The Green Party of Alberta is looking to utilize their resources strategically to secure Green seats in the 2023 Alberta Legislature and are creating a meticulous political plan to achieve these goals.
Winning Green seats in Alberta
The Green Party of Alberta hosted a members–only Town Hall on May 16th to discuss strategies for winning seats in the 2023 legislature. Global Green News was granted access to the virtual meeting.
Party leader Jordan Wilkie, deputy leader Evelyn Tanaka and Indigenous Relations Critic Desmond Bull all gave passionate speeches and laid out strategies. All speakers were positively optimistic about securing Green seats in the 2023 Alberta legislature. Green Party of Canada leader Annamie Paul made a guest appearance. She gave her full support to the Alberta Greens and emphasized the importance of a collective Green movement.
All party executives recognized the Green failure of the 2019 general provincial election where no seats were won. Therefore, the current Green Party of Alberta’s leadership believes they need a concrete strategy going forward. What is the party’s objective? To secure two to three seats in the 2023 legislature.
A strategic roadmap
In her opening remarks, deputy leader Evelyn Tanaka was firm. The party simply lacks the resources to successfully run full campaigns for 87 candidates. Thus, the party will focus on running 12 to 15 candidates instead. The goal is to focus resources strategically as opposed to distributing them equitably to 87 candidates.
Through the use of data analysis to maximize resources, key ridings were identified. The priority ridings include: 1. Banff-Kananskis, 2. Livingstone McLeod, 3. Highwood, 4. Lethbridge East and 5. Red Deer South. The party will not run any candidates in Calgary or Edmonton as the competition will be too significant to afford losing resources on ridings in which they cannot be competitive.
Party leader Jordan Wilkie will be the candidate for Banff-Kananskis, the number one priority riding. Mr. Wilkie’s campaign will be launched at the end of May 2021. During the meeting Mr. Wilkie was cautious but optimistic as well:
The Alberta Greens have used strategies proven to be successful by the Prince Edward Island Greens and Ontario Greens. Data analysis and collaboration across the province are the primary approaches.
To complement the party’s strategies, a timeline was also presented in the meeting. The leaders stressed that this timeline may be adjusted as the election approaches.
- 2021 to early 2022 will see the opening of nomination periods, fostering relationships, micro-targeting issues and spreading local messages. Additionally, this period will see the creation of Constituency Associations for better collaboration.
- 2022 will see the mobilization of volunteers and the use of listening tools for campaign data to refine messages. Green Party of Alberta templates will be used to prepare campaigns. Special attention will be given to the available budget. Lastly the whole party team will be built and trained.
- Early 2023 will see door knocking and the continuation of listening campaigns. Volunteers will be brought in, television campaigns and strategies will be utilized.
- Finally it will be election time between March 1st and May 31st, 2023. It will be the last push with final appearances and all staff present in the ridings.
A final point that was emphasized by the party was the broadening of their platform. When asked by Global Green News on how will the party ensure that the “niche” label is avoided, Jordan Wilkie was clear:
This expanded platform includes a focus on First Nations. Indigenous Relations Critic Desmond Bull praised Jordan Wilkie and Evelyn Tanaka for visiting Indigenous communities and fostering dialogue. Social justice and democracy were listed as important issues as well.
The rights of workers and a sustainable job market in Alberta were a key issue for party leader Jordan Wilkie. Both he and guest speaker Annamie Paul emphasized that they truly support oil workers. Their concerns for the environment lie with the corporations behind the oil industry and not with the workers.
From an overall stand point, it seems as if the Green Party of Alberta has drafted a serious strategy for winning Green seats in the province. The biggest challenge that they could face is an early election. Time will tell if the strategies can be successful in achieving their three seat goal and ultimately a Green agenda. However, with recent turbulence felt in the Alberta government, an early election is very much a possibility.