I am a fifth generation Albertan whose family has farmed in the Red Deer area for over 100 years.
In 1907, my great-great grandfather James Bower purchased the first International Harvester gasoline tractor in western Canada and in 1909 he became the first president of the United Farmers' Association.
While my family has an appreciation for tradition we have also thrived as pioneers with an entrepreneurial and humanitarian spirit.
My father and I are both x-Progressive Conservative Association Presidents. We are both long-time supporters of the Progressive Conservatives.
And I am breaking up with the PCs.
No, really. I'm done with the PCs.
Not just a little bit done. But a lot done.
I would say to the PCs "it's not you, it's me." Except it's you.
I would suspect that many Albertans are searching for a new political home. In 2012, too many Albertans voted Wildrose because they hated the PC's, and too many voted PC only because they were scared of the Wildrose. In 2012, too many Albertans voted for the lesser of two evils and then in 2014 wonder why we still ended up with nothing we wanted.
Holding your nose and voting for the PC's or the Wildrose out of fear of the other one won't change a damn thing in this province.
If you are like me, you are an Albertan looking for an authentic alternative to the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose.
Well, I've got good news.
I found the Alberta Party and their leader Greg Clark.
I got to spend some time getting to know Greg, and he's the kind of principled leader that I can get behind.
I was very impressed.
Here's my top 5 reasons why I left the PCs to vote for the Alberta Party.
1. I don't want to vote against a party -- I want to vote for a party that I believe in. I refuse to "waste my vote" by wasting my vote on the PCs out of fear of the Wildrose. Voting strategically for the PCs to block the Wildrose is not the same as voting for someone or something. Friends don't let friends waste their votes strategically.
2. I want a government that represents me, not their party. The Alberta Party wants to reverse the role of the MLA from being a spokesperson for their party to their constituents, to being a true representative of their constituents in the legislature. I want my MLA to speak for me not at me. MLAs should be citizens' voice to government, not government's voice to us.
3. Greg Clark. I had the pleasure of meeting Greg in Red Deer yesterday and he is the kind of principled leader that I can get behind. When Greg listens, he doesn't just wait for his turn to talk -- he really listens and engages. He's experienced, genuine and thoughtful.
4. As long as Albertans continue to vote the way they have always voted, Albertans will continue to get what they have always gotten. The world is changing around us; politics and policy need to change with it. The PCs are being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, and the Wildrose are enamoured with a last out of the past mentality -- the Alberta Party is the breath of fresh air that Albertans are desperate for.
5. Healthcare and Education funding shouldn't rely on the price of a barrel of oil. While The Alberta Party understands that oil and gas are one of Alberta's greatest economic natural resources, they also understand the need to broaden our economic base by investing in Alberta's other most important natural resource -- our people. Couple the need for softening the effects of our boom and bust cycles with their vision of a fiscally responsible government (with balanced books) and I think the Alberta Party is on to something.
All change is impossible until it happens. Since Redford resigned, the Alberta Party has gathered an incredible amount of attention. Main stream and social media have taken notice of the Alberta Party as the authentic alternative to a legacy of PC cronyism, Wildrose antics and an opposition mired in loser brands.
The Alberta Party is positioning itself to play a role in bringing sanity to Alberta's next government.
And you can buy your membership the same place I bought mine. Right here.