Alberta Party: Past. Present. Future. Aug 16 Who is the Alberta Party? Forum Notes

Les Sorenson

August 29, 2023


Overall Vision

The 2023 Alberta General Election was a disappointment for the Alberta Party.  As a party, we need to review the results, analyze what worked and could have been better, discuss what the party is and could be in the future, and propose a path forward and next steps for the “Alberta Party”.   

Who will be involved?

  • Party Members
  • Board Members 
  • Leader
  • All interested people from the general public

We will hold 3 sessions.  The agenda and minutes/observations of each session will be captured below.  The 3 sessions are:

  • Tues Jul 25, 2023 Topic: Election results perspectives (Notes available on the Alberta Party website - News - LINK)
    • What happened - results review
    • What worked and What came up short
    • What do we need to do better/more/less for the next election in 2027 or any possible by-elections before then
  • Wed Aug 16, 2023 Topic: Who is the Alberta Party? What does the Alberta Party stand for?
    • Alberta Party Principles - are they still what we want/need
    • How do the principles translate to policy and platform
      • Are they consistent? 
      • Weak/strong in any areas
    • VoteCompass platform and policy questionnaire put the party quite left of centre - is that where we are/were/want to be? 
    • Attracting Rural Support: The UCP won a majority with basically only rural and small city voters.  How do we attract rural participation in the party, candidates and voters?
  • Thurs Sep 7, 2023 Topic: Party path forward? (Fold, Merge, Forge Ahead)
    • Reforming the core party message?
    • Recruiting
    • Fundraising
    • CAs
    • Party Organization
    • Leadership

The consolidated outcomes will be presented to the Alberta Party Board of Directors at their September meeting.

Session 2 - Wed Aug 16: Who is the Alberta Party?

Wed Aug 16, 2023 Topic: Who is the Alberta Party?

  • Alberta Party Principles - are they still what we want/need
  • How do the principles translate to policy and platform
  • VoteCompass platform and policy questionnaire put the party quite left of centre - is that where we are/were/want to be? 
  • Attracting Rural Support

We had approx 50 people attend online in Zoom.

The focus was on 3 breakout session to discuss each agenda item.

Session #2 Notes:

Party Principles and our “Brand”

  • The Principles are an important foundation however the Party’s statements are not catchy or engaging
    • The Principles do not give direction or a clear foundation to what the Party’s policy and platform will be. 
    • There is a disconnect from the Principles to the Party’s policies and platform. It is as if the Principles had no influence on what policies and platform was developed.
  • The principles need to be more specific because the present way they are written are statements that all the parties would use and there is nothing in them that distinguishes the AP from other parties.  
    • They are too generic,  too “motherhood and apple pie”.  They could represent most political parties.  There is nothing there that makes us stand apart
    • The principles should identify the common ground for all party members.
    • Principles should specifically reference that the AP seeks common ground
    • Principles should also specifically state that fiscal responsibility is foundational.
    • Principles should state the role of the AP is to serve the people and not to have the people serve the government
    • The bottom line is the Principles and Values need to be revised.
  • The principles are solid base layers that are all interconnected.  
    • All our policies and platform should encompass all 6 principles and be reflected in all our communications and sales pitches.
  • What is our “Brand”.  
    • What is the “Why” for the party?  
    • The principles do not effectively define our “Brand”.  
      • They do nothing to grab the hearts and attention of the public and inspire them to join us or vote for us.  We need to better define our brand and the find ways to sell the Alberta Party
    • How can we encourage more diverse participation within our “Brand”.  
      • Diverse = Younger, broader ethnicities etc…
      • Refresh/reframe to appeal to a younger audience; purposefully, thoughtfully.
    • Share our principles as a narrative rather than bullet points; create a compelling story.
    • At the same time, Principles are for internal use; they’re  “back pocket stuff”; don’t need to drag a cart full of principles into every conversation but should be back of mind to check each decision, communication, policy/platform statement that they remain true to the “brand”
  • AP is perceived as a question mark - ie what do they stand for?


  • We have become a mishmash of disconnected policies and platform items.
  • Lots of debate in the groups about whether any policy and platform matters at all.  Need to be better at “politics”
  • Do we have enough policy and platform that represents the “fiscal responsibility” core principle?
  • Do we have attention grabbing policy and platform items?  The delivery of the AP message was muddy, unappealing, milquetoast
  • VoteCompass - Party needs to be closer to “centre” if not slightly right of center.  
    • Maybe Rabidly Centrist instead of Radical Centrist
    • An interesting side debate - there were some folks in my breakout room that wanted to be 2-3 squares right of centre…  How to bridge the social progressives in the party with the folks that are maybe closer to the traditional definition of a conservative
    • Some want to take a stronger “Stand up for Alberta” position 
      • not really sovereignty but to ensure Alberta is respected within Canada and that we have the conversations with the federal government. 
      • Then Referendums for each of the sovereignty items (Police, guns, energy, pension etc…)
  • Policies, Platform & Position are great; the delivery of our message sucks.
  • Need pre-loaded terms & metaphors that create a passionate pitch; six or eight word “catch phrase”.

Rural Voters

    • Each rural community is different and must be approached individually.  Each community has their own issues, concerns and needs.  
    • We need to be active in the communities to hear what people are saying.
    • We need to take a page from the TBA playbook and get active in the communities (Coffee shops, curling rinks, ball diamonds, community dances, businesses etc…) to first hear what the concerns are, then be able to sell the Alberta Party perspective and truth based solutions as a real alternative. Rally the troops.
    • That engagement must be in person, ideally by someone already known and respected in the community.  
      • Similar to the concept of a social media “influencer” there are voices in each community that sway opinion.  To quote Letterkenny “Bad gas travels fast in a small town”. 
    • With the local influencers on our side we can plant seeds that will germinate and grow through the community with only a little direct party encouragement.  The trick is making sure we are planting strong plants instead of noxious weeds.
    • Some people believe that we have no hope of gaining ground.  The rural voter is rooted in traditional patterns and resistant to change.  The UCP/TBA have been strong for generations and it will be very hard to gain attention and votes.


  • Clearly define our “WHY”; our Brand, find the right storyteller in each community and then get out there!


Notes available as a PDF file at this LINK