I really cannot improve on this media release sent today from Liberalberta Party president Todd Van Vliet, so I have posted it in its entirety.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A response from Alberta Liberal Party President, Todd Van Vliet, regarding merger
(EDMONTON, AB) A merger of the Alberta Liberals and the NDP? Won’t happen.
Why not? Because politics isn’t simply about math. Politics is mostly about what voters will actually do, and combining polling numbers rarely works when it comes to mergers. In politics, adding 10 percent support to another 10 percent support never totals 20 percent. In fact, it could add up to far less (or more!) as voters make their real-life choices. That’s exactly what happened to the ‘left’ in the last election when Liberal voters slipped over to the PCs to stop a potential right-wing Wildrose avalanche.
And what about all the voters who weren’t motivated to get out to the polls in the last election? This is a bit of math that Mr. Hehr has forgotten to count. Who’s going to speak for their uncounted numbers?
So, what’s really going on when a Liberal MLA starts calling for a merger with another party? Not so much.
MLAs have their own opinions and even can choose to cross the floor and join another party if they disagree with their own party’s directions. While Mr. Hehr may be working in good faith to create a stronger alternative to the PCs, working to eliminate one’s own party would not seem to be the best way to do that.
Yes, the quest for power and to create a winning team is the business of all political parties. But politics has always been more than that. Politics, at its best, is about higher principles, about advancing values, which differ greatly from party to party. Yes, policies can be similar, even identical. But the paths are markedly different. And those paths matter. The means and the ends are never truly separate.
The NDP used to be the party of labour, unions and social justice. It was and perhaps still is “solidarity forever.” But over the past few decades the party has worked diligently to move itself into the ‘centre’ with some success.
The Liberals, on the other hand, have had a broader mission from the outset. The introduction to our bylaws states that it is “dedicated to the values that have sustained the party since 1905: public good, individual freedom, responsibility and accountability,” and that it puts “people first.” That is significantly different than putting labour first, or business first, as other parties do.
Today’s Liberals work hard to represent the needs of real Albertans and work for their future. As we said during the last election, it’s not so much about “right” or “left.” It’s more about “right” and “wrong.” And we definitely think this province should be doing a lot better in that regard.
So yes, even though both Liberals and NDs oppose the PCs, there are profound cultural differences between the two. For instance, it’s telling that the Liberal bylaws are open to the public. What do the Alberta NDP bylaws say? We don’t know. They’re not published.
To be even clearer, the Liberal bylaws state that membership in the party is open to those who “subscribe to the principles, aims and objectives of the party.” Mr. Hehr, more than anyone, should understand that eliminating this party through a merger would not be within the objectives of the party. At the very least he must know that such talk would create uncertainty.
So what’s actually going on with Kent Hehr and his advisers? Well, the idea of a merger certainly isn’t news. It has been raised at the last NDP annual general meeting and dismissed, and raised again at the last Alberta Liberal board meeting, and again dismissed. So who does this “merger” actually benefit? One would have to say, the PCs.
The only logical outcome of a merger is a widening canyon between the party on the so-called left (whatever it might be named) and Wildrose on the right—with the majority of dispossessed Liberals moving to the nominal ‘centre’ with the PCs. Without the Liberals to balance the centre, the PCs gain a real possibility of staying in power for decades longer.
As president I have regular discussions with party members, and I can say that nothing leads me to believe a merger option is wanted by our members. Nor would it benefit the Alberta public in the least.
As a final aside, one can’t help noting that the former Alberta Liberal executive director helping Mr. Hehr is a PR professional working with the local branch of one of the world’s larger PR firms. And one of his closest colleagues recently worked as Alison Redford’s leadership campaign manager and former Chief of Staff. Coincidence? Well, maybe.
At the end of the day this merger talk isn’t news. It’s just more back-room political engineering. To date, neither party’s leadership has picked up the phone to talk merger face-to-face, and I won’t be doing that.
The real math is engaging Alberta voters. Our job is to attract existing voters, motivate new voters to exercise their democratic rights and to show Albertans that the Liberals have a lot to offer. The rest is just noise.
Anyone interested in what we stand for should visit us at albertaliberal.com.
