As I had intended and published on social media I would be attending, I attended the ALP Convention in Calgary. As anticipated it was really exciting from several perspectives including that young people and obviously new faces were there. Some disclosed previous affiliation and disenchantment with other parties. Between those coming and going to attend sessions of choice I estimate the number to have been upwards of 200. I guesstimate about 150 to 170 for the banquet and riveting speech by former MP, Mark Holland who laid to rest any fears some may have had or projected about demise of the Liberal Party and the pervasive tone of the w/e encouraged all Liberals to work together and that we start immediately.
Sessions for the week-end were also different and exciting as inferred from the theme of the convention “Politics Re-imagined’ and unfortunately as usual we had to make choices since sessions were run simultaneously. In addition to some of the usual topics Rev. Kevin Powell, Lethbridge presented on community and there was also a lot of discussion on social media use and its benefits as part of campaigning strategy.
Kudos to our enthusiastic new young leaders – Matt Grant, Convention Chair, Erick Ambtman, President; Corey Hogan, Executive Director, Corina Ganton, Operations Manager, David Swann, Interim Leader and the many others that created and executed the successful schedule that achieved everything they wanted and which not only is long overdue but is most appropriately timely given the larger political climate. Thanks to all of you for such an upbeat successful w/e.
Another highlight of the w/e was hearing from the four declared Candidates viying for leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party. The other important information that surfaced though some had speculated on the possibility already is the high probability of the Conservatives calling an election for mid-November since Gary Mar, Conservative front-runner has already stated he will call an immediate election. Their new leader will be known on Oct. 2. So we can look forward to an exciting summer of political campaigning so we need everyone to jump on-board right-away.
From a strategic and pragmatic viewpoint it makes sense that we should expect a Provincial election soon since it is almost four years since last election and it is expected that Conservatives will want to use “campaigning momentum" in anticipation of re-election and before other party leaders can get established and gain momentum; so they think! (They also feel buoyed by their federal majority. Also, Wildrose Alliance support has apparently slowed varying between 25% and 30%. It is speculated Conservatives will want to take advantage of such as well as in hopes of avoiding further downturn that might occur in the economy). All constituencies need to ensure AGMs are held and Financial Statements submitted as required so they can be registered and actively organizing in election preparation mode.
Election preparedness must also include active financial generation as emphasized by Josipa and Ana Petrunic, co-presentors to help with election preparedness. Their dynamism was infectious. Since our new party openness is expected to facilitate those wanting to support but not wanting membership it is hoped many more people will be attracted and become more familiar with Liberalism. A special thanks to Corey Hogan and team for seeing through the long needed overhaul of ALP By-laws.
Convention attendees were also excited to hear that that the party has effectively eliminated the long-time debt from previous campaigns that has been hanging over our heads. So with a long established record, openness, transparency and being in the best financial shape ever it is anticipated we will continue to attract those wishing to harness and adopt change; however, everyone needs to take responsibility for expanding and increasing our numbers so we can take advantage of the spirit of change and opportunity all around us.
Josipa Petrunic and Michael Cormican, recent Federal Candidates were announced as co-chairs of the ALP Leadership Campaign. You’ll be hearing from us very soon since time is of the essence and the campaign will be short too culminating on Sept. 10 after conclusion of voting and announcement of our new Leader.
Michael Cormican, South West Regional Chair; Alberta Liberal Party