The Wildrose and the conservative movement in Alberta are at a crossroads: it can fade into irrelevance as Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith hope it will, or it can fight on with intelligence and courage.
I fought for our ideals as the Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation for six years. I have left my job and devoted all my time and energy into this campaign because I know that it is the right thing to do.
If anyone asked me just four months ago if I would seek the leadership of the Wildrose, I would have thought them a madman; but for the last few months I was approached by conservatives and libertarians across Alberta to do just that. I came to give it serious consideration. I am a passionate conservative, and I could not let the only real voice of conservatism in Alberta – the Wildrose – die without a fight. I decided that I would only seek the leadership if I was the only viable Wildrose Leader in a general election.
While some supporters may be upset that I decided against seeking the leadership, I believe that it was in the best interests of Wildrose, and of Alberta. I will not see this party squander its chance for a rebirth.
The Wildrose has a duty to Alberta to provide a viable, conservative voice. I believe that Brian Jean is that voice.
Brian brings government and business experience, and organizational and fundraising capabilities. He shares my conservative convictions. He shares my core beliefs in limited government, freedom, and local and devolved government. He has assembled a strong and talented support team that can take Wildrose into an election and impress Albertans.
Wildrosers: let’s be honest with ourselves. This election will determine the fate of the Wildrose and Alberta. If we are not prepared and effective, Wildrose, which so many have contributed so much to, will fade into history.
People’s faith in democracy and each other has been shaken by the actions of Danielle Smith and the December crossers, but to allow their betrayal to undermine our faith in each other and our principles is exactly what they want. They want us – and all Albertans – to be so cynical about all elected officials that we assume that they are all as self-serving and corrupt as they are.
I have knocked on thousands of doors. I know what the people of Strathmore-Brooks want a principled, conservative alternative to the PCs who are hell bent upon raising taxes. They want an MLA who will be principled and not entertain deals for personal advancement the way their floor-crossing incumbents have. They want a viable Wildrose that is capable of being an alternative government.
The three candidates for the Wildrose leadership are conservatives. I am sure all are loyal to their constituents and would never betray them the way Smith and company did. But the candidate that gives us the greatest chance to gain the confidence of Albertans is . Brian Jean.
I am asking Wildrose members to trust Brian Jean. I am asking Wildrose members to have faith in each other. Albertans want us to stand up for them. Let’s show them that we are up to the job.