Saturday, February 7, 2009

Alberta Liberal ( or insert new name here) Party at a Crossroads?

Interesting article in the Calgary Herald this morning, which outlined some interesting developments within the Alberta Liberal Party. Over the past few weeks, much has been written about the speculation that a group of Alberta Liberals are looking at the possibility of starting a new provincial party, but I can only go by what the Herald reporters have said.

Today's article mentions fellow blogger Dave Cournoyer ( who runs an excellent blog by the way..check out the link here) as a member of this group.

They also talk about a different group called "The Democratic Renewal Project" which is focused on building a "grassroots coalition that unites the Liberals, NDP, Greens, Independents and truly progressive Tories." Daveberta also has a good post on this here. Interesting read.

While I am all for anything that enhances the Alberta political scene and combats voter apathy in this province, I am not sure how effective these ideas will be. While a second Liberal party may split the Liberal votes and set the party back even further ( with is alright by me!) I must applaud the initiative. The Alberta Liberal brand is stale and in need of some new ideas, which may engage more moderate Alberta voters to get involved. I believe that a stronger opposition will allow my party (PC's) to become more engaged and refreshed.

If anyone has additional info, please feel to pass it along.


  1. Only an Alberta Liberal-New Democrat merger would truly change the political game. They'd need to be a centrist party and they would have to have a new name and new colours.

    They'd have to elect a leader that is more charismatic than Swann or Mason and is more competent than Stelmach (that shouldn't be hard).

    The worst kind of a government is one that does not have an opposition to answer to. I'd like to see Alberta move into a 2-party system, where an opposition exists in the legislature.

    While the Alberta PCs are hardly the party they were when Klein, Getty and Lougheed ran the show, without a serious electoral scare by an emboldened opposition - the politics as usual game will continue. The real losers are the forgotten constituents of PC ridings who are taken for granted at the polls and have to beg their MLA to bring change to their community and province. Without that change, those voters will stay home during an election, since voting for the AB Libs or New Dems won't dent their MLA's numbers, which only breeds apathy and cynicism.

    I, a PC supporter, would like to see a new opposition form only to give me a real choice on the ballot in the wake of Stelmach's stupidity and to push the PC party to making real decisions and getting in touch with their consitutents again.

  2. Well, I can tell you that David Swann has been very supportive of our efforts to reinvigorate the party, and democracy in this province.

    Right after the last election, we registered the names 'Alberta Centrists', Centrist Party of Alberta' etc with Lorne Gibson, acquired corresponding web names, wrote up policy visions, and David Swann was happy to correspond with us. David Swann was actually the only member of the Liberal core that would talk to us. We think he made a wise move in this regard. He has assured us, as recently as last week, that the renewal committee will at least put the names and concept on the table for the membership to ponder. All I could ask for!

    It's a really good concept. The name marginalizes parties on the left and right and lets us come up the middle. People in this province want stability and a clear vision and we will give them that. Not left, or right, but forward!

    Before you write us off as 'just as few more flakes in Dave Swann's cereal box', I will give you a vague (for now) picture of who we are. I am related to a certain former AB Premier by marriage. I've partied with him and his colleagues and I know their party inside and out. My partner attended the 'Calgary School' at it's height. He counted among his friends, colleagues and peers, Rob Anders, Ian Brodie, Mark Pickup, Rainer Knopff, Tom Flanagan, Ted Morton.

    It will give us pause to have to deconstruct Peter Lougheed's creation.

  3. Centrist - If Rob Anders has anything to do with a new centrist provincial party in Alberta, you'll find me keeping my distance.

  4. Dylan - less choice is never more democratic. While I support the aims of a new centrist party, us on the left won't support losing the only left-wing option we have. Our province (and country) need Proportional Representation instead of the current first-past-the-post system and a replacement for the Liberal party.

    A merger of the Libs and NDP will leave even MORE people home on election day.