Alberta Party

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This article is about an Alberta provincial party. For the similarly named federal party, see Party of Alberta.
Alberta Party
Active provincial party
Leader Greg Clark
President Pat Cochrane
Founded September 24, 1985 (1985-09-24)
Headquarters Edmonton, Alberta
Ideology Grassroots democracy,
Progressive conservatism,
Social liberalism
Political position Centre
Colours Blue, green, and gold
Seats in Legislature
1 / 87

The Alberta Party, formally known as the Alberta Party Political Association, is a political party in the province of Alberta, Canada. The party describes itself as a centrist and pragmatic party that is not dogmatically ideological in its approach to politics.[1][2]

For most of its history the Alberta Party was a right-wing organization, until the rise of the Wildrose Alliance as Alberta's main conservative alternative to the governing Progressive Conservatives attracted away the Alberta Party's more conservative members. This left a small rump of more left-wing members in control of the Alberta Party. In 2010 the Alberta Party board voted to merge with Renew Alberta, a progressive group that had been organizing to form a new political party in Alberta.[3] The Alberta Party thus shed its conservative past for a more centrist political outlook. The party has been cited in The Globe and Mail[4] and The Economist[5] as part of the break in one-party politics in Alberta.


Early history[edit]

The Alberta Party began in the early 1980s as an alliance of small separatist political parties. The right side of Alberta's political spectrum was fragmented by parties spawned in the wake of the National Energy Program and feelings that Premier Peter Lougheed had done little to prevent the economic collapse it allegedly had caused. Some of these parties had already achieved some small success in attaining seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, though in the 1982 general election Social Credit, the Alberta Reform Movement and the Western Canada Concept lost their representation in the Legislature. The Heritage Party of Alberta, Representative Party of Alberta and the Confederation of Regions had been founded in the preceding years, which made for a total of five parties to the right of the Progressive Conservatives in 1985.

On October 30, 1990 this alliance of parties gave way to the creation of a new political party, the Alliance Party of Alberta.[6] This change marked a transition away from trying to build a coalition of parties to full participation in electoral politics. The party participated in two by-elections, and fielded a handful of candidates in the 1993 general election but received only a small percentage of the popular vote in each case.[7] The party did not contest the 1997 provincial election.[8]

Alberta Party logo from 1998 to 2008

In 1998, the Alliance Party followed the example of the Saskatchewan Party and the Manitoba Party by changing its name to the Alberta Party Political Association, or the Alberta Party for short.[9]

Shortly before the 2004 election, the Alberta Party attempted to merge with the Alberta Alliance Party (a different organization from the old Alliance Party of Alberta). The merged party would have adopted the Alberta Party platform, and the Alberta Party provincial council would have had seats on the Alberta Alliance Provincial Council. The deal fell through because the Alberta Party would not agree to de-register the Alberta Party name with Elections Alberta.[citation needed] On October 1, 2004 shortly before the general election, the party shortened its registered name to "Alberta Party" from "the Alberta Party Political Association".[10]

In the 2004 provincial election, the party nominated candidates in four ridings, winning a total of 2,485 votes, or 0.3% of the provincial total. The party fielded one candidate, Margaret Saunter, for the March 3 2008 provincial election. Saunter placed last out of a field of six candidates in Edmonton-Centre.

Ideological shift and party renewal[edit]

Alberta Party logo used after the ideological shift from 2009 to 2011

After the rise of the Wildrose Alliance as Alberta's main right-wing alternative to the governing Progressive Conservatives, the right-wing members of the Alberta Party left to join that party. This left a small rump of centrists in control of the party. In 2009, former Alberta Greens deputy leader Edwin Erickson, who had been organizing a new "Progress Party", was invited to run as a leadership candidate for the Alberta Party and won by acclamation. In 2010 the Alberta Party board voted to merge with Renew Alberta, a progressive and centrist group that had been organizing to form a new political party.[3]

During the merger process, the party's board agreed to suspend its old policy platform and start anew. To create a new platform different from its more right-wing history, in 2010 the party launched a campaign called "The Big Listen" in order to canvass the public for new policy ideas.[11][12] The party held its first policy convention on November 13 and 14, 2010 to develop substantive policies from the ideas heard during the Big Listen. At the convention, Erickson stepped down to make way for an acting leader until a leadership contest could be held. A first set of policies was released on November 23, 2010, to coincide with the announcement of the appointment of an acting leader, Sue Huff. These policies centred on five key areas: economy, health, environment, democratic renewal and education.[13] On January 24, 2011, former Liberal MLA Dave Taylor announced he was joining the Alberta Party, becoming the party's first MLA.[14]

