The Wildrose is filling headlines but it doesn’t have anything to do with policy or its role as the province’s official opposition.
After booting Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt from Caucus for inflammatory remarks on Facebook, the party brought him back after just a couple of days.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, its leader said Fildebrandt has made things right.
“Derek has fully accepted Caucus’ concerns and criteria….
Derek is an important member of our Wildrose team and we all expect him to have a bright future within our organization. Along with our entire Wildrose team and, the broader conservative family, we look forward to Derek joining us once again to work on building a united conservative alternative that invites and attracts Albertans from all backgrounds who believe in smaller government, strong families, and safe communities.”
One of the conditions Fildebrandt agreed to before he was allowed back to Caucus is that he needs to hire a social media manager to better handle interactions with the public.
Meanwhile, a political scientist says these kinds of incidents are not helping the Wildrose grow its brand.
MRU Political Scientist Lori Williams said the problem is this confirms the perception for many; that the party is only concerend with its social-conservative agenda.
“Brian Jean isn’t trying very hard to portray the party as a moderate alternative on the right, more effect, more capable of leading Alberta from that point on the spectrum than the Progressive Conservatives,” Williams said.
She thinks that’s why the party took such a strong stand against Fildebrandt.
“But having ejected him to bring him back into the party-fold so quickly doesn’t really accomplish much of anything,” Williams added.
She also said, removing him from his role as finance critic could have some impact.