Take Back Alberta seeks to 'build community,' counter 'voter apathy' before next election

Take Back Alberta (TBA) bills itself as a way to get people involved in democracy. 'It's all about coalitions, talking to people and figuring things out,' says the registered third-party advertiser.

Take Back Alberta seeks to 'build community,' counter 'voter apathy' before next election
Rebel News
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TBA executive director David Parker entertained a crowd well north of 100 late Wednesday evening to empower Albertans concerned with the future of their province.

"We've neglected our system for years," said Parker. "We got to start showing up."

Despite attempts by mainstream political pundits and media to paint the organization merely as a "right-wing" rally cry against COVID mandates and government tyranny, Parker states TBA is far more than that.

"[We're] an educational organization that teaches people how their political system works and how they can get engaged with it," he said, adding that TBA is only mobilizing voters, not influencing sitting politicians.

"There's not any direct connection with the government. We just encourage people to get involved with the government." 

Parker encourages Albertans to have "difficult conversations" with NDP supporters to find common ground and convince them to vote for UCP.

He also prioritized educating people who don't vote because they perceive their vote doesn't matter.

"I don't think there's any evidence that I'm pulling puppet strings," continued Parker. "I'm advocating very loudly and publicly for policy positions: that's what democracy is."

"It's about building a community of like-minded people to take Alberta back from your apathy."

The efforts of TBA are widely considered to have mobilized Albertans against Premier Jason Kenney in a confidence vote that saw him amass a smidge over half support from party members in a leadership review last May.

Now, a new sheriff is in town: Danielle Smith. And her pistols are locked and loaded in the fight for autonomy and freedom.

"We have a freedom-oriented premier…in Danielle Smith, but we can't count on her to fix everything," said Parker. "We need to show up and be in decision-making positions."

He lauded the work of Take Back Alberta as instrumental in reclaiming grassroots democracy at the UCP AGM last October.

"Nearly a thousand TBA members showed up at the Annual General Meeting, and we swept the [executive] board," he said, adding that much work remains in months preceding the next provincial election.

"Take Back Alberta — you have the power [to do so] — you just have to show up to take back control of your society."

According to Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, the organization is "the power behind the throne of the UCP." 

"I think that'll become more apparent once the election is over if the UCP are victorious," said Bratt.

"They are willing to put in the time, and effort to show up to nomination meetings [and] are putting in the time and effort to [mobilize votes on] constituency boards and [have the grassroots heard at] the UCP executive."

Bratt lauds that several million Albertans who are set to vote on May 29 are not getting involved to this extent.

Literature handed out to attendees Wednesday asked for help door knocking, making calls, posting signs, and even praying. The largest goal? Stopping Rachel Notley and her "socialist agenda."

"A small fringe minority with unacceptable views have taken over your institutions," said Parker Wednesday night.

"They are taking control of every fabric of society because they believe in their ideology."

The executive director encouraged people to get involved but cautioned that results would not happen overnight.

"The plan for TBA takes commitment. It takes long nights and hard work," he said. 

As part of Take Back Alberta's mobilization efforts, Parker outlined that about 15 ridings will determine who forms government on May 29, most of which reside in Calgary, according to several polls.

"Calgary is ground zero for the upcoming provincial election."

According to Smith, conservatives need to learn how to win over voters in the largest cities, whether in Alberta or elsewhere. 

Smith commented on the state of conservatism to a room of conservatives gathered in Ottawa on Thursday for the annual conference of the Canada Strong and Free Network, formerly the Manning Centre.

With Albertans set to go to the polls in this year's provincial election, Smith said the UCP has more ground to gain in the province's two largest cities: Calgary and Edmonton. Insiders predict a competitive race with the Alberta NDP.

Kenney, who also attended the conference in Ottawa, faced considerable backlash leading up to that vote for his handling of the COVID pandemic. Smith told the crowd the party lost "a lot" of its base. 

She ran for UCP leadership by promising to bolster provincial sovereignty and appealing to base members and others who opposed public health measures like vaccine mandates as an infringement of personal freedoms. 

"The good news is that we're finally united as a conservative movement," she said. "Now, we need to gain more ground in Calgary and Edmonton."

"This is a challenge for all Conservatives. We have to figure out how to win in big cities because, increasingly, people are moving to big cities."

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  • By Ezra Levant

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