I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the non-Progressive Conservative political right in Alberta and the future merger of the Wild Rose Party and the Alberta Alliance into the superparty Wild Rose Alliance is no exception.
I think it will be quite interesting to see the impact that a merger between these two parties will have in the next election. One of the quirks of Alberta politics seems to be the far-right’s inability to keep organized between elections only to coalesce in time for the election period.
In the 2004 election, the Alberta Alliance, led by Randy Thorsteinson, ran a full slate of 83 candidates. Though the majority of Alberta Alliance candidates didn’t come even close to victory, a few finished with strong second- or third- place finishes. Only Cardston-Taber-Warner candidate Paul Hinman (and now leader) was elected while Thorsteinson was unable to topple Tory MLA Luke Ouellette in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. With former Tory Broyce Jacobs once again challenging Hinman in Cardston-Taber-Warner, the Alliance leader Paul Hinman’s chances of re-election are questionable.
Of course, a couple of questions still remain about the Alliance-Wild Rose Unite the Right initiative such as… will they have time to register with Elections Alberta as a formal party or will they run under an unofficial slate? Will they really have time to organize candidates and campaigns before the next election? Will they hold a leadership race or will Alliance Leader Paul Hinman take the reins as has been suggested? What role will Craig Chandler and his merry band of supporters play in this new party/alliance?
Here’s a look back at some of the past-ventures of the non-PC far-right in Alberta electoral politics…
Alberta Alliance (83 candidates) – 77,466 votes (8.7%)
Social Credit (42 candidates) – 10,998 votes (1.23%)
Alberta First Party (16 candidates) – 8,851 votes (.87%)
Social Credit (12 candidates) – 5,361 votes (.53%)
Social Credit (70 candidates) – 64,667 votes (6.84%)
Confederation of Regions Party of Alberta (12 candidates) – 3,556 votes (.36%)
Social Credit (39 candidates) – 23,885 votes (2.41%)
Social Credit (6 candidates) – 3,939 votes (.47%)
Confederation of Regions Party of Alberta (6 candidates) – 2,866 votes (.40%)
Heritage Party of Alberta (6 candidates) – 601 votes (.08%)
Representative Party of Alberta (46 candidates) – 36,656 votes (5.14%)
Western Canada Concept Party of Alberta (20 candidates) – 4,615 votes (.65%)
Alberta Reform Movement (14 candidates) – 6,258 votes (.66%)
Social Credit (23 candidates) – 7,843 votes (.83%)
Western Canada Concept Party of Alberta (78 candidates) – 111,131 votes (11.76%)
(Also, has anyone registered wildrosealliance.ca/.com/.org/.net, or do we need to go through this again…)