Everyone is all a-twitter (bad pun) over Alison Redford’s PC Leadership win last night, saying “change has come to Alberta”.

She represents change from previous Premiers because she is a moderate, has the biggest brain we’ve seen in many a moon, already has an international profile, and is a woman.

She represents change in politics because we really haven’t elected someone like her since 1971.

She represents change because she does not have a top-down perspective, even though she is comfortable making tough decisions and standing by them.

I can see the heads snapping all across the nation, with people thinking Alberta has deviated greatly from its standard MO. But… when we talk about “radical change”, we generally think of something REALLY different, almost foreign. I agree that Alison’s election is a significant paradigm shift in terms of who the PC party traditionally elects, but she is not unfamiliar territory to Albertans in general. I think Alison was elected because she actually epitomizes the values of Alberta.

Think about it:

– She has displayed all the “pluck” of our pioneers, working hard, overcoming extreme obstacles, standing firm in the face of opposition

– She stalwartly (not a word but it fits) plowed through personal grief

– She is vehemently understated and deferential

– She is respectful and accommodating but can get really fired up about the issues

– She is educated, smart, compassionate, believes in community capacity and social justice

In short, she represents who we are. I meet people every day who are just like that: determined, enterprising, moderate, compassionate. It should not be a surprise that she’s been elected: Alison is, after all is said and done, the quintessential Albertan.

It’s too bad the OBC (Old Boys Club) pillaged and plundered the PC party to the point that it is un-salvageable. It’s too bad that Alison will have such limited options when choosing a new cabinet. It’s too bad that she’ll have to pour so much energy into an attempt to reunite a party that will resist her to the nth degree. I believe she is a person of her word and will do everything in her power to try to keep the promises she has made to Albertans, but I think her ability to affect meaningful change within the PC party, and consequently the province, will be extremely limited.

I pondered long and hard my choice to leave the PC Party. I even considered going back (for real, not just taking a membership to vote for leader). But when I really faced the truth, I had to admit that one can only scrape so much mold off of the cheese before it just has to be thrown out. Time to move on to a truly ground-breaking, change-motivated party: the Alberta Party.

Really, one of the most exciting elements of this for me personally is the knowledge that when I am elected and serving across the floor from Alison, she will work with me to cultivate a culture of cross-partisan collaboration and cooperation. We will have respectful discourse and focus on ideas and good governance, not partisan game-play and power-mongering.

I am excited for Alison because she earned this. I’m excited for Alberta because we have an astute and audacious Premier who  is the quintessential Albertan, and I’m excited for the continual build in the momentum of change, which bodes well for the Alberta Party.