The Renewbies: the Liberals rebooted – anything else?

Here it is another day and still no information on the Renew Party’s Website. I renewed the page and nothing happened… (Weak joke.) No surprise there, of course. After all, the Renewers promised us we’ll get nothing but that picture of a dried up Prairie lake until re-launches on Dec. 14.

A twittery tweet displayed on the Edmonton Journal Web page this evening promises “progressive pints” at Original Joe’s restaurant in Garneau, 8404 – 109th Street, Edmonton. (What? The New Democrats are buying? Weak progressive joke.)

The Renewbies were a little more forthcoming at the Reboot Alberta gabfest in Red Deer last weekend, handing out a leaflet that described their nascent party as “centrists, firm believers in the free market who recognize that government can play a constructive role in shaping our society.”

The leaflet asks: Why Renew Alberta? The answer, is says: “The PCs have squandered another oil boom, mismanaged Alberta’s finances and eroded public services without any clear vision for the future.” (Can’t argue with that observation.) “The Alberta Liberal Party is very much out of touch with Albertans, and as a result continues to be ineffective.” (True too, as far as it goes.) “The Alberta NDP and the Wildrose Alliance are prisoners of their respective ideologies which are both outside the comfort zones of most Albertans.” (True enough to be dangerous, in my estimation.)

And so, conclude the Renewbies, “We believe that a new party is the only way to obtain a government that is fiscally, socially and democratically responsible.” This idea too, of course, may turn out to be outside the comfort zone of most Albertans. We shall see soon enough, I guess.

So what’s their platform? Well, the brochure says they don’t really have one yet, but it goes on to make these points, which I am going to quote here at length, in bold italic, in the interests of keeping the public informed, seeing as no one else seems to have bothered:

Propserity – We believe that private enterprise and entrepreneurship are the keys to our economic success. Through investments in education and the cultivation of a cooperative relationship with business, government should foster and environment in which the initiatives of Albertans can succeed for the benefit of all.

Fiscal responsibility – We believe a foremost responsibility of government is to use public dollars as effectively and efficiently as possible. This is best accomplished through long-term planning, common sense and open, frank conversations about the province’s needs and the means we have to meet them.

Social responsibility – We believe every Albertan deserves the opportunity to succeed. Our government should aspire to provide excellent public education, public health care, and infrastructure, as well as a compassionate helping hand in times of need. We believe this can be accomplished through responsible investments, planning and a willingness to innovate.

Sustainability – We believe that sustainability must be a core value of our government. Rethinking unsustainable practices, making strategic investments in research and technology, and developing creative policy that emphasizes rewards over punishments will protect and enhance our environment for future generations.

Democracy – We believe that public business should be conducted in public. Open and honest debate is not something that should be discouraged; rather, it is a source of solutions to the challenges that we face. Our government should foster debate, actively engage citizens and make itself accountable to the people it governs.

Quality of life – Improving Albertan’s (sic) quality of life is the end to which we strive, and to which all of the above positions are oriented. In addition to what’s mentioned above, we believe quality of life is built on our communities. Through support of recreation, sport, culture and respect for municipalities, government can help us build strong, vibrant communities which will continue to attract new citizens and ensure current citizens will never leave.

My comment: Pretty anodyne, as well as indistinguishably close to the position of the Official Liberals except for that bit about ensuring current citizens will never leave. (I didn’t like the sound of that. I wonder if I should get the hell out before they close the borders?)

Is there enough here to succeed? Not yet.

If these Provisional Liberals are going to succeed to any degree, they’re going to have to perform a similar neat trick to that pulled off by the Wildrose Alliance. To wit: They’ll need an appealing new leader who is easy to distinguish from all the tired old political faces of which Albertans are growing so sick. And they’ll need policies that appeal to the old party’s natural supporters but are different enough to set them apart.

I have a feeling we’ll know soon enough if they can manage either of those feats.

5 Comments on "The Renewbies: the Liberals rebooted – anything else?"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this Dave an excellent post as always –I guess that's why you win awards.

    From what I understood at the gabfest in Red Deer there were open questions as to what is the best path for a "progressive" agenda in Alberta. Working in the party system, out of the system, or create a new party were key points. Frankly I have no clue what would be the best for any political renewal in Alberta anymore other than stay home at election time.

    So perhaps could I suggest that you blog on your thoughts on what political renewal looks like in Alberta and how we get there?

    Forgive me Dave my employer is anti-union otherwise I would reveal my identity to you.

  2. Lou Arab says:

    It's worth noting that there is nothing in that vapid platform that the average PC MLA would object to.

  3. Curmudgeon-at-Large says:

    Hey, Lou, what kind of criterion is that? The average PC MLA won't object to anything unless they are told to.

  4. Josh Kjenner says:


    That's sort of the point. The average PC MLA was elected by the average Albertan, and the average Albertan is who we're hoping we'll be able to attract.

  5. Lou Arab says:

    Sorry Josh but looking at the way the Tories have messed things up, I think Alberta needs a real change, not more of the same.


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