The major Alberta political parties are the Progressive Conservatives, the Liberals, and the New
Democrats. Two of these, the
Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals, have their roots in the 19th
century, while the New Democratic Party was born in the 20th century. The
same parties are prominent in federal politics and also in the politics of other
provinces, but all of these parties have both federal and provincial wings, and
each wing has its own members and selects its own candidates. Political
parties begin their work to choose their candidates long before an
election. Each party tries to select, or nominate, one candidate running
in every constituency, and each constituency can have many candidates.
Sometimes candidates who don't belong to a political party run for office, and
they are called Independents.
You might want to vote for a candidate based strictly on
individual qualifications. However, when you vote, you vote for both your
candidate and for the party that candidate represents, unless the candidate you
happen to like is running as an independent rather than as a member of a
party. So when choosing a candidate in an election, listen not only to the
candidate, but also to the party leader. Party leaders will tell you what
their party intends to do if they form a government, while individual candidates
may also focus on what they want for their constituencies.