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|Declaration of Principles and Policies|
Our elected representatives and bureaucrats must understand their roles as trustees for the benefit of the people they represent and serve. They must understand that their power to act on behalf of the people must be tempered with sound and fiscally responsible programs. The basis of their governance is based on 13 democratic policies:
1. RECALL, CITIZEN INITIATIVE AND REFERENDA.
This legislation will be all-encompassing under the heading RECALL, CITIZEN INITIATIVE AND REFERENDA.
(a) We believe that all elected representatives and bureaucrats must be fully accountable to their electorate through mandated, workable and effective provisions entitling the electorate to RECALL them;
(b) The Separation Party of Alberta will implement legislation allowing Albertans to INITIATE legislation, or repeal existing legislation, by petition at all levels of government; and
(c) The Separation Party of Alberta will implement legislation that empowers Albertans to decide by REFERENDUM, initiated by the government or the electorate, on all controversial issues and disputes affecting Albertans as a whole, to be decided at the time of a General Election or a special referendum as required.
2. Fixed election dates/fixed terms.
The Separation Party of Alberta will initiate fixed election dates for all elections. Members of the Legislature will be elected for a 5 year term on the 1st Monday of November. The term of any member to the Legislature will be limited to 10 years.
3. Proportional representation.
The Separation Party of Alberta will implement legislation, after public consultation, on voting reform providing for a system of proportional representation which more accurately reflects the voting patterns of all eligible voters. See Resolution #1.
4. Internal and domestic affairs of other provinces and nations.
We believe that we should not, nor will we, interfere and intermeddle in the internal and domestic affairs of other provinces and nations.
5. Trading relationships with all nations.
We will ardently pursue compatible trading relationships with all nations.
6. Equality of all citizens.
We will entrench the principle of the equality of all our citizens, that each is equal before the law and that their personal rights and responsibilities will be protected against the unwarranted intrusion by government.
7. The formation of a new, independent nation.
The Separation Party of Alberta will call for a REFERENDUM on separation of Alberta from the rest of Canada and to form a new, independent nation pursuant to the CLARITY ACT OF CANADA. The question of secession would be clear and a clear majority on the question would consist of 50% plus one of the votes cast by eligible Albertans. See Resolution #2.
8. Free votes in the Legislature.
All votes in the Legislature will be free votes. MLAs will vote firstly in accordance with the wishes of their constituents and secondly in accordance with the dictates of their conscience. The defeat of a government bill will not mean a vote of non-confidence in the government but simply a defeat of that particular piece of legislation.
9. Reducing government costs and intrusions.
We believe that less government is the best government and that the number of MLAs will be reduced and that government departments and boards be reduced accordingly.
10. Cooperation with municipalities.
The Separation Party of Alberta believes that the essence of good, responsible government is the cooperation it has with its municipalities. We believe that the residents of municipalities are better able to determine what is best for them. We will ensure that municipalities retain the fruits of their taxation policies with the least amount of interference from the Legislature. We will increase the powers of municipalities pursuant to the MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT ACT to promote a greater delegation of municipal decision-making to local communities.
11. Property rights.
The right of individual Albertans to own and enjoy their property will be entrenched in a new Constitution.
12. National Constitution respecting individual rights and responsibilities.
We will draft a new Constitution for our new nation which respects individual rights and responsibilities but gives no special rights to any individual or group. This document will be submitted to Albertans for comments and criticisms before it is enacted.
13. "Whistle blower" legislation.
A Separation Party of Alberta government would introduce “whistle blower” legislation to protect government employees and people in other public institutions from prosecution for speaking out.
At a membership policy meeting in Red Deer on March 19, 2005, the membership approved three (3) resolutions for consideration of the membership at the upcoming Annual General Meeting:
1. By Al Romanchuk, that the following addition be made to section 3, "Before any such legislation is enacted, we will appoint a citizen's quorum, similar to the citizen's assembly of British Columbia, consisting of citizens from all walks of life to hold hearings and bring forth constructive recommendations for the government to implement."
2. "MOVED Judy Milne, SECONDED Bill Humphrey that it be recommended to the membership at the next Annual General Meeting of the Separation Party of Alberta that section 7 under the Democratic Policies of the Party be deleted. CARRIED."
3. By Al Romanchuk, that the following section be added to the Democratic Policies, "We believe every eligible Alberta voter should have a voter registration card as proof of their eligibility to vote and appropriate amendments to the ELECTIONS ACT will be introduced to implement such a plan."