Democratic Renewal Policy: We need to reimagine our democracy.
Posted on April 14, 2012 by Richard Einarson
Better policy comes from the living rooms and not the backrooms. As we travelled across the province during The Big Listen, we had conversations with Albertans about their hopes and dreams for the future. It was clear that too many Albertans feel disconnected from their government and are longing to be engaged in a meaningful and authentic way.
Let’s build a citizen-centred democracy.
For years, “public engagement” in Alberta has simply been a term used by the government to sell its policies to Albertans. From power-lines to impaired driving legislation, we have seen the government make decisions without having an honest conversation with the community. As a result, creative ideas, such as building smaller gas powered generators near major cities to meet future electrical demand or increasing the number of check-stops to catch impaired drivers, never get considered.
The Alberta Party will make our democracy more citizen-centred by:
- Implementing meaningful public engagement for all major government decisions before the decision is made, by using a combination of on-line and in person engagement techniques.
- Opening up the budget process to actively engage citizens about how they want their government to use their tax dollars.
- Eliminating the Public Affairs Bureau, the government’s public relations department.
Better government requires better MLAs.
Most Albertans wouldn’t recognize their MLA because they are usually missing in action. We believe that your MLA has a significant role in rebuilding our democracy.
The Alberta Party will:
- Adopt the Alberta Party’s Guidelines for MLAs, which require MLAs to engage their constituents on a regular basis.
- Increase the number of free votes in the Legislature so that decisions better reflect what MLAs are hearing from their constituents.
Fix the MLA compensation system.
The “money for nothing” scandal has revealed that the MLA compensation system is anything but transparent. It’s virtually impossible to figure out how much your MLA gets paid because they get additional money for serving on committees or doing other work (or, in some cases, no work at all). This system is designed to hide the actual amount of compensation your MLA takes home and it has to stop.
The Alberta Party will:
- Eliminate the tax-exempt portion of MLA salaries.
- Implement a more transparent compensation system for MLAs and publish what each MLA actual earns on the Internet.
- Create an independent committee to set MLA compensation so that MLAs get paid a fair wage for the work that they do.
Politicians have to earn back your trust.
The vast majority of people who serve in public office are decent, hardworking and honourable people. Incidents such as the recent “money for nothing” scandal and the Progressive Conservative’s “flexible” fixed election date law, have tarnished our political system.
In order to restore confidence in our political system, the Alberta Party will:
- Legislate real fixed election dates in order to have a level playing field for all political parties.
- Lower the donation and spending limits for political parties and candidates in order to reduce the influence donors have on our politicians.
- Mandate full disclosure of donations prior to Election Day, so that citizens will know who is funding their candidates.
Improving the way our democracy works is the key to improving how government works. With a few simple changes, Alberta can become the most open and transparent government in Canada.
Watch this video overview of our democratic renewal policy by St. Albert candidate Tim Osborne:
- Read our full democratic renewal policy document
- Read our 2012 Election Platform - We can dream bigger
All of our hard work is starting to pay off and the Alberta Party's message is spreading faster than ever. Please use the buttons below to share this post on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
Have a wonderful weekend folks!
Leader, Alberta Party
Candidate, West Yellowhead
PS - In case you missed it, we also released a video of my responses to the questions posed during the recent televised leaders' debate - please watch it now and pass it on to your friends and family.
Help us spread our message to more Albertans - please make a donation to the Alberta Party, any amount you can afford from $5 - $250 will be gratefully accepted.