Alberta Independence Party
|Alberta Independence Party|
Former provincial party
|Politics of Alberta
The Alberta Independence Party (AIP) was a provincial party founded in Alberta, Canada, in 2000/1. It was dedicated to increasing the autonomy of Alberta within the Canadian confederation, in part as a response to the 2000 election, in which the Canadian Alliance, a party with strong western roots, was rejected by the electorate in the rest of the country, especially Ontario, which commands 1/3 of the seats in the Canadian Parliament.
The party's founding convention in January, 2001, garnered much media attention when several prominent figures from the Canadian Alliance attended as observers, including MPs Myron Thompson and Darrel Stinson, and Alberta 'senators-in-waiting' Ted Morton and Bert Brown. At the convention, Cory Morgan, a 29-year old geological surveyor, was elected leader.
One of the party's first challenges was to gather enough signatures to qualify as an official party in Alberta, which it failed to do. As a result, in Alberta general election, 2001, its fifteen candidates were forced to stand as independents.
The party's candidates garnered a total of 7521 votes. Here is a list of their candidates, votes, and percentages.
- Bradley R. Lang (Calgary-Egmont) 399 (2.90%)
- Tom Humble (Airdrie-Rocky View) 683 (4.10%)
- Cory Morgan (Banff-Cochrane) 538 (4.00%)
- Darren Popik (Calgary Shaw) 151 (0.60%)
- Douglas R. Chitwood (Lacombe-Stettler) 554 (4.70%)
- Eileen Walker (Drumheller-Chinook) 819 (8.90%)
- Ron (Earl) Miller (Dunvegan,) 248 (2.80%)
- Dennis Young (Grande Prairie-Smoky) 380 (4.10%)
- Terry Dueck (Grande Prairie-Wapiti) 136 (1.60%)
- Jon Koch (Little Bow) 885 (8.30%)
- Charles Park (Ponoka-Rimbey) 764 (8.10%)
- Ryan Lamarche (Red Deer-South) 203 (1.60%)
- Christopher Sutherland (Strathmore-Brooks) 511 (4.50%)
- Jeff Newland (Wainwright) 868 (8.00%)
- Ben Lussier** (Wetaskiwin-Camrose) 382 (3.00%)
(**Lussier began his candidacy with an AIP endorsement which was withdrawn during the course of the campaign)
The Alberta Independence Party had been the brain-child of Albertans in their 20s and 30s, and this was reflected in the youth of both its membership and executive—half of whom were below the age of 30. Differences of opinion on a variety of issues—especially whether the party should clearly back separation or merely argue greater autonomy—resulted in the break-up of the party in Dec. 2001.
Many of its members have since joined the Separation Party of Alberta.