Want to try out the APAH? It's live now! Check it out at APAH.ca!
What is the Alberta Political Accountability Hub?
The APAH is an online service built to help Albertans hold their government accountable by bringing everything you need to know about Alberta's politics together in a single, easy-to-navigate website. Our primary focus is accessibility - it doesn't matter if you're busy, and it doesn't matter if you're super familiar with politics. Anyone can access the site and use it to benefit themselves.
Crucially, we are not an opinion service, nor are we a news organization. Think of us more along the lines of something like Wikipedia - come to us whenever you want to be able to quickly learn what exactly is happening with our government.
When is it going live?
The site will be going live ten days before the election, at midnight on April 7th!
What's on the site?
The APAH has five clearly defined, user-friendly categories for information:
From here, you'll find everything you need to know about your MLA - a biography in both written and video form, some quick details about them, and information about what they've done in the Legislature. You can find their voting records, contact info, sponsored legislation, and affiliations through here.
Are you tired of hearing an endless back and forth discussion on legislation that's just a "This government is ruining the economy!" "No, this government is saving the economy!" where you don't actually learn what the proposed legislation does? The APAH's Legislation section is designed to make it possible for the first time for Albertans to have access to the facts of the legislation, without commentary, presented in an easy-to-read format.
The committees section is going to tell you about when the committees are meeting, who the committee members are, what each specific committee does, and what committees in general do.
Here, you'll find everything you need to know about the parties of yesteryear and today. If you want to learn about the histories of these parties, we have crash course videos and written histories for you. If you want to learn how they stand on policies and stack up against one another, we have that information lined up too. If you want to know more about the leaders, we have that information for you - again, both in written and video form.
Search by riding or by party to find out who you want to support in the 2019 election, including access to their websites and social media. Voting is a complicated, frequently frustrating process of trying to determine who believes in what and who these people are, but with the APAH, all that information is just a couple clicks away.
Why did you make it?
Before the APAH, being politically informed meant one of two things - trying to search through a hedge maze of sites to find the single line or two of information that you needed, or else trying to sift through news stories and pick out the fact from the fiction. The Alberta Political Accountability Hub has all the information you need to know to be capable of making informed political decisions - and with an election right around the corner, that's never been more important.
And who exactly are you?
My name is Wyatt Tanton, and I'm a 20 year-old who was originally from Camrose (about an hour south-east of Edmonton), but I've moved around a lot over the years - Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, Warwick in Australia, and Montreal, in Quebec. I chose to start the first Political Accountability Hub in Alberta because I know that this is a province where people, regardless of their political leanings, just want to be able to make the decisions that are right for their family - and unfortunately, we've had decades of governments in this province who make it as hard as possible for us to figure out what's best for us.
Where can we find you?
Well, obviously, there's APAH.ca - this is the main site for our service. However, we will also have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts designed to help keep people updated in whichever way is most convenient. We will also have a YouTube channel, which will be a supplementary service - from here, we're going to have informational videos on a wide range of topics, from policy deep-dives on complicated subjects, to Politics 101-style videos explaining the basics of politics, to videos on Alberta's history. All of these videos will also hopefully be released on services like Spotify as podcasts so that they can be used however is convenient.
How will you fund it?
Three forms - Kickstarter, merchandise, and Patreon. This Kickstarter's goal of $50,000 is the minimum necessary to run this service and keep providing accurate, unbiased information for a year. However, Kickstarter also allows us to go over our goal, and the further the APAH is funded past that goal, the more we can expand. Hitting the goal just means that we will for sure be funded, but everything past that allows us to provide an even better service. We will also be selling merchandise to raise money, and running a Patreon alongside the service to allow people to support the APAH on a monthly basis to give us a more stable income. With all three of these revenue streams, the APAH will be able to build and grow into exactly what Albertans need - a no-frills, easily accessible source of political information.
Why are you asking us for funding? Why not the government?
This one's easy - frankly, a program that's supposed to hold the government in check doesn't usually have great success when it's paid for by the government. The only way for this service to be truly capable of this is if we're by Albertans, for Albertans.
Also, crucially, the APAH will be going live before the 2019 election. That means that this site will be going up on April 7th at midnight to give Albertans more than a week to review it before going to the polls!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge of this project, in my opinion, will be in overcoming political biases to take an objective look at the information. Personally, I found a lot of my own beliefs being shaken by the research on this project, and it can be hard to learn that things might not have been what you thought. The biggest obstacle the APAH will face is in getting past partisanship and biases to just process the facts, but I believe that Albertans are more than capable of doing so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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