Conservatives don’t need a merger, they just need good leadership.


If there is one thing that conservatives in Alberta have been lacking in the last 10 years it is good leadership. From bungling Stelmach, to corrupted Redford to the unholy alliance of Prentice/Smith that managed to put Notley on the Premier’s chair, conservatives have languished under a chain of piss poor partisan leaders.

With the events seen in the last week, it looks pretty clear that conservative Albertans are going to have to wait longer to see a good leader come out of the woodwork.

The “right” in Alberta is not so much split as it is floundering in trying to find a stable banner to gather underneath. If one of the right of center parties could manage to get an inspiring leader, merger dreams would end and the majority of right of center Albertans would migrate to that party. One would think that under the gross mismanagement of Notley that a strong opposition party would manage to get it together. Alas, so far there has been no luck.

Yes, Brian Jean stepped up to the plate and took the reigns of the Wildrose Party while it was still reeling under the effects of Danielle Smith’s self serving treachery. Yes, Brian has been stellar in handling the disastrous fire in Fort McMurray. Aside from that though, Jean really hasn’t gotten far in turning the Wildrose Party into a government in waiting.

As I ranted last week, the choice to insult a visiting Premier in the legislature was a terrible one that repelled many Albertans in its lack of tact and class. Those were the actions of a party that wants to oppose rather than build and that falls squarely on the leader’s lap. It should be noted that Brian Jean was one of the MLAs who petulantly refused to stand to respectfully greet the visiting Premier. He cant blame the fallout from those tasteless actions on rogue MLAs. They were acting under his leadership and direction.

Jean’s next foolish and reactive move was his bizarre late night suspension of Derek Fildebrandt over a social media faux-pas.

Derek Fildebrandt is no homophobe and anybody knowing him will say that confidently. Even the most left wing of opponents acknowledge that while Derek made a careless error in judgement, they know damn well that he would never support anti-gay views or rhetoric. Despite that fact and despite Derek’s near immediate apology for the mistake, Jean recklessly suspended Derek from caucus.

Brian Jean is still doggedly claiming that it was the social media error that was the cause of the suspension. That is clearly utter bullshit and Jean’s refusal to explain the real rational behind the suspension is yet another example of poor leadership.

Perhaps there is a good set of reasons for the suspension of Fildebrandt from caucus. Jean would be well placed to release and explain them then because right now his actions look petty and have infuriated the grassroots of the Wildrose Party. In light of the employment outcomes for all of the floor crossers from the Wildrose Party the other year, I think it goes without saying that antagonizing the grassroots of a conservative party is never a wise course of action.

Derek Fildebrandt is one of the rougher MLAs. He plays hardball and he can be prone to theatrics. That is actually a good thing when one considers that Brian Jean can be about as animated as a turnip (as anybody who watched the last election debate can attest to). A balanced caucus has people of a few different characters.

Was the reason for the suspension pure insecurity on the part of Jean? Does he feel that his position as leader is threatened? I don’t think Jean’s leadership was threatened before last week but it sure as hell is now as the grassroots party members become annoyed.

Was the reason for the suspension because Jean felt embarrassed at a gathering of his federal compatriots while statements such as the one below were written in the Globe and Mail?

Has Mr. Jean become so accustomed to being led around by the nose by Mr. Fildebrandt that he allowed this sorry spectacle to unfold? Why doesn’t Mr. Jean simply step aside now and allow Mr. Fildebrandt to ascend to the position he so clearly lusts after?

Pretty harsh words from an editorialist and I don’t think they were based on fact. I can see how it grated on Jean though and I can see how an insecure leader would lash out to try and prove himself in light of such critique.

I don’t know the full story here I suspect but I know what I see and that is a demonstration of terrible leadership when we need it so dearly on the conservative end of the spectrum in Alberta.

I hope Jean either learns to get it together soon or steps aside because we really cant afford another term under Notley.

A good first step would be admitting error and bringing Derek Fildebrandt back into caucus.

Under good leadership, such suspensions shouldn’t be needed.



7 thoughts on “Conservatives don’t need a merger, they just need good leadership.

  1. I disagree, Cory. I think that Derek Fildebrandt’s social media mistake WAS a big deal. It was bozo eruptions that blew the WRP lead when Redford won, and it was bozo eruptions that kept the CPC in opposition and then held to minorities.

    People need to be held to account for their actions, accidental or otherwise. I am perfectly okay with him being suspended.

    I am of two minds regarding the “disrespect” of a visiting premier. I don’t think Notley should have invited her to the Leg in the first place. Ontario’s current policies do not do Alberta ANY favours.

    I hate to say Redford got something right, even once, but when Christie Clark decided she wanted some of AB’s royalties in exchange for supporting any pipelines and was meeting with Redford, she didn’t get invited to the Leg, nor should she have been.

    • No one I know thinks it was a bozo eruption. People are talking about it at the office and the consensus is Brian Jean is an idiot.

      • That’s How I see it Travis. How can you know such things are happening and not shout about it! Holy Mac! Filderbrandt is the only Wildroser to stand up and say what needs saying. I don’t care who it offends. Pretending we are going to lie here and become Ontario for the sake of a blasted pipe!? That’s nuts. Who would pay our equalization? Quebec? I can’t sit still for that and neither should anyone else. It was the first good thing I’ve heard said in legislature in months. Derek smacked the point out of the park. Wynne’s bumbling was center stage and Jean managed to pivot to his own bumbling on that stage. -4 run homer forgotten. Ontario needs us to be bad cop. The country and Alberta needs it. There was no down side here. The blasted pipe is a mirage. What’s next we ask Dennis Coderre to come down and have a ceremonial poop in the Bow?

  2. “Under good leadership, such suspensions shouldn’t be needed.”

    This is the key. I recall as a kid that the teachers who always had to resort to suspensions were the ones who were incapable of controlling their classes. Once it comes down to suspending people, all semblance of control has usually been lost.

    The sooner the WR seeks out a real leader, the quicker they will be seen as a government in waiting.

  3. I noticed Jean’s lack of leadership when he first started droning on about his wishy washy idea that the right wing parties might need to merge while the NDP was laying down tracks for their own Chavismo revolution.

    Jean didn’t seem to be anywhere around when the farmers needed him. We saw other MLA’s at town halls, but I was getting party fund raising calls for Jean’s lame plan to unite the right.

    We saw him have a half-hearted battle with the NDP government over Fort McMurray and after his little bit in the legislature. We never heard Jean say another peep about what the NDP was doing wrong after that. The burning of his constituency should have seen a fiery Jean show up to burn down the legislature. Instead we got sleepy Jean in a tent in Anzac.

    Where’s Jean while the NDP has been shutting down our mining industry, colluding with Ontario’s insane green scheme’s and putting Albertan’s on the brink of energy poverty? Who knows?

    Where’s Jean while the NDP write powers of unlimited search and seizure and setting up secret soviet police? He’s kicking his MLA out of caucus.

    Jean can’t really be bothered to stand up for anything as far as I’ve seen.

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