July 16th, 2018

All 29 UCP MLAs have obligation to resign and run in byelections

By Letter to the Editor on August 11, 2017.

The recent birth of the United Conservative Party from the parent PC and Wildrose parties has not been easy and we can expect more growing pains ahead.

The lightning fast speed at which the unification of the centrist PC party and right wing Wildrose party left little time to organize and or anticipate potential problems. One unfortunate result of the creation of the new party that it appears many of its proponents didn’t consider is the reality that all 29 current UCP members were elected under either the PC or Wildrose banners and they now will sit as UCP MLAs.

Some, like local MLA Drew Barnes, justify this change by suggesting that neither the Wildrose nor PC parties exist any longer and so they had to follow the unity plan and join the new party. This is, in fact, false, as these two entities do technically still exist and one MLA, Richard Starke, did not cross to the UCP.

Another excuse used for switching parties is that 95 per cent of members of each party supported the unification of the parties. From a party perspective this is overwhelming support, but from an MLA perspective it is meaningless as it is not just the membership of these two parties that elect members to the Legislature. The public as a whole reserves this right.

The voters outside the party membership were never consulted and had no opportunity to vote on who would represent them as their MLA and under which party. There is a term for MLAs elected under one party banner and who then choose to move to another party between elections. The term is floor crosser.

If we hearken back to December of 2014 when many of the Wildrose caucus, including their leader, crossed the floor there was outrage, especially from Mr. Barnes. He is quoted as saying that “he isn’t going anywhere and that he was elected as a Wildrose member and told voters he would represent them as such for the next four years.”

I am curious how Mr. Barnes will now justify crossing to a new party without consulting the voters that he promised to represent. Is this his version of grassroots democracy? As a member of the UCP, I think the right thing to do is have all 29 resign and run in byelections under the new party banner. This will erase any taint on the legitimacy of these MLAs standing with the voters. I also see it as an opportunity to gauge support for the new party and potentially send a clear message to the current government.

Jim Taylor

Medicine Hat

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6 Responses to “All 29 UCP MLAs have obligation to resign and run in byelections”

  1. Fedup Conservative says:

    That’s exactly what is wanted Jim. So we can vote the traitors out as the Wildrose Party supporters are saying. I don’t think it will happen until after the leadership is decided in October, then I think they will have to resign. They have certainly shot themselves in the foot and I’m glad they did.
    We certainly don’t want any of the extreme far right-wing Reform Party boys running this province, or as we know you will see a lot more privatization and a lot more seniors in financial ruin. Our food banks can’t handle anymore.

  2. Fedup Conservative says:

    The Derek Fildebrandt fiasco has just put another nail in their coffin. It’a hard to believe what fools these right-wing politicians have become. They certainly aren’t anything like the ones we proudly supported under Lougheed and Getty. As I have said many times they are all about looking after themselves and their rich friends and don’t care what happens to the people they represent. One again they prove it, you would have to be a damn fool to support them.

  3. Lana says:

    I completely agree with you Mr. Taylor.
    Brian Jean and Drew Barnes are a complete disappointment to Albertans. Danielle Smith, I believe, would be sitting as Premier right now if it had not been for the Conservative party, she sold out and all these men did was followed in her footsteps.
    Prentice did not want to be leader of the party so tried to find someone else to do the job. However he should have did it either before calling the election or after the election and joined the Wildrose party after they won the election, But the conservatives couldn’t have the Wildrose in office.

  4. Fedup Conservative says:

    Lana and her Wildrose supporting friends need to get their heads out of the sand. It’s a well known fact that the Wildrose Party was formed in 2002 by a group of lawyers led by Marilyn Burns. In 2003 Marilyn asked me to run in the 2004 election as their leader, I declined. Since then I have followed them very closely and watched them go from wanting to stop Ralph Klein from destroying this province to one of wanting to bring back his destructive policies, so why would anyone want that? Aren’t we in a bad enough mess?

    Shortly after Danielle Smith was elected one of her candidates told me that she fully supported Smith’s wish to privatize our education and health care systems like Klein was trying to do. She told me that she had her son in a private school and it was wonderful, it only cost her $1,000. per month. I asked her if she would feel that way if she had six kids. She said no one has any right having six kids, you should never have more than two. She got 198 votes in the next election proving what people thought of her idiotic ideas.

    So maybe Lana and her friends had better pull up and read this: “WILDROSE LEADER OPENLY LAYS OUT PLAN FOR PRIVATIZING HEALTH CARE”. Doctors tell us it would likely cost you $300 – $400 per month each and will destroy health care in rural Alberta. Maybe Lana would like to tell us how she would keep doctors and nurses working in rural Alberta when they could make twice as much money working in the private for profit clinics that privatization would create. That’s what Smith was planning for you. The doctors state that it would definitely cost people their lives.

    Now these Reform Party boys are promising the same thing, create a two-tired health care system and screw the people out of their money while we give away their oil wealth to our rich friends. And we still see many of our fellow seniors that are dumb enough to let them do it. Are you one of them??????

  5. Fedup Conservative says:

    This is what Brian Jean promised he would do to you during the 2015 election:


    In other words you would have to be a damn fool to support him, or this united party. If you think our health care system is too expensive now just think what sending people out of the province will cost us and as doctors say it could cost you your life.

    Of course they ignore the fact that they were praising and supporting Ralph Klein when he was closing hospitals, 1,500 hospital beds and cutting 5,000 nursing positions. In other words they created the mess we are in. These seniors who are still willing to support them had better wake up and get rid of their right-wing only ignorance and help the rest of us make certain these Reformers aren’t elected. Those of us who are fighting them are the true conservatives.

  6. Wayne says:

    As there been a recent eclipse of the sun ?…… As I actually agree with Jim Taylor for once!

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