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Susan on the Soapbox: A Modest Proposal for Cooperation Among Progressives in Alberta

“I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection” — Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (1729)

Relax. Ms Soapbox’s modest proposal does not involve devouring children in order to ease Alberta’s economic problems. It builds on an excellent cooperation strategy proposed by Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party.

But first, a little context.

Alberta’s “scare ‘em to save ‘em” premier is expected to call a snap election this spring. Progressive voters of all political stripes fear they’ll be crushed by the Conservative juggernaut. They’re madly galloping off (Read more…)

In This Corner: Winners and losers on byelection night

Now that the mini-referendum for Jim Prentice is over, let’s study the entrails (disgusting image, I know) to discern the winners and losers of the night.

WINNER: The PCs and Jim Prentice

The other parties will find all sorts of good things to say about how they fared, but this was objectively a bad news night for almost everyone. They will say it was no surprise that Prentice won in a safe Tory seat, and that Stephen Mandel won in Edmonton’s only safe Tory seat. But if voters really want to send a message to a government, they do it (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: As soon as the NDP picks a new leader today, the party’s focus should turn to Edmonton-Whitemud – here’s why

Your blogger with Edmonton-Whitemud NDP candidate Dr. Bob Turner. Yeah, I support the NDP. Live with it! Below: Retiring NDP Leader Brian Mason, Health Minister Stephen Mandel, Alberta Liberal candidate Donna Wilson and NDP leadership frontrunner Rachel Notley.

After today, when the Alberta New Democratic Party has at long last chosen a leader to replace the retiring Brian Mason, she (or he) needs immediately to turn her (or his) attention to the Oct. 27 Edmonton-Whitemud by-election.

That’s because, if the buzz from some conservative-leaning campaigners is to be believed, there’s a sense on the doorsteps of the suburban Edmonton (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Ms Soapbox Throws Her Hat In The Ring

Ms Soapbox would like to make an announcement: She’s seeking the Liberal nomination in the provincial riding of Calgary Elbow. Calgary Elbow was left MLA-less when former premier Alison Redford resigned her seat on Aug 6, 2014…although it would be fair to say it has been unrepresented for quite some time now.

Are you nuts?

Most of Ms Soapbox’s friends and family support her political aspirations; however a few are afraid she’s lost her mind. (Her father suggested she take up golf).

Ms Soapbox’s hat (sort of)

So why plunge into politics now? And why pick the Liberals?

After (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Goodbye? The future looks bleak for the Alberta Liberals

TweetIt has been a long time since things have looked good for the Alberta Liberals. The provincial party has been teetering on the verge of the political abyss for years but lately the future looks especially bleak. Recent announcements that popular Calgary Liberal MLAs Kent Hehr and Darshan Kang are moving to greener pastures in federal […] - Alberta politics: Johnson, Anglin, Nenshi and Butler. Who said Alberta politics is dull in the summer?

TweetPremier Dave Hancock is standing behind Jeff Johnson, even after the Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that the embattled education minister broke Alberta’s privacy laws by sending a direct message to the personal email addresses of thousands of teachers during their contract negotiations. In any other job, breaking the law would likely be cause for […] - Alberta politics: Who wants to be leader of the Alberta NDP?

TweetWhile most political chatter in Alberta is focused on how big Jim Prentice’s victory will be on the first ballot of the Progressive Conservative leadership vote on September 6, there is another race about to begin – the race to become the leader of the Alberta NDP. At his press conference announcing departure, outgoing NDP […]

Alberta Diary: Small changes may signal glimmer of awareness of trouble ahead among rank and file Tory MLAs

Members of Alison Redford’s brain trust plan the latest hashtags in the Twitter war with AUPE … No! Wait! That’s Bob MacNamara telling LBJ about his plans for the war in Vietnam! What the hey? Below: That rude info-graphic; Red House Chief of Staff Farouk Adatia; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

Opposition political operatives in Alberta spent an entertaining weekend poking through the entrails of the Progressive Conservative government’s Sunshine List, noticing cool things to mention like the fact Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff earns $144,000 a year more than the guy who does the same thing (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Back to the future? Private-client opinion polls said to show big shift toward Alberta’s Wildrose Party

The future belongs, the future belongs, the future belongs to us… Peter Lougheed preaches to the converted in Calgary not long before the 1971 provincial election. After 42 years and counting, is there really another seismic shift under way in Alberta, or just more blundering by pollsters? Below: Mr. Lougheed not long after the 1971 election; Premier Harry Strom graces a Social Credit election poster from the same election campaign; Premier Alison Redford last year.

Tout le monde political Alberta is abuzz with rumours of new private polls that show a significant shift of voter support away from the Progressive (Read more…) The brutal lessons of 2013.

2013 has been a rather tough year for this blogger. I ran for the Vice Presidency of the Alberta Liberal Party and was unsuccessful. Quite quickly I found I had little support in Edmonton and that I had to work harder to earn the trust of people. It was truly a humbling experience. When the Alberta […] Admitting My Failure

At the Alberta Liberal Party’s annual general meeting in June more than two thirds voted to shut down the supporter system. As someone who championed the system when it was first introduced, and then pushed for it nationally for the federal Liberals, I must admit my failure to both Albertans and to the provincial party. And [...] Why I Run

When Redford’s Conservatives cut persons with developmental disabilities programs, I can only look on aghast as funding for my three handicapped siblings is cut. When Redford guts palliative care nurses I can only remember caring for my grandmother, an ex-nurse who spent more than 40 years in the profession, who died last year vowing never to live in [...] Vincent Endorses Graeme Maitland’s Run for AYL President

Vincent St. Pierre, Canada’s #1 Political Blogger and Alberta Young Liberal, has endorsed Graeme Maitland in his run for President of the Alberta Young Liberals. See Vincent’s endorsement below. “My name is Vincent St. Pierre. And I am proud to endorse Graeme Maitland for AYL president. His work as a young liberal in Calgary-Klein, efforts [...]

