While Alberta’s Liberal party still will not shed itself of it’s name (which equates to poison), individual left-wingers in Alberta have tried to cloak themselves by using the term “progressive” rather than Liberal. The vast majority of Albertans do not support left-wing movements however and it has been a rather dark comedy observing “progressives” ripping themselves apart in trying to hide from this reality.
Eddie Stelmach is continuing to represent the “progressive” part of the Progressive Conservative Party through his continued top-down governance style and out of control spending. The recent flip-flop on teacher salaries and his questioning of the bonuses given to the people that he appointed himself prove a level of incompetence that only a progressive can achieve.
On the Liberal front, a desperate David Swann issued an open letter begging for other “progressive” movements to join them so that they may possibly retain their status of official opposition in the next general election (the PCs will likely fill that role). Brian (irrelevant) Mason was quick to dismiss Swann’s plea as he is more than happy to keep his party in the two to three seat position that it enjoys. Mason likes being a big fish in a small pond and he will remain there.
During the Stampede Parade an incident occurred that could not have been better scripted in the symbolism that it represented. An antique car was acquired and Swann along with his dwindling caucus tried to ride in the parade.
The car broke down and they had to push it.
Wow. The provincial Liberals forlornly pushing an outdated machine in front of tens of thousands of Albertans who are indifferent to them.
Another group that dissed Swann’s love letter was the Alberta Party. For those not aware, the Alberta Party is a fringe political party that was taken over by a group of “progressives” who felt that the Liberals and NDP were not serving the needs of that minority of left-wing citizens of Alberta. These progressives rationed that the small pool should be split into wading ponds.
This group of homeless progressives failed dismally in getting a few thousand signatures in order to form a fresh party so they took the route of taking over a small but existing party.
The newly anointed leader of the Alberta Party is Edwin Erickson. Some may remember him from when he participated in the takeover of the Alberta Green Party which he subsequently destroyed.
In light of recent events, it looks like Erickson is taking the skills he learned in dividing the Alberta Green Party and applying them to destroying the fledgling Alberta Party. Below are some transcripts from Alberta Hansard where the Alberta Party presented to a legislative committee.
The Chair: I would ask that the Alberta Party take their chairs at the
end of the table, please. I’ll ask you to introduce yourselves, please.
Mr. Erickson: I’m Edwin Erickson, the leader of the Alberta Party.
I have an official statement to make from the party.
The Chair: And the other member, please?
Mr. Whyte: My name is Bob Whyte. I’m one of the Edmonton
region elected representatives. I’m perhaps the first person for this
party to register to make a presentation today. My presentation will
be very brief.
Ok so here we have Edwin Erickson the apparent leader of the party and Bob Whyte a board member of the party each approaching the committee. Whyte felt he had to point out that he was the first person to register for this presentation. The reason for this comes below:
Mr. Erickson: I will make the official statement from the party.
Any other statement is not an official representation of the party and
is certainly not part of our mandate for being here.
OK, so Erickson has to make it clear that he is the only one who can speak for the party. Elected board members may not do so and will not be considered part of the mandate or official.
Quite the disclaimer. Rather ironic considering the Alberta Party is still wrapped in their idealistic and delusional “big listen” and that they are trying to come from some sort of high position in supporting democratic rights and free speech.
Mr. Erickson: Thank you. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee,
ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to speak to the committee
on behalf of the Alberta Party. I will take this opportunity to give
you a brief description of our party for your information, followed
by the Alberta Party’s recommendations to the committee.
The revitalized Alberta Party has suspended all its former policies
and on March 4 of this year embarked on a program to reach out to
Albertans through its Big Listen project. The intention of the Big
Listen project is to engage a wide cross-section of Albertans in the
process of creating party policy, with the first fruits of that labour to
be realized at our policy convention in November of this year. The
Big Listen project is born of the Alberta Party’s core belief in
exercising accountability, transparency, and collaboration with
members of the Alberta Party, with participants of the Big Listen,
and with all Albertans.
Although some initial thoughts on potential positive changes in
accountability for funding of leadership campaigns have been items
of discussion within the board of directors and executive of the
Alberta Party, it must be stressed that our party has not yet completed
the first decisive phase of the Big Listen program. Because
that process has not yet been fulfilled, we are not prepared to make
specific recommendations to the committee at this time.
However, we would like to make it known for the record that the
Alberta Party does definitely support in principle the concepts of
funding limitation,accountability,and transparency for all provincial
political parties when conducting partyleadership campaigns. In the
spirit of collaborative effort toward enhanced good government, as
July 8, 2010 Public Safety and Services PS-321
leader of the Alberta Party I extend the offer to work together with
the committee and all other political parties toward this common
goal.In closing, the Alberta Party wishes the committee success with
its endeavours to institute meaningful legislative or regulatory
reform applicable to all. Thank you for the opportunity. I’m
available for your questions.
OK, so Erickson makes his big presentation which essentially is a plug for their party with no substance. Nothing new there.
