As Wildrose and Tories contemplate next steps, a political vet says they're going the wrong way

Alberta’s two conservative parties are determined to go their own way, but a key figure in uniting the right on the federal level says they are ignoring the lessons of the past.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said this week that unification with the Progressive Conservatives is dead and he pledged, instead, to make Wildrose a more broad-based party — potentially under a new name.

The Tories had already dismissed the notion of unifying with Wildrose, voting at their recent annual general meeting to rebuild and modernize the party under the Progressive Conservative brand.

Ray Speaker, the former Alberta MLA and MP who chaired the merger process between the federal PCs and the Canadian Alliance that resulted in the Conservative party in 2004, said he was disappointed with the recent turn of events.

“What they’re doing is opening the door for the NDP to become the government again in three years,” he said in an interview Friday.

Speaker said Jean and interim Tory Leader Ric McIver both think they can win without the other and are underestimating the potential support for Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government in the 2019 election. 

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