Wild Rose party takes off

Voters in Alberta will have another party to vote for in the next provincial election if members of the new Wild Rose party get their way.

Voters in Alberta will haveanother choice in the next provincial election if members of the new Wild Rose party get their way.

The party has applied to the province to become the 10th registered political party in Alberta.

For the party to become official, its name must be approved and thousands of signatures have to be collected.

Rob James, the Wild Rose party's president, is confident there's enough public support to make that happen by the end of summer.

"These are people that feel disenfranchised today because the [Progressive Conservative] party in Alberta has continued to move to the left, and left conservatives behind," James said.

The new party will be based on conservative ideas and grassroots accountability, according to James.

James says much of the support for the Wild Rose party will have to come from the Alberta Alliance, another conservative party formed in 2002.

Paul Hinman, the Alliance's leader and sole MLA, is disappointed the groups couldn't work together.

But he also believesthatthe province will benefit from more voices opposing the Conservatives.

"Eventually they'll get whittled down to size, and someone else will rise up out of the ashes and hopefully replace them with a better government," Hinman said.

Political science professor Faron Ellis says the Wild Rose party has to do much more than steal Alliance support if it wants to govern.

"You've got to fight the Conservatives over that ground as well as the Alliance, and they have distinct advantages," Ellis said.

"They have that dynasty going for them," Ellis said, referring to the Progressive Conservative government's 35-year reign.

But Ellis added the time may be ripe for a change in government as Premier Ed Stelmach's Conservatives continue to falter.