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.
31. July 2012 11:45
I wasn't ready to write a blog on the Alberta Party yet.
My good friend, Glenn Taylor, has resigned as the leader of the new Alberta Party.
First, I'm sorry Glenn. I've done my best, if I had the resources I'd love to be able to dedicate enough so that Glenn could work full time without stress on building something that this province desperately needs. I consider you a close and personal friend and I will stand beside you in whatever we tackle in the times ahead.
Secondly, I want to address some of the discussion that's been formed since the last election. According to some, the Alberta Party has already folded and faded from the electorial map. According to others, it never existed.
With Ms. Redford's election as leader of the PC Party, there has been much conversation that they have sucked the void the Alberta Party hoped to fill. I have no difficulty saying that although Ms. Redford's policies somewhat align with policy the Alberta Party has brought forward, I do not support her government and will continue to advocate for change, more forward thinking, more attentive attitudes and behaviours towards Albertan citizens and more respect paid from the government to the people it is supposed to serve.
Alberta has been poorly served with a big tent party where discussion is meted out according to the wishes of it's leader. Alberta has suffered when our government has shied away from difficult discussions when it endangered how the government is viewed and when it risked future election prospects.
Social justice demands that difficult discussions take place. It remains crucial that we have fair and open conversations about policy. The Redford led government is every bit as guilty as the Stelmach led government before it and the Klein led government before it of passing laws and setting policy that has not been discussed and reviewed thoroughly to examine the full effects. AISH recipients left to scramble to survive. Distracted driving legislation, or the 0.05 BAC legislation that does little to encourage safer driving but does much to create an environment of fear with more laws that are extremely difficult to enforce. We have better means at our disposal, but they are NOT being talked about in public discourse.
Good economic policy demands that difficult discussions take place. We need to proceed beyond a reliance upon oil and gas revenues for many reasons. We have no Heritage Fund to speak of, we've had a government of spendaholics who cry poor when revenues dip. We need sustainable financial planning and we haven't had it for 25 years. As a fiscal conservative, it makes my heart cry.
Alberta has been very poorly served when only one party is seen to be capable of governing and the wings of the party wrestle back and forth for control of the agenda for the next four or eight or twelve years. We need discussions about budgets, about environmental monitoring, about expenditures, about government programs opened up and we need to hear from every Albertan. It is not happening now, it will happen with the Alberta Party because the Alberta Party is built upon it.
We knew that the Alberta Party was not going to be a pied piper and have the rest of the province accepting our message. We have to prove it and sustain our message of positive action and open discussion. That's going to be very hard work, particularly difficult without a single Alberta Party MLA elected in the past election.
But my discontent remains, I am not heard by Ms. Redford nor her government and I must look for better solutions that I can believe in.
I hereby formally announce my intention to run for the Alberta Party in 2016 in Calgary East and dedicate myself to listening to my neighbours and trying to present their opinions and concerns. I may not be elected either, but we need to keep trying to find ways to advance open, public discussion.