The Green Party of Alberta will be voting for a new leader in Red Deer on November 4th. To give party members and the general public a better idea of what the five leadership candidates stand for, the GPA’s Leadership Campaign Committee is posing a different question to them each week in the lead-up to the vote.
Here is this week’s question – the fifth in the series:
How would you help the Green Party of Alberta grow and become a stronger force in Alberta’s political life?
The candidates were given a 150-word limit. Here are responses from the five candidates for leadership of the GPA:
I would start with encouraging the Green Party of Canada members to join the provincial party. This alone would increase our ranks tenfold. The next step I will be taking is to create our message for the upcoming election and implement a coordinated social media outreach encouraging our fellow Albertans to join our vision. This would then be followed up with filling our calendar with events to attend throughout the province and throughout the year.
As the principal communicator for the party, I will be making sure that our voice is heard in the media; print, radio and television. When issues are being discussed in the public forum, the GPA’s perspective will be included.
Thanks for this question as it hits at the heart of where our new leader must place his/her priorities. We must represent small business. We can and will become a stronger force in Alberta politics, only when we become the party that represents all of Alberta. With my Agricultural back ground, I can bring this party to rural Alberta, just as I have in fact been able to bring our values to northern Alberta. It did not happen by chance that Grande Prairie had two Green party members running in October’s municipal election. It did not happen by chance that Grande Prairie is the only city in Alberta with a Green Party member on council. These things happened because I have been successful over the last few years in demonstrating that the Green Party is in fact a party that cares about the everyday hard working Albertan.
Growing the Party is not a goal, it’s a tactic. To serve the principles, we should be working to grow the voices speaking the Green principles. If we work to our principles, like respect for diversity, we will create space for people in Alberta to raise their voices with us.
Our Party does not currently well reflect the diversity of people in Alberta. My focus is on transforming the party to be in service of marginalized communities and people. We need to be a party that amplifies the voices of people and perspectives not being heard in this province.
I will continue to speak out, unequivocally, on issues faced in the communities of this province. I reject the dominant notion of what constitutes the “political centre”. Let’s expand the all-too-limited boundaries of political speech in Alberta so that more Albertans feel free to speak for the Green principles.
I’d focus first on making a connection with Albertans – travelling to communities for meet-and-greet events. The best way to connect is face-to-face, and I believe people are more receptive when we meet them where they live.
I would do my best to make use of social media; I recognize its great value in reaching people. As a musician, I’d seek opportunities to create musical events, which may not have the explicit goal of growing the Party, but would bring people together to enjoy a fun evening while at the same time raising the Party’s visibility.
I hope these efforts would increase our memberships, which in turn would help build our Constituency Associations, and then help us identify 87 talented, respected women and men community leaders to champion the Green Party in 2019.
Over the last year, I have dedicated time, money and heart to the Green Party of Alberta. I believe that the first step as leader to build the party will be to continue the hard work I have been doing. Having more events planned, raising our diversity, working on our internal structure are all things I will certainly keep improving if I become leader.
The next step will be to raise the political profile of the Green Party of Alberta. To do so, I want to focus on fundraising so that we have more resources to build our presence. What will also build our image will be to have more faces representing the party. As leader, I will always have my eyes open for recruiting potential candidates or volunteers. I plan to use my extensive marketing skills and experience to their fullest capacities to achieve our goals.
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Contact information for the candidates:
Romy Tittel; Romy@procad.com; (403) 608-1380
James Friesen; firstname.lastname@example.org; (780) 978-1874
Brian Deheer; email@example.com; (780) 623-4754
Marco Reid; firstname.lastname@example.org; (403) 860-1173
Grant Neufeld; email@example.com; (403) 630-7615
For further information on the candidates go to greenpartyofalberta.ca/candidates/
For information on the GPA generally, go to www.greenpartyofalberta.ca or contact the GPA president or current leader:
Janet Keeping: firstname.lastname@example.org, 403-283-8085, 403-383-1356
Carl Svoboda: email@example.com, 403-282-3863, 403-804-6869