Todd Van Vliet
President, Alberta Liberal Party
Read the guest post from MLA Kent Hehr that spawned this debate.
UPDATE: MLA Kent Hehr has provided a comment via email in response to the Liberalberta Party press release: “It is what is and I understand the collective frustration of everyone involved. That said, in my view this is a discussion that progressives in this province need to have. I’m just trying to have that conversation.”
114 replies on “Liberalberta Party president attacks Alberta Liberal MLA in worst news release ever.”
What amateurish claptrap by the LiberAlberta Party… can’t they afford writers anymore (or strategists to decide the right way to deal with this situation)? Where’s Raj on this?
As to Kent Hehr, I don’t know much about him, but on this he is right, right, right. To the person who said 10 (Lib vote) + 10 (NDP vote) doesn’t equal 20, yeah, you’re right: sometimes it equals 30 or 40 or *gasp* a majority government. You see when the voters looked around and realized that the joined Party/brand could actually win, a lot more of them might vote and the ones who do vote might vote for a truly progressive party instead of Redford and PCs. Voters look for a Party/brand with a chance of winning, that’s why the Wildrose is the opposition and not the Libs.
Hehr is wrong in believing that this is likely to happen though. People at the top of both parties are too attached to the name and colours instead of being competitive (as if a name and colours were important when neither brand has a chance of winning in AB). News Flash: it would be mostly the same party if it was called something else (just bigger and more electable), same people and policies. The NDP ran to the right of the Libs last election, all the antimerger NDPers are defending is their (doomed) name and colours… especially since the NDP took 4th in the Calgary Centre byelection behind the Greens. Both NDP and Lib MLAs deserve better than being the 3rd and 4th parties for ever and ever, but will keep deluding themselves for ever and ever…
Everyone involved in this situation deserves better, especially voters who need an alternative, not tribalism
Merger between Alberta Liberals and the NDP is never going to happen. NDP prefer to tilt at windmills. Good for them. Only merger that will work is with the Alberta Party. Alberta Liberals have a decent batch of policies, the base of people who will vote Liberal until they die and a brand that is death. Alberta Party has a fresh brand, a great name, a positive approach to politics and some youthful enthusiasm and tech-savvy. Let’s get together.
Your party beat my party in the last election. You must be right.
My party outgrew your party in the last election by a factor of 10,000% to (-%50), I must be right.
Get over the numbers and start to embrace the trajectory of things.
The Alberta Party had everything going against it, and still showed promise. It LOST HORRIBLY because it still needs legitimacy, name-brand MLA’s, MUCH-BETTER policy clarity and a leader who exemplifies the movement….
But you know what? It has more promise over the Liberal Party, because it has a Brand and an Ideology of Rural and Urban Hope for the Future that the Liberals haven’t mustered in three decades.
And even then… I can’t say for certain it is better than the PC Party even. I am just certain it has more potential than the Liberals, who are stuck between a WRP and a Hard Place.
I’m not open to the idea of a merger but I would be inclined to support some form of cooperation along the lines of “historically over 30 years we’ve had better results in this riding than your party and you’ve had greater success in that riding. We won’t run our candidate in “your” constituency or riding if you don’t run your candidate here.” All parties agree to run on a platform that if elected the first thing they will do is reform Alberta’s election laws to give us a proportional representation government instead of the “First Past The Post” system we currently have then dissolve the government and call for another election made up of MLA’s who would then be more representative of all Alberta voters wishes. This would be a pretty expensive way to institute some real, meaningful democratic reform but I think it would be worth every penny.
For a Party to publically attack its own Deputy Leader with a 2 page news release is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.
Raj Sherman should also quit hiding behind proxies…
To those who are saying Raj is hiding behind a proxy or hasn’t made his thoughts clear on this subject, this is what he said to the Calgary Herald on the subject:
“For his part, Liberal Leader Raj Sherman said he disagrees with Hehr, but believes the Calgary MLA should be able to speak his mind.
“It’s a free world,” Sherman said.
“This is actually pretty old news,” he added, noting the idea of working with other progressive parties was discussed and dismissed by his party’s executive this fall.”
Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Feud+erupts+between+Alberta+parties+over+left+centre+merger+talks/7684822/story.html#ixzz2EuRdSr2B
So the Party put out a release attacking its own sitting MLA (and seemingly encouraging him to cross the floor) without the Leader even consenting to it, or seeing a draft?
Weird man, just weird.
Raj Sherman likes to be leader. Brian Mason likes to be leader. Those 2 are the biggest obstacles to any merger. They ensure party faithful sabotage any member driven moves towards a merger. Write to every other Liberal and NDP MLA and suggest they form a new party/caucus of their own. Leave both Emperors without any clothes.
Raj Sherman should resign.
Ed Ammar, the 1100 votes you lost to the Tories scrambled over there to protect against Wildrose. They’re exactly the same 1100 you’d lose to the PCs if the Libs and NDs merged.
[…] online op-ed caused the president of Hehr’s own party to blow his stack to smithereens. Todd Van Vliet issued a press release that positioned the Liberals as a distinct, individual-oriented alternative to the New Democratic […]
Every bumpkin here has almost forgotten about the Lakes of fire Hysteria, especially you Chris, it wiped out your party, and stole 125,000 Lib votes, WR was denied victory, no party leader was able to stop weak spirited voters from falling on the sword, holding their nose and voting Tory. THe blame shiuld goto biased conservative media, entrenched voters, and those really scared voters got spooked by the boogeyman. No leaders are to blame.
Some of you need to realize the bell curve of voters, the mean where most progressive voters are, is in the center to just right of center. What his means is that a lefty amalgamation strengthens the Tory party even more.
The amalgamation that makes the most sense is Alberta Party supporters coming back to the Liberal Party fold, with the intent of reconciling old political baggage, setting it aside and acting in true honesty and good faith to build a very strong center, with policies that are moderate socially and financially fiscal, thereby making it a true Toryland alternative. This will bring back Liberal votes lost from the Tories and possibly a lot more progressive votes from Toryland.
If the long standing political tradition of bashing Liberal leaders can stop, voters will have a reason to come. So Chris, Dave Berta, if it means getting voters and supporters coming back, are you guys willing to be men and reconcile differences with insiders, if this could translate into a huge wealth transfer of votes to the progressive center, r u willing to do what it will takes to win? Not in 40 yrs, after 50000 big listens, but next election.
A vote given to any lefty amalamation, or any vote splitting party is a tory vote, its that simple. Even those AP votes, Chris you guys worked so hard to inspire, are going back to the Tories next election, go re-entrench their power, kurruption and largesse. Yes they are, unless we collaberate. Unless you are serving to collaberate and build up the center through the Liberals, you guys are helping tories, electorally speaking. That is a fact. Yes it is.
Albertans are not interested in any sort of new political vote splitting experiments, leftie parties or amalgamations. Albertans are progressive centrists, or just to the right of center, take note Kent, Chris, Corey other dispirited folks. That is where we should all coalesce our power to get those votes.
Lets try to work together and work differently, collaberate and negotiate, etc..Check your baggage at the door. For those of you unwilling to unclench, you are either closet spoiler tories or too stupid to analyze anything meaningfully, yes u are.. Look in yourself and look in the mirror. Democracy has been held hostage too long by bruised egos, entrenched egos and baggage. R u willing to do what it takes for a credible center to get progressive votes. If you are, you have taken the first step to making this way more than you and your egos and taken the first step towards a pradigm shift to give people a safer place to vote. At the end of the day, this is about rebalancing and creating a better democracy and seving Albertans, i think we can all agree on that, as a start, don’t u think?
Some if you uninspired negative types are way too genius, way too charasmatic to work under any political leader in any party, ever. Either you need to grow up or just stay away from politics altogether. Brian is i overwhelmingly popular, as is Raj, didn’t he like just get a resounding 95% endorsement by all thise that voted? Raj and Brian have already spoken, amalgamations are old news. Some of you bashers need to get your head examined, if you care to remember Special Ed and Nanny Red were asked to step down over something way way worse and bigger than this. Have a cold glass of water and get some perspective.