Calgary Grit: 2013 A Make It Or Break It Year For The Liberal Party

Making predictions in a sport as unpredictable as politics is very much a fool’s errand. I don’t think anyone saw Dalton McGuinty’s retirement or Justin Trudeau’s left hook coming in 2012. Hell, even something as routine as an Alberta PC election victory turned into a whirlwind thriller.

What we do know, however, is that amidst all the political surprises, 2013 is likely to be one of the most important years ever for big “L” Liberalism in Canada.

Most eyes will be on the federal race where, at the risk of brazenly going against my previous disclaimer about the unpredictable nature

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: 2013 A Make It Or Break It Year For The Liberal Party

Alberta Diary: A last thought for 2012: 2013 is bound to be an important year for Alberta’s NDP

2013 could be a big year for Alberta’s NDP – if they play their cards right. Members of the Alberta NDP caucus and their opponents may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Brian Mason.

Surely the strategic goal of Alberta’s New Democrats between now and the next provincial election must be to move the NDP from being the fourth party in the Legislature to the second one after 2016.

In other words, although an NDP government in Alberta is simply not in the cards over the medium term, the NDP could form the Opposition in 2016 if the

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A last thought for 2012: 2013 is bound to be an important year for Alberta’s NDP

Calgary Grit: Guest Post: The State of the Alberta Liberal Party

As one might imagine, the Alberta Liberal Party has been doing some soul searching in the wake of a difficult election earlier this year. In the past month, controversy has swirled around MLA Kent Hehr over his efforts to reach out to the NDP and discuss merger. This prompted a bizarre rebuttal from ALP President Todd Van Vliet, and a more diplomatic response from leader Raj Sherman.

At this point, I really don’t know what to think of the entire mess, but I’ll share an open letter which was sent to Raj Sherman by ALP Member Amandeep Hayer. I’ll give

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Guest Post: The State of the Alberta Liberal Party I’m with Raj. (Mergers, Kent Hehr, cont.)

Just pointing something out here. Raj Sherman says Kent Hehr can speak his mind on mergers and the very base frustration that the Liberal MLA from Buffalo has with politics as they stand in Alberta. Hehr giving voice to that fundamental frustration is fine and well. People who care deeply about the process are frustrated. I’m [...]

Alberta Diary: Attack on Kent Hehr highlights deepening fissures in Alberta Liberal ranks

Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr with a crowd of Liberalberta supporters in the background. (Bad joke. I apologize.) Below: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.

An angry and public attack last week on Liberal MLA Kent Hehr by Alberta Liberal Party President Todd Van Vliet suggests the party’s caucus is splintering under the leadership of former Progressive Conservative Raj Sherman.

Mr. Van Vliet’s rambling and bitter attack on Mr. Hehr was prompted by the Calgary-Buffalo MLA’s contribution of a guest post to the Daveberta blog, in which he mused about the victory of the Conservatives in the recent Calgary Centre by-election,

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Attack on Kent Hehr highlights deepening fissures in Alberta Liberal ranks

In This Corner: Alberta Liberals, as always, their own worst enemy.

There’s more a-feudin’ and a-fussin’ in the Alberta Liberal ranks.

Here’s the background. Calgary MLA Kent Hehr posted a blog last week calling for the so-called ‘progressive’ parties (that would be the Liberals, the NDP, and I assume whatever is left of the Alberta Party) to unite as a single party. (The posting is at A merger, Hehr believes, would be the best way for the progressive parties to gather enough strength to finally overturn the PC dynasty.

Hmmm, where have we heard this before? Oh yes, about a dozen times over the last few years.


. . . → Read More: In This Corner: Alberta Liberals, as always, their own worst enemy. Three Things I Like About the New Alberta Liberal Party Website

A lot of things about politics is what you say, the policies you stand for, and what you vote on in the legislature. One thing that is rarely talked about, and is even more important, is how you go about being involved in politics. One of the ways to look how the ‘how’ is through the [...] Rebranding: Not Interested in Scraps

The goal is government. I’m interested in a party that wants into government. Anything else is a waste of time. It’s a waste of time to just complain and oppose, along with it being fundamentally unnatural and strange. I want a value-based and focused support of ideas. Bottom feeding and walking by the edge of the major [...]

Calgary Grit: Liberalberta

A green flag looks nice, but a white flag might have been more apt

Via Daveberta, comes news that the Alberta Liberals will be rebranding themselves as Liberalberta. The change is expected to include a new website, logo, and party colours. The shift from red to green is no doubt an attempt to capitalize on the overwhelming success of the Alberta Green Party in recent years.

I’ll reserve judgement until I see the new look. As I’ve written before, all options should be on the table for Alberta’s left-wing parties, and it makes sense to rebrand a sagging Don’t listen to the polling.

A recent poll has the Alberta Liberal Party 40% up on their election numbers. Another poll has the federal Liberals up some 5 points, overshadowing the NDP and on the heels of the Conservatives. But don’t for a single moment think that these polls mean anything. It’s at most three years away from the next election, the [...] Liberal Nomination ’12: the Race for Calgary Centre

  On the 22nd of September Liberals from across downtown Calgary will vote from 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the Kahanoff Conference Centre, and vote for one of three (or a rumored four, with the final one being a possible star candidate) candidates vying for the chance to contest the upcoming byelection under the Liberal banner. Three candidates are raring [...]