Alberta PCs propose uninviting federal Tories to annual meetings.

A Conservative Split in Alberta
A Conservative Split in Alberta

An amendment proposed to the constitution of the Progressive Conservative Party by party supporters in Calgary-Glenmore would remove the automatic invitation and voting privileges of federal Conservative Party Members of Parliament at PC Party annual general meetings.

The explanation for the proposed amendment was listed in documents circulated by the PC Party this week (pdf):

The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta should be a distinct entity form the Conservative Party of Canada. During the last election we saw several federal cabinet ministers and their staffs actively support ‘other party’ candidates. This does not bode well for the future of Alberta.

Members of the federal Conservative party, specifically MP’s should not be allowed by tradition to be invited to our party’s annual general meeting and have any voting privileges. They can only vote if they have a valid PCAA membership.

The PC Party constitution as it is currently written invites federal Conservative MPs as voting delegates to PC Party annual meetings, which is likely a holdover from a time when the federal PC Party dominated Alberta’s representation in the House of Commons and Senate. The federal PC Party dissolved in 2003 and merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party of Canada.

The decision by numerous federal Conservative Party organizers and MPs, including Vitor Marciano, Tom Flanagan, Jim ArmourRob Anders, Brian Storseth, and cabinet minister Jason Kenney, to support Danielle Smith‘s right-wing Wildrose Party in the recent election has cooled relations between the two conservative parties. In June of this year, Minister Kenney apologized after hitting reply-all on a an email that harshly criticized Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk.

Perhaps it is not surprising that this proposal comes from PC supporters in Calgary-Glenmore. The recent election saw a pitch battle in Calgary-Glenmore between Wildrose MLA Paul Hinman, who narrowly won a 2009 by-election, and PC candidate Linda Johnson. When the votes were counted, Ms. Johnson defeated Mr. Hinman by 1,936 votes. The provincial constituency borders Premier Alison Redford‘s Calgary-Elbow constituency and is within the boundaries of Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s riding of Calgary-Southwest.

Other proposed changes to the PC Party constitution that will be debated at that party’s annual general meeting on November 9 and 10 in Calgary include overhauling the executive structure and the process in which party members select a new leader.

15 thoughts on “Alberta PCs propose uninviting federal Tories to annual meetings.”

  1. It will be interesting to see if the Alberta PCs follow through on this or if they’re merely firing across the CPC’s bow. It will be hard for them, psychologically speaking, to do this. But to survive, Alison Redford needs to build and strengthen a new progressive and conservative coalition and the PC Party’s connection with the market-fundamentalist, anti-environment CPC – Stephen Harper’s neocommunists, as I like to think of them – really hurts that effort. Moreover, the likes of Mr. Anders, Dr. Flanagan, Mr. Storseth and Mr. Marciano are not going to stop supporting the Wildrose now or in the future. Mr. Marciano, for heaven’s sake, is now employed as Danielle Smith’s press secretary. The PC’s would be smart to make the breach official and eliminate the Fifth Column in their own ranks.

  2. Smart move. The provincial organization should be there to represent provincial interests first and foremost, leave the national interests up to the federal level. The Alberta Libs should also look at this and look for ways to put some distance (perceptual or actual) between itself and the federal Liberals.

  3. Dave,

    I am most interested in the comment you had at the end – about the leadership selection process. There wer so many party establishment feathers ruffled with the Stelmach/Redford victories that I’m surprised it took the PCs so long to re-examine the process. I’m sure Dinnnig and Mar are grumbling that it’s about time!

  4. Dave,

    I am most interested in the comment you had at the end – about the leadership selection. There were so many party establishment feathers ruffled with the Stelmach/Redford victories that I’m surprised it took the PCs so long to re-examine the process . I’m sure Dinnig and Mar are grumbling that it’s about time!

  5. Really, who cares about the CPC MPs who, by the way, NEVER SHOW UP. The more interesting amendment is to remove the 15 delegate slots per federal CPC riding association. In actuality, these slots are usually taken by committed PC Alberta members, who didn’t get on the delegate slate at their provincial constituency association meetings. That’s going to cut a lot of grassroots members out of the process and further the grumblings about the policy development process (which is usually ignored by MLAs anyway). There should be as many delegate slots as there are registrants. Let’s open up the policy development process, just like we opened up the leadership voting process. Too common sense for the geniuses on the constitutional review committee, I guess.

  6. Darren, what you’re suggesting regarding the Alberta Liberals has been the case for years now. The two parties are distinct entities. Of course, there are many like me, who carry both memberships, but that’s a personal choice each member makes. Were there Liberal MPs in Alberta, I don’t believe that would afford them any special powers within the ALP, constitutionally speaking. Of course, they would be superstars, but that’s beside the point. Have a great weekend.

