The Green Party of Alberta has imploded, a victim of political infighting and its inability to provide key financial records for Elections Alberta.
The party’s finances were in such a shambles the decision was made to de-register the party before elections officials ordered the party shut down, said Rimbey’s Joe Anglin, who became leader last December after a bitter three-month power struggle.
The party could not get hold of key financial records required to meet Elections Alberta regulations.
“Much of what we found was beyond our control to fix,” he said Thursday. “If we had to continue, we risked being forced to de-register.”
Elections Alberta spokesman Drew Westwater confirmed the party was de-registered because they did not provide a 2008 audited financial statement as required.
The move means the party cannot run candidates in the next provincial election, nor can it fundraise or issue tax receipts.
“It’s sad that this had to happen to our organization,” said Anglin.
He blamed the problems on a small minority of “radical militants” who refused to accept the new direction the party was going.
“What we intended to do was take the Green Party and really take it mainstream. We wanted to take it to the next level. That was our goal.”
But there was always resistance. Some party members openly admitted they were more interested in advancing various environmental causes than in making a serious effort to get elected.
That’s not an attitude that works if you profess to be a political party, suggested Anglin.
Former Red Deer South Green Party candidate Evan Bedford called the de-registration “embarrassing.
“Hopefully something will come out of the ashes,” he added.
Where the party goes from here is unclear.
Green Party of Alberta Society, or Alberta Greens, is now registered as a non-profit corporate entity with the goals of advancing a green agenda and preparing for the party’s future.
There’s hope the party can be resurrected.
“There’s always time,” he said. “Stranger things have happened. Whether the Green Party is resurrected in the short term or the long term, I don’t think you have seen the last of it.”
Westwater said while the Green Party can’t run candidates but “there’s nothing to stop someone starting a brand new party up and doing whatever they want under whatever banner they want.”
The chief electoral officer would decide if the name of the new party was in keeping with legislation.