A new group aimed at bringing together centrist voices in the province is holding an information night in Grande Prairie Tuesday. Alberta Together Executive Director Katherine O’Neill explains they’re made up of people who consider themselves socially progressive but fiscally conservative.
“We feel that the political landscape is quite polarizing right now between the left and the right, and there’s really nothing in the middle of the political spectrum,” she explained ahead of Saturday’s vote to unite the Wildrose and PC parties.
O’Neill stepped down as president of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta three weeks after Jason Kenney was elected leader. She says the not-for-profit association was born from a need for Albertans to better understand their choices.
“We’re trying to bring people together to build bridges and to show them their options so that when they go to the polls in 2019, people feel like they have something to vote for and that they won’t have to hold their nose and vote for something that doesn’t really represent who they are.”
The group is non-partisan and doesn’t have any immediate plans to campaign for any party. However, O’Neill says she considers the Alberta Liberals and the Alberta Party to be in the middle of the spectrum currently.
She adds that she’s hearing from many people at their meetings so far saying they feel the Alberta Party is their best option at this time. She’s also noticed more young people showing up.
“That’s really exciting. I’ve been in politics a long time and it’s always hard to get young people interested in anything, and I think they’re seeing a place for them here and a place where they can have a voice.”
The meeting comes just a few days after the PC/Wildrose unity vote, and O’Neill believes it will have left some Albertans feeling “politically homeless”. She hopes that anyone who doesn’t identify with the new United Conservative Party will use Alberta Together to find their new home.
Alberta Together will be meeting at the Pomeroy Hotel And Conference Centre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on July 25th. The event is open and free to the public with formal remarks around 7:30. O’Neill says they plan to return in the fall but anyone who misses the info night can get more information on their website.