Alberta Politics

letter by former mla a glimpse at desperate times in the liberal party.

“At year’s end there is a saying, “Out with the old and in with the new”

“Unfortunately, this does not apply to your St. Albert Provincial Liberal Constituency Association. The reality of our situation is that “The old is not out and the new is the same old.”

A letter sent to current and past Alberta Liberal Party supporters in the St. Albert constituency gives a glimpse into how disorganized and far-behind the Liberal Party is in preparing for the next provincial election in some constituencies.

The letter, signed by local activist Wilf Borgstede and constituency association president and former MLA Jack Flaherty, outlines the trouble that the Liberals have had in recruiting a candidate to run in that constituency in the upcoming provincial election.

The letter makes reference to two prospective candidates who showed interest in running, but declined because of the lack of support the local organization would be able to provide them during the election campaign.

According to the letter, the last Annual General Meeting was held in 2008, the year which Mr. Flaherty was defeated. The letter suggests that despite a brief boost in interest in the party during the recent leadership contest and when former Tory MLA Raj Sherman was chosen as leader, that interest has since disbursed.

When contacted about this letter, Liberal Party campaign chairman Corey Hogan, always an optimist, wrote via email that “I suspect the launch of our platform on the 6th will further invigorate members and supporters in St. Albert and elsewhere as we get prepared for the coming contest.”

Meanwhile, the four other main political parties have nominated candidates. Alberta Party candidate Tim Osborne was nominated more than a year ago, the NDP acclaimed activist Nicole Bownes in 2010, and the Wildrose have chosen former Alderman James Burrows (who is a former Liberal Party member). Two weeks ago, the PCs held a hotly contested nomination meeting that drew three candidates and hundreds of local supporters to select a replacement to retiring MLA Ken Allred. Businessman Stephen Khan was the successful PC nominee.

The letter may be symptomatic of broader problems facing the Liberal Party. Two staffers who recently left the Liberal Caucus Office have landed in the PC camp. Former Liberal Researcher Kyle Olsen recently left the Caucus for a job as a researcher at the PC Caucus and former public relations coordinator Andrew Fisher is now supporting Edmonton-Centre PC candidate Akash Kokhar‘s campaign.

8 replies on “letter by former mla a glimpse at desperate times in the liberal party.”

I think it’s a bit silly to apply a letter in a constituency association to an entire party.

God knows there are letters written by my president that wouldn’t reflect well on my party.

This should be a fairly competitive riding with no incumbent and the Liberals have won here in the past. It’s a larger problem of not enough younger people getting involved in any politics period. If the Liberals had a decent candidate one would think they’d have a chance there (although maybe not for a party that wants to raise taxes running in a rich suburb like St. A). The other candidates aren’t that strong. Khan isn’t that well known, the NDP will never win in St. A and Burrows will run for anyone or say anything if it’ll get him elected and most voters know that, it’s why he lost for city council.

@Fixed Wing Goose…Perhaps, but I think Dave may have been referring to the apparent collapse in support for the ALP (as noted in recent polls) and how this is manifesting itself at the grassroots. St. Albert ought to be prime hunting ground for the Liberals in their quest for some (any) seats. Since 1986, it has been represented three times by PCs, twice by Liberals and once by the NDP. Ken Allred has been a non-entity as an MLA, doing nothing to advance Tory fortunes in St. Albert. So, why can’t the St. Albert Provincial Liberal Association find a candidate? Some of the blame no doubt rests with the local Association, but prospective candidates also need to believe in their leadership. And if you’re going to have to raise all the money yourself, you REALLY need to believe in the leadership. Albertans (and potential St. Albert candidates) pretty clearly do not. As for Mr. Hogan’s assertion that the launch of the ALP platform would invigorate supporters, I’m thinking “not so much.”

Over 1000 people showed up to vote in each of the PC Leadership votes and over 900 came out for a nomination vote on a Tuesday night on Jan 31. I’m fairly sure that Stephen Khan and the PC’s in St. Albert will do just fine in the upcoming election.

And on that point, Tim Osbourne and the Alberta Party in St Albert is much more organized than the ALP, and at this moment I think Tim Osbourne will come in 2nd place here. Just my hunch, we will see come E-Day.

There is no doubt that sometimes change is difficult and sometimes results in ‘blood on the floor’. However the Alberta Liberal Party is and will continue to practice politics differently.
There will be no more of the same over and over and over expecting a different result.

The ALP has some really talented MLAs in the Leg who spoke extremely well to social services, but Raj Sherman doesn’t have a leg to stand on against Redford or any other provincial leader.

Alberta Liberal policy has always been good and their platform will probably look great, but people vote with their feet.

It has certainly been interesting to see how things have developed here in St. Albert. It will be a fun race with no incumbent and some new faces involved. We are getting a lot of positive responses on the doors, but it is certainly a big hill to climb for a new party. As Scott mentioned, we’ll see what happens come election day!

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