PC Wild Rose unity vote looms

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The rough and tum­ble world of Al­berta pol­i­tics is con­tin­u­ing as the right of cen­ter par­ties get ready to de­cide on uni­fi­ca­tion.

The uni­fi­ca­tion wheels be­gan rolling with the cam­paign of Ja­son Ken­ney for the lead­er­ship of the PC party and its goal of unit­ing the PC and the Wild Rose to de­feat the Al­berta NDP Party.

A deal was made be­tween the two par­ties, and come July 22 the mem­ber­ship of each party will de­cide its path for­ward. The PC Party need to garner 50 per cent plus 1 sup­port, while the Wild Rose, needs 75 per cent mem­ber­ship ap­proval to move for­ward with uni­fi­ca­tion.

Pat Rut­ledge is pres­i­dent of the Drumheller-Stet­tler Wild Rose Con­stituency As­so­ci­a­tion. He says his feel­ing is that most will vote for unity.

“Any­body that I talk to, the com­mon Joe who aren’t po­lit­i­cal junkies, say get-r-done. Pre­vent the NDP from get­ting an­other term,” he said. “Get- rdone some­how.”

It isn’t with­out some grow­ing pains, how­ever.

“There are some guys that are not en­tirely happy with Brian Jean, I guess. He didn’t ask them if they wanted unity in the first place,” said Rut­ledge.

“It’s good in the­ory to have grass root in­put, but you can’t ask 30,000 peo­ple ev­ery time you need to make a de­ci­sion.”

Pres­i­dent of the Drumheller-Stet­tler PC Con­stituency As­so­ci­a­tion Mark Nikota said there are vary­ing de­grees of in­volve­ment by party mem­ber­ship.

“I think peo­ple are just wait­ing to see what hap­pens. There are peo­ple who are re­ally in­volved want­ing to see it hap­pen and there are oth­ers who are sit­ting back wait­ing for the vote to take place,” he said.

He feels the PC Party will prob­a­bly back uni­fi­ca­tion with the lower thresh­old.

“Per­son­ally I don’t think the PC side will be an any is­sue

just based on the lead­er­ship re­sults. When Ja­son Ken­ney was voted in he had about 75 per cent of the vote,” he said.

“The Wild Rose side, I think it is go­ing to be touch and go.” MLA Rick Strankman is con­fi­dent about the unity vote.

“I think Al­ber­tans are left with a de­ci­sion. On the one hand, peo­ple in the con­stituency tell me to get it done; oth­ers say we have to main­tain our in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­ties. I say look at both sides of that, if you want to main­tain your in­di­vid­ual iden­ti­ties, or do you want to take the chance that the NDP be our next gov­ern­ment? I think that is the de­ci­sion when they go to vote, do they want unity or do they want the NDP?”

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