The Alberta Party coup.

If you really believe the spin that Greg Clark willingly stepped aside from the leadership of the Alberta Party in order to help create buzz for the party, I have a bridge to sell you.

Let’s look at the facts in the matter.

With the polarization of provincial politics in Alberta, the Alberta Party may very well have found their opportunity to cut a niche for themselves on the provincial scene. Despite years of hard work, they have languished in the realm of 5% support and have never been able to quite catch the eye of Albertans. With the NDP using all of the fiscal acumen of Venezuela and with the UCP jumping head first into a social issue quagmire in Bill 24, the timing is perfect for the Alberta Party to jump into the scene and round up the people who find themselves frustrated with both the NDP and UCP. In light of this Clark decides now is a good time to resign and leave the Alberta Party leaderless for months? Bullshit.

The Alberta Party is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting in Red Deer on November 18. In something of an irony, the theme of the AGM is “A party for all of us”. I am saying this is ironic because the AGM has apparently sold out and will not accept any new attendees. Word is that the number is 396 and that was after expanding their venue once. With people paying $99 each and with such demand, it is very well possible though admittedly challenging to seek a larger venue even if a deposit is lost. If the true goal is grassroots democracy even a gymnasium will do. While VP policy of the Wildrose Party I organized an AGM at the Bearspaw Community center. It was a nightmare but with a lot of volunteer help we pulled it off. Somehow though, it is impossible to hold an AGM for the Alberta Party with more than a few hundred people.

This AGM will be important as a very important change is being proposed to the constitution of the party. 

There is a proposal to empower the provincial board with a 75% majority of attendees in a meeting to unilaterally force a leadership vote. This is a huge amount of power to bestow on a provincial board where they could bypass caucus and the membership at large in order to toss out a leader. Why the sudden need to bring about this change?

Another interesting part with this AGM is that half of the provincial board positions are up for election. These are 12 spots and there are 35 people vying for them.

With this sudden need to change the constitution coupled with this unprecedented surge of members who registered for an AGM, it simply reeks of an organized takeover.

Less than a year ago, the Alberta Party had less than 400 members in total according to their financials. Now they have more than 400 who want to pay $99 and go to Red Deer to attend an AGM? Astounding indeed.

The tiny membership base made the Alberta Party ripe for a takeover. While it still is no small task to gather a few hundred dedicated folks, it certainly is doable. Hell, Jason Kenney can pull that many to a simple town hall meeting. With the combined effort of politically homeless Redford era PCs working under a PAC such as Alberta Together, such a coup isn’t all that tough to pull off.

The influx of new and experienced faces must have looked great to the original Alberta Party organizers initially. Alas, the Alberta Party has always been the party of nice guys and they really weren’t prepared to handle the way the old PC organizers do things. They don’t pull punches and they don’t play nice. It wasn’t long before the party was dominated.

While bright and personable, Greg Clark was spinning his wheels provincially. The Mr. Rogers approach while appreciated, tends to leave one sitting on the sidelines as pressing issues come and go. The Redford refugees could not abide by that approach any longer. One of the most immediately evident signs of the new blood has been in the attitude of party communications as can be seen below.

While I am not all opposed to rough play in political communications, it sure is a change in tone from the party.

As a side note, I am not sure if the Alberta Party really wants to get into labeling other parties based on the actions of lone candidates. We would be forced to keep bringing up how the Alberta Party had not one but two different fellows who were charged as pedophiles run for them. One of them even ran in their last leadership race. They were Troy Millington and Terry Lo . 

Despite his best efforts, Greg Clark simply did not fit the mold for what the old Redford gang wanted to see. Clark is a nice guy, but he is no fool. Clark resigned rather than being forced out when he could see the writing on the wall. Being nice, he took one for the team and continues to do so.

Anybody in politics knows that when you want to release something bad, you do it on a Friday afternoon in hopes that it gets forgotten and lost from the news cycle over the weekend. If it is something really bad, you do it on the Friday before a long weekend. You can rest assured, if Clark was pumped and happy about his resignation and looked at it as a great rejuvenating move for his party he would not have meekly put it out there on a Facebook post on the Friday afternoon before Remembrance Day.

