Back from Seattle, and I thought I would start this rant by checking back in with Alberta Party people and asking, “So? How did it go at the Big Thank You that happened in Edmonton while I was away?”
Did you start that good, honest, adult conversation I said you need to have about the future of the Alberta Party? How did it go?
Most importantly, is it still going?
Here’s the thing, and this is why I’m standing over here at the side, poking you with a sharp stick: this is likely the most important conversation you can have right now.If you conclude that the interests of moderately progressive Albertans (and their children) are likely to be adequately served and the province properly stewarded by the PCs, and that the opposition provided by a committed conservative party like the Wild Rose is sufficient to give us a healthy democratic system in Alberta, then our work here is done. We can all go home, go on vacation, join the PCs, go shopping – whatever.
If you conclude that the scenario of a two-party system where the two parties are the PCs the Wild Rose is something less than a democratic nirvana, then I’m fine with letting you have your summer vacation, but you can’t just go home; you can’t join the PCs; and you’ve got to go shopping for new ways to turn your vision into reality.
I note there’s a new Ipsos Reid poll out this week about federal politics. It shows that most Liberal and NDP supporters nationwide now favour a merger of the two parties. 64 percent of Liberal supporters and 57 percent of NDP supporters say they “strongly support” or “somewhat support” the Liberals and NDP merging into a single party federally.
This is not exactly transferable to the Alberta experience because the circumstances are different. It’s important to note as well, in polling terminology, that Liberal or NDP “supporters” means people who would vote that way if the election were held today. They might also be card-carrying party members – but not necessarily.
But these numbers tell you that even if the hard-core, rabidly-partisan members of both parties remain unrepentant about never sharing a bed, the majority of people on whom they depend to get elected have a radically different opinion.
I am not arguing in favour of the Alberta Party merging with the Alberta Liberals and/or NDP, any more than I was arguing in my last rant in favour of the Alberta Party disbanding.
Or evolving into something else, like a think tank, if that would serve the moderate-progressive cause better.
Or figuring out how to remain a relevant and viable political party by successfully differentiating itself – something akin to a Mac to Alison Redford’s PCs.
I am arguing that all those options should be on the table…and we’d better be talking about them like this is the most important conversation you can have right now, because the point of the conversation is about how you best serve the people.
(I was going to write about Seattle too, but that’ll make this rant ‘way too long. I’ll save Seattle for the next one.)