Kenney eager to start negotiations regarding PC-Wildrose union
Less than 24 hours after securing the role of leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party, Jason Kenney reiterated his goal of a union of the province’s right-wing parties.
“All I’m proposing is that we bring together two halves of a family that cohabited successfully and gave good government to Alberta for the better part of four decades, but fell apart a few years ago,” said Kenney.
Kenney says he looks forward to meeting with Wildrose leader Brian Jean, his ‘friend and former colleague’, on Monday for an initial discussion regarding negotiations between the parties.
“I hope that we can proceed quickly to those negotiations. I hope that we will follow, as much as possible, the successful template of the merger agreement between the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parties at the federal level in 2003.”
Kenney says he hopes to have negotiations completed before the summer.
The former MP for Calgary-Midnapore says he has no immediate plans to secure a seat in the Legislature, “It’s not a priority for me to displace a sitting MLA and cause a byelection,”, but does not rule out the possibility of running should there be an unexpected resignation.
Political observers believe Kenney's plans to unite the right could face a number of obstacles.
"There's a lot of hostility, a lot of anger, a lot of differences over the years that are going to be hard to resolve and get past," said Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams. "There are principle differences between these parties and historical animosities between them."
Kenney hopes to have a new unified party in place by the end of the year.