Clearly the new team taking the reins of the Alberta Party has a person or two in mind for the coming leadership. We likely will see hints at the AGM next week if not open campaigning already. The proposed campaign period is not terribly long by leadership standards. If they really wanted to build the party through a leadership race, they would have a long campaign period where they would solicit a large number of candidates. This is rushed as they don’t want to actually compete something.

Its too bad that the AGM is so full to the rafters. I would have been happy to spend the fee just to attend and watch the fireworks from the floor.

A sad end for a party that tried to do things the nice way.

 

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Wildrose Party AGM 2013 Constitutional proposals part 2

Having recently ranted about the Wildrose Party constitutional proposals that I do not like in a recent posting, it is important that I speak to the proposals that I do support.

Party constitutional issues can be about as dry as it gets but they are terribly important and can indeed make or break a party. A party is governed by it’s constitution and that is a reflection of how that party would govern if in power. For example, if a party has a top-down, centralized constitution, it stands to reason that the party will be quite dictatorial if it should gain power. A party’s constitution indicates as much about where a party stands as it’s policies do. Few people spend much time looking at party constitutions though and that is how some unprincipled folks can manage to slip some things by the membership constitutionally at times that perhaps don’t belong there.

The Wildrose Party has a pretty good constitution overall though hardly perfect of course. There is still always room for changes and as the party grows, evolves and learns lessons the need comes to change some things within the constitution. There are many housekeeping sort of items in the list of proposals that I am somewhat ambivalent about so won’t write further on them. There are some proposals that are quite good though and I do hope that they pass at this year’s AGM in Red Deer.

ConstitutionAGM2013

RESOLUTION 3

The Executive Committee moves that Article 7.3, 7.14, and 7.20 be deleted and replaced as follows:

7.3 Subject to this article, the officers shall be elected by ballot at the Annual General Meeting of the Party for a two year term. Their term of office shall commence at the close of the Annual General Meeting at which they were elected and shall conclude at the close of the Annual General Meeting where their successors are elected.

7.3.1 The President, the Vice-President-Fundraising, the Secretary, and one Provincial Director from each of the five (5) regional zones, shall be elected in odd numbered years.

7.3.2 The Vice-President-Membership, the Vice-President-Policy, the Vice- President-Communications, the Treasurer and one Provincial Director from each regional zone, shall be elected in even numbered years.

7.3.3 Provincial Directors shall be elected by members in good standing of the Party from the regional zone in which the Director resides.

7.3.4 The Executive Committee may, with the approval of two-thirds of its members present and voting, appoint members to fill the term of office of any vacancy on the Executive Committee between Annual General Meetings, provided that the person is a member in good standing and, in the case of a vacancy in a Provincial Directors position, that the person appointed shall reside in the regional zone that has the vacancy. Nominees for vacant Provincial Director positions shall be sought from the regional zone that has the vacancy.

7.14 No officer shall serve more than six (6) consecutive years in any combination of executive committee positions.

7.3.99 This clause is a transitional clause and it shall be treated as spent after the conclusion of the 2014 Annual General Meeting, and need not appear in a subsequent consolidation of the Constitution prepared after that Annual General Meeting.
For further clarity, at the 2013 Annual General Meeting:
7.3.99.1 The President, the Vice-President-Fundraising, the Secretary, and the top vote getting Provincial Director from each of the five (5) regional zones shall be elected to serve until the end of the 2015 Annual General Meeting.
7.3.99.2 The Vice-President-Membership, the Vice-President-Policy, the Vice- President-Communications, the Treasurer and remaining Provincial Director from each regional zone (if any) shall be elected to serve until the end of the 2014 Annual General Meeting.

In short, what is being proposed is to have members of the party’s Executive Committee elected to two year terms with staggered elections so that half of the EC gets elected every year.

