February 21, 2019 9:24 pm
Updated: February 21, 2019 9:56 pm

Independent MLA in Alberta encourages no party affiliation

WATCH ABOVE: The march toward a provincial election continues, with candidates and parties getting ready for when the writ is dropped. When it comes to voting, what happens when you like a candidate, but maybe not their party? In an effort to address what may be a concern for some, Richard Strankman, the Independent MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, spoke to a crowd about the benefits of a government with no party affiliation. Chris Chacon reports.

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When it comes to voting, what happens when you like a candidate — but not their party?

In an effort to address what may be a concern for some, Richard Strankman, Independent MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, spoke to a crowd about the benefits of a government with no party affiliation.

“Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon also use consensus government where they don’t really run on parties, they run on the criteria or the strength of the candidate himself,” Strankman explained.

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“It’s important to understand the trust. The electoral trust that people put in their candidate is important above and beyond the party,” he added.

These days, the choice of parties seems to be one or the other: you’re either left-wing or right-wing.

“There is an effort by both the Conservatives and the New Democrats to appeal to voters who are committed to their ideological core,” said Geoffrey Hale, a political science professor with the University of Lethbridge.

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The consensus model has worked up north for more than 40 years but would likely face some serious challenges in Alberta, according to Hale.

“Northwest Territories have made a consensus government work simply because of the nature of the communities that make up that territory and their native heritage,” he said.

Hale added that if a group of unaffiliated individuals work together in an effort to form government, they effectively turn into a party whether they consider themselves one or not.

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