On May 18th, Wildrose leader Brian Jean and PC leader Jason Kenney announced a framework agreement for conservative unity.
Members of both parties will have the final say on whether a formal merger proceeds. This is important to me, both personally and as a member of our Wildrose Official Opposition.
In order to fully understand this potential merger, it is essential to understand the importance of grassroots democracy to our political movement.
The Wildrose Alliance itself was officially created through a merger between the Wildrose and Alberta Alliance parties. Both parties shared a firm commitment to grassroots democratic principles, as well as a willingness to put Alberta first. Egos were set aside, and our party’s growth and success over the past decade is a reflection of the hard work of hundreds and thousands of motivated grassroots supporters.
The new framework agreement between the Wildrose and PCs is similar: the deal was reached through a mutual desire to put Albertans first, while honouring a real commitment to our grassroots principles.
If approved by members, the new united party will be formed as a registered society, based on the legal framework that has empowered Wildrose since its creation. Funds raised by our members and supporters will remain available to the party moving forward. Perhaps most importantly, the agreement also ensures that our party’s belief in open nominations, board structures and annual general meetings is maintained.
I personally believe that this agreement reflects the wishes of the majority of Wildrose members, the majority of PC members, not to mention the majority of Albertans, including those who will never join a political party.
It also represents an exciting opportunity for renewal within our larger movement. Right now, across Alberta, a new generation of conservatives is stepping forward. They are strong, smart, confident people who are compassionate about their communities and our province. These “next generation” conservatives are well grounded in their principles, they have new ideas, they’re capable, and they are ready to lead.
Standing up for Alberta isn’t only about honouring our past. It’s also about implementing our conservative vision for the future; a vision of an Alberta, strong and free, where hard work and dedication bring new hope and new opportunity.
The framework unity agreement reflects the best of this vision, offering both hope and opportunity.
I will be voting for it.
DAVID SCHNEIDER, MLA Little Bow