This proposal is excellent and overdue. To begin with, when somebody is elected to a role on the Executive Committee it can take a few months simply to get used to the role and get to know the people they will be dealing with. By the time the new EC member feels comfortable, another AGM is looming and they must dedicate time to standing for re-election or reconsidering their continued participation in the role. The Executive Committee is very important and those roles are worth two year terms to those who take them on.

Another issue this change could help resolve is having bulk turnovers on the Executive Committee. While people will come and go, with annual elections for the roles the turnovers can be and have been rather large at these times. With half of the EC facing election every year, the membership still has a chance every year to change the makeup of the EC if they choose to do so. We always will have half of the EC sitting with at least one year’s experience which will reduce the stress and challenges of a large turnover.

Lets get this proposal to pass this year.

RESOLUTION 10

resolution10

The only thing that should limit the term of a Party Leader should be the collective will of the membership whether that be after one year or after twenty. The Wildrose Party Constitution provides the means for a leadership review to be held every year should the members through the Executive Committee choose to do so. There is no need to have a hard term limit sitting like this.

There is some ambiguity in the phrasing of this term limit too. When did the clock start ticking? The day that the Leader got elected to the membership? The day the Leader got elected to the Legislature? The day the Leader became Premier? Rest assured the political opponents of the Wildrose will try to make fodder of this sort of thing if and when they can.

Let’s simply leave this to the members of the party to decide. If somebody wants to take out the clause for leadership reviews, then we can get up in arms.

RESOLUTION 18

resolution18

This one I am a little torn on. The cutoff being 14 days is too short if only for logistical reasons. We learned this in the last leadership as candidates literally dumped thousands of new memberships on the office at the very tail end of the race. Those memberships all had to be verified and processed along with having ballots sent out to them in time so that members could vote and send their ballots back before deadline. It was a monsterous task that took a great deal of party resources and many headaches (but it was pulled off admirably in the end).

In lengthening the term personally I would like to split the difference and perhaps go to 28 or even 21 days before the race. Leadership races are excellent exercises that promote team building, the party in general and of course provide a huge influx of new members. The last couple months of the race are critical as people really begin to take notice of the race and decide to participate through membership. To cut that off too early would greatly reduce the momentum and benefit of a strongly contested race.

If the number can be amended downward I could support this extension. I don’t think it can at the AGM though so would say right now that this proposal should be perhaps voted down this time but we should ensure that a more reasonable cutoff is proposed next time. With any luck we should not be in a leadership race sort of situation for at least a few years yet.

RESOLUTION 21

resolution21

This resolution I strongly support. To be blunt, this clause in the constitution as it stands has been a pain in the ass for every Provincial VP policy (including myself) since the foundation of the party. While the principle of this clause is well-meaning in the purest if grassroots sense, it simply is not feasible within a party with any more than a few dozen members in it.

While we want to maintain member initiated policy, we have to have reasonable limits and vetting of the proposals. When I was VP policy the party only had a few thousand members and I still ended up with nearly 700 proposals sent to me one year (though to be fair, about 300 of those came from about four people). I can’t imagine what comes in now that the membership numbers in the tens of thousands.

If a member is dedicated to getting a reasonable policy proposal or two to the AGM the means will still be very realistically within their reach if this resolution passes. Policy deliberation should be a more critical part of Constituency Association activity anyway and it is not hard at all to get involved with that. Anybody who has been to a CA AGM knows that there is hardly a 100 hands raised when the role of CA VP policy needs to be filled and they are often happy to have as much participation as possible. Hell, if your local CA is not working this clause does not preclude a member from presenting their proposal to other CAs.

This clause will help encourage CA activity and will provide one level of vetting to avoid the sometimes unreasonable number or policy proposals or sometimes just unreasonable proposals in themselves while retaining grassroots principles. We should let this proposal pass.

There are many other proposals within the document of varying merit. I do hope that members reject the proposals from my prior blog posting and embrace the ones in here (I never pretended to be unbiased here 😉 ). I will be lobbying for such.

It will be a long and at times dull day as constitutional proposals are considered by the membership. In my last two blog postings though, I think I have nailed the big ones that we should be watching (and staying awake) for.

