💨Far-right's recall petition is a flop

Zero valid signatures on recall petition

In a bold and clumsy attempt to thwart democracy in Calgary, the far-right led, reportedly suburban developer-funded campaign against Calgary's Mayor Gondek has officially produced ZERO valid signatures. The geniuses behind the well-funded operation connected back to far-right UCP Board members and Take Back Alberta social conservatives did not include the text of the petition on any of the signatures pages, thus failing to communicate what was actually being signed.

 

Astro turf campaign to recall petition was well funded and backed by far-right organizers

Evidence obtained by Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt reveals what appears to be a substantial organization behind the “grassroots” Recall Gondek campaign involving far-right UCP Board members and Take Back Alberta social conservatives. CTV News reports that the document links the recall campaign to the UCP’s recent drive to insert partisan political parties into municipal elections. 

Document appearing to detail “Project YYC” organization (no affiliation with Project Calgary) behind “grassroots” campaign to recall Calgary’s mayor.  (Image source: CTV News)

CTV News reports that the document also includes a list of “high-profile” Albertans who have allegedly contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the campaign. According to CBC News, various members of the team are allegedly "paid, full-time" staff working 50 to 60 hours per week.

The document throws into question the “grassroots” nature of the recall campaign. Previously, Livewire Calgary reported potential links between the recall campaign and professional public relations firm Wellington Advocacy, whose staff includes former UCP executive director Brad Tennant.

 

Far-right Take Back Alberta group pledges to take over school boards and city halls 

Coutts, Alberta border blockade. (Image source: David Rae/CBC News)

The Take Back Alberta (TBA) group is credited with removing Jason Kenney and installing Danielle Smith as UCP leader. Most recently the group completed a social-conservative takeover of the UCP and its Board of Directors. According to Press Progress, members of the TBA group including its leader “celebrated” Danielle Smith’s recent attack on gender rights and the introduction of red tape obstructing sex education in classrooms. The group is reported to have pledged to take over school boards and city halls with "like-minded socially conservative thinkers".

 

Over 70% of Albertans are opposed to municipal parties

Alberta Government’s own public engagement survey shows more than 70% of respondents disagree with adding political parties to municipal election ballots. (Source: Edmonton Journal

According to the Alberta Government’s own survey obtained under freedom of information, more than 70% of Albertans are opposed to political parties being introduced in municipal elections. The policy was never mentioned in Danielle Smith’s UCP election platform. But after the takeover of the UCP Board of Directors by the extremist social conservative Take Back Alberta group, Premier Smith and MLA McIver are suddenly attempting to force partisan political parties on municipalities.

 

Albertans need local representation at City Hall, not partisan politicians

(Image source: Aryn Toombs/Livewire Calgary)

Partisan municipal political parties running city halls across Alberta would lead to an erosion of local representation and a rise in partisan politics taking precedence over the intended job of local governments: making the lives of everyday citizens better. 

If Danielle Smith’s UCP government actually wants to strengthen regulations around municipal elections, they should focus on closing loopholes created by the UCP that allow unlimited corporate and union donations to third party Political Action Committees (PACs).

 

🚀 TAKE ACTION

1) 📋 Sign the petition against municipal political parties

Premier Danielle Smith and Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver must support local democratic representation and scrap plans to introduce partisan political parties into municipal elections.

2) 📣 Spread the word

Share the petition with your network!