News Local

Derek Fildebrandt announces creation of United Liberty

By Chelsea Kemp, Airdrie Echo/Hanna Herald/Strathmore Standard

Derek Fildebrandt has created the United Liberty group, in an effort to convince Wildrose and PC’s members to vote in favour of a party merger.

Derek Fildebrandt has created the United Liberty group, in an effort to convince Wildrose and PC’s members to vote in favour of a party merger.

Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt is on a mission to unite the Progressive Conservatives (PC’s) and Wildrose into one party through the power of liberty conservatism.

 

“Failures not an option. We need to put the past behind us and put Alberta first,” said Fildebrandt at a recent town hall meeting.

The Wildrose MLA announced that he has created the United Liberty group, in an effort to convince Wildrose and PC’s members to vote in favour of a party merger.

Fildebrandt made the announcement of the new group at a town hall meeting in Strathmore on Thursday, June 22.

The MLA described the United Liberty group, as an organization that will serve as the, “Guiding star of liberty conservatism,” and, “The keeper of the torch of conservatism.”

More than 80 people were in attendance for the announcement.

The MLA says that the group will help the United Conservatives, if the merger is successful, to steer the party’s values in the right direction.

“Unit is a process not a destination,” said Fildebrandt.

The United Liberty group is centered on the belief that every Albertan should have the right to live their lives with limited government rule, as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.

Fildebrandt said that the group would set the stage for a possible leadership run.

"If I can see another candidate who will carry that forward in the best possible way, I'll consider supporting them, but if not, then United Liberty will serve as the foundation to launch a leadership campaign," said Fildebrandt.

The local MLA said he is focussed on uniting the right first, before announcing a run for leadership.

“I don’t want to just beat the NDP now, I want to beat them forever,” said Fildebrandt.

The MLA is looking to tap into the grassroots organization that gave birth to the Wildrose to help in continuing the accountability of leaders.

The group is intended to help in preventing the corruption that has plagued the PC”s since the reign of Allison Redford.

Fildebrandt said the United Liberty will be used to challenge politically correct culture and soft conservatism that has dominated Alberta politics.

“It’s time to think outside of the box of the accepted vanilla conservatism,” said Fildebrandt.

One of the goals of the newly formed United Liberty will be to actively engage with the youth in Alberta to vote conservative.

Fildebrandt drew attention to the lack of youth at the town hall meeting, highlighting how the majority of attendees were older people.

The MLA said he has plans to win over millennials through the appeal of liberty conservatism.

“We can’t simply wait for people to age into Conservatism. We have to take the fight to them,” said Fildebrandt.

The MLA said he hopes to use the United Liberty group to draw young voters away from the NDP.

One of the key factors that will affect the ability to draw in the youth vote will be the legalization of marijuana.

Fildebrandt said that he didn’t think that people should go to jail for pot.

He said that weed should be legal for adults, but was clear that marijuana needs to be kept away from children.

The MLA highlighted that adults should be able to carry marijuana as their right as free citizens.

A vote on July 22 by PC and Wildrose party members will determine if the two parties will merge into the United Conservatives.

The PC part requires 51 percent of members, and the Wildrose requires 75 per cent of members to approve of the merger in order for it to be successful.

“If they come together they have to come up the middle to please everyone,” said John Kirby, a Strathmore resident for seven years who attended the town hall meeting.

“He’s done a great job in [the Strathmore] area,” said Kirby.