Were We Slightly Ahead of Our Time?
Or were we the catalyst that brought Alberta the disastrous NDP government and resulted in over 200,000 unemployed Albertans and many more that are underemployed?
We may never know.
But what we do know is that if we don’t learn from our past mistakes, we’ll just keep making them.
Prescient Jim Prentice knew the danger lurking in the “left wings” and anticipated a rising socialist tide, when he persuaded nine Wildrose MLAs to join with him in a premature, ill-conceived attempt to unite all true conservatives under one banner.
But doing the right thing in the wrong way is never right. That worthy end didn’t justify hurting and betraying Wildrose constituents.
And, quite candidly, when the terms of our merger were never honoured, we realized we’d been “hoodwinked” ourselves.
The quickly called early election by the PCs was a betrayal of the understanding negotiated with Wildrose and gave us no time to explain our actions, our vision and intent to our constituents. We had no chance at rebuilding relationships.
Fair-minded Albertans saw it for the blatant power-grab it was; kicking the remaining, leaderless Wildrose and NDP while they were “down.”
Fair-minded voters responded, predictably, with a rejection of the unprincipled, opportunistic PCs. Many voted for the NDP in protest and anger at this arrogant action.
Many more stayed home.
So here we are, on the eve of what some are calling, “The most important vote of our generation.”
Will we vote for, or reject the opportunity to take back our province and restore the “Alberta Advantage.”
Conservative Albertans in both the Wildrose and PC parties know that people down on their luck and struggling, need a hand up. They also know that the greatest accomplishment of democratic capitalism has been the marvelously effective social safety net.
We know that work is not a punishment. It’s ennobling and builds genuine self esteem and a sense of self worth.
As conservatives, we know that equality of opportunity will help the unemployed and underemployed far more enduringly and effectively than high taxes.
Albertans who truly want our economy to grow, restoring old jobs and creating new ones, have bought memberships in both the PC and Wildrose Parties and will vote for creation of the United Conservative Party.
We need less focus on tribes, party colours and past mistakes, and more emphasis on standing together.
Do the right thing, conservative Albertans.
Former Wildrose MLAs, Gary Bikman
& Bruce McAllister