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Wildrose AGM 2013. Constitution time.

It is undeniable that the Wildrose Party has made terrific strides in the last 8 years or so within Alberta. Our provincial government has been held to account more effectively than we have seen in decades as Alberta finally has a strong opposition party in the legislature.

As the Wildrose Party continues to grow we will of course have some growing pains and internal battles to hash out.

There is an element within the Wildrose Party that sees the grassroots membership and basis of the party as a necessary evil at best. Year after year we have to fight off attempts to centralize the management of the party among a small and unaccountable group while sidelining means of member control and party accountability. The Executive Committee is the branch of the party that is to be controlled by nobody else but the membership at large and this distinction and role is critical to the entire basis and purpose of the party. This power within the Executive Committee has constantly annoyed the weasel faction within the party thus constant efforts have been made to reduce the role and strength of the Executive Committee every year.

Due to party meddling and a large number of Executive Committee resignations within the party, the Wildrose Party found itself last year after the election with a do-nothing party executive that could barely bring itself to meet more than once over the phone every couple of months.

This ineffective Executive Committee so impressed some of the powers that be within the party that they even tried to defer the party’s annual general meeting for two years so that they need not risk getting an active Executive Committee chosen by the membership. This effort was exposed though and due to this being in complete contravention of the Alberta Societies Act, an AGM was suddenly and grudgingly slapped together to at the least meet legal requirements within Alberta.

With a meeting scheduled no other information was put out to the membership at large on details for things such as Executive Committee elections. It became incumbent upon party members such as myself to blog the information that the party refused to promote and to give a platform to aspiring candidates for Executive Committee positions. Party members Rob Woronuk and others worked to hold open candidate debates so that members could get to know the candidates as again, the party refused to offer such aids to the internal democratic process for some reason.

It took a great deal of effort to pull the party kicking and screaming into adherence with it’s own constitution in leading up to the AGM.

Thanks to the efforts of many dedicated and stubborn party activists, a good AGM was held where an active and effective Executive Committee was elected in the fall of 2012 (much to the chagrin of the weasel faction).

Now with the election and retention of an effective EC within the Wildrose Party, the weasel faction has turned to a new means to try and take control from the membership within the party. At this year’s Annual General Meeting in Red Deer, the membership will be discussing changes to the constitution and policies of the party.

A few of the proposed constitutional changes coming forth this fall are nothing less than outrageous and they are clearly modeled with the intent of neutering the Executive Committee and Constituency Presidents (thus by extension the membership) in the management of the operations of the party.  The members must understand what these proposals are and vote them down en masse at the 2013 AGM to send a message to the weasel faction that we are getting really tired of this.

The full list of proposed constitutional changes can be found in the link below.

ConstitutionAGM2013

It should be noted that almost all of the offensive propositions are coming from the Cardston-Taber-Warner constituency for some reason.

RESOLUTION 16

OK the first and likely worst proposed change to the party constitution would take the power of selecting an Executive Director for the party from the Executive Committee and put it solely into the hands of the Party Leader. I will use screen snaps for this as the layout from the file makes it easier to see in an image.

resolution16I like how the statement says it: “clarifies process for selecting Executive Director”. Uh no. This resolution does far more than clarify the selection process, this resolution essentially would not only give the Leader of the party sole-authority in not only the selection of an Executive Director but it would give the Leader sole-authority in setting the terms of reference and power of the Executive Director.

Resolution 16 is ridiculous and outright dangerous if approved. There are some very good reasons why the Leader’s office is a separate division from the management of operations within the party. The role of the Leader encompasses many things but the operation of the party is actually not one of them. There is no rational reason to put the party Leader directly in control of the party operations and in having such powers over the Executive Director the Leader’s control of operations would be full and unchecked.

The Leader, Party President and Executive Director are essentially the top three folks within the party structure. If any one of the three has unchecked control on the selection of the people for either of other two roles, we will have created essentially a dictator with no reasonable check against their actions.

