Uniting the right begins
Wildrose and Progressive Conservative leaders sign merger agreement to unite the right.
After Jason Kenny's rise to PC leadership in March, Wildrose leader Brian Jean and Kenny have been talking about the possibility of a unified conservative party to overthrow the current NPD government for next year's election.
After a press conference on May 18, 2017, the two leaders confirmed their decision to join forces as the ‘United Conservative Party' before the upcoming election in 2019.
Everything within the party must be done so in a democratic way by getting a gauge on members and hearing out their opinions.
Allowing their say creates a ‘ grassroots' organization from the Wildrose perspective.
The end goal of this merger is to reach a well-rounded conservative party for Albertans. Drumheller - Stettler MLA Rick Strankman plans to talk to constituents while attending mass functions like graduations where he will attain feedback and see where their perspectives lie.
“Hopefully this will be a good model for them to reach out to,” said Strankman.
For constituents of the Drumheller-Stettler riding, this means a possible change in government but must be wary of other ridings.
“I think what people in our riding have to re- member is the cities have more ridings than we do currently and they are not going to get less that's for sure,” said Mark Nikota, President of Drumheller-Stettler constituency.
Nikota believes that the Drumheller-Stettler constituency is ‘quite different than the rest of the province' as it leans towards the right side of the spectrum when it comes to political matters.
Nikota emphasized the importance of the party's policy as a simple gesture to beat the
NDP will not hold voters, especially in urban centres.
“I think if it is handled wrong, not based on principles and policies, then people in the cities aren't going to buy into this united right idea and they are going to go back to another party where they don't promise them things but give them something to believe in.”
The Agreement in principle on the establishment of the new United Conservative Party outlines key policies such as rule of law, a drive for economic freedom which encourages wealth through free enterprise, low taxation rates, universal public healthcare, grassroots democracy; including measures to empower Albertans to hold the government accountable, have all been expressed.
A party's policy can be the make or break of it's own fate if not done so in a thoughtful way. “I don't know if that is going to be enough to have their dream come true and it worries me that it actually might sink the ship more than anything,” said Nikota.
Whatever the case may be, Albertans remain on standby as to how this merger will play out. “The next election is in 2019 sometime – that's not as far away as people think,” said Nikota.
Wildrose leader Brian Jean and Progressive Conservative leader Jason Kenny sign an Agreement in Principle to start to merge both parties to a stronger United Conservative Party.