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I better get this post onto the website right away – before the list of Senate nominee candidates grows even longer. There was a time when I thought I would be one of seven candidates…so I’m glad to be writing about Twelve Apostles rather than about the Seven Dwarfs.

Apostles are messengers. This Senate nominee election is fundamentally about the messages and the platforms the twelve of us are offering you. What message do you want the Harper government to listen to?

This is the first Alberta Senate nominee election where electors have some political variety to choose from when it comes to those messages. For me this underlines that today’s Alberta is much different from the Alberta of a generation or two ago. To adapt language from a television cigarette commericial: “We’ve come a long way baby.” (yes, I can remember a time when cigarette commercials were on television).

I believe my dream of “the Next Alberta” is one that appeals to the changes we’ve seen in Alberta over the last thirty years.

We Albertans are a confident people; we believe we can make better lives for ourselves and our neighbours. I believe that, with this confidence, now comes a conviction we don’t have to accept the views of old-school politicians. We don’t have to accept that we must choose between a robust economy and Alberta’s natural beauty. We can have both.

We can earn good livings and still protect the natural beauty that is so much a part of Alberta’s identity. I’ve been able to earn a good living and take my children to camp where the Rockies erupt out of the prairie south of Pincher Creek. That’s the balanced life I want my daughters to be able to offer their children; that’s what the Next Alberta is about.

As an Independent Senator I won’t be toeing a Liberal or Conservative party line when I represent you in Ottawa. My Next Alberta wants to empower Albertans and our communities. Hyper-partisanship, toeing those party lines, prevents members of all political parties from doing that. Hyper-partisanship kills common sense.

So, as of this moment, you have twelve apostles to choose from. I know the message I want to take to Ottawa on your behalf is one inspired by the confidence, balance, and moderation that is so much a part of today’s Alberta.

Please join me in helping to build this Next Alberta. On April 23rd please help send Ian, the independent Albertan, to the Canadian Senate.