Sweeping changes in Alberta’s political landscape

Many details have to be worked out in terms of what the United Conservative Party will look like

Last weekend was a historic one for the political landscape in Alberta.

The Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties, each with an overwhelming 95% vote in favour, have merged to become one right wing party – the United Conservative Party.

Many details still have to be worked out in terms of what exactly the party will look like. A new leader will also have to be chosen. Former Wildrose Leader Brian Jean has announced he will be running for that position as has Doug Schweitzer.

Former Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney is rumoured to be seeking the top spot as well.

So what does this mean for Albertans? Well little is known yet, it will mean that Albertans will not have to chose between two right wing parties in the next election. While as separate parties, many of their ideologies were the same, there are some difference of opinions between the two.

It is an interesting time in history because the PCs were almost an institution in Alberta. This marks the end of an era – no matter how you viewed their political stances – it is a big change.

What also speaks high volumes is the significant amount of support in each party to merge – members in each voting 95% in favour of unity.

Announced on the heels of the historic unity vote for conservatives in Alberta, members of the legacy Wildrose and Progressive Conservative caucuses held their first joint meeting as united conservatives and elected the new party’s interim leader, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper. The vote showed a united caucus ready to fight for hard-working, everyday Albertans, said Cooper.

“Last weekend, we saw an outstanding victory for the democratic process and the people of Alberta. With members of both legacy parties voting 95 per cent in favour of unity, we now begin the process of party building. Members have driven this process from the very beginning and we thank them for the outpouring of support. They will continue to be pivotal to our future success. It’s important to remember that our legislative work is of the utmost importance, even as the leadership race begins. We’ll be holding the NDP government to account. As the NDP continues to fail working Alberta families by imposing risky, ideological policies that cause job losses across the province, our caucus is united in its goal of advocating for strong, common sense solutions that create jobs for Albertans. I want to thank the united caucus for putting their confidence in me as their interim leader, it is truly a great honour. Conservatives are now united for the greater good of Albertans, and we will put their concerns at the forefront of our legislative efforts each and every day. This is a new day for our province.”

A new leader for the United Conservative Parry will ultimately be chosen Oct. 28th.