2011 leadership election[edit]

The party announced in January 2011 that a leadership convention would be held in Edmonton on May 28, 2011.[15] Four candidates contested the leadership of the party: Glenn Taylor, mayor of Hinton; Tammy Maloney, a social entrepreneur; businessman Randy Royer;[16] and Lee Easton, chair of the English program at Mount Royal University.[17] Chris Tesarski, CEO of Sandbox Energy Corporation, was also a candidate early in the contest,[18] but on April 15 announced he would not seek the party's leadership, citing disagreements with some aspects of the party's philosophy and some party members' attitudes towards his candidacy.[19] Dave Taylor, the party's only MLA, was also expected to run for the leadership,[20] but did not join the campaign. At the convention, the election was decided on the first ballot when Glenn Taylor won just over 55% of the votes.[21][22]

2012 Alberta general election[edit]

The party nominated 38 candidates to run in the 28th Alberta general election.[23] None were elected.

2013 leadership election[edit]

After Glenn Taylor stepped down on September 22, 2012, the party remained without a leader for some months. On May 29, 2013, the party announced that it would be holding a leadership vote to coincide with its Annual General Meeting on September 21, 2013 in Edmonton.[24] Entrepreneur and 2012 Calgary-Elbow election candidate Greg Clark, and self-employed consultant and 2012 Calgary-North West candidate Troy Millington, sought the leadership.[25] Clark won the election, receiving 87% of the 337 votes cast.[26]


Picture Name Start Finish Notes
Greg Clark, Leader of the Alberta Party, 2014.jpg Greg Clark September 21, 2013 Present After remaining leaderless for a year, the party elected Clark at a convention in Edmonton.
Glenntaylor-crop.jpg Glenn Taylor May 28, 2011 September 22, 2012 Elected at a convention in Edmonton; stepped down after failing to win a seat in the 2012 Alberta general election.
Sue Huff in 2011.jpg Sue Huff November 23, 2010 May 28, 2011 Interim leader.
Edwin Erickson January 28, 2010 November 22, 2010 Leader for merger with Renew Alberta.
Robert Leddy 2009 January 28, 2010 First leader of the ideological shift.
Bruce Stubbs 2004 2009
George Flake 2001 2004 Second time as leader.
Fred Schorning 1999 2001
George Flake 1997 1999
Mark Waters 1993 1997
Howard Thompson 1986 1993

Election results[edit]

2015 general election[edit]

e • d Summary of the May 5, 2015 Legislative Assembly of Alberta election results[27]
Party Party leader Number of
Seats Popular vote*
2012 Dissol. 2015 % of Seats # % Change (pp)
New Democratic Rachel Notley 87 4 4 54 62.1 603,459 40.59 +30.77
Wildrose Brian Jean 86 17 5 21 24.1 360,124 24.22 -10.07
Progressive Conservative Jim Prentice 87 61 70 9 10.3 412,958 27.77 –16.18
Liberal David Swann 56 5 5 1 1.1 62,171 4.18 –5.71
Alberta Party Greg Clark 36 - 1 1.1 33,867 2.28 +0.95
Green[28] Janet Keeping 24 7,321 0.49 +0.10
Social Credit Len Skowronski 6 832 0.06 +0.04
Communist Naomi Rankin 2 181 0.01 =
Alberta First[29] Bart Hampton 1 72 0.005 =
  Independent 15 1 - 5,916 0.40 +0.13
  Vacant 2 1** 1.1
Total 400 87 87 87 100.0% 1,486,901 100.00%
* The total popular vote includes votes from voided Calgary-Foothills election.
** The candidate elected for Calgary-Foothills, Jim Prentice, disclaimed his victory.[30] According to section 139 of the Alberta Elections Act,[31] if a winning candidate disclaims their right to become an MLA before the end of the appeal period for the official results, that riding's election is declared void.

