First I will start off by explaining why I did not attend the meeting. I felt that the views of what progressive means outlined prior to the meeting were a) WAP members were not progressive b) if you are conservative you can not be progressive c) you need to buy into the green oil kool-aid and d) need to believe there is no other options available. None of this was said or confirmed, just my feelings on it as it was rolled out as I fell into much of the criticized categories.
Many of the bloggers I admire and respect were in attendance, which when compared to them I am somewhat of a political hack. There was huge support for another upstart party with a progressive movement that will listen to the people. Geez, I have never heard that before, kind of sounds like the same thing every political party has said since the beginning of time. This time will be different though I am sure. Some of the members have already excluded many that may have followed a movement like this, so for me I think it will remain a stalled movement. Many of the bloggers that I have followed over the years have so much to offer in terms of ideas and knowledge, but it is much easier to be a pundit than to run a province with such a diverse set of views. Bill 44 was a huge part of the push for a few of the attendants of Reboot, however it would be quite interesting to see how many Albertans actually support this bill (as we all know I am not one).
I do hope a political party is formed out of this, as I for one think we need a balance of all types. The ALP has not been an effective opposition and the NDP simply protests all ideas good or bad. The Wildrose Alliance has so much work yet to be completed to become a government in waiting, they have yet to be recognized. Progressiveness is linked to being socially liberal, but I believe in simply being socially responsible with little interference in Albertans lives. The more bills and laws that keep coming forward restrict our freedoms and add a huge amount of cost as well. Maybe with a progressive group working hard on the left/center and a party working on right centre we could force good government in the end, who knows.
What Reboot AB has done for me is confirm I am on the right path to bring about political change to our province. I will continue working with the Wildrose Alliance. We have all listened to the attacks from these same members that criticize the Wildrose for having no substance on their policy. We also know that the Wildrose Policies are set by it's members. The party in June of this year had 1200 active members which has swelled to 14,000. We have a leader that is a remarkable speaker and media savvy. We have the perfect set for bringing change into Alberta politics, and here is why I believe this:
- Since it is agreed our policy lacks substance and is set by it's members, by having a diverse group of members we will put forward common sense policy. We as a party can easily elaborate on the policies to include members of all political leanings much easier than trying to start up a party that concentrates only on a progressive view.
- We still have the opportunity to brand ourselves, before we are branded by everyone else as we roll out our policy platform.
- We are already an established political party recognized a a serious political threat, growing in strength by bringing in even more diverse membership base.
- A strong leader with a remarkable memory for policy and ability to speak without putting her feet in her mouth.
As I mentioned I think the Reboot movement is a great progressive movement, however in our province you will never form a government without being big tent. This is proven when we look at the history of politics in our province. The ALP and the NDP were never able to gain traction because of the choice to be left. The PC party remained because they were known to be fiscally conservative and socially progressive, unfortunately I don't see that they stand for either any longer, staying in power is the only goal.
My option for the Wildrose is simple and the party could use people from the progressive movement to help set up good policy. The same from all poltical stripes. There is a huge opportunity to brand this party as simply responsible both fiscally and socially. The membership in the party is still small enough to grow big tent and decide policy to include the majority of Albertans and not limit itself to conservative, progressive, liberal, etc... In the end I see the Wildrose party as being what was presented at reboot AB only on an all inclusive scale. The DJ Kelly post had a significant part in changing my thoughts, showing how common sense politics can be. Thanks to all involved at RebootAB as you have brought on a change in my way of thinking as well. I have spent far too long criticizing a party we all see the problems with. I will be blogging on the strengths of the Wildrose, discussing the policies and what can be bettered, bring them forward at the AGM, and work hard to bring in a variety of members to ensure the party indeed is "Big Tent" with a variety of ideas. I see this as the fastest and easiest way to bring change about. I don't think Alberta needs to re-boot, maybe simply an update. ;) Look forward to your comments Rebooters.