The Alberta Party is no longer my political home. This is a very disappointing revelation for me, however it's not a decision I made.
The Alberta Party did.
It did when it stopped taking a stand as a party. It did when it's prominent members stopped walking the walk and talking the talk. But most disappointingly, it did when it minimized sex crimes committed on youth.
Two former members and candidates have now been charged recently with crimes of a sexual predatory nature with youth. With Troy Millington, the Alberta Party and Leader immediately distanced themselves from him, condemned such crimes (properly, without prematurely passing judgement on Troy), and put their faith in the rule of law. With Terrence Lo, there was no distancing, no condemnation, and they barely made a statement in support of the law.
How can a party with multiple such allegations not immediately and dramatically distance themselves from it and condemn the bejeezus out of it? When it becomes a party that is not willing to stand up for itself, how can it possibly be counted on to stand up for Albertans?
EDIT: When I made my courtesy phone call to inform the party of my departure, I was told that I should trust the media managers with the party who are privy to additional sensitive information. Under no circumstances should sensitive information ever be so sensitive as to trump the condemnation of sex crimes committed on youth.
If I were the father of a child that was victimized, reading that release would have left me bewildered. Does the Alberta Party not care? Do they even believe my child was victimized? How can two people in their midst get charged, and they be so deliberately indifferent? Heck, why would they even bother sending a release if they weren't going to say anything at all?
DIG (Do It Green) sent out a release distancing themselves from him, condemning sexual crimes, and even offering support to victims. That's how you do a release following this type of heinous crime.
Now I know perfectly well that the Alberta Party could never have predicted that Troy nor Terry could have been inclined to such alleged activities. I have worked with them both, and it's not like they wore a tattoo on their foreheads indicating such proclivities; they were friendly amicable fellows like the vast majority of people I work with. I also know that the Alberta Party can't presume they're guilty, because that would not be respecting the rule of law. But their response amounts to what some of my students would say: "meh, whatever".
For me it was the last straw. I've become the squeaky wheel within the Alberta Party of late. I've sent a couple of strongly worded messages indicating how I dislike how the party has become a "party of one", how prominent members in the party have left their collaborative mindset and started using "gotcha" moments that are the main tool in the Wildrose toolbox, and how poorly organized and potentially undemocratic some of their activities behind the scenes have been. After meeting with some Board members, I had high hopes that the new Board would get their poop in a group, and I would finally start seeing some messaging coming from the party itself. I had high hopes that I would hear about a plan for presenting and adopting the proposed policies many people including myself worked on that have been collecting dust for 9 months. I had high hopes that the party would return to it's roots of "doing politics differently". I was wrong.
For the guy who has been driving across Alberta with the Alberta Party magnets on his car for the past couple of years, this is a pretty big blow. In my last blog I told you that "The Alberta Party is different. Let me prove it to you." I'm sorry I let you down.
But I can assure you I didn't waste my time.
I helped write the amendments to Bill 5 last year that protected the privacy of those who work in education and in municipal governments. I helped write countless policies that balanced fiscal with social responsibility. I blogged and wrote reams of press releases that tried to bring civility back to political discourse. I got people in Highwood thinking that perhaps there really was a better way, that balance could actually be achieved, and that common sense could make its way into the legislature. And in many cases, it worked.
But as a teacher who works with youth on a daily basis, being indifferent to sex crimes regarding youth is the last straw. I'm done. I'm politically homeless once more.
How deeply, deeply disappointing.