@Alex Macdonald : don’t kid yourself. A lot of Liberals didn’t just vote PC to block the Wildrose. They voted PC because Alison Redford is a better leader than Raj Sherman (who is only a Liberal because he was kicked out of the Tory party for widely circulating an offensive typo-ridden late night email). Might as well vote for a real Tory, rather than a Tory in disguise.
To Alex MacDonald
I never supported a merger with the NDs simply because they won’t merge with the liberals.
We all know something has to be done.
Alex how is the new liberal brand different from the alberta party?
Liberal brand is a stale product.
values aren’t tied to a brand, a Trudeau rise is more bad news for alberta liberals time to start fresh.
Completely Agree Ed. More folks need to get politically engaged, communicate to Albertans, door knock, get the word out. Trudeau has done the right thing and separated himself from the NEP and his father’s Federal Policies, which a Tory Premier signed onto, NOT a Prov. Lib Leader.
What is stale here is, the self-defeatist loserish attitude centrists have after each election. What is stale is the entrenched biased and one sided manner in which the conservative media have portrayed the Liberals, to keep the Tories in power. People have short memories and have believed the lies told to them thousands of times. Lies told over and over again, start to become real, especially in sleeping Alberta.
Its time to unify the center under the Liberals and bring the Alberta Party folks back. Each party has to unclench their fist and be willing compromise on things, both sides, everybody, put your blame and finger pointing down and ask how can we fix, reconcile and work together?
Its funny how everybody blames a party, a leader, the brand, or the people in it. But NONE of you have taken any sense of personal reasponsibility, or revisited anything you could have done better. Its always easier to blame someone else for your short comings. Yes, there has been hard work, everybody has done it. Uttering self defeatest language, feeling sorry for yourself is not the way.
Do you guys think that any leader after taking the party for just 6-7 months, with no money or volunteer bases was ready to defeat the Tories? No new leader would have been able to pull that off in such a short time, it would have been very unprecedented, if they did. It would have been freakin mission impossible, no matter how good the leader was, even Decore couldn’t do it.
To win, you MUST be unsinkable and have an iron will to believe in the unbelievable. That is leadership. Learn it within.
The best leader in history, Abraham Lincoln lost like 11 times before he won. He never blamed anybody he never quit. Its times like these a hard fight should never break you, but make you into something stronger and better. So much can be accomplished if folks are willing to change the way they believe and think.
A letter from Mike Hruska, rank-and-file Liberal to Todd Van Vliet, reprinted by permission from Mike:
Alberta Liberal Party President
Todd Van Vliet
In response to Todd’s contribution, and as a member of the Liberal Party, I totally reject his gratuitous remarks about Kent Hehr and his connections. I am ashamed that a Liberal Party president would throw out such puerile observations about Kent, a respected MLA in our party. Kent has displayed more courage in the legislature than many of our other MLAs, especially in reminding the legislature that Alberta has a revenue problem and not a cost problem.
I read your correspondence today about a merger between Liberals and NDP. I nearly fell off my chair. I would not disagree, if you are only talking about values, that it “isn’t simply about math”. But politics is all about math when it comes to the power needed to implement Liberal values.
The formulation of policy in a party is all about values as desired by the majority of party members.
Effectiveness of campaigns in part is based on math: how many door knocks, how many phone calls, how many pamphlets distributed, how many volunteers, etc.
Electoral polling is about statistics which is a branch of math.
The system of voting is all about math and has a profound impact on a party’s electoral strategy.
Votes cast are counted, not weighed, to decide who wins a seat.
Achieving a majority of “bums on seats” in the Legislature is all about math and the ability to exercise power.
Reading your response to Kent Hehr makes me wonder if you understand this at all. The political process and the very language of achieving political POWER is all about math. It is precisely because the Liberal Party does not appreciate the nexus between achieving POWER and the math underpinning it that the Liberal Party continues to mark time. If the Party continues in this wasteland of ideological values wasteland in which there is no place for any pragmatic assessment of how to achieve POWER, then I am afraid that the Party is doomed to political oblivion.
