Calgary

Former UCP MLA to run as Independent after quitting party over 'hyper-partisan' politics

A month after leaving the United Conservative Party because of "hyper-partisan, self-centred politics," southern Alberta MLA Rick Strankman has announced he's running as an Independent in the next election.

Rick Strankman lost UCP nomination for Drumheller-Stettler in upcoming provincial election

Rick Strankman, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, has represented the riding since 2012. He was elected as a member of the Wildrose Party. (CBC)

A month after leaving the United Conservative Party because of "hyper-partisan, self-centred politics," southern Alberta MLA Rick Strankman has announced he's running as an Independent in the next election.

In a statement posted on Monday, Strankman said that after being urged by many constituents, friends and family, he's decided to contest the upcoming provincial election as an Independent candidate in the Drumheller-Stettler riding. 

"After nearly seven years as an MLA shackled with party-first priorities, it is clear that Alberta's party system of government has stripped effective representation," read his statement. 

"Running for election and winning office as an Independent will enable me to restore the priorities of all Drumheller-Stettler citizens to the front lines of the legislature and advance their priorities for resurrecting Alberta's prosperity." 

Strankman was the incumbent UCP MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, but lost the nomination for the riding to challenger Nate Horner in September 2018. He left the party a few months later.

Strankman wrote he'd be concentrating on three things as an Independent:

  • Entrenching requisite property rights for all Albertans.
  • Advancing a new irrigation project, among other infrastructure initiatives that would help accelerate the Drumheller-Stettler economy.
  • Reducing the tax load.

Since his resignation, Strankman has written about the perils of party politics on his blog, where he's expressed interest in consensus government — as can be seen in the Northwest Territories, where all legislative members are Independents.

"There is a grassroots rebellion rising!" he wrote.

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