Rick Bell: Wildrose President Won't Rain on Kenney's Parade

Jeff Callaway is the Wildrose president.

Somehow, in the name of defending political turf, your scribbler half expects the man will drop a partisan bomb on Calgary MP and former Harper cabinet minister Jason Kenney.

All the recent talk about Kenney running for the Alberta PC leadership isn’t part of the Wildrose playbook.

And Callaway has been around since Wildrose’s early days. Yes, the days of 1,400 names on a spread sheet as he tells it.

A hardy group bound and determined to keep the conservative flame alive after the PCs took a turn to the left, eventually sinking the long-time ruling ones in a hole of drunken sailor government spending, fumble-fingered administration and corrupt stink.

Callaway says getting any particular party elected in 2019 is not an end in itself. The end is conservatism in government.

“Let me be clear. I’m more committed to small-c conservative principles and seeing those reflected in government in 2019 than I am about the colour of the flag that flies and gets the job done,” says the Wildrose prez.

“It’s more important principled government be elected, be it Wildrose or whatever.”

“It’s more important to have a principled small-c conservative government elected in 2019 than anything else.”

He refers to the Wildrose as a movement, more than a party, “a parade of principles” leading to the goal of seeing those principles live in power.

Callaway says this is “the true heart of the party” and those principles have got Wildrose through thick and thin, including a defection of their leader Danielle Smith and most of their MLAs before the last election.