the attempts by the DRP to persuade members and activists at the last two NDP conventions to join the liberals that also ended in failure.
You may think that your holier than thou strategy to play with a failed democratic system is the right way to go, but the majority of NDP members and activits have told you otherwise. The people of Calgary have told you otherwise.
At the end of the day we have to respect the decision of the majority of voters whether during elections or during convention. This is something the DRP seems not willing to do and would rather divide and distract the NDP membership from developing stronger policy and electing more NDP candidates.
It really disturbs me to hear Alvin Finkel mention “social phenomena” as if people’s choice to vote or who they support is a societal problem and not of choice. I guess we all need Alvin to tell us who we should vote for even if it means loosing your house because you don’t have enough disposibal income to pay for the increase in taxes that Alvin thinks we should be paying.
I think it is time to get back to reality, whether your NDP, Liberal, or Conservative members in Alberta the majority of us don’t support higher personal taxes. We are getting taken to the cleaners as it is.
In closing I would like to mention to Alvin that every morning when I wake up I am proud that I haven’t sacrificed my values in order to see a watered down political party take office that would represent the same old same old in Alberta. While DRP are talking I’ll be walking with NDP candidates helping to make real positive change in Alberta.
“(Eggen) now seems to figure that he cannot get elected in the successor seat. ”
That’s putting words into Eggen’s mouth. He probably chose the seat he had the better chance to win in, for sure. What’s wrong with that? But I’m sure Eggen’s never said or even thought that the other seat is un-winnable. It’s not. Look at the numbers – it’s very much in play. I don’t understand the need to deny that – what does that accomplish?
The problem I see with all of you folks who are married to your party and now treat it as a religion is that you sacrifice the greater good in doing so. Vote splitting on the left is a problem in many constituencies in Edmonton. Maybe strategic voting will not result in either an ND or Liberal win every time, but the problem still remains that when one side of the spectrum is split, resources are squandered and the main focus is lost. Maybe the main focus for you hardline party supporter types is “My Party Right or Wrong” but for most progressive Albertans it’s get the PC bums out. And, no, I have no statistics to back that up.
That being said, I am a Liberal member and also a member of the DRP. I am a former member of the NDP. I am not an academic; I don’t split hairs when it comes to the differences between ND ideology and Liberal ideology; I just want an end to right wing domination and a return to a more democratic Alberta.
I see the refusal to approach some form of cooperation between the NDs and the Liberals in constituencies where one or the other can clearly win, as a childish, egocentric tantrum which condemns all of us to more years under the yoke of right wing ideology. So when child services fails yet again, don’t look at the PCs as being responsible – you need to look in the mirror and say “I did this.”
Paula, when have the Liberals ever succeeded in calling out Children’s Services? Seems to me it has been the NDP each time. And that’s one of the many reasons why I would not vote for the Alberta Liberals. They are ineffective and have never actually demonstrated so-called progressive values.
Oh and to Alvin again… Alvin if the DRP have signed up over 1000 people (I suppose you’re including me because I wanted to see what your forum discussions held. Not really much of a sign-up then is it?) why can you get no action from the two parties in question? Neither the Liberals nor the NDP have vast turnouts at their conventions. If you showed up with your army of support, all as fresh party members, you could force the NDP or the Liberals to adopt just about any motion you wanted.
Oh right, the truth is that 1000 people signing up for a free web forum is not the same thing as mobilized supporters actually willing to do anything for your “cause”. Honestly, if you could even find 200 people who actually supported your non-compete theories, you could force the issue at an NDP convention. But you’ve tried that twice now and I believe you had suffered something like an 80% against defeat in both cases. Which means you managed to get somewhere between 20-40 supporters. Kinda weak.
I like how you completely dodged the heart of what I said to you previously, which was that your efforts will actually serve to undermine progressive candidates from both parties. All you do at the DRP is propogate the nonsense idea that voters aren’t in control of their own electoral fate. It’s a depressing message with little uptake and frankly isn’t it time for your group to stop?
@Paula: If progressive candidates fail to get elected on their qualifications and ability to engage people, then we need to respect the will of the majority of voters. That is what democracy is about no matter which party you are from.
