CALGARY (660 NEWS) – It’s a big day for the Freedom Conservative Party–Derek Fildebrandt’s off-shoot of the UCP is about to pick a new leader.
But one political expert says anyone who believes there is going to be a viable option in 2019 shouldn’t hold their breath.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt says he doesn’t see this as a party so much as “window dressing” for the independent movement. With just two high-profile candidates–Fildebrandt and Joe Anglin–Bratt says they are a long way away from a full field of 87.
He says this party has just been a vanity project for disgruntled and expelled UCP members.
“It is possible that Derek Fildebrandt could win his own riding. There is a value to incumbency, there is some dissatisfaction with the creation of the UCP amongst far-right conservatives,” he said.
Bratt said the party is a vanity project for Fildebrandt–who he also suspects will be elected leader–adding it’s hard to see the FCP as a viable option for 2019, particularly when you brand Jason Kenney as part of the “far-left”.
He says there are likely divisions within the UCP but we won’t see anything serious break away until they take power.
“Until they form government, that’s usually when parties break away. They unify when they’re in opposition and that’s exactly happened here.”
The FCP will announce their leader at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.