Over the last number of months, many of us – Provincial Liberals in Alberta – have been thinking about our leadership race. However, in all that time, one question has not been asked: who can win 32 seats in Alberta? In 1993, Laurence Decore did that. He brought us to our best result in recent memory. So, I ask the question again, who can win 32 seats, or more, in Alberta’s Legislature?
This is important because Laurence Decore won seats throughout Alberta. So who can win seats in Red Deer, in Lethbridge, in Calgary and in Edmonton? Which Liberal can attract candidates in Medicine Hat, in Vulcan, in Fort Mac or in Lloydminster? If you listen to members of the Alberta Party or Red Tories or Pragmatic New Democrats, the person who can accomplish this is Kerry Cundal.
Given that the Alberta Liberal Party has trouble getting over 15% support, our Party will need to be able to appeal to Red Tories, Pragmatic New Democrats, Centrists and Independents to be a force in Alberta Politics. Our new leader needs to be able to do this and Kerry has.
I know Kerry can appeal to other political “souls” because those same people have told me that and because I have also seen it firsthand. I meet Kerry when she first ran for a federal riding called Calgary Signal Hill. I canvassed with her and I was stunned. People at the door might have castigated the Liberal Party of Canada, our leader, over his lineage or his lack of preparedness, but they never attacked Kerry. More than once, I heard a simple sentiment: I am open to Kerry.
Her Federal Team was made up of many people. Those who had not been political involved or those who had been involved with another party. While, Kerry came in to replace another candidate, her volunteers were motivated and excited and wanted to change the world; and they have. Kerry is a co-founder of “Ask Her”, a group of motivated Calgarians trying to get more woman on council. 20 women have come forward for contest 14 seats. Kerry has also been a special advisor to this present Trudeau Government; and as such, she assisted the Government of Canada in welcoming 50,000 Syrians Refugees.
Contrast that with the condition of the Alberta Liberal Party. Our Party continues to poll in the single digits. While, we have more support than the Alberta Party, we still need grow our support, our “tent”. Kerry has worked with members of other Parties and David Khan has not. Kerry has shown an ability to build institutions; while as the VP for the Alberta Liberal Party and a former Candidate, David Khan has not.
Consequently, the answer is clear. Kerry has been a teacher and is now a lawyer. Kerry Cundal is a mother and a wife. However, for me those, things are not enough. I am looking for someone who can do what Laurence Decore did: I am looking for someone with a vision and a passion. Kerry has shown that to me through experience and action. That is why I support her and why I want to see her as the next leader of the Alberta Liberal Party.