Jason Kenney's unite-the-right push has former MLA tearing up PC membership

With Jason Kenney as the presumptive front runner to become Alberta's next PC leader, some longtime party members are openly talking about needing a new political home.

'It's illogical to vote for a person who wants to disband the party,' says Ron Ghitter

Veteran former PC MLA slams Jason Kenney

5 years ago
Duration 5:43
Ron Ghitter says he might just vote NDP in the next provincial election 5:43

With Jason Kenney as the presumptive front runner to become Alberta's next Progressive Conservative leader, one longtime party member is openly talking about needing a new political home. 

Former PC MLA and senator Ron Ghitter says Kenney's plan to dismantle the PCs has rendered him and others political orphans. 

"It's illogical to vote for a person who wants to disband the party," Ghitter said.

"Philosophically, he doesn't live where a lot of we Progressive Conservatives live. He's an ideologue, more on the right, and that's not where you win elections in the longterm in Alberta."

Ghitter says he's theoretically ripped up his membership card and stopped his donations to the party because he's uncomfortable with Kenney's platform to merge with the Wildrose Party.

He doesn't think a united right is a slam dunk to defeat Rachel Notley in "a modern Alberta."

PCs still have strong brand

"[Albertans] voted NDP because the NDP was speaking to them. It wasn't just a negative about the Conservatives," he said.

"I'm a [Peter] Lougheed conservative. I'm a conservative that believes you're in the middle; you care for all people, you don't go right or left, you deal with the issues that are right for Alberta."

The PCs still have a strong brand that is on par with the Wildrose Party in terms of popularity, says Ghitter. He says he would like to see the party continue their tradition of strong government.

"What you do need is a centrist party, not an ideologue party on the left and what's going on on the right. You need a party that will relate to all Albertans that won't be a social conservative party that wants to get into the bedrooms and all these things of everybody. You don't need that in Alberta."

Ghitter admits he may be inclined to vote NDP in the next election if the party moves more to the centre.