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Friday, October 03, 2008

why i am supporting david swann.

Having purposely backed away from the cesspooly trenches of partisan politics after the March 2008 election, I've taken the time to think long and hard about who I would want to support for the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party. This was a difficult decision, I wasn't sure whether I actually wanted to support a candidate in this race.

Since 2004, I have had the opportunity to work with Dave Taylor during my terms as Vice-President (External) of the University of Alberta Students' Union and Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students, and Mo Elsalhy while I worked for the Alberta Liberals, and though I believe that either of them would make fine leaders of the Opposition Liberals, I am interested in supporting a leader who is not iron-clad attached to one political brand-name. I am looking for a leader interested in creating a viable progressive alternative to the ruling PCs -- and I believe that David Swann is the only candidate in this race to fit this description.

A reluctant and non-traditional politician, David Swann has the personal sincerity and professional integrity to understand and adapt to the realities of a shifting political environment. After nearly forty years of one-party rule in Alberta, it is clear that the traditional political parties aren't cutting it. Change will not come in this province as long as the only alternative to the ruling PCs is seen by many Albertans as a branch office of the Liberal Party of Canada, and I believe that David Swann understands this.

I strongly believe that a viable alternative to the ruling PCs will not come from those parties already existent in the traditional political structure, but from a new political movement which has the ability to engage the over 60% of Alberta voters who are not participating in their democratic process -- something that none of the current political parties have proven successful at doing.

Whether it be risking his professional career by taking a stand on climate change, being the only MLA to attend the Fort Chipewyan Keepers of the Water conference, engaging Albertans on international issues like Darfur and Iraq, or openly talking about political realignment -- I believe that David Swann has proven his ability to look beyond traditional brand-name politics and engage disengaged Albertans to build something viable and new.

I invite you to join me in supporting David Swann.


Anonymous said...

Just what the province needs.
If you want to ensure 84 more years of PC rule.

Why would Libs think that trading Professor Taft ( a nice guy) for Dr. Swann ( a nice guy) would attract voters.

I wish Dr Swann and the others who have chosen to run the best of luck but I was hoping that a dynamic passionate new face would come forward.

Justin Archer said...

I join you in supporting Swann. All three candidates bring some valuable skills to the table, but I think Swann is the best person for Alberta right now. He is not bound by the sort of dogmatic thinking that keeps Liberals shut out in Alberta year after year.

For others interested in learning a little more about Swann, this Q and A from the Medicine Hat news gives some good insights into his thinking:

Aden said...

I'll see, but I'm still biased in favour of the Greens. Well, acutally, I hear they're in some leadership problems. Maybe David Swann and the Liberals can come join us? I'm iffy on the Liberal brand, so maybe joining our party might be good. ;-)

Jerry Aulenbach said...

Thank goodness Hughie isn't running. To be fair, at least 2 of these 3 are pleasant to listen to. As for Swann, I don't think I've ever heard him say anything.

This article sums up the sad state of the ALP:


Anonymous said...

I think Swann is great, I truly like him, but he's cut from the same nice guy cloth as Taft (a respectable man in his own right). The liberals need a charismatic, already popular figure with solid spend from the right govern from the left credentials (Pro Business too, although stelmach's neutralized the royalty dis-love). Dave Bronconnier from Calgary perhaps if he ran and managed to build Calgary vote and rural behind him somehow. Ralph was mayor of Calg

Anonymous said...

But Dave what about the popular appeal that Dave Taylor has being a former radio host and all. Does not the average Alberta voter identify better with a guy like this ? Not everyone in Alberta went to university and could sink their teeth into issues like Darfur.

I agree that they all bring something to the table.

robert_routledge said...

I agree that the solution for the problem of creating a better democracy in Alberta is not likely to come from the current parties. With entrenched resentment and a lack of progress in engaging new voters, either a new leader or new brand is needed...I just don't think that the Liberals are capable of creating that brand. Any attempt of theirs to do this will result in...the Liberal party again. My guess is the answer will come from Rural Albertans, potentially out of the mess that the Alberta Green's are currently in. But hey, like Aden I also favour the Green's...

Darren said...

Swann is a pleasant guy, smart and well-spoken. It didn't work for Taft and it won't work for him. You want a leader that can counter the Tories' ability to define the Liberals, you need someone who can play in that sandbox. Taylor appears to be able to do that, he just needs to quit sounding like he's using listener-specific talking points. It's hard to sound genuine when it sounds like a pitch.
Mo should concentrate on spearheading a fundraising initiative and use that success as a centrepiece for a future leadership bid.

Anonymous said...

Pop quiz, hotshots...

Which Liberal leader said, "There's no doubt in my mind: this weekend was a turning point for our party. I'm proud of our party - I'm proud to be Liberal - and I can't wait to get back out there and share our message with Albertans across the province."

a) Dave Taylor
b) Kevin Taft
c) Ken Nicol
d) Grant Mitchell
e) Laurence Decore
f) Nick Taylor

Did I miss anyone? It's a direct quote from Dave Taylor, but I'm pretty sure he stole it from all five of the others in the list. For bonus points, who wasn't lying when he said it?

That's right - Laurence Decore.

Anonymous said...

I also really like David Swann. I wish that there were more people like David Swann in the world, and especially in politics. I spoke with David at the convention last weekend and while he supported a name change in the future he also said that it would be nothing but esthetic to re-brand the Liberal Party at this point in time and voters are not stupid, plus a name change is currently unlikely due to the 75% support needed. So if we are going to remain as the Liberal Party for at least one more election I think we have to ask who is right for the job right now. I think that David Swann has the same weaknesses as Kevin Taft (No disrespect intended). The Party needs a leader that Albertans can identify with and unfortunately that is not David Swann. In my opinion Dave Taylor would be the most effective leader at this time.

Jerry Aulenbach said...

"I think that David Swann has the same weaknesses as Kevin Taft (No disrespect intended). The Party needs a leader that Albertans can identify with and unfortunately that is not David Swann."

What are those weaknesses (specifically).

How exactly are Albertans identifying with any of these candidates?

Why do so many people post anonymously?