Voters who do not vote Liberal may do so for reasons that you choose to ignore. Liberal voters may be turned off by the candidate, the futility of voting for a party that has nothing new to offer, the futility of voting for a non-state-supported party in a province that is a petro-state, the futility of voting in a province where there is a rural/urban gerrymander, or the futility of voting for a party that cannot match PC or WRP political spending. You need to take the complexity of voter behaviour into account and provide us with a more considered comment about voter intentions. Members do not appreciate simplistic one-liner throwaway lines. Given Alberta’s voting history, there is virtually NO opportunity for the Liberal Party to EVER come to POWER, or implement Liberal values unless we consider drastic change.
Think what you could do if you presented a viable political alternative by cooperating across party lines with people who have similar values. You could form an effective Opposition as a precursor to gaining POWER; once in POWER you could implement a fairer voting system that guarantees regular change of government. I lived most of my life in a country (Australia) where we tossed out parties of either political colour if they “lost the plot” while in POWER. Never forget that you actually have to achieve POWER before exercising it as a reflection of your values
Kent Hehr has had the moral courage to face political reality. In fact, Kent is doing more to keep the Liberal Party and its values alive than you with your throwaway line ‘… working to eliminate one’s own party…”. He is talking precisely about what many of us in the liberal Party are thinking: there is a different way to POWER and that is through CHANGE! In the real world, individuals and institutions are continuously morphing as they face social, economic and political realities. You obviously are not a student of history; political parties are born and grow; they change their “spots” and their ideology; they merge; some lose their relevance, just ebb and die, as the Liberal party surely will if it refuses to change. This raises another question. Why would a political party not change, when party members tire of a static adherence to values that clearly does not resonate with voters. One of the great parties of the world had a violent birth, grew to overthrow a corrupt government, momentarily gave hope to millions, lost its way, became static and eventually died. Yes, I speak of the Soviet Union Communist Party and I am not making any comment about its values, but pointing out that these changes were brought about by people within the party.
Liberals can adhere to higher principles while being pragmatic about the pursuit of political power. Rather than standing self-righteously on the sidelines forever, we can actually take clear and principled actions to seek the POWER that will enable us to use Liberal values for the public good.
I nearly choked with laughter when you quoted the by-laws and their aim of putting “people first”. I recently attended my association’s end of year event where the frustration of many party members was obvious. During the evening our leader, Raj Sherman dropped in to stroke the egos of members, spread the message of values and urge us to keep the faith, while asking for volunteers to help in the central party office and to trumpet his personal successes in canvassing support for the Liberal Party. While you talk only about “people first”, Raj talked about his outreach to business and the symbiosis of working together. Naturally financial contributions were also mentioned (another example of the relevance of math), but at least Raj recognised, in a very pragmatic way, that the way to POWER is to think beyond the by-laws and include business and organisations like the trade unions.
You might want to reconsider the breadth and depth of feeling among members about cooperation with other parties. Dr Swann addressed this issue directly after the last Edmonton convention: he had no success but at least he tried to talk cooperation. His problem was Brian Mason, a man stuck in the old rhetoric and who used every tactic to avoid or stifle discussion on the subject, much to the disgust of many of his members. But today even in the NDP there is change occurring and I would remind you that ground swells have a habit of swallowing the nay-sayers. It will happen.
As a pensioner, I am one of many who donate money to the party on a monthly basis because I support change in this province and feel comfortable with Liberal party values. But I am starting to wonder why I should bother to contribute, after reading this piece by someone who obviously does not understand history, or the pragmatic nature of politics. You may have your circle of members who support a “non-merger option” but I am also aware of many in the Liberal and NDP ranks who have an opposing view. What is more, the media and social media seems to indicate that yours is a minority view.
How many more elections do Liberals have to lose while propping up a party that clings to an outmoded approach to gaining power in Alberta? Do the math. We will NEVER gain POWER under the current voting system in a multi-party environment. Do not treat Liberal party members like children! We do know how to cross the street. This party has to cooperate with other people and parties in order to gain POWER. Again, do the math, only then can we do something about public health, education, fiscal prudence, and the environment.
Cooperation is not a dirty word. We practise it in our family and with our friends. We value and practice cooperation when we work in our communities with like-minded citizens irrespective of race, colour or creed or political belief. So Todd, get acquainted with the exciting idea of POWER and math in the real world and stop belittling other Liberals!
