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Alberta Party leader discusses platform at SACPA

Posted on May 25, 2023 by admin

By Ry Clarke

Southern Alberta Newspapers

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs hosted the leader of the Alberta Party Barry Morishita recently.

Morishita spoke about the party’s platform and if Albertans are ready to move on from governance by the NDP and UCP.

He also discussed issues with the two dominating parties and how conflict has led to more issues for the province.

“There are a lot of problems with our structures, too many decisions are made strictly on a political basis, and a lot of good ideas and solutions are left behind. Particularly at a local level,” said Morishita.

“Even if you look at the budget, there were so many things that weren’t prioritized, that should have been. I think with the Alberta Party, you will see a different approach, so things don’t get missed.”

Morishita says the Alberta Party is financially responsible, believes in balanced budgets and in paying as we go, while also being socially progressive with evolving systems such as social issues.

“The Alberta Party kind of restarted in 2010, the name itself was there long before, but in 2010 it was reconstituted,” said Morishita.

“We were getting to the point where you either had to be with somebody or against somebody, and they could see the fissure coming. . . And as time has gone on, we have seen our election campaigns, the behaviour in the legislature, the Parliament building, getting more and more corrosive, and less and less constructive.”

Noting the change, Morishita says the divide leaves the constituents suffering.

“We can’t keep coming back to the fact that saying ‘If you don’t do it my way, the whole place is going to burn.’ We got to the point where we don’t even care who wins, as long as you lose. That has created a lot of angst among the community, particularly on both spectrums,” said Morishita.

Morishita also brings up how it creates funnel systems where funds are added on the top of a system and the bottom is left with the crumbs, using the $965 million in health care from Budget 2023 as an example.

“What is going to happen with the money? The way our system works is you pour the money in at the top of the funnel, all $965 million is going to be poured in at the top, and by the time it gets to the bottom, there is going to be very little that actually delivers a service,” said Morishita.

“We need to put a couple of people in charge to manage that, rather than saying ‘hey doctor, you need help, you know how many hours of surgical time you have, how about if we give you the money?’ . . . Guess what happens? You lose control, you give up control, and at the end of the day, you want to take a stand at the podium and say ‘I did this.’”

Speaking to audiences about the political struggle in Alberta, Morishita notes MLA’s need to do more for the people they represent so voters can make informed decisions rather than playing games with their ballots.

“Instead of voting next time out of being afraid of the NDP or afraid of the UCP, I am urging you all to consider what you want in an MLA, what you want to change Ask your candidate whether they will provide that opportunity,” said Morishita.

“The brainpower exists, the ideas exist, government just has to do it differently in order to make it successful.”

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