The Grassroots of Alberta

Ever since the last election, Wildrose has continued to see its support grow, especially across rural Alberta. ThreeHundredEight.com, a poll aggregator, shows that up as recently as December, Wildrose is in an excellent position to defeat the NDP in the next election.

As a rural Wildrose Party MLA I have faith that our party has the right policies and grassroots engagement to form the next government in 2019.  We have proved to be a strong opposition and have strived to strengthen all legislation that is going through the house.  This is exactly what Albertans would expect from us and we have shown we are a government in waiting.

One of the challenges Wildrose Leader Brian Jean has asked us is to work towards the best path forward for principled conservative-minded Albertans to not just defeat the NDP in the next election, but to create a lasting legacy for Alberta that can last for generations.

As we are a grassroots party, I’ve clearly heard from a growing number of members and supporters to consult and provide a vision to unite and consolidate conservatives across Alberta so we can ensure that we don’t risk another NDP term that will hurt our economy and make it more difficult than ever for our province to thrive again.

With that being said we need to go out and hear where our members are sitting and receive a clear direction on the path forward.

First, I would like to thank everyone who sent emails and participated in our local consultation on Uniting the Right.  From those town halls that I held across our riding we were able to get some expected results; Cold Lake 75%, Bonnyville 71% and Glendon 13% that the Wildrose Party should unite and consolidate under one conservative banner. This truly isn’t unexpected as I have already had the opportunity to discuss this topic with many across the constituency one-on-one, but holding the town halls allowed more voices to be heard in a safe place.

Over the last several years the Wildrose Party has seen amazing support in rural and it is those Wildrose members that have legitimate concerns about a merger moving forward. There’s one consistent message I have received, let’s unite if we can maintain our grassroots principles and ensure we don’t let a culture of cronyism enter our party.

The drive to maintain and preserve the Wildrose Party and our values is not surprising as the past government made several decisions that enforced a top-down, self-interested way of doing things that quickly lost people’s trust.

I know in our riding, concerns about the steady erosion of property rights was a lasting black mark from former governments in our province.

The Wildrose Party has been a beacon for rural Albertans to protect their rights and understandably there are concerns that they could lose their representation should we merge or create a coalition.

The NDP movement away from the “Alberta Advantage” to the “NDP Alberta Way” has brought investment in our province to an all-time low.  The Alberta Advantage was when we witnessed the highest health and education results in Canada, a business friendly environment, strong economy, employment for everyone and many Albertans experienced the highest standard of living in the world.

All Albertans agree profusely that we can’t allow another NDP term.  Neither the rural nor urban communities are wrong.  We all want the same thing.  Albertans needs to be put before politics.  The question is how do we get there?  A song many of us are heard rings truth right now.

Kenny Rogers – ‘The Gambler’

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Well the dealin’s going to be done in 2019 when we have our next election.  For those who want to see our party move in a particular direction, it is important to understand that we are a grassroots movement and that means that we need a 75% vote to make any changes to our party constitution.

This is an extremely high threshold as we in the Bonnyville – Cold Lake constituency are currently sitting at an average of 62% who want to see a united conservative group move forward from the recent town hall polling done.

This is far below the 75% that is needed to make a constitutional change to our grassroots party.  So my question for our local constituents is this, are you engaged in the politics?  We have seen too many people say that they don’t want to be involved because politics don’t matter or that their vote doesn’t count for anything.

But it matters now more than ever. You can have your say about the future of our party and the future of Alberta. It is truly in the hands of grassroots Albertans on how we choose to build up the conservative movement in time for the next election in 2019.

Our Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean believes so thoroughly that you deserve to be heard that if the members decide the direction of our party should be unification, he is willing to resign as the leader and run in a united leadership contest.  This is true leadership.  This is what our members expect as a grassroots party.

What can you do to get engaged?  Are you going to wait until the ‘dealin’s done’ before you get involved?  The answer is simple, buy a Wildrose Party membership and add your voice to the upcoming referendum.  Agree with unite or go on our own, you make the decision.  If you want to purchase a membership I encourage you to go online to http://www.wildrose.ca/membership.