A recent article written by Keith Gerein in the Edmonton Journal asked the question, “What happened to the Alberta Party?” He says the party seems to have “gone quiet”.
I don’t wish to be reactionary or defensive, but the question, asked publicly, does deserve a public response. I was surprised by the article, because here in Innisfail Sylvan Lake, “gone quiet” does anything but describe us. As I’ve been out talking with people and attending community events, the response has been very positive and the momentum is growing. Six months ago when we asked, “Have you heard of the Alberta Party?” the common response was “no”. That’s not the situation these days. Strangers call, email, tweet and approach me more and more asking about my campaign and the Party. I’m saying my reality and the picture painted by the Journal writer don’t match.
It should be noted that there is a distinct difference between public attention and press attention. The Party, in general, does not necessarily generate a lot of media attention, it’s true. Why is that? I’m in communications; I understand that contentious, negative comments and perspectives are of greater interest and appeal to the media than positive, respectfully presented ideas and perspectives. This is not a vilification of the media, I should say; we all tend to feel “juicy” stories are more “spicy”. Alberta Party gets branded with kittens, rainbows, unicorns, Pollyanna Politics, etc etc. Where’s the story there?
Here’s the thing: we’re not focused on opposing the current government. We’re not afraid to issue a challenge when needed, but it’s not our focus. Traditional politics works to make the other guy look bad so I, by contrast, look better. It’s consumer politics: like me, buy me, I’m new and improved. The Albertans we talk to are sick to death of the blood sport of politics and the game that’s been made of governance. It’s why the public is so contemptuous of politicians. We’re focused on meeting with an engaging Albertans to plan and create a better future. We get that this is your life government is playing with: while they’re busy strategizing over who gets the upper hand, the decisions they’re making have a real impact on you. Depoliticizing governance is perhaps not sexy or outrageous enough to warrant media attention, but it resonates with people, and the people of Alberta are all that really matters. That may not make headlines but it is winning hearts and minds where I live.
Media attention is great and I’m truly grateful for it when it comes along. The media in Central Alberta is good to me. My quest as an Alberta Party candidate, though, is to connect with people in communities.
If this resonates with you, get involved in my campaign by visiting www.danielleklooster.ca