Well-known local historian Michael Dawe is eyeing the Alberta Liberal nomination for Red Deer North.
“It’s certainly true that I have publically expressed an interest in running again in Red Deer North,” said Dawe, who ran in the last provincial election but lost to current Tory MLA Mary Anne Jablonski.
“A lot of the things I ran on back then are still things I believe in.”
Dawe said he would like to try and reach out to build more “positivity and inclusion” among prospective voters. He also sees establishing a recall system for politicians as an important addition to Alberta’s political process.
“I’m certainly willing to make a personal commitment on myself, and I would probably use the B.C. model, that if people want to recall me, then that mechanism should be in place,” he said, adding that growing cynicism regarding politics in general could keep increasing numbers away from the polling stations down the road.
“We already have a very low turnout in the province – and Red Deer North in particular has seen some of the weaker turnouts of all the ridings in Alberta. Not the lowest, but one of the lower ones,” he said. “We need to do something to start to get people re-engaged.”
One way to do that would be through the aforementioned recall ability on the part of voters. Another would be to hold special votes on particular issues, such as a sales tax, which has been floated in the province lately in the face of plunging oil prices.
“If you have a really big issue, people should have the right to be truly consulted.” People need to feel like they have a genuine say, he added.
Meanwhile, Dawe said in a facebook post that he is also interested in investigating, “What might be involved, and what might be possible, in creating cross-partisan alliances in the next election, in order to ensure that the people who elect us come first, instead of a group of semi-anonymous backroom players, who are always trying to set the agenda, regardless of what the general public might feel.
“I will be investigating what might be involved in creating cross-partisan alliances, cooperation etc. The key emphasis will be on building positive bridges and not running on a negative platform, except to oppose such unacceptable proposals such as crass discrimination against people and moves that involve personal enrichment rather than working for the public good.
“It is far too early to know if there is a widespread will in the community to do something by way of cross-partisan cooperation and alliances.”
There has been speculation about a spring election this year, although the government doesn’t have to call one until next year.
The last election was held in late April of 2012.