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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Alberta Party and Doing Politics Differently

I was unable to make it to the AGM of the revitalized Alberta Party on the weekend. I had a speaking engagements in Calgary of the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative and the Banff Centre Leadership Development program.  Then I had to be back to host a table at the Gandhi Foundation Dinner my partner Satya Das was speaking at.  It was a busy weekend already.

From all accounts the Alberta Party AGM was a positive exercise in doing politics differently.  Dave Cournoyer was there and offers a comprehensive blog post on his impressions of the meeting.  It is worth a read and some time for reflection on this new political initiative.

The comments on Daveberta's blog post are interesting too in that the sense of the Alberta Party is working on doing politics differently.  The goal is not to beat the other party in the pursuit of political power but rather to make Alberta the best it can be.  I see the potential for Alberta to aspire to look beyond trying to be the best in the world but rather to be the best for the world.  I hope the Alberta Party can help refocus our province towards this kind of future.

Dave King is very active in the Alberta Party too and one of the co-instigators of Reboot Alberta.  He has written a thoughtful blog post that sums up this progressive spirit of the Alberta Party...at least to my mind.
Dave King captures my sense of where we need to move the political narrative and culture of the province.  The adversarial gamesmanship of conventional politics turns off citizens, discourages quality people with the necessary wisdom and servant-leadership qualities and capabilities from getting involved in politics and governing.

The influence of big business and donors working behind closed doors in government relations seems like collusion for self-interest and not open collaboration to create a better Alberta for a greater number of citizens.  The merchandising of messages instead of sharing ideas and concerns and seeking mutually agreeable solutions is the basis of party politics these days.  Too many everyday Albertans feel their governments are not listening to them and that their opinions don't count any more.

We live in complex and chaotic times and solutions offered by superficial and artificial mock battles played out in the media between partisans is not going to get us to realize the potential we have as a province.  Achieving our potential will not result by one side merely proving the other side wrong and therefore "winning."  Albertans lose in that situations.  This progressive approach to politics will take a greater degree of pioneering leadership embraced by people with a genuine intent on serving the greater good not just winning the next election.

I am hopeful that the Alberta Party can be the beginning of that more progressive and enlightened approach to politics and government and can develop into being as a positive force in the betterment of the lives of Albertans.  The prerequisite for any of this is an informed, engaged and conscientious sense of citizenship. More citizens have to take back control of the power and become influencers on the politics of our time in order to overcome the deficiencies in our democracy that have been caused by decades of political indifference.

Full disclosure - I am a member of the Alberta Party but not actively engaged in their organizational efforts.  My time is focused on Reboot Alberta and that is a progressive citizen's movement in Alberta that welcomes participants from any or no political affiliation provided you want to do help Alberta to be more than it is and serve a greater good beyond ones self.  Reboot is a great place to start re-engaging as a fully responsible citizen without the burden of political affiliation.  If you are a partisan who wants to change from within your party you can find others with a similar goal at Reboot too.

If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 Nov 5-6 at Edmonton Delta South at www.rebootalberta.org