While we need the Executive Director to work in a productive and hopefully cooperative manner with the Leader of the Party, we simply can’t put the entire power of selection of this powerful role into the hands of the Party Leader. The membership must strike this down soundly this fall.

RESOLUTION 28

resolution28This resolution from Cardston-Taber-Warner made me scratch my head and say “wow” at such a blatant move to try and undercut grassroots organization within the party.

If one wants to start a dictatorship, one of the first things that must be done is to isolate communications and organizing capability among the masses and that is exactly what this proposal is trying to do.

I understand that some people do not want their personal information floating around out there. Having one’s name on a list as a CA President is hardly an offense to privacy and the person chooses to be in that role in the first place. We are not talking about home addresses and phone numbers here.

I expect this will be soundly rejected at the AGM but should this resolution pass I will state this here and now:

I will track down the names and email addresses of all 87 Constituency Association  Presidents within the Wildrose Party and will list them on this site along with regular updates. I have the connections, the will and the means to do this so why don’t you weasels just drop this odious suggestion now?

Why on earth would we want to stifle communications between our constituencies?

RESOLUTION 11

resolution11One would think that after having nearly gone in contravention of the Alberta Societies Act with the attempted deferral of the 2012 Wildrose Party AGM that the weasel faction would have been supportive of correcting the constitution to reflect legal requirements so such errors would not happen again. While two resolutions help clarify the obligation and needs, Cardston-Taber-Warner wants reference to and obligation of AGM timing totally removed from the constitution. I wonder which of the three resolutions will be discussed.

Those who despise member driven parties like the Wildrose Party also despise AGMs of course as this is when the collected membership can exercise their rightful control upon the direction, management and policies of the party. Of course the weasel faction wants to get constitutional obligations for AGMs removed. I expect the membership to overwhelmingly toss this one in the trashbin where it belongs.

RESOLUTION 13

 resolution13In keeping with what became a pattern, Cardston-Taber-Warner wants terribly for some reason to deeply enshrine some pretty strong unilateral appointment powers for the Leader into the party constitution.

It is critical that the Leader takes a strong guiding role in the appointment of these positions but I do not see why this has to be mandated in the constitution to be at the sole discretion of the Leader.

A good leader will be able to work cooperatively with the caucus, Executive Committee and Executive Director in filling these roles without having sole authority to do it all directly. If the Leader can’t do their job under those constraints of cooperation and compromise, then perhaps that person is not the appropriate one to be the Leader of the party.

RESOLUTION 22A

resolution22aVetting and preparing policy for presentation to the membership at an AGM is an exhausting, thankless task. I know this well as I served two terms as VP Membership with the Wildrose Party and that was while the party was considerably smaller than now.

A policy committee is a great way to get more done and to bring minds together on what is a tough and messy process. Many policies come in that are unreasonable, poorly phrased or at times outright incomprehensible. Despite this reality, the committee simply can’t be empowered to revise or comment on a proposed policy without the consent of the person or people who submitted the initial proposal.

Without this check in place in the constitution, the policy committee could theoretically change every policy submitted to them unilaterally with no consultation with the people who submitted the policy in the first place.

The policy formulation process will always be tough, time consuming and messy. There are improvements to be made.

Deleting this critical check on the power of the Policy Committee as proposed by Cardston-Taber-Warner would not be an improvement by any means.

There are some other questionable and debatable suggestions in the proposals and I expect more vigorous examination and discussion of these issues in the next few months. Policy will take me many long-winded postings but these constitutional proposals must be nipped in the bud and addressed right now.

Who are the people with Cardston-Taber-Warner who put these together? I certainly would love to see some attempted rationale for this clear effort to centralize the management of this grassroots party that we all worked so had to build.

Grassroots organization is messy and tough but it can work and it is worth it. We have to remain vigilant and keep knocking down the weasels who think that by setting aside our principles that we can get where we need to be. If we wanted to be in a party like that, we would be with the Redford Progressive Conservatives.

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Let’s keep the Wildrose Party members empowered.

