The Alberta Party and Dave Taylor: coup or miscue?

So, Dave Taylor has become the Alberta Party’s first MLA.

This does not come as a surprise. Taylor, the former Alberta Liberal, is the kind of guy who craves a platform. He was, after all, a radio talk show host, and these guys are traditionally not shrinking violets. Taylor wants to be heard — no, MUST be heard — and the opinions of one lone independent MLA don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world (unless you’re Raj Sherman).

The Alberta Party is crowing about their coup. They may end up regretting their decision.

The Alberta Party is supposedly all about doing politics differently. They decry the traditional us-versus-them mentality of old school politics, and have pledged civility in the Legislature. Taylor is an odd choice for a poster boy for the new politics.

Taylor is as partisan as they come. His questions in the Legislature were often written with a pen dipped in venom. And I can tell you that Taylor is not the kind of guy who plays nicely with others, even if the others are on his own team.

Taylor comes with more baggage than a loaded 747. He quit the Liberals not over policy, but because the party saw fit not to choose him as their leader. His departure from the Liberals was utterly classless. He sent out an email at 11:30 on a Sunday night informing leader David Swann that he was leaving. The newspapers knew about it before Swann did. To top it all off, Taylor said Swann “seems to be living on another planet”, which is hardly an example of the kind of civil discourse the Alberta Party is promising. Since Taylor’s departure, I heard from people who were supporters of his during the Liberal leadership race who told me that, based on his actions after losing the leadership, the party dodged a bullet. There is real animosity towards Taylor, and I suspect that a lot of Alberta Liberals who have been flirting with the idea of joining the Alberta Party will be very disappointed with this decision.

It didn’t take long for one of Taylor’s past comments to come back to haunt him. Taylor told FastForward in Calgary: “If I were to make a decision that I thought I would want to run as a member of some other party, then I would wait until the next election or resign and go through a byelection. Nobody voted for Dave Taylor as a candidate for another party.”

So in Dave Taylor, the Alberta Party has chosen a notorious sore loser who burned bridges with his former party in a colossally classless manner, a loud partisan, and a guy who is anathema to the many of the same people the party wants to attract.

Unless there’s a new and improved Dave Taylor out there, the Alberta Party may live to rue this day.

5 thoughts on “The Alberta Party and Dave Taylor: coup or miscue?

  1. That’s a question that the Pirate Party has been struggling with as well. If an MP wants to join our party but wouldn’t represent us in a particularly favourable light, is the legitimacy born of simply having someone in Parliament worth the tradeoff? That’s something the German Pirate Party went through with Jörg Tauss after he was charged with possession of child pornography and quit the governing party.

    However, I think the same circumstances did provide a boost to the Greens when Blair Wilson joined their caucus, going so far as to enable them to participate in the all-party debate for the first time. And say what you will about Taylor, he’s a political veteran, and that’s something that a new party sorely needs.

    Personally, I’d say that this is a positive move for the Alberta Party, so long as Taylor doesn’t run for leadership. I had qualms about his qualifications as soon as I heard he was running for Liberal leader. None of the candidates were particularly good options I think, but Mo was the least worst in my opinion.

  2. If you think the Liberals dodged a bullet by not selecting Taylor as their leader, what do you think they got instead? (I believe that the Liberals made a big mistake in holding an early 2008 leadership contest that limited the contestants to MLAs and party insiders. That party desperately needed renewal but instead looked inside for expediency reasons).

    One of the biggest things that has drawn me to the new Alberta Party is the ability of the people involved to put aside their previous political affiliations in order to work together to build a positive political alternative. Everyone deserves a chance at this, including Dave Taylor.

  3. It’s a great big oops for the new (some old same old) Alberta Party. How can they honestly look at anyone with a straight face and say we are different when their new, different MLA lied about forcing a by- election before joining a different party? When will that by-election be Mr. Taylor? The Alberta Party would have done far better if they would have sent out a press release saying they were approached by Mr. Taylor but said no because will really are different and will not lower ourselves for cheap political gains like the others parties are. The only good thing about this is now we have two new ways to spell hypocrisy and know it’s business as usual with the ABparty.

  4. Dave Taylor good or bad for the Alberta Party (AP)? Doesn’t much matter. At 1% in the polls they needed to try something to get some press. Media and public interest, however, has already dissipated. Better try something/someone else.

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