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Thursday, November 04, 2010

What is Reboot3.0 All About? Changing the Alberta Political Landscape!

RebootAlberta 3.0 Happens This Weekend!
I love horoscopes. Not because I believe them.  They are just fun.  When they reinforce my preconceived notions of reality they are even more fun.  Such is the case in my Globe and Mail horoscope today.   It tells me, as a Taurus, to "Set your sights high today and keep them high right through tomorrow and the weekend.  Some may say your goals are too tough but once you get started your Taurus drive and determination will see your through to success."  Very timely advice given that this weekend is the Reboot3.0 gathering of progressives in Edmonton.

I am strangely energized by this horoscope as I prepare for my presentation and fine tune the process design for RebootAlberta 3.0 this Friday night and all day Saturday.  BTW  you can still register at www.rebootalberta.org/rsvp if you want to meet like-minded progressive thinking Albertans engaged and empowered to make a positive difference about the future of our province.


What is RebootAlberta About?
The goal of RebootAlberta, since it started one short year ago, is to provide a place and space for progressives to gather to share and see how they can shift the Alberta political culture and policy trajectory from the current turn in Alberta's political direction to the ultra right or merely the far right.  I think it is time to set some higher sights about changing the political culture of Alberta to a more inclusive, moderate, progressive balance.  We need to be sure the progressive voice it included and pushes toward a provincial political governing philosophy that weights and integrates implications from all aspects from economic, ecological, social, political and and cultural.  RebootAlberta is focused on getting progressive thinking citizens empowered to fulfil those goals.

Measuring Genuine Progress Differently!
Part of the new integrated approach to policy making is enabled by using more comprehensive measures of progress and wealth - beyond GDP.  Genuine Progress Indicators are the way forward.  Marlo Raynolds will be  reviving and reviewing some work the Pembina Institute did to analyse genuine progress indicators towards a more sustainable Alberta. Here is a link to the original GPI analysis for Alberta.  It would be important to update that analysis in the current economic, environmental, social and political climate in Alberta.

Reboot3.0 agenda items this weekend will enable and encourage Influential Progressives in Alberta to come to life and set some higher sights around setting the future direction and destination of Alberta.  Saturday morning will focus on Alberta citizens and their oil sands ownership rights, roles and responsibilities.  This is a great topic that captures so much of the need to change the politics and governing philosophy in our Alberta.

The Future of Progressive Politics in Alberta
Saturday afternoon will feature presentation from various political parties and groups talking about what they see as the State of the Notion of a Progressive Alberta.  David Swann the Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party and the Official Opposition is attending  Reboot 3.0 and will be one of the featured speakers on the State of the Notion.  We have other speakers from other parties too but unfortunately not the New Democratic Party.  They have their convention in Red Deer at the same time.and while the NDP Executive Committee was keen to participate at Reboot 3.0 we just could not work out the logistics.  We have agreed to keep in touch and push towards a more progressive Alberta.

Does Alberta Need a Progressive Citizens Movement?
The other Reboot3.0 "set your sights high" opportunity will be about the future direction and mandate for Reboot Alberta itself.  In a recent workshop in Edmonton Dr. George Lakoff  emphasized that one of the vital elements required to influence public policy is a progressive citizen's movement.  This citizen based political movement idea  is not the same as a political party which pursues power through elections.  A citizens movement, like Reboot Alberta, is a cultural phenomenon and would work to activate progressive values through collaborations and coalitions of various groups and social justice agencies.  It would be focused on promoting and strengthening democracy from a progressive point of view.

The politics of the Province of Alberta is shifting.  The ground is moving under the feet of the conventional political operatives and power-brokers.  Citizens are distrusting and disillusioned with politics and government. They are increasingly frustrated, angry and scared.  That breeds fear, uncertainty and doubt and that means climate change in democratic politics.  We have seen the volatility of the voter all over the place, in Alberta from local  municipal and school board elections, to the City of Toronto, B.C, over HST that unseated Premier Campbell. Then we have the USA shift to the extreme right going from being overwhelmingly for Obama to overwhelmingly against Obama in just 2 years.

This is no time for thoughtful progressive Albertans to sit on the political sidelines.  For those who are not yet ready to join a political party, perhaps Reboot Alberta is a place where they can engage to make a difference.   That is one of the key questions going into and coming out of Reboot3.0 this weekend.  I will post my thoughts on the outcomes of RebootAlberta early next week.  Stay tuned.  Better yet, get involved with Reboot Alberta and start by coming to Reboot3.0.

If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at www.rebootalberta.org/rsvp