Last week Rick Strankman announced that he was stepping down as a United Conservative (UCP) MLA to sit as an independent.
His reason is that since the amalgamation of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties the current party officials are not including the grassroots principles of strong conservative Alberta values.
In everything that Mr. Strankman has been involved with, his integrity and conservative values always come to the forefront.
For example: in 2014 when Danielle Smith and most of her caucus walked across the floor over to the Progressive Conservation (PC) party.
Strankman and four other Wildrose MLA’S stayed with the party. They believed in grassroots conservative principles.
Strankman sees the UCP party as abandoning those principles and going back to the top-down policies that serve the interests of party officials.
It would appear that some people do not learn from history. They forget why the Wildrose Party was formed in the first place.
It has become evident that true conservative members in the party were getting sick and tired of the top-down politics of a party that ignored the grassroots conservative values of the people they were supposed to serve.
That was precisely the reason that the old party under the leadership of Jim Prentice was decimated in the last election by the NDP.
People were so fed up with the self serving top-down politics of the old PC party that they held their nose and voted socialist just to get rid of them.
Now the expectation is that the UCP will do the same thing to the NDP in the coming election.
Now current party officials, elected and unelected, are purging the Wildrose side of the united party out of the party to accommodate old political interests.
The closer we get to an election the more apparent this deception will become because then people will be paying more attention.
The grassroots Albertans are still there and once riled up they may not allow themselves to be ignored again.
I think when they see that the united party that they agreed to is being systematically dismantled, there will be an angry backlash.
It may take some time for the deception to manifest itself to the public.
What form the backlash will take – only time will tell but people will not want to go back to the corrupt government we had prior to 2015.
We are now beginning to see some pushback on the direction that the UCP Jason Kenney-led party is taking.
Ian Donovan from Mossleigh, Ab. who was a Wildrose MLA from southern Alberta and crossed the floor to the PC Government in 2014, was defeated in the 2015 election, has now publicly resigned as a member of the party.
Many of the UCP nominating contests were controversial in that it seems the party had their preferred candidate and they went to extraordinary efforts to make sure that candidate would win.
Sometimes the popular candidate would be disqualified on a trumped-up charge, or in the case of Drumheller- Stettler, by a one-sided irregular process that did not follow the constitution, in my opinion.
I think the party will find that some of their chickens are going to come home to roost if they continue to thumb their nose at the party constitution.
The best way to send a message to the party would be for people like Rick Strankman, Ian Donovan, Wayne Anderson from the Highwood constituency and Danny Hozack from Vermilion-Lloydminster to run as independents.
These people are conservatives and it is conservatives that are being purged.
by Herman Schwenk