Over the past few weeks, I have seen countless blog postings over the potential godsend that the Wildrose Alliance Party feels it is bringing to the Alberta political landscape. Most of the WAP supporters are posting constant spins about how their party is going to lead Alberta back to the “promised” land after they “wipe out” the PC Party in the next election. I have had some time to watch some of the theatrics and thought it was time I posted some of my thoughts on this…
Disclaimer: I am a supporter of the PC party of Alberta and sit on my local constituency board. That said, I strongly believe that in order to make Alberta a better province, we must first ensure that there is a strong political engagement from our citizens, regardless of what party you support. I really don’t care what party you belong to, as long as you are passionate about making this province stronger. To each their own, as long as your views are not harmful to others.
The WAP is a new party and seemingly lacks the support of the Alberta voter. I am not sure why they feel that they are the “party in waiting” (The last time I checked, they had NO elected members.) but their confidence is definitely not lacking. .They are currently running town hall meetings across the province, with minimal success in my opinion. There recent meeting in Calgary had a paltry 50 people show up. (Wow, 50 whole people? in a city of 1.1MM which is considered a conservative bedrock?) Not exactly the grassroots earthquake of support that they are claiming to be causing. (Probably more like enough “shake” on the Richter scale to cause a candle to flicker!)
The recent announcement that Paul ( I am sure he’s a nice guy and all) Hinman will be stepping aside as WAP leader has given the media ( and us bloggers) some fodder to try and guess who the next leader will be. This move is entirely spin related and designed to gain some attention for their upcoming AGM. There is lots of speculation on who the next leader will be. In my opinion, its easier to decide who the leader will NOT be…
1) Craig Chandler. ( See the last post on the following blog, and you can see that Chandler confirms that he is OUT!)
2) Preston Manning. ( Why Not? Why end your career being associated with a disorganized movement? Ie. “Also Ran”)
3) Danielle Smith? This is an interesting plant? She has stated recently that she is interested in the position. Or is this just posturing for a better cabinet post when she runs (and wins) under the PC banner? If the latter is true, the WAP movement will be dead in the water in my opinion.
4) Ted Morton. (See # 2 above.)
Note: I would not be surprised to see Hinman run again, and win, given the possibility that no credible leader comes forward for the nomination.
If the WAP wants to make inroads in Alberta, they must elect a centrist leader that appeals to ALL Albertans, not just the hard-line WAP supporters and rural voter.
The WAP Platform is all over the map in my opinion. The most curious line in the whole platform to me is:
Wildrose Alliance social policy will always reflect the views of mainstream Albertans.
I spit my coffee out on this line! Even as a conservative myself, I find their stance on social issues a little too right for this “average Albertan”. Interestingly enough, the VP of Policy is Cory Morgan, who was once the LEADER of the Alberta Separatist Party. ( Note: His wife is fellow blogger Jane Morgan, who is also the executive director of the WAP.) Hmmm… I guess he must have seen that there was no future with an unelectable party promoting an unelectable platform? ( Seem familiar?) Perhaps he just saw the light?
Personally, this destroys all of the WAP’s credibility in my view.
Interestingly enough, The WAP has been successful in raising money from the oilpatch over the past year. I believe that this is simply a “protest” donation rather than a symbol of support. The true test will be 2 years from now, as the election nears. Will the money still be flowing to the WAP? Time will tell.
The next few months will determine the future of this party. There leadership campaign will be over in October, which will confirm what this party is all about. Will it continue to be a party for the same hard-line rightwing conservatives? Will they move to the centre in an attempt to capture the average Albertan’s vote? Or will they fade off into the sunset?
Until they prove otherwise, I believe that they are “All Hat, No Cattle”.
I am sure that I may not make many friends in the WAP after this, but seeing how they are champions of free speech and all, I just thought that this “Average Albertan” would share his thoughts.