I just received this letter outlining some serious allegations against the Alberta Wildrose Alliance Party concerning the local nomination for the provincial riding of Little Bow:
We are writing this letter in response to the decision of the Wildrose Alliance to allow Ian Donovan as candidate for the Wildrose Alliance in Little Bow.
We became members of this party because we believed that it stood for something different. We saw the policies of the Wildrose Alliance as exciting ideas that would change the nature of politics in this province. We particularly liked the open and transparent message that came from the party. This being said, we have now discovered how wrong we were.
As members of the constituency association we have experienced that the leadership of the Wildrose Alliance has systematically demonstrated incompetence in regards to the nomination process. Not only this, we have also experienced that this party is not a grassroots party, but a party run by a few paid employees that are not willing to work with local officials. Most significantly, the party central, with the leader Danielle Smith in awareness, flagrantly ignored its own procedures and rules by carefully interpreting the rules to favour a specific candidate. Two violations that we point to is the buying of memberships for people other than direct family members in clear contravention of the established guidelines of the party; we also point to the fact that eight mail-in ballots were never verified by the Returning Officer, but were mysteriously left in an office in Calgary.
It does not bode well for a party to make a statement in the public about open, transparent government on the same day that a locally elected executive was being squashed by the party central. As such, we are prepared to release the following statement to the presidents and to the local and national press by 10 a.m. Thursday, November 25, 2010 if our voices are continued to be ignored:
“The Provincial Executive of the Wildrose Alliance has declared Ian Donovan the winner of the nomination contest in Little Bow, contrary to the conclusion and declaration of the local Returning Officer based on the ballots in his possession. To this end, all but one member of the executive of Little Bow are resigning immediately. These resignations are based on the fact that flagrant irregularities occurred in the nomination process that were acknowledged but disregarded by the provincial executive, including the leader of the party. As such, the directors have lost faith in a party that supposedly espouses transparency and grassroots democracy.”
Kevin Van Lagen, President
Jack Derksen, CFO
Lee De Boer, Secretary
John Voorhorst, VP Fundraising
Robert Laing, VP Policy
Bill Harding, Director at Large Kerry
Nabozniak, Director at Large
It appears that in a rush to jump start the party and it’s chances against the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, the fledgling upstart “grassroots” Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta is tramping on the very grassroots they claim are the heart of the party.
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, Danielle Smith is a rookie in the game of politics – she clearly does not understand the vital role of the grassroots in an upstart party. Nor can we expect the Wildrose Alliance’s new Executive Director, Victor Marciano – fresh from a tenure with the federal Conservative Party of Canada, to honor and recognize the grassroots of any party. Since the merger of the PC Party and the Canadian Alliance, Victor Marciano and the other party elites on Conservative National Council have successful purged most of the grassroots elements out of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Perhaps this is the new reality of party politics in Canada.