Now it gets more fun:
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Erickson.
I’ll open the floor to Mr. Whyte for some comments.
Mr. Whyte: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee, for upholding my registration to speak here today. Very
briefly, I support the representations that were made in writing by
Mr. Robert Leddy, who is present today and who is a former interim
leader of our party.
I query one of the important statements made by the gentleman
who spoke before who stated, “The revitalized Alberta Party has
suspended all its former policies.” The query is because those
policies which have been adopted by the general membership of the
province continue until they are changed by the general membership
of the province. I think it is suitable to make a representation that a
board of directors cannot discharge the decisions of the general
membership. A board of directors needs to act within the mandate
that has been given to them, and it is on that point that I wanted to
speak here today. I felt if I remained silent, then I would be giving
consent by silence to this statement.
Whyte has to begin by thanking the Chair for upholding his registration. Clearly Erickson and others in the Alberta Party tried to shut down Whyte’s right to speak to their committee. Thankfully reason prevailed, Bob Whyte was allowed to speak and we can enjoy this comical event.
Whyte is rightly mentioning that in their takeover of the Alberta Party, the rights of the existing members were completely ignored. The party constitution was completely trampled on too. How progressive.
No wonder Erickson wanted Whyte shut out.
The Chair: Thank you.
I’ll open the floor to questions, starting with Mr. Allred.
Mr. Allred: Thanks, Mr. Chair. Mr. Whyte, in your reference to the
former policies of the party, was there any policy that dealt specifically
with this issue of disclosure of leadership campaign funding,
Mr. Whyte: To the best of my knowledge there was not. A lot of
work has been done on it, but it has not received the final imprimatur
of the board of directors.
Mr. Allred: So there never was a policy with regard to disclosure of
leadership campaign funding.
Mr. Whyte: To the best of my knowledge. There is a desire for
transparency and so on, but to the best of my knowledge there is no
exact provision on this.
Mr. Allred: So with regard to this particular issue, then, I would
presume that you and the leader are in concurrence.
Mr. Whyte: Generally speaking, yes.
Mr. Allred: Thank you.
The Chair: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Allred.
OK, so through questions it is determined that the original Alberta Party never had any policies with regards to leadership donors.
Mr. MacDonald: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Mr. Erickson, you
were present for the submissions made by the Conservative Party, by
Ms Notley from the New Democrats. Do you generally agree?
Certainly, the Alberta Liberals have been the leaders here. We have
had full and open disclosure for some time. The statements made by Ms
Notley and certainly the statements made by Mr. Smith that they,
too, would like to see an open, transparent disclosure process not
only for donations but also for expenses to leadership campaigns –
you’re the leader of the Alberta Party. What would you like to see
Mr. Erickson: Well, I think my statement that I made saying that
we support in principle the concepts of limited funding, accountability,
and transparency for all political parties pretty well tells you that
we concur with that notion.
Mr. MacDonald: Thank you.
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Macdonald.
The next question by Ms Calahasen.
Ms Calahasen: I understand that you both agree. According to the
concepts that you’ve been working with on the funding limitation
and accountability, both of you agree that there should be an
accountable measure to be able to deal with financial situations for
leadership races. Is that in fact true?
Mr. Erickson: Yes, that’s the general . . .
Ms Calahasen: Okay. Knowing that – and I understand that you
have not completed the Big Listen, as you call it – are there any
policies or anything that would guide this party to look at public
disclosure from a context of reporting, and what would your
thoughts be as to who should govern the management of such a
Mr. Erickson: I’m sorry that I can’t give you any indication in that
direction because of the fact that our process is incomplete. I’m here
today to fortify the concept that we do want increased accountability,
transparency, and fundraising limitation for leadership races.
Unfortunately, I can’t expound on that very much. I’m here to show
my party’s support to the concept.
Ms Calahasen: So if the party is in support of the concept and if our
process is finished before your process is finished, you would live
with whatever we come forward with in recommendations?
Mr. Erickson: Absolutely.
Ms Calahasen: Thank you.
OK, so Erickson has confirmed that the new Alberta Party has no stand or policy in regards to leadership funding and disclosure either.
In other words, they had nothing to say yet felt compelled to waste time and people’s tax-dollars in order to stand before a public committee and air their internal party dirty laundry.
Wow, those progressives sure know how to make good public impressions.
I sort of wish that the Alberta Party could get a seat or two so we could laugh at their antics in every Hansard. Alas, it is clear that they will rip themselves apart from within long before they get even a single constituency association registered. There is no way this group of folks will get themselves into a position of electability.
The bottom line in all of this is that a small group of people will simply not face the reality that Alberta is not left-wing and their stunts are getting increasingly pathetic on all fronts as they try to dodge this reality.
Meanwhile, the Wildrose Alliance Party continues to soar along on the heels of a monumental AGM and packed fundraisers.
The next election is going to be a fun one indeed.