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Former MLA questions need for Alberta Party

Dave Taylor wonders if its time to ‘fold the tent’

CBC News

Posted: May 25, 2012 8:46 PM MT

Last Updated: May 25, 2012 8:51 PM MT

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The only person to ever sit as an Alberta Party MLA is raising questions about its future now that the Progressive Conservatives under Premier Alison Redford share the centre of the political spectrum.

“The Alberta Party’s values are now the Redford PC government’s values,” Dave Taylor wrote in a blog posting on Friday. “They stand for everything we stand for — and they’re in power. Who needs us?”

Former Alberta Party MLA Dave Taylor decided not to run in last month's provincial election. Former Alberta Party MLA Dave Taylor decided not to run in last month’s provincial election. (CBC)Taylor, a former Calgary Liberal MLA who joined the Alberta Party after spending time as an independent, decided not to run in the April 23 election, where the party failed to win any seats. He is calling on the party executive to let members have a free discussion about its future.

Now that the party no longer has an MLA in the Alberta legislature, it has lost a platform for building support, Taylor writes. He adds the party lacks the political knowledge and experience to convince Albertans to vote for them instead of the Tories.

“The Alberta Party has a big decision to make: Should we ‘fold the tent,’ or can we find a way to differentiate ourselves from the PCs?”

Taylor went public with his feelings one day before the party holds an event in Edmonton to thank candidates, volunteers and supporters for their efforts during the campaign.

Sue Huff ran for the Alberta Party in Edmonton-Glenora. She said Taylor is simply putting the issue out there for discussion.

“Dave is provocative. He always has been,” she said. “You know I think it’s good to ask yourselves the hard questions. We’re a party that has always embraced the hard questions and not shied away from that so I think that’s a perfectly legitimate question to ask.”.

As for Taylor, he writes that isn’t attending the event in Edmonton as he will be in Seattle on Saturday.

Musings Two Bits: This would be an excellent opportunity for the infrastructure and passion of these individuals to open talks to join in a merger with either the Alberta Liberals or Alberta NDP to strengthen the opposition/accountability voice of the government.

Pic for WikiProject Political parties and poli...

Pic for WikiProject Political parties and politicians in Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was an epic 28 days that looked like true change was going to a dynasty in Alberta (that I for one was praying for, though for us to go Left, not Wildrose).  We say pollsters pump up the new Wildrose Party, we saw a party stumbling out of the blocks and hurting their chances. But this was a depth issue, not a vote breaker.

Both PC/Wildrose slung mud, fear mongered…etc in regards to what a majority of the other would mean for the province. Yet Redford rose up and showed leadership with her campaign’s guffaws with swift accountable actions.The En Masse defection as polls closed Monday by Rod Love & backers actually caused a renewal that left the PC’s as one of 3 centrist party options in our province over the next 4 years.

There were other parties in the horse race: The Alberta NDP, The Alberta Party, Alberta Liberals, Evergreen Party, Social Credit Party and the Seperatist Party plus a spattering of independents. Unfortunately mass and social media led us to believe in Alberta it was a choice of “lesser evils”.

What a damnation for democracy. There were a few things that hurt this election:

1) Strategic voting –  to be honest, what a farce. With the 2 week in implosion of Smith & Co. it was obvious we were looking at a minority or slim majority for either of the Cons, yet the “Progressive” voter believed they had to give up their values and conscience and vote PC to stop this “levianth” creature. What would have made a true difference— if the strategic voters actually voted for the candidates and parties they truly believed in sending MLA’s of all stripes to the Legislative Assembly, but also showing a true reflection of where Alberta’s values lie.

2) Name on Ballot/Flag bearer Candidates – – every political party has these. Those people that let their names be placed on a ballot just so the party can brag it filled so many nominations… they waste electoral money if the candidate isn’t willing to run, don’t let them be on the ballot.

3) Inactive Candidates – – yes I seperate this from the NOB/FBC because these are even worse, at least a NOB/FBC will answer the phone every so often or have a volunteer too…the inactive candidate/campaign simply has nothing happening and creates a false sense that this party isn’t a serious contender (NDP in Calgary I am writing about you…let’s step up our game on infrastructural volunteers brothers and sisters).

4) Two Choice Mindset- –  I am soooo tired of hearing of the PC v. WRP…people we are in a democracy with a multitude of choices–educate yourselves!!!! Don’t trust everything the media, your friends, neighbours, twitter feeds, etc say.

