The United Conservative Party (UPC) has officially announced the opening of nominations as of August 24 for the purpose of nominating a candidate to run in the next provincial election.
The election is expected to take place in May 2019.
If more than one person has submitted a nomination paper to seek the nomination to run for the party in the election there is a process that has to be followed.
If only one candidate submits a completed form, that person becomes the party’s candidate to run in the next election.
There will be a contest in the Drumheller/Stettler constituency for the nomination as more than one person is seeking the nomination including our incumbent MLA Rick Strankman.
Voting for a person in a nomination process is different than voting in an election. To vote in an election you have to be a citizen of Canada and be 18 years of age.
To vote in a nomination contest you have to be a member of the party and vote in person at one of the nominating meetings.
The Drumheller/Stettler constituency is geographically one of the largest constituencies in Alberta.
To give everyone a fair opportunity to vote for the candidate of choice there needs to be at least five or more locations set up for the purpose of voting.
The Electoral Boundary Commission in their report has adjusted the boundaries of constituencies to more closely even out the number of people in each constituency.
This requires a founding meeting to elect a board to represent everyone within the new constituency.
The founding meeting for this constituency was held March 29 and was hijacked by supporters of another candidate.
There were over 300 people who attended and as they entered the meeting place they were given a list of names that they were to vote for as board members for the new board. Thirty people were required for the new board.
Of the 42 people on the ballot, the 30 names on that list were all elected to the board. I think the sole purpose of this exercise by these people was to try and control where the vote takes place for nominating the candidate so as to favour their candidate.
Our MLA is primarily a grain farmer and this is harvest time. It appears that officials in the UPC head office were convinced by the Drumheller/ Stettler Constituency Association Board to have the nomination process begin at this time.
In my opinion, this is a deliberate attempt to blindside the MLA so his organization would have little time to organize membership sales.
Rather than being neutral, it is obvious that this board is biased in favour of another candidate.
This has the appearance of old PC Party tactics.
Wisdom and experience
In my view, it is crucial that our incumbent MLA be re-elected for another term.
If the polls are any indication it appears that the UPC will form the next government in a near landslide victory and most of the new caucus will be rookie MLA’s.
I think that caucus would benefit greatly from the wisdom and experience of the present caucus. It would be of assistance to Jason Kenney in establishing a new stable government.
Rick Strankman was first elected as the MLA for the Drumheller/Stettler constituency in 2012.
He has proven to be an effective, incorruptible, reliable and principled MLA.
Politics can be nasty.
Right now there is some misinformation being bandied about with respect to his vision for the future of the Special Areas in the constituency.
He lives in that area so he is not about to recommend a policy that would cause harm.
The Rick Strankman nomination committee needs to secure memberships in the party.
The candidate with the most supportive members who turn out to vote will win. If you are able to help, contact Lorne Muffitt, the campaign manager at LorneMuffitt@telus.net or phone 403-819-4170.
We need an experienced candidate as an MLA for the next election, not an opportunist looking for a career. We cannot allow these people to sabotage the process again!
by Herman Schwenk