I have kept it no secret that I'm a supporter of the Alberta Party. Others have made it no secret that they think anybody who supports the Alberta Party is short a few marbles. Maybe they are right.However, what if they are wrong? What if the only way to get back to responsible, accountable and transparent government is to stop voting the same way we always have been? How do we get to responsible, accountable and transparent government? The party must be responsible, accountable and transparent to begin with. You might need to be short a few marbles to be committed enough to make this happen.
We need a party who will make promises they can keep in a timely fashion. We need a party who will be made up of resident MLAs (not parachute candidates), so they can be held most accountable. We need a party made up of intelligent people who can be trusted to speak their mind and work on their constituents' behalf. We need a party who is open to criticism, and ready to improve themselves from it. We need a party who will aim to work under the principles of constructive and collaborative approaches, and not the divisive and sometimes belligerent approaches of the past.
For a long time, I didn't think this was possible in politics. Certainly I saw some individuals exhibit these characteristics, some of them even in Alberta's legislature today. But not on a party-wide scale.
Then I heard about the Alberta Party. I was intrigued when it said it was rebranding itself. I read some. Then I studied some. Then I read some blogs about the party from outsiders. Then I met some people involved. Then I was sold.
I have to admit, however, I don't know what its future looks like. The message sent to the Alberta Party in the last election was a combination of "we don't know enough about you" and "we need more detail". Gone are the days of uninformed upsets such as the one that saw the Socreds take power in 1935. People want to see an Alberta Party that is clearly defined.
If the Alberta Party does more than its "Big Listens", and pulls out its jiffy marker and creates a clear outline, then it will become relevant. Once it has some outlines, it then needs a megaphone to let Albertans know.
On September 22, I am coming to the Alberta Party AGM with a jiffy marker and a megaphone. I hope you join me too, so that we can work together to define the party, and let the world know about it.