5) Understand our electoral system. We are to be active 24-7-365 not just for the one day every four years we vote. Write, tweet, or facebook your MLA’s this is the person elected by our first past the post system to represent you and your community, get to know them, they are here to serve you. PLEASE quit saying I voted for Redford, Sherman, Mason, Smith, etc… Unless you lived in the actual riding they live in YOU DID NOT VOTE FOR THEM!!! Your local candidate has a name, value set, and they matter so please honour them enough for how they have chosen to serve our province whether they won or lost by simply running by knowing who they are as they attempted to get to know you. The party that achieves the most seats it is their leader that becomes Premier (First Minister). BUT it is the Lieutenant Governor appointed by the PMO in Ottawa that is our true head of state under our Constitution Act 1982.

6) It is the 30th anniversary of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Constitution, please before you start quoting rights etc… read the damn thing.

Thank you may this four years of renewal be a time of true citizen engagement so that the 43% that opted not to vote know that with 100% of voters voting and 100% of polls reporting we can truly achieve a government of the people. Or as the line preceding the first line of the Constitution Act 1982 (Under God) reminds us we have a guaranteed right of Peace, Order and Good Governance. The last piece YOU play the biggest role in achieving Good Governance by engaging, creating community, and holding representatives accountable.

Who has more common sense?

Newly elected MLA Gary Bickman says rural voters have more common sense than city dwellers.Newly elected MLA Gary Bickman says rural voters have more common sense than city dwellers.

Updated: Wed Apr. 25 2012 17:51:56

Just days after the election, a victorious southern Alberta Wildrose candidate is stirring up controversy by criticizing voters in the province’s cities.

Gary Bickman says rural voters have more common sense.

“I think they possess more common sense, a least that’s my experience. The people who make their living off the land really seem to understand the way nature really works,” said Bickman.

He went on to say that city dwellers just don’t understand the issues.

“I think that these social issues that came up during the last week and the PCs ability to exploit them, caused some concern in the voters within urban areas, at least, because they didn’t really understand the issues, they didn’t really understand that there was an aspect of free speech, ” said the Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA-Elect.

Most of the support for the Tories came from the urban areas and they won 41 seats in Alberta cities.

The Wildrose only won three urban seats but they fared much better in the rural parts of the province where they won 14 seats compared to the PCs 20.

Political experts say Bickman’s comments won’t help the Wildrose in Alberta’s urban centres.

“That’s pitting one region off against another and that may be good local politics in Cardson-Taber. It is disastrous province-wide,” said MRU Political Scientist, Duane Bratt.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith was not willing to address the issue on Wednesday and said she could not comment on a question that was not sent to her before the interview.

“I think if you want me to comment on something, you have to share it before hand. I don’t know the context of the statement so I’m going to have to look at the context of the statement,” said Smith.

Bickman is very popular in his riding and won his seat by one of the largest margins in the province.


P.S. to the Wildrose we are not America, please read and actually understand our Charter of Rights and Freedoms as Canadians and the Constitution Act 1982. The public libraries have copies or go to Queen’s Press and purchase a copy. For if you had read and understood these documents you would know Freedom of Speech does not exist within Canada, we have Freedom of Expression–much different right, allows for free speech up until you promote hatred against a group or supremacy of one group over another.

English: Alison Redford

Image via Wikipedia

The CBC has done a poll of Albertans to rank the Leaders: Redford; Smith; Mason and Sherman (Poll Here). The results are a bit surprising:

Redford holds 60% ad rising confidence in her leadership. Sherman & Mason in the Mid to high 30’s and Smith in the 40’s. Yet as we noted yesterday confidence in the leader is not translating into confidence in the party as a whole as the only parties rising in the polls are the NDP (Mason) and the PC’s (Redford) while the Wildrose have stagnated for quite awhile and the Liberals are in a free fall.

So what does this reveal about the Alberta Voter heading into our first set election quarter?

Simple, leadership matters but it is also leaning more towards what the parties actually stand for, how this affects us on a day to day existence; and the character of the local candidates.

Could this be the end of the parachute/name on ballot blight that has corrupted first-past the post politics in our province? Will we actually get a strong 3 party system of choices with a strong opposition accountability to the governing party? Will Alberta finally achieve the Constitutional Promise of Peace, Order and Good Governance?

These questions will all be answered within the next four months…we are in a time of change within what was once a staunchly Conservative province that placed money ahead of people. Have we changed?

So a disaffected PC became leader of the Alberta Liberals, and now a Liberal has become a PC…and how many PC’s became Wildrose? And one Liberal became Alberta Party…quite a quagmire or similair ideologies that perhaps it is time for a political family reunion under one tent to clean up the landscape a little?

or more simply;

Many of these are like the other…

The Liberals of PEI score a resounding 2nd term endorsement with 22/27 seats:

And they are currently leading in Ontario for a 3rd term, all that remains to be seen is if it will be a majority or a minority…and if it is a minority will McGuinty work with the PC’s or the NDP?

Obviously having the archaic Harper government in Ottawa has opened up the provinces to renewing or electing new progressive regimes to care for the people.