So I listened to the Candidate’s debate on Wednesday Night and one comment struck me. Greg Clark, leader of the Alberta Party, said that the Alberta Liberal Party was a dead party. This statement hit me like a brick and I dared to ask myself one simple question: “Is the Alberta Liberal Party a dead party?”
Well, let us look at the evidence. The Alberta Liberal Party has not formed government in ninety years. In that time, the CCF came into existence and become the NDP. The Social Credit Party of Alberta and the United Farmers Party have formed Governments. In fact, those two parties governed Alberta consistently for just over 50 years (United Farmers 1921–1935; Social Credit 1935–1971). The Alberta Alliance Party, Alberta Labour Representation League, Alberta Reform Movement, Dominion Labor Party, Independent Citizen’s Association, Socialist Party of Alberta, United Farmers of Alberta, Representative Party of Alberta and the Western Canada Concept have come and gone. Even with that being said, I still asked a simple question: “Is the Alberta Liberal Party a dead party?”
Then I thought of the fact that since its founding in 1985, the Alberta Party has been on the political left and on the political right, but it has never elected a member under its banner. In fact, since their founding the Communist Party – Alberta, the Evergreen Party of Alberta and the Separation Party of Alberta have also not elected any members to the Legislature of Alberta.
And then I thought. Even though the Alberta Liberal Party has not had the best of luck in the ninety years since we held government, we have continued and existed to fight for the people of Alberta. No other party can say the same, for no other party existed in 1905. The Alberta Conservatives merged with the Progressives to become something new; while the Labour Party was thrown into the dustbin of history. Only the Liberals remain.
Some might ask whether the Liberals are content with their lot. I would argue not. Would they like to form government? Of course, they would. Every Party in the House would love to form Government. The Wildrose, the Alberta Party, the Alberta NDP and the Alberta Liberals would. In fact, the rise of Premier Lougheed and the 43 years of continuous PC rule tell us that any Party Leader in the province of Alberta can do it. For in 1965, he took a party that had no seats to a party which governed.
So is the Alberta Liberal Party a dead party? My simple answer is no. Premier Alexander Cameron Rutherford – the first Premier of Alberta, a Liberal Premier of Alberta – doesn’t have to turn in his grave. His party lives and with some luck and hard work will form Government in 2016.