Approaching the Alberta Party AGM

I’ve been a little bit afraid for a week or two.

Ever since the end of July when I expressed my hopes for the Alberta Party I’ve been nervous about what I should or should not say.  I am but one member of the party, and a somewhat insignificant one at that.

I don’t want to step on toes.  I don’t want to put words in the mouths of our leadership.  I don’t want to put someone into an untenable scenario.  I don’t want to paint someone else into a corner.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about this past week has been that the Alberta Party has been built upon the absolute opposite principle.  Every single member of the Alberta Party deserves to have their voice heard.  Each of us matter.  Each of our attitudes, opinions, dreams and desires have coalesced into a marvellous amalgam we call the Alberta Party. 

Our AGM is coming up in a few weeks on September 22.  It has been made very clear, everything is on the table.  Every outcome is up for discussion.  No thread of conversation will be squelched, it is time for us to look inwards and to decide together our direction ahead.  Group decision making at it’s finest - with open discussion and examination of our possibilities we shall collectively choose our path.  The results of our AGM will come directly from our membership, and I cannot wait to learn the results.

My choice is clear.  The Alberta Party is something unique and special in Alberta.  I am most definitely not talking about just the name.  I applaud those who have lead in the creation of a party that is open, inclusive, and serious about a new approach to politics.  I am amazed to stand with people who are dedicated to listening, who are sincere about change, who are determined to stand on our principles.  The choice to create a party and try to bring those ideas to the political realm gave me a new political home and gave me genuine hope for Albertans.

I believe the Alberta Party as a party has been overwhelmingly positive.  Not everyone has heard our message, but we have tried to hear all Albertans.  The Big Listen is very much a response to a government who has been so complacent, so arrogant, so paternalistic that Albertans just like me have not felt like anyone has been listening and there was nothing we could do to make ourselves be heard.

I believe the Alberta Party has a true standing in a place where we outright reject the Left-Right spectrum.  A party that focuses on solutions to real problems we face is much more important than being painted with a superficial brush of “Left-of-Centre” or “Right-of-Centre”.  We cannot begin to solve our collective problems when it is taboo to even bring the problems up in polite conversation.  The shame of neglecting our Heritage Trust Fund for years, our reliance upon Oil and Gas revenues to balance our budget instead of using sustainable and fair revenue sources and putting savings towards improving our standing for today and future generations, our crushing health care problems, our lack of solid environmental leadership, our neglect of our children’s education:  these are all the important issues of the day discussed and highlighted by Alberta Party policy.  These are real issues that affect all Albertans on a daily basis, it’s not a dog and pony show put on to pander for votes.  We have a long ways to go, and I have every confidence we will get there, but we have a lot of work ahead of us.

You have a mere few days to become part of the membership and add your voice to the conversation.  What is definitely clear is that there will be a conversation that is earnest, open, and honest.  I will try to write my thoughts over the next two weeks as we approach our AGM.