2012 general election[edit]

e • d Summary of the April 23, 2012 Legislative Assembly of Alberta election results
Party Party leader Number of
Seats Popular vote
2008 Dissol. 2012 % Change #1 % Change (pp)
Progressive Conservative Alison Redford 87 72 66 61 –7.85 567,060 43.95 –8.77
Wildrose Danielle Smith 87 4 17 +325 442,429 34.29 +27.51
Liberal Raj Sherman 87 9 8 5 –37.5 127,645 9.89 –16.54
New Democratic Brian Mason 87 2 2 4 +100 126,752 9.82 +1.34
Alberta Party Glenn Taylor 38 1 –100 17,172 1.33 +1.32
Evergreen Larry Ashmore 25 2 5,082 0.394 –4.162
  Independent 12 1 –100 3,511 0.272 –0.53
Social Credit Len Skowronski 3 294 0.0228 –0.19
Communist Naomi Rankin 2 210 0.0163 +0.01
Separation Bart Hampton3 13 68 0.00527 0.00
  Vacant 1
Total 429 83 83 87 +4.82 1,290,223 100.00%


  1. Results at the count.[33]
  2. Results change is compared to the Alberta Greens in 2008.
  3. Elections Alberta lists Bart Hampton as leader of the Separation Party of Alberta, however the party's only candidate is party president Glen Dundas.[34]

Before 2012[edit]

Banner Election Date Candidates Seats Vote % Province % Riding
Alliance Party Little Bow by-election March 5, 1992 1 0 399 7.14%
Three Hills by-election October 26, 1992 1 0 566 5.47%
1993 general election 4 0 3,548 0.36%
Alberta Party 2001 general election Coalition with Social Credit[35]
2004 general election November 22, 2004 4 0 2,485 0.30%
2008 general election March 3, 2008 1 0 51 0.01%


  1. ^ "About the Alberta Party". Alberta Party. Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ Kolafa, Pat (February 11, 2011). "Alberta Party talks policy with Drumheller Councillors". Drumheller Mail. Retrieved April 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Archived June 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Simpson, Jeffrey (February 2, 2011). "Alberta’s one-party system is cracking up". Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  5. ^ "Prairie fire: A split in Canada’s most powerful right-wing political machine". The Economist. January 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ Thirteenth Annual Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Alberta. Elections Alberta. 1991. 
  7. ^ "Calgary Currie Official Election Results 1993". Alberta Heritage. Retrieved March 22, 2008. 
  8. ^ "1997 Alberta Provincial General Election Information". Elections Alberta. February 25, 1997. Retrieved July 6, 2008. 
  9. ^ Nineteenth Annual Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Alberta. Elections Alberta. 1999. 
  10. ^ "28th Annual Report of the Chief Electoral Officer" (PDF). Elections Alberta. 2004. p. 2. 
  11. ^ daveberta on February 21, 2010 (February 21, 2010). "breakfast with the new alberta party. | Breakfast with the new Alberta Party". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ "FFWD – The Alberta Party coming soon to a living room near you". March 13, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ Alberta Party announces Acting Leader and releases first policies to Albertans Archived March 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Dave Taylor, MLA for Calgary Currie joins the Alberta Party[dead link]
  15. ^ Alberta Party kicks off leadership race[dead link]
  16. ^ Randy Royer
  17. ^ Lee Easton
  18. ^ Oil exec to run for Alberta Party leadership[dead link]
  19. ^ Chris Tesarski (April 15, 2011). "I Love Alberta". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  20. ^ Braid: Ex-Liberal Calgary MLA Dave Taylor to join Alberta Party Archived January 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ @midgelambertBRW (April 10, 2012). "Leadership election results announced". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ Hinton mayor elected first Alberta Party Leader[dead link]
  23. ^ "Alberta Party 2012 election candidates". Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Alberta Party announces Leadership Race". Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Two candidates vie for Alberta Party leadership". Calgary Herald. Retrieved September 18, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Alberta Party elects new leader". Global News. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Unofficial Results". Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  28. ^ Results compared to the Evergreen Party's results in 2012
  29. ^ Results compared to the Separation Party's results in 2012
  30. ^ Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (5 June 2015). "Notice: Members Elected to Serve in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta". The Alberta Gazette, Part I 111 (11): 391. 
  31. ^ RSA 2000, c E-1
  32. ^ "Nominated Candidates". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Unofficial Results". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Parties". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Political parties to merge". CBC News. February 7, 2000. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 

External links[edit]