The evolution of the Wildrose Party has had many ups, downs and turning points. One of the most significant unifying and strengthening exercises that the party ever undertook though was the member driven election of Danielle Smith as our party leader. It is during that campaign when members were engaged by multiple candidates for months as a small but diverse slate pursued their support for the leadership. During that time the members could truly feel how important they were in guiding the direction of the party as every one of their votes mattered. In the end, the membership overwhelmingly elected Danielle Smith who has proven to be one of the most engaging and dynamic party leaders we have seen in Alberta in a long long time. With the collected engaged wisdom of the membership, a leader was chosen who would bring us from one seat at that time to the 17 seats and official opposition status in only a few years. Member driven politics do work and thousands of minds are better than one. It is very possible that the Wildrose Party may form the next government of Alberta if we keep things principled and together.

Between the selection of leaders, the membership is empowered in that they constitutionally are the sole authority in the selection of the party executive committee. The Executive Committee manages the operations and general direction of the party. Their role is to seek, reflect and act upon the combined will of the party membership. It is in nominating and electing the party executive committee that the membership ensures that the party reflects them and not any small our unaccountable groups.

The whole process for selecting the executive committee is very straightforward and simple. Any member in good standing may be nominated up to 65 days before the Annual General Meeting. Those members will then be listed and will campaign to the membership asking to be selected by secret ballot at the AGM by the collected membership. Very democratic, very grassroots and very effective when left alone.

Unfortunately and almost inevitably self-interested small groups will try and undermine the democratic means of running an organization. It really is sad to see how the Wildrose Party executive committee has behaved in this last 15 months since they took on their roles. As per this blog posting it can be seen that the executive committee only formally met five times in an election year.  That is pretty sad for a group with such an important role. How can one do their job by only meeting once every couple months? The party President has not been calling meetings and has been all but invisible in general. The AGM notification is turning into an embarrassing fiasco and policy will not even be deliberated on.

Despite this terribly lacklustre performance, apparently many of these current executive members plan to keep their positions past this AGM. While there is nothing wrong with seeking re-election, it is getting very disturbing seeing what is apparently a move to limit the simple member choice system in the election of our executive committee as was documented in this blog posting.  The current Executive Committee is directly responsible for this mess and one can really only assume that the only rationale for such a blatant breach in our party constitution was to try and limit who may or may not contest the current executive committee for board positions. Even the Progressive Conservative Party is more open in their board selection than this!

It is grassroots empowerment that is our strength as a party. It is the power of the membership that makes us feel like participants in a party rather than simply wallets for it. It will be through allowing the membership to guide the general direction of party operations through it’s election of the executive committee that our party will stabilize to the point where Danielle Smith can lead us to a full electoral victory without worrying about what is happening with the party board.

Despite this embarrassing and flagrant breach of the party constitution in trying to empower an appointed anonymous committee who can reject nominees “for any reason they see fit”, none of the current executive committee members have shown the courage to come forth and at least try to explain or justify this breach. That speaks volumes of how functional, democratic and freethinking our current executive committee is.

We will not let hidden groups block the democratic election of our executive committee! I know there will be some excellent candidates coming forward at this year’s AGM and I look forward to seeing the membership selecting them. I won’t say who to vote for but I will say that nobody should even consider voting for an executive committee member who remained silent in the face of a breach of our constitution by them. We need change.

The members chose a great leader, they will choose a great executive committee too when given the chance. We just had better ensure that the members maintain that right as clearly somebody is trying to take it away.

 

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Cory what the hell are you doing?

I figured that blog heading best captures the content and tone of many communications that I have gotten through phone and email in this last week or so. I may as well get to the point here.

I have been involved with the Wildrose Party since it’s inception as well as rather strongly involved with the Alberta Alliance Party before it. I have acted in many roles from different positions on the provincial executive to candidate in the 2008 election to moderating the last leadership debates to hosting the party’s headquarters in my office space for a couple years. No by the way, I am not trying to claim that the party owes me something, it does not. I do want to make it clear that I am a dedicated longtime supporter and member of the Wildrose Party. I did not come out of nowhere to raise a stink and I certainly am not a plant from the PCs as one idiot has already implied.

