1. August 2012 00:16
"First Alberta Party candidate announces for 2016"
I read the headline and I spent a couple minutes trying to figure out who it was.
Oh. Right then. It was me.
And here is the difference that makes the Alberta Party something I completely adore, affiliate with, and support completely: The act of simply announcing an intention to run is EXCITING. It makes a splash, it makes a difference now when we need exciting news. I didn't think it was news, I'm pretty sure I told Brandon Beasley that I wasn't planning to campaign with him next time around since I was hoping to run my own campaign. Still, I can see how that would be news to others.
Okay, good then. I've announced that I'm running in 2016. Except I have to win the party nomination first. Absolutely nothing will please me more than needed to contest the Alberta Party nomination for Calgary East in 2016. Without a doubt, I fully intend to put my name forward to represent the Alberta Party. My party.
But first we have to form a strong Constituency Association before I can even begin in Calgary East.
I understand completely how hard it will be for a "fringe" party to gain credibility against the established party. I am also completely sincere that I feel battling for the leadership and subsequent steerage of the "big tent" party has directly led to a complete lack of discussion of the most important points of Alberta's governance.
I'm entirely aware of the concerns that the Alberta Party has become nothing more than Alison Redford's policy development committee.
This is precisely the point where I should be expressing weasel words so all the pundits can start calling out, "I totally called that, dude!"
Except I'm not. My word is my bond and I feel I can provide value to the neighbours I care about. Like so many of my fellow Alberta Party members, I'm determined that the Alberta Party's values not only represent my own but are inherently worthwhile to support and encourage. I know the work ahead and I relish the challenge to stand on my personal values and represent my party to the very best of my ability.
I need to establish credibility within my community. I sincerely love my neighbourhood and the people who live here. I believe in the people first and foremost, I want to ensure they are served as well as possible. I believe the open conversations and the Big Listen experience of the Alberta Party is best able to present their beliefs and opinions. I don't expect them to simply believe that I'm putting them first, I need to demonstrate that I serve them and we work together.
They come before the Alberta Party. Happily, the Alberta Party not only recognizes this but welcomes it as well. The Alberta Party makes it possible for me to express my beliefs and values, and to discuss and accept dissenting opinions from my friends and neighbours.
If we do nothing but create policy to be appropriated by Ms. Redford and the PC's, I want to be absolutely certain that they appropriate the very best policy that truly represents and serves Albertans. Someone needs to lead the discussion and the Alberta Party seems the most eager to take on the hard discussions the government will not tackle.
I'm not naive enough to believe this is a simple feat accomplished. I am not cynical enough to believe this is not a valuable accomplishment on behalf of all Albertans.
I do intend to run for the Alberta Party in 2016. I sincerely hope there's active and eager competition against me from like minded people. As a party, we are taking a deep breath and we shall continue along the next step of our journey together. Improving every day.
In the meanwhile, I think I'm going to ask Tony Jeglum to write all my headlines from here on out.