Alberta Politics

Alberta Party first out of the gate for 2019 election

Chemical Engineer Omar Masood is the first candidate nominated to run in Alberta’s next provincial election, which is expected to be held in early 2019. Members of the Alberta Party association in the Calgary-Buffalo constituency acclaimed Mr. Masood as their candidate at a meeting on November 29, 2016.

Mr. Masood serves on the board of the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association.

He recorded a video endorsement of former Calgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Kent Hehr during his federal election bid in 2015, in which Mr. Hehr was ultimately elected.

Calgary-Buffalo is represented by NDP MLA Kathleen Ganley, who serves as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. Before the NDP sweep in the 2015 election, voters in this downtown constituency had a track record of electing Liberal MLAs (Mr. Hehr from 2008 to 2015, Gary Dickson from 1992 to 2000, and Sheldon Chumir from 1986 to 1992).

The Alberta Party did not run a candidate in this constituency in 2015.

Alberta Party-PC Party merger?

After years of wrangling over a merger with the Liberal Party, some Alberta Party members are reportedly now pondering a merger with the Progressive Conservatives. This merger feels unlikely, considering the conservative forces pushing for the PCs to merge with the Wildrose Party. But it does raise to the question of where moderate conservative voters and political activists will find a new home if Alberta’s Conservative parties shift further to the political right.

During the 2015 election, a local Alberta Party association formally endorsed and did not run a candidate against Liberal Party candidate Laurie Blakeman in Edmonton-Centre.

6 replies on “Alberta Party first out of the gate for 2019 election”

In some ways, an Alberta Party/PC merger makes a lot of sense. If it worked out for the best, it could result in a stronger centrist party with a more grassroots focus. However, given the small size of the Alberta Party, I am not sure how much influence they would have to change the PC’s to a more grassroots focus. They might just be overwhelmed by the PC power brokers.

Also, I think many PC’s are very interested in returning to power and I am not sure combining with the very small Alberta Party would give them enough of a boost for that. Perhaps it might be a small step towards an eventual return to power, but I am not sure if many PC’s are really that patient.

I was sympathetic to the Alberta Party when it came out, but when I began to talk to members about issues concerning organized labour I found that they didn’t have any policies. When I searched their website, I found that there policies were every bit as vague as the other political parties. One time, when I e-mailed the party concerning ambulance fees their response was to talk to my MLA. That struck me as a political party that really doesn’t have their act together. I get a sense that they don’t stand for anything and what they stand for is complete mush. I don’t think I can support a party that doesn’t really know what it stands for and give me any concrete answers to my questions.

The Alberta Party is essentially the Green Party without the green, both colour and policy focus. It’s a minor party dominated by one figure who talks a lot of game but doesn’t actually show any of it. It also has zero raison-d’étre – ask yourself what ideological niche the party actually fits or represents that can’t be or isn’t already done by the others. Once Clark leaves or is defeated, the party will move into irrelevance. PCs nor Liberals should waste their time.

Instead of a merger, which is technically forbidden under Albeeta’s election laws, the best solution for moderate conservatives in the current PC party who can’t stomach staying in that party if Jason Kenney wins the leadership might be simply joining one of the two non-NDP centrist parties: either the Alberta Liberals or the Alberta Party.

From the NDP’s perspective, a clear, binary left-right split, with the NDP drifting to the centre from the left as they have been doing instead of the right as PCs used to do, and a hard-core right-wing unorogressive Conservative party led by Mr Kenney, is probably a more desirable scenario, since it gives it the chance to campaign against the new conservatives’ harsher economic, labour and social policies.

But from the perspective of the voters, they might prefer to have a third option, as long as it’s an option that is truly viable with a reasonable chance of electing enough MLAs to have an influence in the legislature. That is not currently the case with either the Liberals or the AP, but an influx of moderate ex-PCers might serve to strengthen the party they join.

Hey out of curiosity, aren’t there going to be new boundaries for the next election? How can this guy by nominated as the riding’s candidate, unless its entirely unofficial?

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