Alberta Greens off next election’s ballot

The Green Party of Alberta won’t be able to run in the next election, according to a press release from Elections Alberta.

Alberta’s acting chief electoral officer cancelled the Green Party’s registration July 15 because audited financial statements for the 2008 calendar year had not been filed, as prescribed by the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act.

The failure to file these essential documents is encircled in controversy.

Members of the new party executive under Joe Anglin claim they were not given sufficient financial information to file an audited statement, while some members of the old executive allege that the information was passed on, but mishandled.

“The new executive did not provide the accountant with the full [electronic] accounting file,” according to former-party president and chief financial officer David Crowe’s website. With the full electronic file the accountant “would have had everything needed to produce financial statements and tax receipts.”

Crowe, alongside many other long-time Alberta Greens, saw the implementation of a new executive as a kind of hostile takeover following the party’s 2008 annual general meeting in Morningside, Alberta.

“Sometime over the fall before they finalized the takeover, they forced the current leader out and then it was like dominos,” said Crowe.

In contrast to the “tearing-down” viewed by Crowe, the Greens’ website states that the “de-registration of the party is an administrative opportunity to re-organize and rebuild the party into a viable political organization. The importance and mainstream acceptance of the Green Party’s values and principles are on the rise, and the Green Party’s many supporters can now look forward to a fresh start.”

In the meantime, the “Alberta Greens” Green Party of Alberta Society has been founded. It functions as a “non-profit corporate entity for the purposes of advancing a ‘Green’ agenda, and preparing the Green Party’s political future.”

“They founded a society, but they can’t run in the next election,” noted Crowe.

With the Greens out of the next provincial election and a significant percentage of the popular vote now up for grabs, the question remains who will capture the Greens’ votes.

“With the extreme volatility of our political system, it’s anyone’s guess,” said former party president and local activist Grant Neufeld. “The interesting thing is that there is still a provincewide network of people engaged in politics from the Green party.”

Neufeld noted that this network of people with “radically divergent viewpoints” are finding their own ways of advancing the Green principles of “questioning and not assuming” about critical issues.

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