Ok, now what?
Alberta will likely see it’s first change in government in 41 years. The Wildrose Party had an opportunity to lose its lead in political polls during tonight’s debate, and by most accounts, it looks like they only strengthened their grasp on the legislature.
As many of you know, this is not my first choice for the Province and especially Edmonton, which will almost certainly lose much of it’s voice in the Legislature. But I will freely accept that the Wildrose has dramatically out campaigned the Progressive Conservatives, and in our system… that’s more than good enough.
Frankly, it’s exciting, and the World won’t end. So before you pack your backs for greener pastures, you might want to give pause and think what this means for us.
Firstly, I think we will all benefit from the effect of changing a 41 year party in power will have on a functioning democracy; which normally responds to citizens from the tension of thinking you might actually lose an election. I think that the democratic renewal components of the Wildrose platform will be healthy to increasing responsibility on elected officials. I also don’t think the right-wing social elements of the party will show up as much as many do. Once in power, a Wildrose Government will have no choice but quiet those members, if they want to stay legitimate in the eyes of our majority socially moderate citizens.
But I am concerned about some bigger things. Things that haven’t been talked about much in this election, and something that seems to be completely missing in the Wildrose platform.
- I am concerned about no vision for this province beyond being the lowest tax jurisdiction and a panacea of oil-industry fueled growth, all by itself.
- I am concerned about economic diversification and creating an environment for knowledge economy workers.
- I am concerned about the harried reality of an economy that is set to rage for a decade or two, which seems to rob $2 worth of quality of life, from all of us, in trade for a $1 injection into our pocket books. I am concerned about a myopic approach to oil sands development, with little focus on staging development more in line with the available labour resources available to us.
- I am concerned about a lack of focus on building communities which have the desired amenities and livability to not only attract visitors, but to hold here the new more mobile knowledge economy worker.
- I am concerned for the significant progress made on important social issues like homelessness and AISH increases. We can’t send these responsibilities back to volunteer funders.
- I am especially concerned about the lost opportunity to express to the rest of the world that Alberta is an exciting, diverse and visionary jurisdiction.
But, I am not one to sit idle, and I encourage you to consider where you fit in all of this.
I am supporting a new political alternative that clearly will not win many short-term victories, but is in my opinion the only one that can form the best next alternative to the government we elect on April 23rd.
I hold little regard for the ability of either the Progressive Conservatives or Alberta Liberals to present a viable option. The Liberals have tried for 90 years to crack into mainstream acceptance in Alberta, and the Conservatives are on the precipice of a long-term struggle to win back our trust. More importantly, they lack a cohesive vision for what they want the best Alberta to look like, let alone their own party.
So, in my opinion, the time to start this work is right now! By voting for an Alberta Party candidate in this election, you can help put some new thought leaders into the legislature, and help in the creation of a new and dynamic centrist alternative.
Some of these races are very close, and with some help, we can elect 4-6 Alberta Party candidates. In my opinion, this is our new choice. Think hard before you place your support, because unless the Mayan’s were right, we will have reason to be concerned for years to come.
Here are some links that might be worth researching, starting with a completely different tone of leadership, from the Alberta Party Leader Glenn Taylor as he responded in real-time to tonight’s debate:
- over 1700 unique viewers followed along as we live-blogged our response to tonight.
Some brilliant new thought-leaders, who are actually in tight races, and are well worth your consideration:
- Michael Walters for Edmonton Rutherford. Michael is by far the most innovative and community minded politician I have met. He has an amazing team of young and dynamic volunteers, has raised over $60,000 in donations, knocked on thousands and thousands of doors, and is winning the sign-war. He is doing all this because he is authentic and highly credible local candidate. He is the architect of the Alberta Party Big Listen policy process, and as a tested community organizer, can make very real change happen.
- Sue Huff for Edmonton Glenora. Sue embodies the Alberta Party ethos of an improved tone and non-partisanship politics. An experienced elected official who fought a principled battle for community schools on the Edmonton Public School Board of Trustees, she is a highly trustworthy person who not only starts well, but finishes what she started. As our interim leader through our infancy, Sue held her own perfectly alongside Danielle Smith and the government.
- Danielle Klooster for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. Danielle is an experienced and highly respected community leader who has served as an elected council person for the Town of Penhold, and fights for community and business in many roles, including working for the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce. Offered an opportunity to run under the PC banner (when that was as close to a guarantee of being elected as possible), she chose to run for the Alberta Party and change the way government serves central Alberta
- Tim Osborne for St. Albert. Tim is an amazing community volunteer AND communicator, who has been punching way above his weight class in St. Albert since the start of his campaign. His volunteer work is far reaching, and somehow still finds time to raise a young family and work on his Masters of Communications. Again, another example of an Alberta Party candidate who lives in the community he wants to serve, and is surprising others (not us) with his ideas and consensus building style.
- Norm Kelly for Calgary Currie. A previously successful crown prosecutor for the government, and now in private practice to help defend those who need representation the most, Norm is passionate about community service and a positive role of government in community. Running in the only constituency to have had an Alberta Party MLA, Norm is running with significant support from his constituents. Well connected through his work with Volunteer Calgary, and as a graduate of Leadership Calgary, he has one of the strongest campaign teams of any candidate.
- Tony Jeglum for Lacombe Ponoka. Tony embodies what the future of Rural Alberta looks like. A passionate farmer who cares about the future of our Agricultural industry, Tony served as president of Future Agriculture Business Builders, which is the provincial arm of the Canadian Young Farmers Forum. He wants to see better discourse from our elected officials and increase educational and network opportunities for the next generation of Alberta farmer.
- Glenn Taylor for West Yellowhead. Glenn, as our leader, has the credentials and experience to not just lead the party today, but to continue to represent the people of West Yellowhead. As a three-time mayor for the City of Hinton, Glenn proved that even our small and mid-sized cities can make an impact on quality of life, amenity and service for it’s citizens. Glenn led initiatives that resulted in a 20-year capital plan based on sound business principles aligned with strategic community planning, matching Hinton’s development goals with its limited resources. Hinton now has a public transit system, a green building policy, and has upgraded all of its major municipal buildings and infrastructure. These goals were achieved while supporting local businesses, respecting natural resource industries, and maintaining municipal taxes at or below the average municipal tax increase for like-sized towns.
There are SO many great Alberta Party candidates and I wish I could highlight them all. Meet more of them here, and see for yourself that there is a long-list of great community minded people who are committed to building a real alternative for Alberta.
We can all dream bigger…
Thank you for reading.