If DRP members like yourself are willing to support a watered down version of the Federal Liberals than go ahead. Sacrifice your values for a cheap victory but at least respect the will of the majority; especially at party convention where you have been told by the majority that the DRP strategy is unacceptable.
And what is with the attacks on party activists? We are the ones who actually do the volunteer work to help candidates get elected so why shouldn’t we have say? We need more activists instead of people like you who jump to another party when the going gets tough, and when you find out that it is just as tough with the other party you feel that we should all join in on the DRP act of ingnoring our values to get elected. Where is the integrity in that ? You may as well join the conservatives if you are not willing to stand up for what you believe in when things get tough.
There are also major differences with the Liberals and NDP that the DRP would like us to forget about. The Liberals supporting a reduction in royalty rates and then accepting donations from oil companies is a perfect example of why myself and the majority of NDP members could never support the DRP strategy.
The fact of the matter is were all mice as Tommy Douglas used to say and whether it’s a Cat with red stripes or a cat with blue stripes they are still cats that support laws that are good for cats. At some point with alot of hard work us mice might elect more mice to help Brian Mason and Rachel Notley but until then we need to be honest as to why mice should vote for mice and stop trying to be as decietful as the cats.
To Neal: Weslyn Mather was very successful as the critic for Childrens’ Services. She did her work it in a collaborative way rather than a confrontational way and she succeeded in bringing help to many individual Albertans and families accross the province.
To Richard: supporters of progressive ideas and ideals are often hamstrung by the problem of vote splitting. It’s awfully facile to say that “If progressive candidates fail to get elected on their qualifications and ability to engage people, then we need to respect the will of the majority of voters.” The election of PC candidates in otherwise progressive constituencies is most often not the will of the people, but the result of circumstance.
I do not believe the Alberta Liberal Party to be a watered down version of the Federal Liberals. Furthermore, just so you do know what I believe have a look at the policies of both the NDs AND the Liberals which are, in fact, very similar. Also, I did not jump to the Liberals when the “going got tough”. I didn’t care that the going was tough when I slogged through the snow going house to house on behalf of Raj Pannu. Just so you know, I joined the Liberals because I had faith in the candidate in my constituency, and by extension, in what that particular configuration of Liberals were trying to accomplish. If you think the Alberta Liberals are the lackies of corporations and are synonymous with the PCs, please check out their list of donors.
But I think I’m wasting my breath here. You believe what you believe and that’s that. It is not to you that the DRP makes its appeal; it’s to the many people who can see common ground and who are willing to focus on common goals in order to achieve together something that cannot otherwise be accomplished from their individual solitudes.
ALBERTA LIBERALS (total contributions $694,000):
– Enbridge Pipelines: $1,800
– EnCana: $5,000
– Nexen: $900
– Suncor: $7,500
– TransCanada Pipelines: $3,900
Copied from recent Edmonton Journal article found here http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Graham+Thomson+Political+donors+list+reveal+motives/2768011/story.html
Are these donations a part of the progressive movement your talking about or a result of being quiet on oil royalites?
@Paula Stein I’m sure your a good person just like myself and all the other people who volunteer their time for something they believe in. The problem of progressives not getting elected runs far deeper than vote splitting. Vote splitting strategies have been used for years by the Liberals to scare people away from voting for progressive candidates running for the NDP. I’ve seen this when I worked in Ontario and it runs against my notion of a real democracy that elects the person that truly reflects their constituency. But that’s what you get with a first past the post system, like it or not it has the potential to elect NDP governments like we have seen in Nova Scotia through hard work and patience. (I support proportional representation by the way)
Aside from vote splitting there are bigger issues at play:
Donations like those above are hurting democracy in Alberta
Germandering Constituency Boundaries in favor of rural areas is a huge problem
Finding quality candidates to run in a thankless job is a problem
The first past the post system is flawed
People are not voting and are not engaged like they once were
So I have given a selection of donors and I think you may want to ask yourself what progressive values the Liberals have had to sacrafice to merit a donation from Suncor?
Consider the example of the Liberal not running a candidate in Nova Scotia in favor of Elizabeth May. Did they care that the NDP came in second in that riding in the last election? no. Did Elizabeth May get elected with no Liberal Candidate and all the media attention should recieved? no.
Your absolutely right that the electoral sytem is not representing constituencies fairly but it is the result of the first past the post sytem not vote splitting. Alvin Finkel critized me for not being someone who was willing to look at root causes of issues affecting the greater well being of society, yet, he fails to take on the root cause of lack of representation in our democratic system. It’s the lazy approach that the DRP is taking and it is far from being an honest approach to fixing the real problems with democracy in Alberta.
P.S. I’m sure most have tuned out of this discussion by now but I am enjoying the debate and hold no grudges against the people who are willing to take the time to discuss these matters even if your a little misguided;-)
The few times the Liberal party has been successful in this province it has depended on a coalition of moderate left of center people and right leaning people with no alternative. All those people who came to the Liberal under Decore and have left weren’t Progressive, they didn’t go to the NDP they were just Conservative voters who wanted an alternative to the Progressive Conservatives at a time when Getty was making them to embarrassed to vote their first choice.
The PC’s made a backroom deal with the Reform Party of Alberta to keep them out of legislative elections back in those days because they quite frankly would have won.
Look at places like Cardston-Taber-Warner with the rise of the Alliance the Liberal vote has cratered.
A merger of the NDP and Liberals will ultimately drive the right leaning people who still remain to other right leaning parties. Your vote totals won’t add up.
The NDP, CCF, various labor parties Canadian Labor, Dominion Labor, Labor Representation, and Socialists et al. have always represented the “left progressives” since the beginning of the province with remarkable consistency. i.e. one seat here and there but never enough to think of forming a government.
Also Albertans don’t like the Liberal brand because of the scandals, graft, free spending, entitlement and corruption that came out of the Liberal government in this province, which hasn’t been rivaled since except for today’s PC Party.
I cannot just sit by and do nothing with the state of democracy in Alberta and with such right wing possibilities in government. I believe David Swann is a good man. He has committed to supporting the moves needed to start the process towards proportional representation. I can’t guarantee he’ll be able to make it happen but I believe he will try given the chance. A coalition, an accord, an agreement…whatever…I do not believe there is much to lose in trying. Alberta is a strange place, not like the other provinces. I’m willing to commit to trying to make something happen by changing what we have been doing up to now.
@Paual: You definitely have the right attitude in taking a stand and you should be commended for standing up for what you believe in. Maybe you could even convince David Swann to send those cheques back to the oil companies and support Brian Mason in his calls for a ban on Coporate and Union donations. That would be a step in the right direction, that would not involve the need for a coalition or new party just a commitment from the Liberal Leader to hold the Conservatives feet to the fire with the NDP in the Legislature on the issue of donations.
This would be a positive step that is based on an honest approach to fixing the our electoral system. What is important I think is that we need to take a honest approach to fixing the problem and not try to manipulate the system like the conservative have done for the last 40 years. If we do than we are no better then them and we will loose out on the opportunity to show Albertan’s that progressive governments can represent real and positive change for Albertans.
If you want to commit to making something happen choose the candidate that best reflects your values in your constituency and start knocking on doors with the candidate so that we can have an effective opposition in the legislature. It’s definitely will be easier now in the summer time than when you had to slosh through the snow for Raj Pannu.
Thanks for the comments, everyone.
Good fuel for a future blog post on the somewhat dubious “unite the left” in Alberta theories.
….support Brian Mason in his calls for a ban on Corporate and Union donations.
And I think that David Swann actually mentioned just that at the Glenora meeting.
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Forgive my intrusion. You guys are absolutely my last hope of finding a very dear friend I have not seen for a lot of years. Please do not delete this, I am 1005 genuine and looking for Lindsay….. who I knew in 1991, lived in Glenora, around 136 St?105 Ave, she used to work downtown for a Mobile Medical Testing company, she was a trained nurse. We had a fall-out and 2 days later I had brain surgey, then 3 more resulting in virtually no memory. I have driven the area many times, checked a thousand times on facebook etc…..nothing, and I cannot remember her second name. She would be around 47/48, slim, pretty and a staunch Liberal supporter, as myself, used to do volunteer work for you back then.
I apologise for such a strange request, I really do need to find her or at least find her second name to write her, it has become my life mission to contact her.
If any of you know of her or even her second name I would be most grateful, somethings coming up that won’t wait and I have to let her know something.
Thank you for your time and all the very best to the Liberal Party in the coming months.
Sincerely, Richard Thompson