In the final hours of the United Conservative Party leadership race Wayne Drysdale is holding out hope for a vote split leading to a Doug Schweitzer victory over Jason Kenney and Brian Jean. Alberta has seen it happen before during the Progressive Conservatives 44 year reign. Both Alison Redford and Ed Stelmach unexpectedly won leadership votes in 2006 and 2011.
He says regardless of the outcome he is looking forward to getting back to work Monday to try to “get Alberta back on track.” Drysdale says the focus for the last while has been on merging the parties and then the leadership race.
“You get in the leadership race and you get two different camps mainly fighting for this leadership race. It’s hard to unite people when you’re in different camps and [on] different sides of the debate. So, it’ll be nice when everybody will be on the same side here and working together.”
Drysdale wants to get the focus back on improving the economy and getting people back to work. Something he believes the caucus will be able to move forward on under their new UCP banner.
“In this situation where you’re trying to unite two legacy parties and then do a leadership all at once that makes it even more stressful. But any leadership race is stressful. But hopefully come Monday morning we can all be working together for the same purpose.”
“Going forward,” he added, “our party needs to have a founding meeting and establish our values and principals and policies and that’ll set a better direction to what the UCP Party really is.”
Drysdale also says having a seat in the legislature isn’t a requirement for a leader, pointing out that Danielle Smith led without one in the past.
“In some cases it’s almost an advantage. When the rest of us are stuck in the house debating bills our leader can be out getting around the province and talking to people.”
Drysdale says he’s “unlikely” to throw his hat in to the ring should a House Leader be required.
A new legislative session begins Monday.