  7. I do not know how a blog post about the Alberta PC’s propose uninviting federal Tories to annual meeting sparks comments about the Alberta Liberals.

    The split between the ALP and the LPC happened in 1974 and was very clear until Dr. David Swann moved the party closer to the LPC.

    This was a bold move for the ALP.

    The PC party doing this to Federal MP’s is a slap in the face. This is just petty politics and there does not seem to be any upside for them to do this to the CPC.

    This smells like something many Federal Liberals who hold PC memberships (and there are many) might be behind this move. They want to pull the party to the far left and run against Ottawa in the next election.

    I think it will just be fun to watch.

    Wade

  8. Why should the provincial PC party give delegate spots to the federal party when the federal party doesn’t do the same?

  9. If the Alberta PCs are smart, they’ll do this in a heartbeat. The CPC is increasingly extremist and will do anything to destroy the ProgCons. Get rid of them before it’s too late.

  10. I heard of the mystical split between the Alberta and Federal Liberals but history never really seems to support it.

    Who was Alberta Liberal leader in 1974? Oh it was none other than Nick Taylor who would go on to warm a nice seat in the Senate.

    But you know if Taylor and the Alberta Liberals of the early 1980’s would have come out and criticized the National Energy Program maybe they wouldn’t have been associated with the Federal liberals?

    But if Taylor had stood against Trudeau than maybe he wouldn’t have gotten appointed to that Senate seat from the then Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Jean Chretien.

    Is it also not coincidental that the Federal and Alberta Liberals reached the apex of their popularity in Alberta in 1993?

    Why has no Alberta Liberal leader publicly criticized the federal Liberals for their anti Alberta policies?

  11. If David Climenhagha is offering advice to Alberta PC’s, it shows how far left the party has drifted. Yikes. Be afraid.

  12. Its only a matter of time, until the Prov. Cons (closet case progressive centrists) and Fed Cons. are on a collision course. They are ideologically very different, despite the name “Conservative” Both the Fed Conservatives and Provincial Tories are only on their legs because they “borrowed” progressive votes to their rise. History always proves to be true. What was once borrowed, must be given back, just like any other loan. Puritan conservatives, there are not enough of them to form a popsicle stand, let alone a gov’t. It therefore stands to reason that eventually, thorugh devices of their own greed, corruption and ineptness and taking voters for granted, these progressives will cycle back to the center. What this means is a guaranteed rise of the center once again. It is a cycle. In AB, the Tories, like their social credit predecessors will vanish and the Federal Tories, like Mul-Roney’s Conservatives will also wither and dither. Neither parties can maintain balance for ever. Turn over to Liberal will be inevitable, both provincially and federally. Having said that, those future LIberals will suffer the same fate as the Tories. This cycle is needed for a healthy democracy to stay somewhat functional. As of now, we are way overdue for a cyclical turnover to maintain a healthy democracy. The ND’s will not be invited to this cyclical party to power by the voters. The ND’s will always remain relevant to champion human, environment and social issues, while the center and right keep changing chairs. As said earlier, the shuffling of chairs is way long overdue, yet inevitable.

  13. For those who still keep harping about the NEP. If Harper was in the same situation as Trudeau, he would have done some level of taxation distribution to keep the country running. Its the few things that sink ships, Natural Disasters, Poor Economy, people suffering and joblessness. Trudeau had the last three, and as a Federal Politician, his priorities are different than a provincial premier, he still has to keep the country running and can’t let people starve. WHile it angered Albertans the NEP was introduced, it was a PC premier that was on board to allow it. ND’s and PC lovers keep forgetting that little fact. In all fairness, if the table was turned and the same situation was facing Harper, he would not let the country starve to death while Alberta prospered. This sort of short sighted prioritization would sink the conservatives. Having said that, Trudeau did what he had to do for that time. He can’t create money and wealth out of thin air. Immediate priorities must have been met. Provincial and Federal priorities will always be inherently at odd with each other. Trudeau was unfortunate enough to have landed in that economic era. Bumpkin AB’s need to graduate to more expanded levels of introspect on our history. It was P-C Tories who were in office in AB, NOT prov. Liberals. THe NEP was a deal between FED Libs and Provincial Tories. Prov. Libs are guilty of only eating a black jelly bean.

  14. To Change AB:

    Can you describe for me/all of us *exactly* how the PC Premier “allowed” the NEP, and how it was a “deal” between them? Are *you* “graduated” to an introspective level of history to remember the turning down of the taps in response? How was that “allowing” or “making a deal” on the NEP? If you are referring to the Sept. 1981 Canada/Alberta Energy Agreement *in response* to the NEP, that was *quite* another matter.

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