Saturday, January 5, 2008

An interview, and an email

One of the details of the merger that has been a source of some concern has to do with policy. What policies will the "new" party be advocating during its first campaign? This is a critical question, because the election platform will serve to position the "Wildrose Alliance" on the political spectrum, and thereby forever define it in the minds of the voters.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

There is no mention of policy at all in the Notice of Special General Meeting available on the Alberta Alliance website. (A copy of the Notice can be found in this post on The Wildrose Report.)

In a January 2 radio interview, Alberta Alliance Leader Paul Hinman announced that all current policies of the Alberta Alliance will become the policies of the post-merger party. (More evidence that this "merger" really amounts to the Wildrose Party being absorbed in toto by the Alberta Alliance.) The full interview is available here:

Rob Breakenridge interviews Paul Hinman - Jan 2, 2008

If you move ahead to the 4:55 mark, you will hear Hinman say: "Basically, we are accepting the Alberta Alliance policies, and the Wildrose constitution". He then goes on to tell us that there is great similarity between the current Alliance policies, and those in effect at Wildrose: "Very few [policies] are contradicting; generally they're all the same." (Starting at the 5:25 mark.)

I found this passage to be a bit odd when I first heard it, because my understanding is that the entirety of Wildrose Party policies can be found here. There are a total of 6 policies.

The Alberta Alliance policies can be found here. The AAP policy book is a 30 page sleep-inducer consisting of dozens and dozens of policies. Wildrose has no policies in most of the areas covered by the AAP, yet Paul Hinman is trying to convince us that the two policy platforms are so similar that they essentially amount to carbon copies of one another: "Generally, they're all the same."

How is nothing, the same as something?

Now, I'm sure you Alberta Alliance members will be quick to point out that I am referring to a dated, 2006 policy book, and that policies were substantially modified at the November, 2007, Alberta Alliance policy conference.

This may be, but the Alliance website still seems to contain the old policies. Given that the new policies are an integral part of the merger, I think they should be made public. After all, in order for Wildrose members to come to an informed decision on the merger, they need to know what it is that they are agreeing to.

I'll bang out a quick email and see if I can get an up-to-date copy of the Alberta Alliance policy book, along with some other documents that we need to review.

Update 01/05/08: I have just sent the following email in to Alberta Alliance CFO, Jane Morgan:

This should get some action.