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The Independence Party
Active provincial party
LeaderVictory (Vicky) Bayford
FoundedJanuary 2001 (2001-01) (first iteration)
2018 (second iteration)
Dissolved2001 (first iteration)
Ideology
Seats in Legislature
0 / 87
Website
www.abindependence.com

The Independence Party (TIP), known as the Alberta Independence Party from 2001 to 2019,[1] is an Albertan provincial political party.

It was originally dedicated to increasing the autonomy of Alberta within Canadian Confederation, in part as a response to the failure of the Canadian Alliance to make major gains outside of Western Canada in the 2000 Canadian election. It put forward an explicitly separatist political platform for the 2019 Alberta general election.[2]

The party's founding convention in January 2001, garnered much media attention when several prominent figures from the Canadian Alliance attended as observers, including MPs Myron Thompson and Darrel Stinson, and Alberta senators-in-waiting Ted Morton and Bert Brown.[citation needed] At the convention, Cory Morgan, a 29-year-old geological surveyor, was elected leader.

One of the party's first challenges was to gather enough signatures to qualify as an official party in Alberta, which it failed to do. As a result, in the 2001 Alberta general election, its fourteen candidates were forced to stand as independents.

History

The AIP disbanded sometime in 2001, before reforming in 2017 and fielding candidates in the 2019 general election.[3]

The party changed its name with Elections Alberta, becoming known as The Independence Party (TIP), under the leadership of Dave Campbell.

2017–2019 revival

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The Independence Party is experiencing a revival. It ran 63 candidates in the 2019 provincial election and gained party status. Dave Bjorkman, a welder and businessman, became the interim leader early in 2018 and remained so through the May 2019 election until his resignation in July 2019.[4][5] The next leader, elected in the spring of 2020, was Dave Campbell.

A press release at 4:00 pm shows 46 candidates assembled across Alberta, Canada. Edmonton Legislature steps, Red Deer City Hall and Calgary City Hall all host a press release covered by CTV, Global News and several rural papers. Included in the press release is First Nations Self Government. By March 21, 2019, the Alberta Independence Party fields 51 candidates.[6]

Thursday March 21, 2019, at 6 pm, CTV Calgary holds a poll including the then Alberta Independence Party among "Fringe parties". The results are 24% of 1,187 Calgarians who participated voted Fringe Party.[7][unreliable source]

The results of all other (Alberta Advantage Party, Freedom Conservative Party and the Communist Party) is 3.4%.

In November 2017, Bjorkman opposed Alberta's proposed Bill 24. Bjorkman noted fears pertaining to Alberta's Bill 24 legislation that would encourage secrets and a lack of parental involvement.[8] Bjorkman also stated that he supports rights of parental involvement in the Alberta school system and supports the LGBT+ community.[9] "It's not about being gay or not gay, or transgender; it's about the fact that all parents should be fully aware of any extracurricular activity their children are in," Bjorkman said in a Grandin interview.

Similar parties

The Alberta Independence Party's 2019 election platform[10] shares several major planks with other conservative political parties in Alberta, such as the Freedom Conservative Party and the United Conservative Party – including opposition to carbon taxes, lowering business and income taxes, and disenfranchisement with federal equalization payments.

However, unlike the FCP or Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta (WIPA), which promotes autonomism, and the UCP, whose leadership continues to support federalism,[11] TIP promotes a referendum and full independence for Alberta as the primary solution to what it perceives as ills for the province. In this way, it shares more similarities to older western separatist parties, such as the Western Canada Concept or the Western Independence Party, than it does with contemporary parties.

The 2021 "Party Program" states: "Alberta's political history has been defined by our willingness to sacrifice convention to take the road less traveled. From the United Farmers of Alberta to Social Credit to Klein, Albertans have never been afraid of change. Independence is a natural extension of our spirit and will provide Albertans with an opportunity to abandon convention and embrace a better future once again." The document outlines three major policy areas: Economic Revival (1.1 Taxation; 1.2 Financial Assistance; 1.3 Business); Social Health (2.1 Healthcare; 2.2 Education; 2.3 Justice; 2.4 Environmental Stewardship; 2.5 Responsible Gun Ownership; 2.6 Immigration; 2.7 Policing; 2.8 Pre-separation Municipal Accountability); and Total Independence (3.1 Separation Process; 3.2 Trade Agreements; 3.3 Foreign Relations; 3.4 Government; 3.5 Military; 3.6 Currency).[12]

Elections results

The party's candidates garnered a total of 7,521 votes in the 2001 election. Below is a list of their candidates, votes, and percentages.[13]

  1. Bradley R. Lang (Calgary-Egmont) 399 (2.90%)
  2. Tom Humble (Airdrie-Rocky View) 683 (4.10%)
  3. Cory Morgan (Banff-Cochrane) 538 (4.00%)
  4. Darren Popik (Calgary Shaw) 151 (0.60%)
  5. Douglas R. Chitwood (Lacombe-Stettler) 554 (4.70%)
  6. Eileen Walker (Drumheller-Chinook) 819 (8.90%)
  7. Ron (Earl) Miller (Dunvegan,) 248 (2.80%)
  8. Dennis Young (Grande Prairie-Smoky) 380 (4.10%)
  9. Jon Koch (Little Bow) 885 (8.30%)
  10. Charles Park (Ponoka-Rimbey) 764 (8.10%)
  11. Ryan Lamarche (Red Deer-South) 203 (1.60%)
  12. Christopher Sutherland (Strathmore-Brooks) 511 (4.50%)
  13. Jeff Newland (Wainwright) 868 (8.00%)
  14. Ben Lussier** (Wetaskiwin-Camrose) 382 (3.00%)

(**Lussier began his candidacy with an AIP endorsement which was withdrawn during the course of the campaign)

Official results

Election Leader Candidates Votes % Seats +/- Place Position
2001 Cory Morgan
0 / 83
7,521 0.74%
0 / 83
Steady ??? Steady ??? No seats
2019 Dave Bjorkman
63 / 87
13,481 0.72%
0 / 87
Steady 0 Increase 5th No seats

See also

References

  1. ^ "Parties". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 17, 2020. The Alberta Independence Party made application to the Chief Electoral Officer to change the party name to "Independence Party of Alberta". The request was received and approved, and the change was made effective October 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "What We Believe". Alberta Independence Party. April 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "New Alberta separatist party raises questions about splintering of conservative voters". Toronto Star. March 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "MEET THE ALBERTA INDEPENDENCE PARTY'S OFFICERS TEAM". albertaindependenceparty.net. Archived from the original on August 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Alberta Elections – Parties".
  6. ^ "Alberta Election 2019 – Alberta Politics". daveberta.ca.
  7. ^ "CTV Calgary – Poll Results". calgary.ctvnews.ca.
  8. ^ "Alberta legislature passes contentious Bill 24 strengthening gay-straight alliances | Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. November 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "Bill 24: Parents, trustees, superintendents fear harm to parent-school relationships". Grandin Media. November 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "What We Believe". Alberta Independence Party. April 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "Jason Kenney outlines 'fair deal' and warns Ottawa of Alberta separatist sentiment". Toronto Star. March 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "Party Program 2021.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "2001 General Election". Elections Alberta. Retrieved April 13, 2019.