Alberta’s Partisan Politics and Ideology: Would Independent MLA’s with No Party Affiliation be a better Option?

Canada’s NorthWest Territories has a consensus government, in which all members are Independent and do not belong to a political party caucus. This form of government has been in place for over 40 years. The direct democratic governance model used in the North West Territories has allowed their Legislative Members the innate ability to put their constituents’ needs singularly ahead of all else.

It is often argued that regardless of who people vote for, Left, Right or Center, their representative MLA will be forced to toe the party line and put the best interests of the party ahead of the best interests of those they’re supposed to be representing.

With a new funding formula that was unanimously approved during an Alberta Legislature members’ services committee meeting recently, Independent Alberta MLA’s will arguably be served poorly. Under the new rules, only caucuses with at least four MLAs are eligible for official party status. That impacts research funding, the right to sit on legislative committees and the process of asking questions in the legislature, making it difficult for Independent MLA’s and new political parties to gain influence.

The speakers will elaborate on their own experiences and argue that partisan politics and ideology often gets in the way of good ideas coming to the fore. Too often, they will ague, free thinking MLA’s are “thrown under the bus” for party dissent and in the process, innovative and collaborative action is discouraged.

Speaker: Richard Strankman, MLA for the Drumheller Stettler constituency

Rick Strankman was first elected to the Alberta Legislature in April of 2012 and again in 2015 in the Drumheller Stettler constituency. He was one of only five Wildrose MLAs that did not cross the floor in 2014. Rick has owned and operated a farming business since 1973. He increasingly became involved in politics and social activism in response to federal regulations in the agriculture industry, including legislation regarding the CWB in which he played a part, getting it repealed. Rick has recently been encouraged by people from across Alberta to run in the next provincial election as an independent candidate.

Moderator: Larry Elford

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019 Time:Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

Visit the SACPA website:

Join SACPA on YouTube

In order to ask questions of our speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in. Please do so well ahead of the scheduled start time, so you’ll be ready. Go the YouTube Live link provided in this session flyer and on the top right of your browser click the “sign in” button. If you have Google or Gmail accounts, they can be used to sign in. If you don’t, click “Create Account” and follow along. Once you are signed in, you can return to the live stream and use the chat feature to ask your questions of the speaker. Remember you can only participate in the chat feature while we are livestreaming.