With Alberta’s daily political scene dominated by the loud and partisan voices of the governing Progressive Conservatives and the official opposition Wildrose, it has become easy to miss what is happening in Alberta’s other political parties. Here is a quick look at some news from the other parties represented in the Legislative Assembly – the Liberals and NDP – and the parties sitting outside the dome – the Alberta Party, Green Party, and Social Credit Party.
At a recent annual meeting, the Alberta Liberals abandoned their controversial “supporter” category of party involvement. Described by some Liberals as groundbreaking, gargantuan, real renewal, and politics re-imagined when the party first adopted the new category in May 2011, the idea remained controversial among party loyalists. Some long-time Liberals believed the creation of a “free” category opening leadership selections to non-members gave former Tory MLA Raj Sherman an advantage over loyalist favourite Hugh MacDonald in the party’s 2011 vote.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the Liberal Party current has about 1,200 registered members, compared to about 3,500 members in August 2011. While the party signed up 27,000 members and supporters in the 2011 leadership race, only 8,900 voted.
A surprise win by past candidate Mike Butler in the party’s vice-president (communications) contest surprised many Liberals at the annual meeting. Mr. Butler is a supporter of cooperation with other parties like the NDP, Alberta Party and Greens, and has helped organize ‘soapbox’ events in Edmonton to promote cross-party dialogue.
The cooperation debate has been heated among Liberals. Last year, party president Todd Van Vliet publicly rebuked Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr for a guest post published on this blog promoting the idea of cooperation.
The Alberta NDP will hold their annual conference in Lethbridge in November, hoping to build on recent gains in the southern Alberta city. The NDP have seen significant growth in Lethbridge, with both federal candidate Mark Sandilands and provincial candidate Shannon Phillips significantly increasing their party’s support in recent elections.
NDP executive member Chris O’Halloran was chosen to serve as the interim president following Nancy Furlong‘s departure to accept a new job in Ontario. A new president will be selected at the November annual meeting.
Following the resignation of leader Glenn Taylor after the last election, the Alberta Party set September 21, 2013 as the date it will choose their next leader. Calgary businessman Greg Clark is so far the only candidate to step into the race to lead the party.
Not unfamiliar with Alberta politics, Mr. Clark worked as a spokesperson for the Liberal Caucus in the mid-1990s after that party first formed official opposition under Laurence Decore. He ran against Premier Alison Redford in Calgary-Elbow during last year’s election, placing
6th 5th with 518 votes.
Reformed after a divisive internal party split and poor party financial audits led to the dissolution of the former Alberta Greens and the creation of the Evergreen Party, the newly renamed Green Party of Alberta is now led by Calgary-based civil liberties advocate Janet Keeping.
In April, the Social Credit Party held a policy convention in Innisfail where members of the small party affirmed policies that support human rights of the preborn, disallowing casino gambling and no sales tax. The Socreds also pledge to make the Alberta Treasury Branch the “economic engine of Alberta.”
Leader Len Skowronski ran in Calgary-Hawkwood in the last election, placing 7th out of 8 candidates with 105 votes. The Social Credit Party ran 3 candidates in the 2012 election.
14 replies on “News from parties not named PC or Wildrose”
Nice to see what the other parties are up to. I didn’t know that about the new Liberal VP, that’s quite surprising. I should note a small error you made, however; in the 2012 election Greg Clark placed 5th of 6 candidates. The vote total is correct, however.
Justin Trudeau #peopletaggedbutnotinvolvedinthearticle
If anyone thought Hugh MacDonald was going to win the liberal leadership… they just were not paying attention.
He had little vote outside of Edmonton. He couldn’t gather much support in Calgary. If it was a membership-based vote then he would still have lost in a landslide to Raj Sherman.
@Brandon – Thanks for the correction! It’s now fixed.
I was not at the Liberal AGM to witness the vote or speeches, but I did find it surprising that party members elected a VP who’s main agenda over the past year (cooperation with other parties) appears to go against what the Party President and the Party Leader have been preaching.
@James – Justin Trudeau is pictured in the giant image at the top of the post. I thought that was relevant enough to include a tag.
@Vincent – Thanks for the comment. I would agree, though it was a constant comment that I heard from the die-hard Liberal crowd in Edmonton after Dr. Sherman won the party’s leadership race.
Also not sure if I would want the guy who had these election signs made to be my VP of Communications: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-RW2aV51TFLM/TYrQBSIUsmI/AAAAAAAAAWQ/X2kn8Um3mxo/s320/DSCN3469.JPG
joel, you’ve never wanted to be elect for federal government to make glorious communities safe ? MY SIGN! (borat)
@Joel French – That’s certainly a unique approach to campaign advertising… but let’s not forget that Mr. Butler also ran for the federal and provincial NDP in the 2008 elections before switching his affiliation to the Liberals.
@Dave for comparison here’s one of those signs.
Its good to see Justin be comprehensive compared to other Federal Leaders and reach out to Albertans. On the International Stage, Justin will inspire a sense of peace and calm in this world. He is the next Canadian Leader that will restore Canada’s image as a peace making nation.
All of this nonsense about him not having any experience is utter crap. Justin has been, along with his father, meeting heads of state since he was a child. He HAS been in politics a lot longer than any of the the other leaders. He may not have institutional experience, but that will come with time. No other prime ministerial candidate has had the political exposure and hence depth of early experience, like Justin Trudeau. Justin holds in his future to be the greatest prime minister ever.
He holds within him, the hopes and values of what we all define Canada to be. Justin is likeable and will most likely be the next prime minister. The Conservatives are dispirited and de-energized and Canada is ready to turn the page and return to its more pure ideals of what what Canada ought to be. Raise a glass to Justin.
BTW Guys, ND’s and Cons are really both a type of welfare case. The first wants free handouts to individuals, while the latter wants free pork barrel handouts to corporations, in the form of tax subsidies and other forms of lobbyist seeking corporate welfare.
Middle class families need to start paying attention and voting in the center. Federally and Provincially, as it is the most moderate, fair and balanced for them. Unions and corporations get too many free rides. Families need more fairness.
Stephen Harper had zero experience before he was elected as Prime Minister of Canada!!
Wow talk about earned media eh. Thanks for all of the comments and your thoughts. I wanted to get out as much information to the public on my signs, I guess they where not flashy enough for Joel sorry bud. It seems to me that we need to find a route for success to occur on the fronts that we have been fighting for so long. Solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars, renewable jobs created by building these things right here in Alberta.
Creating a community where we can help and stand up for each other with out being ridiculed for having beliefs outside of the system of government that we have had for 43 years is something we must change as a society of people. Fixing our Health care system and my passion the Mental health care system are not being accomplished properly and it does not make sense. Its funny how the label on my shirt turns those that say they want the same things as me into haters and critics. To be honest my best friends are my best critics and I love the debate of principle that comes after. This is what democracy is suppose to be and the best idea is what usually wins the day. But why tear each other apart if we both want the same thing? The opponent of my opponent is suppose to be my friend in the art of war philosophy.
These are my personal beliefs.