PC Constituency Association re-engaging membership
It has been a dynamic year in Alberta Politics, and while the Progressive Conservative Party took a beating at the polls, losing 60 seats, they have not been knocked out.
This is evident in the three way race in the by-election in Calgary-Greenway which concluded on Tuesday, results not available at press time.
In Drumheller-Stettler, the PC heart keeps beating. Mark Nikota of Hanna is its current Constituency Association president and says the party is active. He is active at the party level, working on re-engagement. He is also involved in the polices and principles committee.
“We are working on a lot of stuff to get the house in order,” said Nikota.
While the NDP was successful at the last general election, Nikota says their policies are not near as popular.
“At the last election, when people wanted to bail on the PCs they went left. Now people are seeing the results of that decision but they still don’t want to go all the way to the right,” explains Nikota. “So you are seeing that three way race; people on the left who were there historically, people on the right, and people thinking they don’t want to go all the way to the right, but we certainly don’t like what happened.”
While there has been much talk about the possibility of uniting parties on the right side of the political spectrum, he believes this pressure is coming from the Wildrose.
“The Wildrose is pushing that right now because they know they cannot win in the cities,” he said. “That doesn’t guarantee victory. People who didn’t go to the right before aren’t necessarily going to go there if you merge.”
He has been looking at the NDP polices in his current studies, and is understanding their shortfalls. “All their policies are very ideological, and that is great. Ideas are good, but they have to meet common sense and their timelines and their planning is where they are running into problems,” said Nikota.
Locally he says the Constituency Association still has a strong membership, and are meeting regularly. They are staging their meetings in various communities throughout the riding to engage more residents.
“People have come out of the woodwork, who had drifted away from us before because of the past, but they are coming back. That says we really need to come up with a solid alternative to what is going on because this bickering back and forth isn’t working,’ said Nikota.
“Just like on the provincial level, locally we are trying to re-engage the constituents and go from there. We are at the beginning stages but we’re getting our feet under us.” Here’s hoping they can put together a viable alternative. “So many people said they wanted change for the sake of change, but they didn’t research what that change was going to look like,” he said.
The next Constituency Association meeting is on April 10 at 2 p.m. in Drumheller. The association maintains the “Drumheller Stettler PC Association” Facebook page.