February 1, 2015 3:03 pm
Updated: February 2, 2015 9:21 pm

Liberal Party rejects Laurie Blakeman’s proposal to merge with Alberta Party

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WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta Liberal Party has a new interim leader and he certainly has experience. Gary Bobrovitz reports.

EDMONTON — The Alberta Liberal Party has rejected a proposal by MLA Laurie Blakeman to discuss a possible merger with the Alberta Party.

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Blakeman said she would offer to serve as the party’s interim leader for one year as long as she could pursue an amalgamation with the Alberta Party. Instead, the Liberals announced MLA David Swann would serve as interim leader.

READ MORE: David Swann named interim leader of Alberta Liberal Party

Blakeman, the MLA for Edmonton-Centre, presented the idea to the Alberta Liberal Party Board, suggesting the merger could offer a progressive alternative to the governing Progressive Conservatives.

“I am prepared to offer my service as interim leader for one year on the condition that I am given a comprehensive mandate to negotiate a structures cooperation and eventual amalgamation with the Alberta Party,” she wrote in her proposal, which was also posted online.

WATCH: One of the legislature’s most experienced MLAs says she’s pondering her political future. Fletcher Kent has more on Laurie Blakeman and some recent Liberal Party decisions.

“It is fully expected that within this year and under an interim leader we will be in an election. I am seeking a mandate and the enthusiastic support to create an open and cooperative agreement with the Alberta Party, and possibly others, to nominate candidates in the constituencies we can win, and to prepare for and run an election together.”

The idea was one of two leadership options outlined by Blakeman. The other option was to call a leadership convention to choose a new leader. However, Blakeman said Alberta is too close to the next election to consider a convention.

“All indications suggest the writ will be dropped sometime this spring.”

The proposal came less than a week after former Liberal Party Leader Raj Sherman announced he was stepping down as leader effective immediately. Last Monday, Sherman also said he would not be seeking re-election. Two of the party’s other four MLAs previously announced they would not be running in the next provincial election, as they have intentions to fun federally.

READ MORE: Raj Sherman won’t seek re-election

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in Alberta politics with a flurry of moves, including the resignation of former PC MLAs Fred Horne, Doug Horner, Doug Griffiths, Cal Dallas, Rob Anderson, Alana DeLong, Mary Anne Jablonski, Genia Leskiw, and Donna Kennedy-Glans.

The former Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Derek Fildebrandt announced he will seek the nomination for the Wildrose Party in the Strathmore-Brooks riding.

On Saturday, now PC MLA Kerry Towle announced she will seek re-election in the riding of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. Towle was one of several Wildrose MLAs, including leader Danielle Smith, to cross the floor to the PC government in late 2014.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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