With all due respect I feel Van Vliet really has no clue why Redford managed a majority.
She bought the leadership race through promises of future support of the ATA, which aparently she has chosen to renage on now.
Virtually all municipal and city official are in the PC’s back pocket either through outright graft or threats of cutting funding. Those threats are very real as witnessed by what is happening in southern Alberta.
To attack one of the few Liberals who managed to get a seat in the last election is truly astounding.
For those who think the Liberals lost support because of the Wildrose ‘lake of fire’ fiasco, I would point out that the Alberta Liberal Party was polling in the low teens long before Danielle Smith imploded in the campaign.
In fact, low poll numbers was far more likely what did in David Swann’s leadership than his attraction to the idea of co-operation.
“Its time to unify the center under the Liberals and bring the Alberta Party folks back. Each party has to unclench their fist and be willing compromise on things, both sides, everybody, put your blame and finger pointing down and ask how can we fix, reconcile and work together?”
You should probably re-word that. Maybe start with asking folks to work together and reconcile their differences. And consider if telling folks to unify under your banner, and then calling for compromise and reconciliation, might perhaps be a little arrogant and condescending.
All of these postings and comments will become useless, once the deficit balloons to 6 billion and beyond, coupled with a drop in oil prices, the Tories will fall through the thin ice. The only question then remains, is how much deficit will it takes before entrenched Tory voters leave? You want to take a guess Alvin? Why not be ready for that moment? Or we still going to busy being geniuses and fighting and bickering with each other ortoo busy talking about feelings, bruised egos or pie in the sky dreams? How much deficit will it take to unite centrists? 3 billion is not enuff for you folks?
People don’t normally turn to left and far left parties to solve deficit crises or overspending issues. If the the deficit balloons and the price of oil drops, they’ll turn to the Wildrose, not the NDP, Liberals or Alberta Party. If that happens, the Wildrose will occupy the right, the PCs will take the centre and all the rest will be squished into the left and far left.
[…] problems facing our province. More recently, his comments about uniting progressive voters drew the ire of Liberal Party archetypes. While his party plays with gimmicky name changes, Mr. Hehr is trying to figure out how to get the […]
The ALP needs to quit fretting over where they fit on the sliding ideological scale, and focus on providing a ‘better, clearer’ progressive voice for Albertans. If that that voice echoes much of the PCP, or a bit of the NDP – so be it.
Alberta Liberal Party voter
Pragmatist, I think Kevin Taft’s Follow the Money: Where is Alberta’s Wealth Going? explains nicely why AB does not save money for rainy days. There is no need for either deficits or financially-driven program cuts in AB (our health, education, and social needs do not decline because the price of oil drops). If we taxed individuals and corporations at the levels that Premier Lougheed did, we’d have lots of money in the kitty from good times to put over to both hard times and the long-term Heritage Fund. Follow the Money raises questions about our changing definitions of “right,” “left,” and “centre.” Lougheed was considered to be a Red Tory, someone in the centre. Yet ALL of the parties of today, including the NDP, have fiscal policies well to the right of Lougheed’s policies: the Liberals had the most left-wing taxation program in this provincial election, but it would have left corporate and personal income tax rates for the wealthy well below Lougheed-era rates. PIA and the AFL have called for an “adult conversation” in AB about revenue. So far, thanks to the strength of right-wing parties and right-wing media, it’s not happening much.
Alvin, Darrel, PC’s had s near death experience in the 80’s with the huge deficits, Albertans almost turned Liberal. Funding social progs becomes huge issue. Money is going up in smoke, no savings, no plan to save, huge structural debt. poor revenue collection, no prov taxes collected from uber rich + corruption = debt.
Even if the debate started in a very messy way I think in the long run it will serve democracy well in Alberta.
Losing sucks. Decent people from all parties spend much time, money and effort to make Alberta a better place.
The main question is it about party/brand or is it about leadership.
My thought is that it boils down to leadership. Had Smith acted swiftly to turf her crazy candidates off the campaign ASAP and shown leadership she might be Premier today.
Had Raj worked better to build a team & gave Liberals and voters something to care about greater than themselves he might have one.
Had Mason been able to build more bridges and work and play with others better he could have had the orange wave he was looking for.
