Another political party? The Alberta Green Party re-emerges

May 9, 2013 :: Janet Keeping
Moderated by Lisa Lambert

The Progressive Conservative Party has been the governing party for more than four decades in Alberta for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that there has rarely been a viable alternative party with enough support to move from the Opposition to the Government benches. In almost every political system that employs a single member plurality electoral system the opposition parties merge into one party (or a coalition) to provide an alternative to the government. But in Canada we have done the opposite by creating multiple parties that do not cooperate during elections.

So the rebirth of the Alberta Green Party is not a surprise but is it a good thing for democracy? The speaker will argue that the re-emergence of the Alberta Green Party is important to democracy for two reasons. She will argue that the most serious issues facing the Alberta economy are environmental and Alberta’s economy will be devastated if we don’t start moving quickly toward the new, smart, greener way of doing things. Secondly, she will argue that there is a deep political malaise in Alberta, as evidenced by low voter turnouts and deep cynicism about politics and politicians, that can only be corrected by doing politics differently, a main tenet of the Greens. Unlike traditional parties, the Greens put the public good ahead of advantage to the party itself, including electoral reform and cooperation with other parties.

Speaker: Janet Keeping, Leader of the Green Party of Alberta

Janet has a B. Sc. In Art and Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and both an M.A. and a law degree from the University of Calgary. After articling with the Calgary law firm Bennett Jones, Janet co-founded and became the first Executive Director of the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre. For twenty two years Janet did legal research and public legal education for the Canadian Institute of Resources Law at the University of Calgary. Since 2006 she has served as President of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.

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