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Thursday, January 13, 2011

SEE Magazine Captures Spirit of Alberta Party People

Maurice Tougas has an interesting piece in the most recent issue of SEE Magazine that captures the essence and spirit of the people joining the new Alberta Party.  Many of the early adopters and the energy for the the idea of a new progressive political party emerged from the Reboot Alberta movement that started in November of 2009.

Lots has happened since and a lot more needs to happen for the Alberta Party to be viable contender for the hearts and minds of Albertans who are tired of the pointless rhetorical positioning of a Spin  Doctor politics.  This kind of change is not easy.  Real change never is.  But there is a growing group of Albertans who know we can and must do better. We know that good governance, quality government and public-service politics with informed engaged citizens can make this happen.  After all, the politicians work for us.  Not the other way around.

I want to share some comments of an apolitical friend who sent me an email as she contemplate the need for change in how Alberta is governed and growing.  I don't have permission to use her name and I am only quoting part of what she told me by email.

My correspondents came to her realization that she need to start participating politically through her involvement in Reboot Alberta.  She says she "...thought it was time to begin a conversation about the  current state of Alberta and how we, together, could 'reboot' Alberta to the province we all knew and loved...and we knew that the concern for the well being of our province was, perhaps, more far-reaching than we anticipated."  She goes on to note "...that many folks, myself included, had a clear idea of what it meant to be both Canadian and Calgarian, (or what ever municipality we were from) but very few had given much thought to what it meant to be an Alberta, or had a vision for Alberta...it occurred to me that many of us, myself included, had taken for granted the stewardship that is our responsibility."    

She describes her transformational moment that brought her to the tipping point of dusting off her citizenship and re-engaging in the political culture of Alberta. She was listing to the CBC "about goings on at the Legislature" and the "combined bumbling that caused me to think aloud in the words of my old cartoon pal Popeye the Sailorman 'That's all I can stands...I can't stands any more.'  Upon returning home I
immediately went to the Alberta Party website and joined and left a note saying put me to work.'"

She has taken on the role of Calgary coordinator for the Alberta Party leadership bid of Glenn Taylor and has started reaching out to people in Calgary to get involved.  She has been in touch with her network of fellow Albertans and at New Years, she asked them (and all of us) "...to count your blessings and consider the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead."

She closed her note to friends and family and said "...please put Alberta on your list of things to think about.   The way you may choose to help impact our future is, of course, up to you.  It may or may not be political - you may want to get more involved in your community or with causes that are important to you or it may be with me in this new party or perhaps in a party where you are already a member - any of these will make our province stronger."

This email was an important statement of a personal commitment to engage in assuring a prosperous, inclusive future for Alberta that lives with ecological integrity.  Our prosperity is not assured in a spirit of pure competition where the goal is to be the best place in the world.  It will be found the more profound and personal testament of an aspiring Albertan, like my friend.  That more profound personal and collective aspirations for Alberta is to be the best place for the world. That is the foundational motivation for me in my journey to pursue the political transformation I see as possible through the Alberta Party.  It is good to see and know that I am not alone.