Top Ten Ways the Alberta Party is Going to Do Politics Differently

Brian Mason said today that no one could give him an answer to how the Alberta Party was going to do politics differently.  (I’m only paraphrasing, I wish I was smart enough to get his actual quote so I could do him justice.)  At the risk of enlightening him, here’s my semi-serious top ten:

The Top Ten ways the Alberta Party is going to do politics differently:

10.  Tweet our way to victory!
9.  Hardcore recruiting of those moderates.
8.  When someone talks “environment” we’ll talk “economy.“  When they talk “economy” we’ll talk “health.“  When they talk “health” we’ll talk “education.“  When they talk “education” we’re going back to “environment.”
7.  Steal ideas from everyone.  Wait - is that really different?
6.  Ask the same three questions over and over again.
5.  Turn down invitations to a health care debate.
4.  No permanent leader, 1000 unofficial spokespeople.
3.  Tell people that after we win, we’ll make it harder next time to win again.
2.  We’ll be the first party that is both left wing and right wing at the same time!
1.  I’m not really sure, but when we get there we’ll post it on our webpage.

No.  Seriously.

10.  We ‘get’ social media.  We’re familiar with the tools, we’re conversant and we understand what it’s good for and where it falls short.  It won’t replace all the other work that needs to be done.  But it sure makes a handy tool when you’re looking for the right one.

9.  From the reports out there you’d think we’re interested in picking up Alberta Liberals.  We are.  Also, we’re interesting in picking up Alberta NDs and Tories and WRA’s and we’re especially interested in picking up people who are unaffiliated and feeling disaffected by government.  If you share the values we talk about, you’re welcome to join in and help us create good policy for Alberta.

8.  The Alberta Party recognizes that our environment, economy, health and education are all intrinsically linked with each other and to make good policy in one area requires integrating all areas.  Instead of trying to play one off the other (i.e. “Would you rather have good jobs or a sound environment?”) we’re looking for ways the areas can compliment each other.   (For instance, how can we ensure more economic growth is better sustainable?)

7.  We understand that good ideas come from anywhere.  If you have a great idea, we want to discuss it and find a way to fit it into our priorities.  “Not Invented Here” persists too often in politics and great ideas get rejected because they’re found on someone else’s platform.  Of course, it doesn’t get priority for us unless it fits with our platform as a whole.

  • What are your pressures and concerns as a family and as a community as an Albertan?
  • What are your hopes and aspirations as a family and as a community as an Albertan?
  • What are you grateful for living in Alberta?

5.  We need a serious discussion about health care, and the Alberta Party doesn’t feel that a polarized debate is the best way to go right now.  We need our permanent leader in place and we need to have complete discussions first.  We’re okay with saying, “We’re not quite there yet.“  We know we better have an answer before the next election.
We have established a few principles.  The time to solve medical problems isn’t when the patient reaches the emergency room, good and sustainable health care must come from a continual process.  We’re focused on the whole continuum of care and we want to work more in tune with what our health care professionals need to keep us healthier and to heal us when required.  We do not want to debate over the band aid solutions, we want a comprehensive view of health in Alberta.  Look for our policy to be based from those principles.

4.  Speaking of our leader, we will elect our official leader in May.  In the meanwhile, Sue Huff is a remarkable spokeswoman and together with Chris LaBossiere is the source for actual party policy.  Still we have thousands of advocates willing to exert their energy towards creating a new government.  It’s a risk that our members will go off theme, but it adds their voices definitively to the party.  After all, we all helped to create our policy in the first place and continue to work on details today.  Official party policy is always available online for all to see.

3.  How did we get into forty year rule of a single party?  Our democratic fundamentals need to be updated and made to serve the people of Alberta better than it has.  One of our fundamental pillars is that our democracy needs renewal with more openness in our decision making.  We are a political party and therefore literally partisan.  Don’t think that we’re going to stand arm in arm on stage singing Kumbaya.  That only happens in fairy tales.  But there’s a whole lot of room for more collaboration and going back to Albertans for real consultation over rigid ideology.  I’m told anyone can do it, I wonder why it hasn’t happened until the Big Listen began.

2.  Labeling the Alberta Party as “left wing” or “right wing” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to most of us.  We have put our focus on the private enterprise and industry that exists in Alberta and we treasure the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates it’s people.  We insist that Alberta be a great place to work and run a business.  We also insist that Alberta shall be a great place to live with strong, vibrant communities.  We want our population to be healthy and our children to be well educated and grow to be successful citizens.
Some of the methods to achieve those goals may be classified more “left” or more “right”, but the Alberta Party is going to set our priorities on the ideas that are best regardless of the label someone tries to affix.

1.  We believe in transparency!  It really is all up on our web page right now.  Everything that we collaborate on as a party, warts and all, is done in clear air.  Come out and join us and observe for yourself.  We’d love the opportunity to show you how we’re doing it differently.  Follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook.  There’s no secret as to our method, enlightenment has been there to behold the whole time.

But then, you probably shouldn’t be listening to me anyhow.  I’m rather unofficial.