Why the Alberta Party is a game changer, not late to the game
I have never been a member of a political party, until now. This weekend I joined the Alberta Party and attended their first convention in Red Deer.
At the convention I met a diverse and passionate group of Albertans from across the province. Outside of the convention, some commentators dismissed this movement as “a cool name, but not much else“. They forget that, other than the Progressive Conservatives who took a few tries, every party to form government in Alberta won their first election. I believe that the Alberta Party will be a game changer in the next provincial election for five reasons:
The Alberta Party is zealously moderate: not liberal, not conservative, not left and not right. I had great discussions with members from across the political spectrum. At the convention I met a former Progressive Conservative Minister from the Lougheed government, the former leader of the Green Party of Alberta and disaffected Liberals and New Democrats. Most importantly, I met many members who have never been involved in any political party.
The Alberta Party brand distinguishes it from conventional political labels. The party is able to define itself as moderate because it is not loaded with the baggage of the conventional political parties. It took two years to “renew” the Alberta Party as a moderate political organization. When I knock on doors for the party I anticipate that citizens will ask “what is the Alberta Party?” This will start an inclusive conversation rather than a partisan debates.
The Alberta Party spent the first years of its existence listening to over 1,000 Albertans through 100 Big Listen events. Listening is surprisingly a radical concept. Some critics say that the party has moved to slowly. I disagree. Listening to Albertans is precisely what distinguishes the Alberta Party. Policies reflective of Albertans will, in turn, expedite attracting members and great candidates across the province.
A highlight from convention was the “Tales from Campaign Trail”. Candidates or campaign managers from a half-dozen successful municipal election campaigns shared their experiences. The Nenshi campaign team proved that “politics in full sentences” can enable a new political movement to win. Nearly everyone at the convention was involved in big and small municipal campaigns in places like Edmonton, Calgary, Rimbey and Grand Prairie. They are ready to bring a new style of politics to the next provincial election.
The conventional parties are focused on “splitting the right” or “splitting the left”. The diverse Alberta Party membership is proof that its positive message attracts support from across the political spectrum. The involvement of many former non-partisans is evidence that the Alberta Party will engage the 59% of voters who did not vote in the 2008 provincial election. This was the lowest voter turnout for a Canadian provincial election in the last 50 years.
The party that engages non-voters and disaffected voters will win the next election. The Alberta Party is dedicated to being moderate, listening to Albertans and engaging in a new positive style of politics. This is how the Alberta Party will win