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Alberta Politics

alberta party leadership contest.

The contest for the Alberta Party leadership is nearing its end, with the results scheduled to be released at an Edmonton event on May 28. The deadline to purchase a membership in order to vote in the contest is May 13 and it is my understanding that the actual voting will take place online over the following weeks.

While the low-key contest was largely overshadowed by the recent federal election and the ongoing Progressive Conservative leadership contest, it has been interesting to watch a new cast of characters, not veteran provincial politicians, join this contest. None of these new characters could be characterized as “superstars,” but their lack of substantial political baggage could be a benefit to the newly revitalized Alberta Party. I will be writing more about this contest over the next few weeks.

Here are a series of video interviews with the leadership contenders that that Party has prepared:

Lee Easton

Lee Easton, Alberta Party Leadership Candidate from Alberta Party on Vimeo.

Tammy Maloney

Tammy Maloney, Alberta Party Leadership Candidate from Alberta Party on Vimeo.

Randy Royer

Randy Royer, Alberta Party Leadership Candidate from Alberta Party on Vimeo.


Glenn Taylor

Glenn Taylor, Alberta Party Leadership Candidate from Alberta Party on Vimeo.

10 replies on “alberta party leadership contest.”

Dave:

Thanks for writing this. I wanted to clarify a couple of points, for those who might be interested in attending the leadership convention, or if they are unable, to at least buy a membership and vote in the race:

1) The Convention will be held in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre, on Saturday May 28th. There will be a May 27th evening event as well for delegates, which will be much like a Pecha Kucha event, with members presenting their “Big Idea”, and some socializing of course.

2) Voting will take place online or by telephone and the following are the rough times for balloting:

– First ballot opens Friday afternoon and closes Saturday around noon

– Second and Third ballots, if necessary will be after one-hour intervals on Saturday, and we WILL elect a leader on Saturday late afternoon

– Members who are in our database (Deadline NOON on the 13th), will receive a mailed PIN# to vote, and instructions to vote either on our secure web-system, or by telephone

3) We are hoping to find the best balance between having a fun and engaging convention, which will include the drama of the election, but also make the race accessible to any Albertan who is unable to attend the event.

Finally, the convention will be open to non-member interested parties. Information is available on the website.

NOTE** We are hosting a meet the leaders, fundraising event at Art Gallery of Alberta on May 17th, which will include some great live music by well-known local artists Lionel Rault and King Muskafa. I can be reached for tickets – (president@albertaparty.ca)

I have to admit that I still don’t really see the difference that the Alberta Party offers. This being the case, I probably won’t bother purchasing a membership.

I can often be quoted saying things like “it seems that the more things we change, the more it is simply to keep them fundamentally the same.” This is also the unfortunate reality that relates to the Alberta Party – offering only changes that scratch the surface, rather than addressing some of the fundamental issues we face.

As it stands, I think that one of the more notable leadership candidates this party offered came in the form of Chris Tesarski prior to his decision to bow out of the contest. Obviously, it makes sense for a party to want to stay somewhat unpolarized – having leadership contestants present only slightly different views that rest on similar ideals. However, that difference in views while polarizing did address some flaws in the party’s structure.

Regardless, it seems that all the Alberta Party has truly done is scratch the surface with respect to some issues that should really be reconsidered, altogether. Even their current leadership candidates seem to have greatly varied approaches to the same thing – for instance, whether government should have a more or less prominent role. Admittedly, this is a young party. However, I’m left asking that if this party isn’t going to be offering anything that is truly different – essentially, setting-out to be different in terms of the party’s foundation then building its ideals from there – how does anything really change?

What the heck is an Alberta Party?

But seriously if it was any lower key only dogs could hear it. Meanwhile, the Liberals are now off to the races too. Any news on that?

Thanks for the comment, Gary. All the challenges of creating a new party, developing new policies, and trying to foster a healthy political culture inside that party. There’s no doubt that at this early stage the Alberta Party has gaps in its official party policy, but I expect more goals to be released in the next few months.

It’s unfortunate that Chris Tesarski decided to leave to the leadership contest. I have never met the man, but it appeared as though he was pretty focused on the contest.

One of the things that has impressed me the most about the Alberta Party has been its ability to attract people from all sorts of political backgrounds. Imagine that, former PCs, former Liberals, former NDs, and former Greens all working together. 😉 ).

The choice of leader will definitely set a tone for the Alberta Party, and regardless of who is chosen I hope that they will be successful in building a new alternative to the traditional institutional political parties in the future. We need it in Alberta.

