How can you exercise a greater influence over the direction of our province, including our education system, rather than leaving that influence to others who may or may not share your priorities, values and concerns?
PCE urges Alberta citizens who are concerned about the direction of education to become proactively engaged and involved in the key opportunities listed below.
Invest in a membership to a political party
Membership in a political party amplifies your influence by giving you access to several members-only internal processes which have a tremendous impact on the landscape of our province. An annual membership is often around $10 for the entire year and is open to anyone ages 14+.
As Randall Denley wisely stated in an Ottawa Citizen column:
We live in a participatory democracy, and that requires more than just voting every four years. If you are not satisfied with outsourcing your political choices to a relatively small number of other people, you have to get directly involved. That means joining a political party. The good news is that it’s inexpensive and demands only as much time as you are willing to give it.
It’s a little-understood fact, but the people who join political parties have enormous say over the choices we have on election day. They pick party leaders, choose local candidates and influence party policies. As a voter, you are one of millions. As a party member, you are one of thousands provincially, and usually one of hundreds at the riding level.
The first step in becoming more engaged politically is to purchase a membership to a political party.
To assist you, we have provided below the website links to political parties with recent representation in the Legislative Assembly, in order to help you discern which party or parties will best reflect your values and priorities:
- Alberta Liberal Party – main website and become a member
- Alberta NDP Party – main website and become a member
- Alberta Party – main website and become a member
- United Conservative Party (UCP) – main website and become a member
Attend political party AGMs to vote on policy proposals & the Executive board
Do you want to:
- Ensure that your political party will represent your values and concerns, especially when it comes to the important area of education?
- Have a say in deciding the policies that your political party stands for?
- Ensure that the people at the helm of the party will represent your values and priorities?
Members of a political party who attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) wield a tremendous influence over the direction of their party because their votes determine final decisions on policies, governance by-laws and the election of individuals who lead the internal operations of the political party (i.e. the Executive Board).
Once you are a member of a political party then you should be notified of your party's annual general meeting. Being at the AGM is a critical way to amplify your voice and impact.
Get involved in your local constituency association
A constituency association, also known as an electoral district association (EDA) or riding association, is a local association of members of a political party within an electoral district. These volunteer organizations handle local political activities and fundraising.
After you purchase a membership in a political party, you can also get involved in your party's local constituency association to ensure the group is informed and responsive to the provincial and local needs and challenges being faced by Alberta's K-12 students and their families.
You can attend constituency association meetings and participate in votes for policies, board members, etc. or consider becoming a member of your constituency association board to further influence the direction of your constituency.
Through ongoing, proactive involvement in your constituency association you will have more opportunities to meet other like-minded people in your area and make an impact.
Get involved in nominations
Have you ever:
- Wondered how particular candidate names end up on the election day ballot?
- Felt frustrated on election day that none of the candidates in your area, in any political party, are going to represent your values and concerns in the Alberta legislature?
Long before election day, each political party engages in an internal process within Alberta's 87 electoral districts. Often this process involves individuals putting their names forward, vying to become the one whose name will appear on the ballot as an MLA candidate for their political party in their constituency.
Ensure there is someone on the election-day ballot who you actually want to vote for by getting involved in the nomination process:
- Consider running as a nominee yourself.
- Volunteer to help a nominee who represents your values.
- Get involved in the Board Executive of your political party’s constituency association to potentially assist in nominee selection.
- At the very least, show up on the date that your constituency area holds the nomination vote to support a nominee who will best represent you.
Volunteer & donate to support strong candidates
Candidates need feet on the ground and financial support to help them succeed at gaining a seat in Alberta's Legislative Assembly.
Volunteers help make phone calls, host events and deliver literature to help spread the word about voting for their preferred candidate, whether in a nomination race or in a general election.
Donor contributions help ensure that the candidate has essential funds to print signs, brochures and cover other necessary expenses.
By contributing your time and financial resources, you can help strong candidates to succeed.
Connect with your elected representatives
When you have concerns regarding our education system, it is important to respectfully make your voice heard to elected representatives who are entrusted with responsibility and authority over Alberta's K-12 school system.
PCE has collected all the contact information for Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), Alberta's education minister and school board trustees in one location, along with lots of tips to help you be effective in your interactions.
Visit our "Connect with your elected representatives" page for more details!
The necessity of taking action
The greater the number of PCE supporters who are meaningfully engaged and mobilized, the stronger our impact will be toward ensuring the best possible education system both now and in the future!
When it comes to time-specific opportunities, ensure you stay up-to-date and receive updates directly to your inbox by subscribing on our homepage if you have not already done so.