This blog has been co-written by Christina and Peter.  Christina’s words are in regular font and Peter’s have been italicized.  We hope you like it!

As I write this you can find me sitting at the Ramsey Lounge at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel enjoying an extra spicy Caesar … an @crontynen standard. I’d never complain if you ordered me one. I’m at the Travel Alberta industry conference enjoying their theme “Power of Engagement” and all the social media buzz here. But my heart is of course in yyc thinking about our new mayor and aldermen being sworn in for their terms as our city’s representatives.

The Travel Alberta theme resonates for #yycvote … the Power of Engagement. It still gets me excited to think about the level of engagement Calgarians were putting into the municipal election; not just online but offline too. To me that’s what matters; when those engaged online get off their computers and become engaged offline. It excites me and it clearly excited this city.

I’m spending the week in Ottawa on business.  I have seen firsthand how the provincial government’s policies have negatively affected the economy here.  People in Ontario tell me they are so proud that Alberta is an energy leader and are very objective and supportive about some of the environmental issues we face as a province.  The people I spoke to are not stupid and they understand how important this industry is to Canada’s prosperity.  Many of them don’t understand why Albertans are not more united against the environmentalists who are trying to ruin Alberta’s image.  They gave me the sense that Canadians are much more behind Alberta and the energy industry than others suggest.  I was encouraged to keep blogging about the PC Party and @premierstelmach.  I thank all of my new friends for their strong vote of confidence!

I believe that #yycvote showed us that there is something different about the people of Calgary – they are ready to get involved, they are passionate, and they don’t let anything stand in their way when they believe in something. When they start talking online it almost always goes viral. Even at this conference I’m at! The hashtag us twitter nerds (only about 60) are using is #taic and to our surprise it started trending in Canada earlier today (Monday). When we get excited about something in Calgary … in Alberta …. You can’t shut us up.

I see this potential in the PC Party. A new voice is starting to be recognized. Communication (on and offline) is ramping up and party members … those that have been around since Premier Lougheed and those that  are just coming on board as a result of #yycvote (which are quite a few. They want to lend their voices and give a helping hand to a cause they believe in … the PCAA). There is a buzz online about the Party and I’m seeing the spark offline during board meetings, events, and even over beers with friends. The sleeping bear has been woken! The PC Party is alive and well and is ready to rough up the sheets.

I can definitely see the excitement about the Party ramping up.  As a constituency President, I can tell you that I’ve had several people approach me over the past few weeks asking to get involved with the board; two youth and several slightly older but still youthful and vibrant Albertans from all walks of life.  I can also see how the Party is trying to engage its volunteers, and based on feedback I received, members appreciate being listened to.  The level of two way communication between the Party and the grassroots is both impressive and exciting.  I love people and that is what the PC Party is about!

That’s why I’m extra excited for PC AGM and convention this year! We are energized, the city is energized, and whatever is starting to smoke is about to be catch fire!

The theme this year is focused on the people of the party … a reminder of our grassroots history and ongoing strength. We will celebrate and fortify “Team PC” over the course of the weekend convention. I’m encouraging all who tweet, and those that still don’t, to raise their voices online and tell the weekend’s story loud and proud. Share the progress we make with the world using the #pcagm hashtag. Blog, update your Facebook statuses and write Facebook notes, post pictures and videos, text and tweet, tweet, tweet! Tell your story and share your experiences. Individuals are what make this party great. The individuals are what make this Party strong and viable. Share what you’re learning, what you’re loving, and what you’re livid about.

What can you tweet? When can you?
There are lots of opportunities:

– the Constituencies Reception on Friday night – Who are you hanging out with? Have you met some new friends? What’s the topic of conversation? How’s the mood and the food?

– the Leader’s Address – What is he saying? What do you think? What are people saying about the speech? Why are the issues he is bringing up important?

– the MLA Variety Show on Saturday morning – this is sure to be a riot … I am sure tweets will come naturally.

– the Plenary Session – What are the topics? Who is taking part in the discussions? What are you excited about?

– the Morning and Afternoon Sessions on Saturday –these sessions are most important to tweet from so we can keep our fellow PC’ers up to date on what is happening in the sessions they are not at. An exchange of ideas and information so that even though you have chosen to attend one discussion, you’ll know what is going on at another.

– Q&A with Premier Stelmach and his Caucus Colleagues – What questions are being asked? What are the answers? What would you like to ask? How was lunch? Who’s around?

– PCYA AGM – Youth members, let the PCAA know what’s going on in your AGM!

– Banquet on Saturday night – Who’s there? Who’s speaking? What’s on the menu? What is the discussion like at your table? What are your thoughts from the day?

And, of course, the best conversations at AGM happen with friends. These conversations often spark great ideas, new strategies, and encourage future leaders. People are always buzzing at night after the official program for the day has concluded. Everyone wants to interact and swap ideas and challenge one another after a day of debate, education, and networking. These conversations are when engagement begins. These “after-parties” are where the power of engagement becomes evident.

PCinYYC is an advocator of political engagement – so we are encouraging tweeps to find some time to come, hang out, meet your fellow PC tweeters, debrief the weekend and get excited about what’s next. How’s Saturday night? Let’s stay in touch on #pcagm … Engage with u soon!

My (our) excitement is known to be contagious so I’m sure you are just itching to get going and sharing your PC experience right now!

CR and PP

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