It's similar to "liking" your own Facebook status, or laughing at your own joke, when nobody else does.
The High River Times printed in yesterday's paper an article about the Alberta Liberals efforts in touting their new brand, or wordmark, or whatever they wish to call it. It stated that people (all 30 of them that came out to hear about it) were generally pleased with the brand. Had they known how the green logo came about, they would likely change their viewpoint to match that of a number of Alberta Liberal Party insiders.
Jody MacPherson, former Alberta Liberal Party VP of Communications and President, raised the alarm over how grassroots the organization truly was. In the same Executive meeting the logo was endorsed, the decision to not cooperate with other political parties was made, contrary to the wishes of the general membership of the party.
Alex MacDonald, an Alberta Liberal policy wonk, explained to a number of Twitter followers, including blogger Dave Cournoyer that the new brand was not focus-group tested. It was just the brainchild of the Executive, who approved it quickly like a fashion model giddy with a new Versace.
And the President, Gerald McEachern, touts the party's grassroots and transparent nature?
A party whose Executive flouts the wishes of the general membership, and then does a massive rebranding without public consultation sounds neither transparent nor grassroots to me.
And with the backdoor decisions made by the PCs of late, we know that we can't expect transparent, accountable grassroots policy from them.
The Wildrose and the Alberta Party are the only two parties who can truly lay claim to representing average Albertans; the Wildrose from within its party membership, and the Alberta Party through its Big Listens. There are some fundamental differences in how the two groups work, but they both develop their viewpoints from a grassroots base.
If the people of Highwood are to truly value grassroots politics, I hope they seriously consider where examples of grassroots actually exist. Explore the Wildrose and the Alberta Party, and support the party that best represents your views.
And I would be happy to answer questions about the Alberta Party.
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.