As someone that bought a membership a while ago, I’m wondering if/when Chris’s information will be communicated to the members who aren’t online. So far all I’ve gotten through traditional channels (ie postal mail) was the invite to spend $ to attend the events. Nothing clear has been sent out to members about how and when they’ll vote. That should be happening now, if not already, especially if you want the less engaged members to have time to review the candidates they can choose from. For something that’s only a few weeks away, the level of organization around it feels a bit sketchy.

These Alberta party candidates are refreshing. We need a reasonable alternative to the PCs. With the Alberta party, the extremist Wildrose will be a flash in the pan.

It pains me to say it – but I don’t think that there is a decent alternative to our PC Government – not yet, anyway. Even the PCs themselves have been lacking as of late. It really is a sorry state of affairs. Worse yet, this has been the way things have always panned-out since Alberta joined Canada – we’ve always had minimal opposition in the Legislative Assembly until we grew tired of the party in control, at which point there was a sweeping change.

Since 1905, we’ve had 16 years of Liberals, 14 years of United Farmers, Social Credit for 36 years, and now 40 years of PC (even then, from what I understand the Social Credit and Progressive Conservatives didn’t differ much in terms of policies, focusing instead on image). Of course, in most of the seated Assemblies the opposition was nearly non-existent.

This is also a result of our electoral system being relatively useless with respect to how it seats our representation.

What drives me absolutely nuts about this is that the combined opposition in this province receives the vote of the greater percentage of the electorate, yet receive no seats for their trouble – meanwhile, our Government is voted in by what usually amounts to 20-30% (especially when we consider that a greater portion of the Albertan electorate didn’t even cast ballots last election than did). A truly democratic system isn’t meant to be easy.

Furthermore, I’m starting to have a real problem with anyone who defends the first-past-the-post electoral system as a better process than a truly democratic, proportionally representative system. This is simple arithmetic. The reality is that if you are defending FPTP as a better way to seat Members – then you probably shouldn’t be allowed to manage this provinces budgets. This simply because you’re math skills are either lacking, or you’re trying to take advantage of the people of Alberta. It really is that simple. Of course, why would anyone want to elect an opposition that could truly keep our Government in check? (That was sarcasm)

By continually putting electoral reform on the back burner our representatives are selling us out. Yet none want to commit to running a platform based on it.

If I was to put this in perspective, imagine that all of Alberta’s opposition parties put forward a Bill that reformed our electoral processes. Do you think that given the recent voting behaviour of Albertans that a more proportionally representative Legislative Assembly wouldn’t be able to address health care investigations or anything else deemed necessary by Albertans? The fact is that everything that gets done in the Assembly is a result of an antiquated voting system representing our interests in a way that doesn’t suit the peoples’ needs. The opposition could have brought this up as a major issue and kept it at the forefront – instead of using such a partnership to focus on health care (which really isn’t accomplishing much). Had they done so – more Albertans might have questioned whether the only system we were ever taught is, in fact, the right one to be using. At that point, it might have only been a matter of time before the system was changed to benefit all parties equally. Of course, we’re left instead listening to them complain about a health care inquiry that they have no real control over, anyway. Not exactly a good choice – considering that had they worked together to focus on electoral reform, they might have had the seats to do something about it…

Of course, then they’d also have the seats to keep a real check on our Government…

Just saying.

The best thing about the Alberta Party leadership race is that the candidates are all so-called “unknowns” They have all come from within the party as it grows. They are Alberta Party candidates, and I think they go a long way in representing the diversity and the vision in this party.

Alberta party policy will evolve over time, as it changes to meet the needs and concerns of Albertans. The direction of that policy will come from the Albertans that will drive it

Also, Neal, members will receive their voting information by postal mail, beginning this week, with a PIN and instructions on voting online and/or by telephone. And please remember that almost all the organization within the party is done by volunteers – if you would like to help or contribute go to http://www.albertaparty.ca or phone toll free 1-877-683-312

This party has quadrupled in size in the last 6 months, and we aren’t going to stop now!

Pretty good for a “fledgling” party!

I’m interested in how this struggling new Party is doing, but information (main stream media and social media as well) is so limited, and no real facts ever put forward that it is beginning to become very UNEXCITING. I now believe that the “window of opportunity” for this Party is closing, as a Liberal organizer in Medicine Hat with a LOT of ND friends and contacts into the older PC crowd who are scared by Danielle Smith and looking for an alternative – very few are asking me my opinion on the Alberta Party! There was a small chatter 6 months or so ago – now NOTHING. I can understand the PC voters ignoring the ALberta Party – but the Liberal and NDs too? Maybe the big “listen” is just too much engagement for the typical Albertan, who really doesn’t want to be “used” by any party…but prefers to pick one or two issues or “impressions” and stick with it – no more decisions to make. With the Leadership convention pending for the Alberta Party – I’ve been asking folks if they have any opinion, ANY, on the Alberta Party – and sadly the response is usually just a blank stare!

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