It concerns me that media reports of the Rimbey/Rocky Mountain House/Sundre Wildrose Constituency Annual General Meeting (October 15th) paint a false picture of what actually occurred that night. It was certainly a remarkable AGM by any standard with the tone set when the only properly nominated candidates names failed to appear on the ballot paper. Perhaps unsurprisingly this caused consternation to many of the members in attendance and instigated some vigorous debate. When it became clear to the officials running the meeting that their opinions on the legality of this action were in the minority they tried, and failed, to pass a motion to adjourn the meeting so simply got up and left. The majority who remained did what we had gone to do – legitimately elect our constituency party officials.
In the days following the AGM the officials and the Party would claim that the meeting and some of the attendees were unruly prompting the early adjournment. It was clear to the majority who remained that the decision to adjourn was precipitated by the realization that their blatant attempt at election rigging was not going to be approved by the party members. The Wildrose party executive subsequently initiated an inquiry into the events of October 15 but this proved to be a kangaroo court as they only interviewed and took input from one side. Obviously the inquiry’s decision was made before reviewing any evidence.
The events of that night and the intervening weeks have further weakened the shaky democracy that exists in this province. By their actions the Wildrose party has shown itself to be just another “top down” dictatorship. The small flicker of hope that a true grass-roots, member driven party could be established in Alberta has been extinguished.