Al­berta Party forms Con­stituency As­so­ci­a­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Area res­i­dents look­ing for a po­lit­i­cal home might have one more op­tion in the near fu­ture.

On Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 18, Greg Clarke of the Al­berta Party will be in Drumheller.

This is to launch a con­stituency as­so­ci­a­tion in the lo­cal rid­ing.

A press re­lease states, “The po­lit­i­cal cli­mate in Al­berta has never been more di­vided.

With the re­cent merger of the PC and Wil­drose par­ties into the United Con­ser­va­tive Party, sup­port­ers of a bal­anced ap­proach to solv­ing prob­lems and mov­ing the prov­ince for­ward are look­ing for a home.”

Mark Nikota says he is hear­ing in­ter­est in a cen­trist op­tion.

“There is def­i­nitely a core group of peo­ple that want to see some­thing hap­pen along those lines,” said Nikota. “I per­son­ally think there is a need for an­other op­tion out there. If we are not care­ful, we will end up like the Amer­i­cans. We will have a very far left and a very far right that fight all the time and get nowhere. Peo­ple that are mod­er­ate and in the mid­dle will be home­less. I think there are enough peo­ple out there in­ter­ested in a bal­anced ap­proach.”

The po­lit­i­cal land­scape in Al­berta is in flux. Cur­rently, a new United Con­ser­va­tive Party (UCP) is in the midst of a lead­er­ship cam­paign with Ja­son Ken­ney, Brian Jean and Doug Sch­weitzer in the mix. A poll in Au­gust showed 57 per cent of de­cided and lean­ing vot­ers would sup­port the UCP, while 29 per cent would sup­port the NDP led by Rachel Not­ley. The Al­berta Party was sit­ting at about 9 per cent.

Nikota says there is not much time to get or­ga­nized

“Even if the elec­tion isn’t called un­til 2019, that is not a lot of time in the po­lit­i­cal world. It is go­ing to be a crunch, but if there is enough of a groundswell, then any­thing can hap­pen,” said Nikota. “Look what hap­pened in the last elec­tion. No­body thought the NDP would do what they did.”

“Am I un­der the delu­sion that the Al­berta Party is go­ing to get a ma­jor­ity in the next elec­tion? No. But we would like to make some waves and if we can get a few more MLAs in there and start to work on things, great.”

He says the Al­berta Party stands for sound fis­cal poli­cies a well as a so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. He adds the in­ter­est ap­pears to be prov­ince-wide.

“I have been talk­ing to the or­ga­niz­ers up at the Al­berta Party and they are see­ing mem­ber­ships take off, and they are form­ing con­stituency as­so­ci­a­tions through­out the prov­ince, their goal, which I don’t think is a big stretch, is to have 87 can­di­dates in the next elec­tion.”

Nikota says he has met Greg Clarke on a cou­ple oc­ca­sions.

“He’s down to earth, a good guy to talk to and he’s will­ing to help, so I think he wants to get the word out,’ said Nikota

The meet­ing is on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 18 at 6 p.m. at the Canalta Juras­sic Ho­tel. This will be the As­so­ci­a­tion’s first AGM and so­cial event.

Greg Clarke... Al­berta Party

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