I am not giving up on the Wildrose Party nor am I recommending that anybody else does so. The Wildrose Party is the potentially the best government in waiting in the wings in Alberta and I do hope it forms government down the road.

The above being said, the Wildrose Party has slipped rather badly in it’s grassroots based governance in the last few years as I have been demonstrating in some critical blog postings here, here and here.  I likely will have a few more postings that may make some uncomfortable in the next little while.

I am an unapologetic partisan and have written on that.

I fully understand the need for people to work as a cohesive group for a common cause in politics if anything is going to be done. I understand how loyalty to one’s party obligates one to have to accept some practices, people and actions that may not be what one feels are ideal. Compromise is part of working in a team environment even when the team is made up of stubborn individualists.

Something I have learned though is being loyal to one’s party does not mean that one should stay silent when they see wrongdoing. On the contrary, when things are going in the wrong direction a person should feel obligated to speak up.

The drift has been incremental with the party. I am as responsible as many as I sat silently as we saw one more undercutting of the grassroots after another. Just one more nomination meddled with here and there or just one more principle set aside.

I stayed silent. When speaking up from within (as some are counselling me to do now), I hit the same old rationales from people. “Just let it go, now isn’t the time to deal with that.” or “This is how all the heavyweight parties do it.” or “It’s just the way it is with parties. Learn to look the other way.” or “Just hang on until the election.”

In answering all of those:

If not now, when?

I don’t care how the other parties do things, we are supposed to be different.

The election is past and I can’t think of a better time than now to dig into some of the issues with the party.

As I pointed out in a past posting, only one of the elected 2010 board ran for re-election in 2011 which is more than a little telling of problems. I don’t want to simply walk away. I have put too much into the party these last years to do so and the potential is still all there (I am not going back on the board though).

The vast majority of the members and supporters of the Wildrose Party share the same solid grassroots principles of members being the final authority in party governance. Our party constitution strongly supports this and an active principled provincial executive can address and solve pretty much any issue with the party. They are very empowered constitutionally and have a mandate of being elected by the membership.

As I have posted earlier, some odd business happened with the nominations and elections of the last board in 2011. Very few people applied for the jobs (surprising in such a growing party but unsurprising considering how hidden the process was) and we ended up with a dysfunctional board that only held five meetings in an election year as I posted. As I implied before, I do not feel that this marginalized board was a mistake and do feel that it was purposely set aside to allow others to govern the party unencumbered by executive questions. Even if it was just somehow a sheer fluke of luck that the board happened to be so invisible and unmotivated as opposed to being purposely constructed that way, it is clear that the board needs to be replaced.

As pointed out in earlier postings as well, it has been incredibly difficult finding out even when and where the Wildrose Party AGM was to be held and it took some pressure to get that out. There are many great potential party executive members out there but how will they apply and get elected if the party won’t aid with information as to when where and how to run for those positions? The cutoff for running is 65 days before the event and the cutoff for event notification is 60 days. Since the party won’t put out the call for grassroots executive nominees, I will. As I said, I will not sit back silently any longer.

Despite some blaming the last election loss on policy, the party’s policy will not be on the table at the coming AGM. I would think policy discussion would be something of a priority right now. Perhaps if we had an effective executive such oversights would not happen.

The foundation of the Wildrose Party is excellent. Our leader is exceptional and there are some great members of caucus who I don’t doubt will impress in opposition in these next four years. The Wildrose Party can (and I hope it does) turn itself into the party that Albertans are ready to embrace as their next government. This will only happen if the party stays true to it’s founding principles though and if members and supporters stay silent when things go the wrong way, that will never happen.

So in answering the question at the beginning: I am taking the tough but necessary steps required for the membership to regain control of the Wildrose Party in speaking up about what has been happening. I have pointed out some of the problems and have pointed out the solution. Nothing will be solved if we stay silent and we won’t fix anything in Alberta by turning ourselves into the party that we want to replace in government.

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