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is because politicians and political parties haven’t been engaging people in a meaningful way. Telling people ‘come out and vote once every four years and then we’ll ignore you for another four years and make decisions on our own…and then we’ll come back to you in four years time’ I don’t be- lieve that’s what people want, I think people want to have more regular input on a more regular basis in a meaningful way not the consultation we tra- ditionally see out of government. We believe that not only do you need to engage people through social media—and we’re trying to find innovative ways of doing that—but you also need to engage people at the local level in their own communities through town hall meetings. We’re getting a very enthusiastic response when we go to communities both large and small for our town hall meetings, so we’re going to keep doing that.

Politics: Starting a new party is obviously a huge under- taking with new situations and obstacles to be faced all along the way. I’m sure that your priorities must be con- stantly shifting and adapting to facilitate the progress of your party. What strategies are you using to assist with any changes?

Danielle Smith: The first strategy was a brain storming session. I sat down with some of my ad- visors so that we could identify the priority issues I needed to work on. We developed a list of twenty- three priorities which means, of course, that noth- ing is a priority if everything’s a priority. So we’ve had to put a number of key things in place, keep in mind our party is two years old and we only had a few hundred members about a year ago, so we have had to build the infrastructure of our party at the

To me citizen reengagement is the key to overcome this problem of apathy. 60% of people chose not to vote in this last election so it’s not just a young person problem, it’s an everybody problem.

same time as we build the political arm. A year ago we didn’t have any elected, as we lost our only seat in the 2008 election, so things had been fairly dor- mant in the party after that election, we’ve had a lot of work that’s been done in the last six to eight months. As soon as the leadership race launched we got a huge amount of interest and people purchas- ing memberships and we’ve had to grow on the party organization side to be able to accommodate that. The priority for me right now is building the party. I take a page from Peter Lougheed when he was building his Progressive Conservative Party to take on the thirty-five year Social Credit dynasty. One of the first things he did was hire Joe Clark to be his field organizer, establishing constituency association. The second thing he did was he made sure that he had a team of good local candidates to run with him. The third thing was that he made sure that he had a positive vision for what his party would be able to bring to Alberta politics that none of the other parties could do. Following that model is very wise because I think that Albertans vote for governments, they

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