PC Con­stituency As­so­ci­a­tion to select lead­er­ship del­e­gates

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Party of Al­berta is get­ting ready to pick its new leader in March, and the lo­cal con­stituency as­so­ci­a­tion is hav­ing a meet­ing to select it del­e­gates.

The new lead­er­ship party will be se­lected us­ing a del­e­gate sys­tem. This means that 265 del­e­gates from the prov­ince will be at­tend­ing the con­ven­tion March 17-19 to vote for the lead­er­ship. The Drumheller PC Con­stituency As­so­ci­a­tion will be send­ing 15 del­e­gates to vote.

Con­stituency As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Mark Nikota said they had ini­tially se­lected the del­e­gates, how­ever they jumped the gun. “We had our AGM in Septem­ber and at that same time did the selections for our riding. Af­ter that hap­pened, PC Al­berta came out with new rules and said con­stituen­cies couldn’t have their selections done un­til af­ter the time pe­riod that can­di­dates had time to de­clare they were run­ning for the lead­er­ship,” he ex­plains. “They told us we jumped the gate and would have to do our del­e­gate se­lec­tion again.” This does not pre­clude any that were ini­tially se­lected. To be a del­e­gate, the per­son must hold mem­ber­ship in the party for at least 14 days prior to the meet­ing on Jan­uary 19, they must at­tend the meet­ing in per­son and be com­mit­ted to at­tend the March con­ven­tion. At the meet­ing, the del­e­gate nom­i­nees will be asked to speak.

Cur­rently, there are four run­ning for lead­er­ship of the party in­clud­ing Stephen Kahn, Jason Kenny, Richard Starke and By­ron Nel­son. It could be a di­vi­sive lead­er­ship bat­tle as Jason Kenny is run­ning on a plat­form to unite the Con­ser­va­tive Party with the Wil­drose Party. The other can­di­dates ap­pear to be run­ning to re­build the PC brand. Nikota says it is tough to tell how the vote will go.

“Peo­ple can say they stand for who­ever, but un­til they walk into the vot­ing booth in March, it is re­ally hard to say who is sup­port­ing who,” said Nikota.

“Per­son­ally I don’t think it is as easy as say­ing ‘let’s form a new party from the other two and de­feat the NDP.’ Lots of peo­ple are scared ob­vi­ously of the NDP and what they are do­ing, but I think it is an easy an­swer to say let’s form a new party and win the elec­tion.”

“I per­son­ally want to see what a new party looks like and just form­ing a new party isn’t any guar­an­tee be­cause when you look at the last elec­tion, peo­ple wanted to leave the PC Party, but peo­ple in the cities, and even in our riding, voted for the NDP. They chose to go left and not right.” In the con­stituency, he is see­ing both po­si­tions. “I feel mo­men­tum both ways, I see peo­ple say­ing, ‘wait a minute - we have to stop and think this through be­cause last time peo­ple voted for the sake of change, look where it got us,” he said. “The NDP are slid­ing the mid­dle and hop­ing the two par­ties merge fur­ther to the right and then they are go­ing to win the cities.”

The meet­ing is at 7 p.m. Jan­uary 17 at the Juras­sic Ho­tel in Drumheller.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.