The future is up to each of them.
Redford will lead the P.C party into the next election. Will the rest also still have that chance to lead. Only time will tell.
I think for the sake of democracy in Alberta some other party needs to lead even if it is only for one term.
Toryland as some call it. They know how to make the others fight with one another. We all must learn to add.
Interesting read. Nice to see that people are concerned about their party’s integrity. Talks of mergers are akin to treason (ie. Quebec wanting to separate). The Alberta Liberal party appears to be different from the federal Liberals. If JT were not running in the federal arena, Albertans may be tempted, but the leopards don’t change their spots overnight or even over a generation. I actually enjoyed this rebuttal, and feel that this is exactly the type of response that should come from a president, so that all the concerns are laid on the table in a public way. That is what debate and media exposure is all about, is it not? Freedom of speech and thought is a cherished freedom.
If people responding here there and everywhere to a press release are concerned that it is inappropriate it is because Albertans are afraid of debate of principles. Attacking a president for standing up for his principles is worse. We need more parties to represent the people and those parties should also be allowed to have a place in the house of government if they receive % of voter confidence. It is the “only two real party mentality” or “1st past the post system” that is hurting Canadian politics as it shuns large groups of people who have found that NONE of the political parties truly represent their values, and the corruption associated with certain political thinking continues to be stunning. While I appreciate the Liberal philosophy, the outworkings of that philosophy have been detrimental to Canada and Alberta at many levels, but I don’t claim to understand it all. I find the discussions intriguing and thought provoking, but they seldom change my vote unless the person running has a proven track record in my community (intregrity being the first choice).
Wade, if everybody in unison keeps hitting the Toryland barge again and again in the same spot, it will sink and become unsalvagable. Its already nearing that end stage. The key will be for all opposition party MLA’s to collaberate and work together and support each other. Each and every MLA SHOULD be loyal to their party. You can’t help but wonder, in light of all of this, is “Bridget Past Her Due Date” keeing a warm empty seat for someone? For whom? Hypothetically, how much is that person to be paid for that warm seat. Opposition MLA’s loyal to their parties will always have a high degree of political currency and respect from the public at large.
I’m 33 and I have a prediction. I would bet my house and life savings that the liberals or NDP will never form government in Alberta in my lifetime. I will bring this up for the next 50 years ( After every election that is.). The two parties need to cooperate (either merger or non aggression pact next election). Both parties are losers and if they keep going it alone they will stay that way.
James, folks who supported and voted social credit, used to say about the PC’s. Social Credit is non existent. Don’t kid your self, i agree ND’s will never form gov’t, but that doesn’t mean the PC’s wont join their socreds buddies one day when they get electorally out out to pasture. Albertans are sick and tired of being lied to. Again how debt is too much $3billion, 6, 9, 12$ billion, before tories fall?
“the quest for power and to create a winning team is the business of all political parties”
Unfortunately, yes; this representative democracy system that has evolved is precisely that; a way of creating cliques who sole purpose is ‘power’ (over the people). The motivations, methods and protestations of all of them are transparent.
Career politicians are pretty low, they will abandon what they profess to hold dear and ‘cross the floor’ as it suits their personal plans and secures them a spot on the gravy train. I doubt there is one who agrees with everything his party claims to ‘stand for’ (until it is expedient to do otherwise)
Yet it is us who are dumb enough (if you do) to vote for any of them; as history has shown for thousands of years, they never do as they promised during their election campaigns in spirit of in substance.
How can you for instance profess to ‘public good (&) individual freedom’ while supporting a fiat money system designed to keep the people in indefinite servitude. Which party aims to abandon the system?
If there was one, like the Libertarians in the US, they would be marginalized (like not being invited to presidential debates) and generally ignored, especially by the ‘in-pocket’ press.
What a way to run a society! If we haven’t destroyed ourselves through our own greed in a couple of centuries; what do you think historians will write about this nepotistic atrocity?
Yet the system is entrenched, you have to be a party to market your ideas widely enough to beat the current pack of wolves, and during your tenure abolish the system itself; without becoming that which you fought against.
