Dave Rutherford calls out 'Alberta Can't Wait' on 3rd party vote, questions motivations
'Makes you wonder about the motivation for the people organizing that group,' Rutherford said
Dave Rutherford's unite the right movement, the Alberta Prosperity Fund, is in direct conflict with another unite the right movement and he's questioning their motivation.
Rutherford held a meeting in Calgary Wednesday, while "Alberta Can't Wait" had one Saturday but the two groups arrived at very different conclusions on how to bring the fractured conservative parties together.
There was no ambiguity at the Saturday meeting in Red Deer as members voted in a show of hands to create a new entity or party.
"The overwhelming resolution here when there was a show of hands … was for a new entity so that is what we will continue working towards," former PC cabinet minister Rick Orman told CBC News at the time.
- Alberta unite the right group votes for new party
- Another unite the right group hopes to woo Red Deer
Rutherford said Wednesday, that would be a mistake.
"We are not hearing, we are not hearing about a new party," Rutherford said.
"The people we talk to in these cities all over southern Alberta, they do not want a new party, that would further split the vote. They are very concerned about getting one, common sense alternative."
The former radio personality went on to speculate about what's going on behind the scenes.
"That did surprise me that, that was the overwhelming conclusion of that meeting. Makes you wonder about the motivation for the people organizing that group," Rutherford said.
"We are not a bunch of PC-ers who want to get their jobs back. I sense there is another organization that seems to want to do that, and they had a meeting in Red Deer."
Former PC MLA and justice minister Jonathan Denis, who said he was speaking as an individual at Wednesday's meeting, said federal conservative politics can serve as a template for an Alberta unite the right project.
"There are many people from many different walks of life that feel that we have more in common as a conservative movement than not," Denis said.
"I think it is important that we have these types of discussions. Ten, 15 years ago when we had two conservative parties federally, it was discussions such as this that ended up getting them back together and eventually forming a government."
Meanwhile Rutherford says the people showing up to his tour of the province, are already united and they want their political parties to do the same, and fast.
"The newest kind of feeling is that, maybe [the PCs and the Wildrose] should work together on a common theme in the legislature and elsewhere, work together to see if they can actually work together and then maybe move into something more formal beyond that. The idea of the time it takes to get things done, is sinking in to people," he said.
"Most of the people we talk to want it done yesterday."