Uniting Progressives at the Grassroots Level (Federal)

Toronto Star article:

Tim Harper: Uniting progressives at the grassroots level — is Simcoe North alone?

TALKING OIL AND TAXES by Alvin Finkel

The fury that has descended on federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair from Premier Redford and the media for suggesting that current government policies favour resource industries over manufacturing demonstrates the power of Big Oil throughout Canada but particularly Alberta. It also reminds us of the strangeness of our having just been through a provincial election in which the media and the two major vote-winning parties studiously avoided any real discussion of any aspect of energy policy: taxation, the environment, or the desirable balance of resource extraction and manufacturing. This was particularly glaring during the one province-wide leaders’ debate with all the major media companies represented. There were no questions about the industry that dominates this province. Continue reading

WHAT NOW, ALBERTA? by Alvin Finkel

When the Alberta Democratic Renewal Project (DRP) was formed in 2008, we often cited Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Alberta’s three relatively progressive parties at the time, the Liberals, NDP, and Greens together had the support of four in ten voters. Regrettably, their refusal to cooperate made the election of a progressive government increasingly unlikely. We advocated that these parties work together to ensure that voters in each constituency could unite behind a single candidate. Otherwise, votes for progressive parties would stagnate and all of the political momentum in Alberta would remain on the right.  Continue reading

THE ALBERTA POLLSTERS VERSUS THE TEA LEAVES by Alvin Finkel

While the well-funded pollsters all have egg on their faces, the website
ChangeAlberta.ca, of which I am co-chair, was able to predict with 93
percent accuracy which progressive party would lead in the 42 seats
where a win by a progressive rather than a conservative was at least as
remotely possible as a spring on the Prairies uninterrupted by a sudden
snowstorm. We operated solely with volunteers and a shoestring budget,
relying on modest roadside signs, moved from location to location, social
media, information handouts at farmers’ markets and election forums, and media coverage to get out our message. Continue reading