..and so it continues : “Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught; only then will you find that money cannot be eaten”
[…] Van Vliet’s rambling and bitter attack on Mr. Hehr was prompted by the Calgary-Buffalo MLA’s contribution of a guest post to the […]
[…] Van Vliet’s rambling and bitter attack on Mr. Hehr was prompted by the Calgary-Buffalo MLA’s contribution of a guest post to the […]
Who ever responded to me I agree people are sick of the tories. I DISAGREE THE LIBERALS WILL NEVER FORM GOVERNEMENT. Even though I hate the thought, the government that will replace the tories is the old socreds know as the wildrose. Why because the progressives are divided and don’t want to cooperate. Like I said neither the Liberals or NDPs will ever win government in my lifetime because they can’t get over their small differences. Very sad, conservative or severly conservative governments in Alberta.
I see today that Mike Butler, many time prov/fed Liberal candidate in Edmonton, has called on Raj Sherman to resign as leader.
Yes, the progressives CAN co-operate, provided the progressive corporate sleeze that are corrupted, lie, steal and cheat from Albertans are censured, impeached and dethrowned, along with their spies and proxies in each party. As long the tentacles of corruption are meted out and some goto Stephen Harper’s expanded prison system, a few Judicial Inquiries into some of the nefarious things that have been whitewashed, we will have political renewal and turn over, which will restore public confidence. We need to return to a traditional NDP Liberal and Conservative political forum. There is NO reason why the NDP, LIberals and Conservatives(Wildrose) cannot co-operate to squeeze out the corruption. Wildrose are more than welcome to change their name to the Conservative Party of Alberta. The Liberals will become the defacto centrist Progressive Choice for MOST Albertans.
I think Mr. Van Vliet handled the situation with pussy cat gloves. He didn’t say anything so horrible. In fact, what this MLA did, maybe seen by many party insiders, voters and supporters as disloyal, as it works only to help to the Pee C’s, so why should Raj resign? its the stupidest thing I ever heard! The Leader’s job is to build the party and expand it, not split it up!…so what part of that should Kxnt be applauded for??? I would think the person giving up ground to the other party is the disloyal one.
Nike Mutler should get his marbles checked. Its the Party leader’s job to ensure everybody is moving in the right direction. The right direction, is to the right, NOT to the left. If Kxnt had any sense, he would realize, moving to the left, would alienate a lot of centrist Liberals and work to undermine the Liberal Base and help the Pee Sees.
So Kxnt has to ask why he is so willing to help the Pee See’s?
Quoting Mr. Van Vliet’s comment:
“As a final aside, one can’t help noting that the former Alberta Liberal executive director helping Mr. Hehr is a PR professional working with the local branch of one of the world’s larger PR firms. And one of his closest colleagues recently worked as Alison Redford’s leadership campaign manager and former Chief of Staff. Coincidence? Well, maybe.”
There fore, the fair question must be asked, Mr. Hxhr, do you or the Former Lib AB executive misdirector have anything to confess?
Mr. Van Vliet, thank you for being a strong voice for the Liberal Party of Alberta. You are doing the right thing and what is in interest of Albertans and the Party. The time has come for the Liberal Party to build on its strengths, increase membership and fundraising.
[…] around MLA Kent Hehr over his efforts to reach out to the NDP and discuss merger. This prompted a bizarre rebuttal from ALP… This entry was posted in Bloggers, Liberal. Bookmark the […]
[…] it fits in Alberta’s new political landscape. Popular Calgary MLA Kent Hehr and party president Todd Van Vliet clashed earlier this month over what the future direction of the Liberal Party should be. The next […]
[…] 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 […]
[…] Alberta Party, and Greens, as has been suggested by Calgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Kent Hehr, is unpalatable to Dr. Sherman, perhaps he could be convinced a merger with his party’s federal namesake would not be a bad […]
[…] His 2012 guest post on this blog supporting cooperation by centre-left parties caused a stir but was quickly shot down by his party’s leadership. With Liberal MLAs acting more like a group of independents who share office space than […]
[…] Liberal MLA Kent Hehr‘s proposed a party merger in December 2012 and was quickly dismissed by Liberal and NDP stalwarts. A new party could provide an attractive home for long-time PC voters looking […]