Check Your Ego and Reclaim Alberta

Take one part protest vote in Alberta, mix in a detrimental federal Liberal victory, and you have the current political situation in the province.

Buzz surrounding the idea of some sort of reunification between Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose parties has increased over the past few months, as the damage caused by living under a socialist New Democratic government becomes more and more apparent.

But as I’ve learned, the idea of unity is much simpler to say than it is to do.

On the Wildrose side, you’ll find an overall favorable reaction.  Several MLA’s as well as much of the card-carrying membership have expressed a desire to ‘put Alberta first’ by entertaining some sort of agreement.

Reaction from the PC camp is somewhat different.  Some party members I’ve spoken with are enthused about the concept, many are not.  That goes for their management team as well.

It seems old scars are still bothering the Tories.  Also, there has been a noticeable change in the PC party itself.

Never really a full-on ‘conservative’ group, historically the Alberta PC’s were planted firmly just slightly to the right of centre.  Over the past decade that has changed and the result has been an obvious move left, with bigger and more expensive policies.

The ultimate evidence was, of course, the Alison Redford era which signaled not only a swift shift into progressive territory, but unmistakable proof that the PC’s had developed a demonstrable elitist mindset – antipathy to what is ‘Alberta’.

The feeble attempt to save themselves with the Jim Prentice experiment is now viewed as the death-knell of the once-proud party.

The situation today is this:  the Wildrose party is the perennial second-place team full of enthusiastic members and skilled MLA’s, who habitually shoot themselves in the feet, led by a brilliant leader who the majority of Albertans have never heard of.

The Progressive Conservatives are an experienced group of knowledgeable people who love Alberta but feel ‘entitled’ to govern, who still hold a grudge against the ‘traitorous’ Wildrosers,  and are led by a brilliant leader who the majority of Albertans couldn’t care less about.

So here’s what has to happen:

On the Wildrose side, the party's far-right element must be willing to accept compromise.  That segment is much smaller than assumed, but staunch social policies will not see the light of day and could work against the new group in the court of public opinion.  Hurts, but it’s the truth.

The Tories must garner the will to lose their more progressive members (which have been steadily growing to the point that the party is basically Liberal-lite) and reconfirm its conservatism.  They must also get over their butt-hurt and let bygones be bygones.

True, several supporters of each party will be upset and probably abandon the new entity.  This must be viewed as an expected and acceptable sacrifice in order to achieve the goal of ridding the province from the NDP's grasp.

Also, a new leader must be elected.

The foundation of the new conservative brand in Alberta will have to be constructed, and I suggest it be built not strictly on the concept of Left vs Right, but also on Big vs Small government.

Given Alberta’s current government, one term is all every day Albertans will need to crave less intrusive governance and more freedom.

There are going to be several obstacles along the way, but it has become obvious that the re-build of Alberta’s political right must happen.  Now is the time to put aside personal ego and focus on the only goal that matters: saving Alberta.

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