A poor mix – Party politics & local elections

On February 22, Alberta Municipalities once again spread the word that most Albertans do not support the provincial government’s potential introduction of political parties in municipal government and school board elections.

More than 25 reporters from across Alberta tuned in to the association’s live-streamed media event to hear President Tyler Gandam and Director Krista Gardner (Towns-West) explain why ABmunis’ members are deeply troubled by the idea. Their remarks were widely covered in publications ranging from The St. Albert Gazette and The Lethbridge Herald to The Globe and Mail. Stories also aired on television (CBC, CTV and Global News) and radio and were published online.

A recording of the entire online media event is available here. An opinion piece in The Edmonton Journal made many of the same points and outlined ABmunis’ reasons for objecting to the introduction of political parties at the local level.    

Surveys say…

A survey conducted by pollster Janet Brown for Alberta Municipalities in early September 2023 found that 68 per cent of Albertans are opposed to the introduction of partisan politics at the local level. A resolution expressing opposition to the idea received 95 per cent of the vote at Alberta Municipalities’ annual Convention later that month.

The Government of Alberta conducted two surveys into proposed changes to the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) and the Municipal Government Act (MGA) in late 2023. While the full survey results have yet to be shared with Albertans, we recently learned that more than 70 per cent of respondents to an online government survey opposed adding party labels alongside the names of candidates on municipal election ballots.

Get involved, help spread the word

We encourage you, our members, to repeat and amplify our call so that all provincial political parties know Albertans’ local leaders want local elections to be independent. To this end, we encourage you to write or speak with your MLA and others in your community who have expressed interest in this issue. You can also help by following and sharing ABmunis’ social media posts on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook.

Albertans have spoken…

Our association’s message to the Government of Alberta and special interest groups that are eager to see partisan politics introduced at the local level is clear, unwavering, and unequivocal – listen to regular Albertans who have repeatedly said they simply are not interested.