Eager to form the next provincial government in the next election, Wildrose Alliance Party established its first executive in the Drumheller-Stettler electoral division at its first annual general meeting in Stettler on Dec. 12.
“This is a new venture – a new beginning,” said president Rick Strankman of Altario.
“I think this party can go places and our new leader Danielle Smith has lots of depth brought forward.”
Results of an opinion poll released the day before showed that the Wildrose Alliance would receive 40 per cent support from the electorate with the ruling Progressive Conservative government under Premier Ed Stelmach trailing at 25 per cent support, tied with the Liberal party.
Since elected in March 2008 in a landslide, the PC government has faced great opposition with many unpopular decisions due to financial challenges and restrained funding during the global economic recession.
“Wildrose Alliance is already in a position to form the next government, but it’s up to us, a grassroots party, to make it happen,” said Jim Fisher who chaired the meeting.
By law, the next provincial election is expected in March 2012.
Filling the board were vice-president Chip Aiello of Drumheller, secretary-treasurer Norman Storch of Hanna, along with directors Don Peters of Stettler, Gary Wylaman of Stettler, Guy Neitz of Erskine, Damian Kurek of Consort, and Bob Gainer of Hanna.
Currently with about 400 members and about $500 in the bank, the local Wildrose Alliance association is looking forward to building up its strength.
“We need about $60,000 to be ready for the next election,” said Storch.
“Fundraising is our major task.”
“We need to raise money, we need to sell memberships, elect a good candidate, develop policy and engage young people.”
Currently the party’s lone MLA, Paul Hinman, encouraged the local association to reach out across the region to spread the Wildrose Alliance message.
“Government has an opportunity to make our life and community better,” said Hinman, who previously served as party leader.
“We need to protect our life, our freedom, and our community.”
“We need to have good government, not good politics,” said Hinman.
Over the next few months, the local association board will determine the date to elect its candidate for the next election, admitting that the young party faces a strong challenger in local MLA and Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden.
For more information, phone Strankman at 403-552-2106. Peters at 403-740-9780 or Neitz at 403-742-0592.