When the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties merged to form the United Conservative Party of Alberta, it was always going to be an open question whether the new entity could remain as united as its name suggested.
The rise of the right-wing, populist Wildrose Party was a reaction to the growing anger and fatigue with the PCs, who governed Alberta for an uninterrupted period stretching from 1971 to 2015. But after the PCs were booted from office, the two rival parties became aligned in their opposition to Rachel Notley’s NDP government.
Merged and under the leadership of Jason Kenney, the UCP defeated the NDP in 2019. Mission accomplished. But little more than three years later, Kenney is on his way out as leader and the party is already at a crossroads as it tries to find his replacement and avoid defeat in next spring’s election.
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On this week’s episode of The Writ Podcast, I’m joined by Elise von Scheel, CBC politics reporter in Alberta, to break down who is in the running to lead the United Conservative Party and what happened in Wednesday’s leadership debate in Medicine Hat.
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