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It’s April in Alberta, but the Alberta Party still hasn’t sprouted

It's April in Alberta and, while we’ve certainly not yet seen the last of the snow, we're yet to see the first of the Alberta Party.

This does not bode well for the much ballyhooed Blue Liberal/Red Tory/Faded Green political alliance forged in February because they'd promised us they’d be on the scene by now -- virtually here, at any rate.

"Official website launch March 2010" was the word for weeks on the party's snappy looking but information-lean, single-page website, which is found at albertaparty.ca.

Well, it's April now and there's been no change to that website but for the words at bottom right. Now they read "Official website launching soon."

Soon. This is one more small sign that, notwithstanding some positive press clippings in March, the new party will be unable live up to the promise of its great name and the optimistic pledges of its leaders.

It's hard not to be cynical about a new political movement run by people who love to go to meetings or go online and talk and talk and talk, but who show little enthusiasm for the nitty-gritty work of building a political party.

So far in the short life of their movement to reboot and renew Alberta politics, all these folks have managed to do is hold conferences in Red Deer and Kananaskis, plus a series of small meetings in kitchens and living rooms across the province. How many? Who knows?

The group's organizing drive was called "the Big Listen." They said at the start of March they wanted to "start the conversation around how to build a better province." Some of us wondered then, "Will the conversation ever end?"

We're still wondering. If their Website is anything to go by, it hasn't. The province-wide kaffeeklatsch continues, but there is precious little evidence the followers of the Alberta Party are prepared to apply the elbow grease and demonstrate the grit required to make their political dreams a reality.

As the followers of the Wildrose Alliance are proving on the far right, and as all the established Alberta parties continue to demonstrate to some degree despite their various troubles, building and maintaining a political movement can be done, but it takes more than idle chit-chat.

It's a beguiling notion that you can create a political party out of the blue (or, in this case, perhaps, the blue, red and green) and still have a crack at power. Alas, this fantasy has little connection with reality.

It's April now, there are buds in the trees and the Alberta Party has no identifiable leader, no money, no on-line presence … and no evident pulse.

With each day that passes, it gets safer to conclude that the Alberta Party will also have no appreciable impact on the 2012 Alberta election.

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, AlbertaDiary.ca.

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