A Glass of Sass

A Wildrose Coup d’ Etat

Posted by on November 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm » 11 Comments

While the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties of Alberta were duking it out in the Legislature over the past ten days, and with the mainstream media focused on the Daryl Katz “One Cheque to Rule Them All” election donation controversy, something took place on social media that went unnoticed by most armchair politicos and online party supporters. How it went unnoticed remains a mystery because the accusation that was made is shocking enough to be deserving of both our attention and our concern.

For the past several months, rumours have been circulating of a fractured Wildrose Party about to be ripped asunder not only by its own infighting but by a clear act of subterfuge on the part of at least three party members. While the party has officially denied these rumours, Danielle Smith, the leader of the official opposition alluded to the possibility that the rumours are true during a recent interview with The Globe and Mail. According to the article, Smith worries that Alberta’s opposition parties have been too quick to turf leaders and she is hoping Wildrose won’t make that mistake.

It has not gone unnoticed that Rob Anderson, the Wildrose MLA for Airdrie and representative of the hard right so-con side of the party – Anderson being the man who insisted on running Alan “Lake of Fire” Hunsperger – has been stepping out into the spotlight more as of late. 

Then, just this past week, a video link hit local social media.

Yes, THIS really happened:

Wildrose Internals by x999999999x

It is easy enough to surmise from the video that an attempt at overthrow is at play within the Wildrose party and the rumors of the party self destructing are not only true, but the players are very clear. The source and maker of the video are anonymous, but the intended ominous message is clear:

Insurrection is at hand.

If one is to believe what is contained in the video, Rob Anderson, together with Shane Saskiw (former executive director, now the Wild Rose MLA for Lac La Biche), John Wescott (Saskiw’s longtime friend who was appointed to the executive director position following Saskiw’s departure), Saskiw’s girlfriend Shannon Stubbs (who was working for the Legislature and the WRP at the same time, her contract personally approved by Saskiw) as well as several other party insiders – Grant Monsour, and Paul Collins (not as a co-conspirator but a passive enabler) among them – have methodically, precisely, systematically constructed not only an overthrow of the Wildrose Party’s current leader, but an overthrow of the grassroots party itself. And thanks to the construct of the Wildrose party’s constitution, Danielle Smith has very limited power. There is nothing she can do to stop it.

Smith, as many suspected, is little more than the media face of her party. There is nothing to stop her removal as leader, and there is nothing the so-con faction of the party would like to do more. After all, she was only meant to serve as a means to get the party into power. Furthermore, as a result of being surrounded by those very same people who would have her replaced as leader, it would seem Smith is mostly blind to what is taking place.

Why this should matter to a party that calls itself a “grassroots” movement is obvious. By all accounts, the Anderson/Saskiw/Wescott trinity has already gathered their dream team around them, and plan to stack the Wildrose board with hand picked so-cons. That is not grassroots. That is not transparency. This is not open government.

But why should this matter to Albertans? Why should those of us who voted against the Wildrose Party be concerned about the politics at play within the party itself?

The people of Alberta deserve a strong opposition. Knowing that, 34% of Albertans voted for the Wildrose Party. They voted for Danielle Smith. In many cases those same voters ignored the so-con policy and agenda of some party members, choosing to believe that Smith’s words during her campaign were true – that the hard right faction in her party did not have the power to make their agenda the party’s policy. They trusted in that. 
Now, in all likelihood, the official opposition is about to make fools of every Albertan who believed they were voting for a fiscally conservative, socially libertarian, grassroots party while simultaneously making a fool of their own leader.

What takes place during the Wildrose Party Annual General Meeting later this month will tell us how much of what is contained in the anonymous video is true. Will the party’s leader be overthrown? Will the so-con faction within the party take over by ensuring a stacked board? Will the true grassroots supporters of the party stand up to be counted against Rob Anderson and his brotherhood of subterfuge? Will they stand behind the leader who took them to where they are now, or will they discard her in favor of a move to the hard right, thus ensuring they will never form a government in this province?

But most importantly, once the AGM has ended, will the people of Alberta have a strong opposition in the Legislature? 

At this point, all signs point to “no”.

The game is afoot!

  • http://www.alfredliveshere.com Brahm (alfred lives here)

    Interesting post — I had not heard this covered well in the local media at all — cannot wait to see what happens at the AGM!

  • http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/james-steinhubl/21/864/69 James Steinhubl

    Hahaha …. you stink ….have a shower would ya … eau d’teenburger smells it isn’t sexy

  • Jane Morgan

    One thing that struck me about the video – I know Grant fairly well, but knew nothing of him being a PC member. Who but a PC insider would even have access to know if he has a “current” membership.

    The rift has been going on for some time, I don’t think that’s been a secret. Hell every party has internal rifts.

    My husband has been exposing Collins since July go to his blog and search for “Collins” … here is one example http://corymorgan.com/grassroots-clowns/

    And Kikki you might like the blog post I’m publishing tomorrow. ;)

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    I always enjoy it when the true intellectuals join the conversation! Welcome, new friend!
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Jane, thank you so very much for the insight and the tip. As I’ve no idea who created the video, and as I’m not exactly a WRP insider (ha ha ha), I can’t confirm any of the information in the video so I appreciate the confirmation that it’s not a “PC Staffer created bit of nonsense” as has been suggested. I’ll be sure to check out Cory’s blog, and watch for your post tomorrow.
    Thank you, again!

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com

  • Jane Morgan

    I have no clue either as to the creator. Could have come from anywhere.  A PC’er with access to memberships or it could be a Wildrose supporter who just thew it out there as a guess. Really, unless Grant verifies he has a membership its just speculation. 

    Actually dual memberships aren’t unheard of. Many people take one out just to get the newsletters, emails, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/stratyos Stratyos

    Really interesting things going on…

  • http://www.facebook.com/buffnshine Timothy Anderson

    The video seems to be taking aim at all of them – Smith, Anderson, Saskiw, Mansour etc. Maybe the grassroots is waking up to how they were being used to get Harpnagan on the throne.

  • http://twitter.com/KikkiPlanet Kikki Planet

    Charming comment. No wonder you did so well selling all those lots.  Glad to see you’re out and about again. Freedom is a wonderful thing. (If you’re gonna play with the big kids, be prepared for it to get rough). 


  • http://twitter.com/carebaer322 Kathrine

    It really saddens me what happened to the Wildrose Party. As a former member, I really liked some of the things I was seeing at the ‘grassroots’ level. Until people with their own ideas and agendas started taking over and decided that they were the ones to be, and had no room for others who wanted to be involved. It also saddens me because I like Danielle and think she would be an awesome leader, and an awesome Premier if the individual’s in question would just back off. She HAD the heart and hand of the grassroots members. It was party insiders that had their own agendas and desires that caused the demise. I remember being at various meetings and seeing what was going on and told various individuals whose hearts were truly for real honest change, that this was all coming. A few of them agreed with me. Some chose to stay to fight the good fight. Others like myself, chose to leave. The party ‘powers that be’ even knew that I wanted to run as a ‘grassroots’ member of the party, for my area, but they went behind the scenes, ignored me, ignored the other man that wanted to run, and out of nowhere (no knowledge to anyone until it was too late to do anything about it) parachuted someone in. I was soooo perturbed by this, I had had enough even before that, but that sealed my decision that I wasn’t voting for them this past election. This was the FIRST election that I didn’t vote. It sickened me, as I ALWAYS vote.

    Knowing Paul Collins somewhat personally myself, I will not respond to accusations towards him.

  • xemones

    just out of curiosity… Which PC hack made this video?