Monday, January 30, 2017

A united front in Alberta

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall watching potential Alberta merger  - "But their proposals have a marked difference. Kenney's five-point plan sees a new party rise from nothing, whereas Jean wants a united conservative front using the Wildrose Party's legal entity as a base.

There's not enough time to create something out of nothing, Jean says, echoing the arguments against Kenney's plan made by PC leadership hopefuls Richard Starke and Byron Nelson.

In 1997, the Saskatchewan Party had nothing — no support base, no constituency associations and, most importantly, no cash.

At nightly town hall meetings across the province, MLAs would try to sell memberships and get people involved as volunteers or potential candidates.

Although Kenney insists the question of transferring money between parties in Alberta is up for debate, the province's chief electoral officer, Glen Resler, says it's not allowed.

That would leave a new party starting from scratch, hoping it can raise enough money to effectively contest the 2019 election.

For Jean, the risks are untenable.

Wildrose raised $2 million last year, saving a large chunk of it in a war chest for the next election.

Dissolving the party would mean giving that back to donors or, worse, the government. It would also mean surrendering assets including every single computer, giving up leases and getting rid of staff.

"The idea of blowing up both parties and starting a new one is, in my opinion, very, very dangerous," Jean said.

He insists his plan would allow a united conservative force to hit the ground running, and eliminates the risk of a party in disarray if Premier Rachel Notley calls a snap election." Read full article

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