Edmonton Rutherford – Election 2012

If you live in Edmonton Rutherford, you will have access to one of the most interesting and possibly meaningful elections in decades. Tonight, we were reminded why your choice not only matters, but represents the best of opportunities to set a new forward looking course for moderately minded constituents.

Rick Miller - Alberta Liberal Party Candidate

On twitter, the Alberta Liberal candidate Rick Miller made what has become a common war-cry against the Alberta Party:

“Many progressives in Aspen Gardens are upset with #abparty for further splitting the progressive vote.”


Miller, who served as MLA for the constituency from 2004 – 2008, ironically lives outside of the constituency in Edmonton Millcreek.

I have entertained this vote-splitting argument from nearly every angle and should start by asking myself, “to what end” would it make sense in not running great local candidates for the Alberta Party, when Liberal alternatives were running.

  • The best argument being used by Miller at the doors, and this is something he is pushing hard with each resident he seems to be targeting with Walters signs, is that the he and the Liberals in the last election lost by only 58 votes. And because he argues the Wildrose Party will certainly siphon votes from the Conservative candidate (Fred Horne), the Alberta Party is taking away his opportunity to win again.

So, although I disagree seriously with his logic, and I will tell you why shortly, I have to wonder what things might look like if he was correct. This came to mind:

  • In the last election, the Liberals were polling an average of 29.4% going into the election. With even that high percentage of public support, the Liberals lost 43% or Seven of their provincial seats.
  • In this election, the Liberals are polling at and around 12% 

So it’s hard to see in Miller’s logic an argument that the Liberals are poised to win if Alberta Party candidates would simply get out of the way. But let’s assume for a second that Miller is right, and he is only a collusion between the parties away from representing Rutherford once again. How would the citizens of Edmonton Rutherford benefit from his representation? The Liberals are in a 90-year slump from governing this Province. Considering their recent trend in steeply declining public support, we have to assume one new Liberal MLA added to a shrinking list will make no meaningful difference in securing a new future for Alberta.

All that being said, here is why I am personally against limiting choice for any Albertan, and the Alberta Party heeding the desperate calls to stop and join the Alberta Liberals in their rightful role as the voice of “Progressives”.

  • The label “Progressives” is being used as some kind of mythical bucket of people who will follow a certain political brand, no matter where they propose to take them. I have been a Conservative voter, volunteer and CA executive for years. I am no more a “Progressive” than I am a “Conservative”. I go to the ideas, and the vision of the person and Party looking to represent me.
  • Thousands and thousand of people like me, who have voted Progressive Conservative in the past, are looking for an alternative which can someday govern this province, and can’t live with the shallow ideas and limited vision of an even more Conservative Wildrose government.
  • A healthy democracy, ironically a bedrock principle of liberalism, depends on choice.
  • The Alberta Party has an opportunity to provide a real choice for Rural Albertans, who are endlessly presented with no meaningful candidate outside the one who wins the battle of “most conservative”. Like it or not, perhaps unfairly, the Alberta Liberals are wearing a brand which is despised by nearly every rural Albertan.

But, importantly for everyone in Edmonton Rutherford reading this. I want to share with you why you need not think in terms of inside baseball, and a collaboration of parties limiting your choice; I would like you to consider two reasons why Michael Walters is a phenomenal candidate, worthy of your consideration.

He’s the best candidate:

  • Michael lives in and loves to serve Edmonton Rutherford
  • Michael created the Big Listen Policy Process for the Alberta Party, of which a tenet is the voice of every constituent in developing policy, not just partisan members. Michael supports the Alberta Party principle of working across party lines, after respecting your choice in the ballot box.
  • Michael has used real community organizing tactics to bring change to local government. As the lead behind the Greater Edmonton Alliance, Michael on one occasion put 600 citizens into City Hall to effectively change local laws and protect the communities interest. His passion for local issues like land-use, transit, local businesses and cleaning up derelict properties are all going to be transferred to Rutherford residents. He has already begun to work on improving the amenities in the community and making old strip-malls as integral community hubs for locals.
  • Michael has excellent relationships and is an effective influencer with local politicians, community leagues, school board officials and church groups

Michael is running a serious contender campaign and leading the Alberta Liberals in every category:

  • Michael has been door-knocking since October full-time and has reached every home at least once, and now working to visit each again for a second time. Rick Miller began in February, after quitting as Liberal Chief of Staff.
  • Michael has a volunteer team over 100 strong
  • Michael has raised over $50,000 and will finish the election raising more than $65,000
  • Michael has more private property lawn signs and large fence signs than any other candidate
  • Michael has been endorsed by a diverse and influential cross section of amazing Edmontonians. Even running against the current Minister of Health, he has garnered endorsements from a Past President of the University of Alberta Hospital Don Schurman, Local Business Advocate Jessie Radies, Entreprenuers like myself and Carole Lemire, and dozens of community leaders who live in Rutherford
  • Finally… Internal PC polls show a two-horse race, between Michael and Fred Horne.

You do have a choice, and can make a meaningful difference in this election. You can help introduce the new ideas and policies of the Alberta Party to Alberta. This and only this can give Albertans a choice in elections to come.

Learn more about Michael: