Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Future of the Alberta Party

This, in response to Graham Thomson's opinion piece about the Alberta Party:

Alberta Party looks to future

Dear editor,

Graham Thomson’s history lesson of the Alberta Party (Aug.2) was excellent.  We did create a progressive political party to re-engage Albertans in a respectful, grassroots dialogue.  In two years, the Alberta Party attracted over 2,000 members (of all political persuasions) saddened Alberta politics had become so angry and divisive.
Alison Redford did take the wind out of Alberta Party sails.  The minute she was elected, she ripped her party to the centre because she knows that’s where most Albertans stand.  When Albertans looked at their options on April 23: the moderate new face of the PCs or the Wildrose Party—espousing social conservatism Albertans will not tolerate, a disregard for climate science and a philosophy of privatization of public services—they ran back to the PC Mother Ship.  It was their safest option.  The Alberta Party, as Thomson pointed out, was simply too new and unknown in the face of such a threat.
Even as a candidate for the Alberta Party, I was relieved we avoided a Wildrose government.  However, as hopeful about Ms. Redford as I am, I remain pessimistic the PCs can truly reconnect with average Albertans.  Forty-two years of power makes it difficult to feel much empathy with ordinary Albertans.
We can hope the Wildrose Party distances itself from its social conservatism and an aversion to public services.  We can hold our breath the Liberal brand suddenly catches on in Alberta. We can cross our fingers the PCs commit to more than superficial transparency and accountability.  Or… the Alberta Party can continue to forge something new and exciting for the majority of Albertans... in whatever form that might take.
Graham Thomson is right, The Alberta Party has the best name in Alberta politics (not to mention the coolest logo).  But we also have a history of respectful debate, quality candidates, grassroots involvement, transparency and creative solutions that cannot be denied.
Whatever happens in coming months, Alberta Party supporters will protect the high standards that went into the creation of Alberta’s freshest political party, but everything is on the table.

William Munsey (New Sarepta)
VP Policy
Alberta Party

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