About the APAH
What is the APAH?
The Alberta Political Accountability Hub - or APAH - is a website and service built to help remove barriers to political involvement. One of the biggest issues in modern politics today is that politics aren't accessible for everyone. Not everyone has a degree in public policy, not everyone is interested enough to try to find the information scattered all across the internet, and most people don't have enough time in their everyday lives to actually get through all the information there is. That, coupled with a sensationalized approach to news and the hyper-partisanship we see today, has led to an extremely tense, extremely toxic, and extremely emotional political landscape.
The goal of the APAH is to make politics accessible to Albertans - not just a select few, but to everyone. Whether you're a single parent or a rig welder, a nurse in an understaffed hospital or a college student with full-time studies and part-time work, you deserve to know what your representatives are doing on your behalf. You deserve to know what legislation is being introduced, you deserve to know how your MLA is voting on your behalf, and you deserve the ability to actually involve yourself in our political sphere in a way that's actually practical. The APAH wants to give you those tools without a partisan spin.
What does the APAH actually provide?
The APAH provides information in five categories: MLAs, Legislation, Parties, Committees, and Elections. In each category, the goal is to provide information that can be presented objectively and fairly.
Note: some of these sections are still under development, but we're working to get everything completed as fast as we can.
In "Representatives", we include resources for letting you know what your specific MLA is doing on your behalf (including the first-ever comprehensive voting history for MLAs in Alberta) as well as tools to help you familiarize yourself with them. Where do they come from, what's their field of expertise, and how would you get in contact with them? Albertans should feel like they can actually talk to their MLAs and let them know what their concerns are - and MLAs need us to do that. An MLA can't live every life in the riding, and there's no way for them to know about every single issue in the community.
In "Legislation" we include comprehensive, non-partisan summaries and descriptions of legislation, both in short-form and long-form. A lot of people only hear about a few bills that are controversial, but our MLAs actually introduced 165 pieces of legislation in the last four years - and a lot of really important ones didn't get a lot of media coverage. Here, you'll be able to find both simple and comprehensive descriptions of legislation written in normal English, and in a format that's easier to keep track of than the standard format for policy. If you just want a quick overview, we have that basic summary so that you know what's happening at a glance; if you see a bill that's important to you, we also give you a section-by-section breakdown of what the bill does - and if that still isn't enough, we also link to the full bill and the recorded debate on it. You'll also be able to see how your MLAs voted on the legislation if it was recorded.
In our "Parties" section, we include everything you need to know to feel comfortable and familiar with every registered party - big or small, every party gets the same treatment on the APAH. Every party has a description of their leader as well as a detailed party history, a list of their MLAs and candidates, and we're working on developing resources to directly compare the parties on their policies without fluff or spin. We want Albertans of all ages to feel comfortable with the parties so that they feel more confident engaging in the political system.
Our "Committees" section is going to see a re-design after the election to include committee schedules, descriptions, and contact info so that you can make your voice heard. For now, if you go to the committee pages, you can see the basic version of what we'll include - including descriptions of what each committee does as well as details on the committee chair, deputy chair, and members.
In our "Elections" section you'll be able to see every candidate for the 2019 election, listed both by party and by riding. As well, we're working to constantly update it so that we can have candidates' websites as well as social media accounts attached to their cards in the elections section to make it as easy as possible for you to keep up with and follow along with the candidates. Maybe you're someone who's frustrated with the two main parties and you're looking to see who else is running; maybe you want to support one of the newer or smaller parties and want to see if they're running in your riding; maybe you want to get more of a feeling for the candidates in your riding. We're here to help with all of that!
Want a more detailed explanation for each section?
Click the buttons below to be taken to a video tour of each section!
(some are still under development; if they aren't there now, they will be soon!)
How is this funded?
Why, what a great question that I'm sure you were definitely asking!
In all seriousness, it's important that the APAH be by Albertans, for Albertans. There's a massive concern today about biases in the media - and it's an understandable concern. Today more than ever, it can be really hard to determine who's giving you the facts and who's just giving you the party line. If you follow politicians from two different parties on social media, you get two dramatically different presentations of reality, and the same goes for a lot of media organizations that lean one way or the other.
For this reason, we're fully crowdfunding the APAH - we want Albertans to be in control of this thing. This site's value rests heavily on us being able to be non-partisan, and give everyone a fair shot without any personal biases or opinions colouring the site. It also rests on building trust with the people who use our site that we're working for you in your best interest, not in the interests of a party or industry or anything else. This site isn't specifically built for the right, left, or center - it's built for every Albertan, and every Albertan benefits from having more information on the legislation that's being passed, the policies the parties stand behind, and the way that their MLA is representing them in Edmonton.
If you're interested in learning more about our funding campaign, click that green button to see our Patreon and learn more about how we plan on funding this organization. We want to make it clear, though; this site is free for everyone to use. You don't need to pay, and we'll never put our stuff behind a paywall. However, building a resource like the APAH takes an incredible amount of time and effort, and we're incredibly grateful for contributions to allow the project to grow and improve.