When Preston Manning balked at a bid for the PC leadership he left a lot of Reformers rudderless. They were anxious to have Manning help them redefine the direction for Alberta towards a “Republican lite.”
Reformers have already taken over one Progressive Conservative Party – it ought not to happen again. There is a need for a fiscally and environmentally conservative party coupled with an open, inclusive and socially progressive policy. Alberta already has that combination of qualities in the PC Party - as it exists now.
In a post-Preston world these Reformers are getting organized and intend to impact and influence the outcome of the PC leadership. Media reports say they will have “a new name” (what is wrong with Reform or Social Credit for that matter) and a new website and they say they “may endorse a candidate.” Given what they think is ailing Alberta, it is pretty hard to imagine they will pass up this opportunity to endorse one or both of the “Doctors” - Oberg or Morton.
They are demanding candidates “come clean in terms of democratic ideals and values inside the party.” The Alberta PC Party has nothing to come clean about in terms of its democratic ideals and values. It wears them on its sleeve. They are called The Statement of Principles. They are quite encompassing, inclusive and open. Check them out on the party website.
These are the PROGRESSIVE Conservative Party values and ideals that were endorsed by a PC Party Convention in the early 1990’s. There was a review process that involved and engaged the entire party membership - at the grassroots constituency level – not the party elite in some backroom meetings.
The process was very successful and was very revitalizing for the Party and it was started and lead by then Party President, Dave Hancock. Yes the same Dave Hancock who is also a candidate for PC leader.
For the record the Statement of Principles were updated and reconfirmed in January 2002. They hardly need revision but I agree that the party could once again use some rejuvenation. Hancock did it 15 years ago and would do it again but based on the principles and values already endorsed by PC Party members.