Sunday 29 May 2011

Alberta Party: First Test of New Leaders' Ethics

There have been a few people asking on Twitter whether Glenn Taylor, the newly elected leader of the Alberta Party will be stepping down as Mayor of Hinton. So far Glenn himself has not said either way. (At least not that I can find) There are no new entries on Glenn's blog, his tweets have all been thank yous and what not and no quotes in the handful of media articles.

According to Grace Wong, an avid Alberta Party supporter; "He has already stated that he would... he and his council start working on a succession plan ASAP..." She didn’t provide a link to where this was stated. The whole succession plan doesn’t make much sense. It’s not like he is the CEO of a corporation that has to engage headhunters to hire a replacement. He is an ELECTED official. He simply needs to step down and trigger a by-election.

To me this is a no brainer. He was elected as a non-partisan mayor in Hinton. Taxpayers cover his salary. Being the leader of a provincial political party automatically negates his ability to be non-partisan. The time commitment to be a leader of a party is huge and will without a doubt inhibit his availability to the town. Taxpayers of Hinton likely don’t want to pay for his time while he tours the province conducting Alberta Party business.

He really only has two choices; one step down as Mayor immediately, he should be walking into his Mayoralty office tomorrow AM with a resignation letter in hand. Or two, decline the role of leader of the Alberta Party.

The latter is unlikely; thus I fully anticipate we will hear of his resignation within 24 hours.

That is when, (if it hasn’t already) the reality will start to register with the Alberta Party brass. They can’t afford to pay a leader. At their weekend leadership convention they told membership they are currently raising about $4000.00 a month. According to them they only have one paid staff member, that being “Organizer Mike”.

Given this information it’s pretty safe to say Mike is making less than $48,000 per year; far less than he is worth. This is not uncommon in fringe parties. A lot of sweat equity goes in, by many, many volunteers.

However, once you have a full-time leader you can hardly expect them to do it out of the goodness of their heart. Even if they did, that goodness doesn’t pay for the flights or other transportation around the province. Or what about the hotel accommodations? Meals? The list goes on.

Without some quick, heavy donors; it looks like the Alberta Party will have to choose between Organizer Mike and Leader Glenn. Or one of them will have to work for free until they can bulk up the bank account a bit.


  1. Jane:

    I am happy to dispel the completely inaccurate statements you have invented about the Alberta Party. Next time, if you care to provide accurate information, simply give us a call. We will gladly share what is not confidential.

    Monthly Operating Expenses (Not including Event Revenue):

    $15,000 - $22,000 per month, depending on expenses

    Paid Staff (and One Intern):

    Michael Walters - Provincial Organizer
    Lesley Claire - Communications
    Sean Winchester - CA and Candidate Organizing

    Money's raised:
    - April - $38,000 (including Calgary fundraiser)

    - May (MTD) - $40,000 (including Edm. fundraiser)

    - Convention Profits will be material, with total revenues of $40,000 and another $3500 in merchandise sales

    Our presentation yesterday was of our BUILDERS NETWORK which is currently a recurring $4000 a month. Our target is to have this to $10,000 a month by July.

    We approved at our board meeting today the full compensation package for all of the above staff, our leader, plus an additional administrator for the foreseeable future. SO YOU HAVE NO REASON TO WORRY ABOUT OUR GREAT PEOPLE.

    Hopefully posts like yours will help us raise just a little more.

    Chris LaBossiere

  2. Thanks for the lengthy reply Chris. A little surprising since just yesterday you instructed your members to ignore me. ;)

    What was my inaccurate statement? You yourself say you have a regular stream of 4000 per month. The rest is just gravy and in reality political donations aren't a regular revenue stream in any normal sense of the term.

    I do hope you raise more, and learn more. I'm giving you plenty of hints. And I'm sure you are one of those who are smart enough to figure out why I want the Alberta Party to do well; do very well in fact.

  3. Mike makes $72K per year. With a tiny donor base I don't think this is sustainable.

  4. The party actually runs on volunteers doing almost everything. Apparently 40 hrs a week for some.

  5. Additionally, the number of volunteers at the local level show how committed these people are to helping create something new and vibrant, the money is not an issue for most of them so as the party continues to develop budget concerns should be less of an issue.

  6. Thanks for this post, and all the other posts about the Alberta Party. It put certain things I saw going on in the party into perspective for me. I thought the leadership race was very unfair. I think this leader may do okay, but I think this party has some growing up to do.