Maverick candidate wants better deal for the West

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

You won’t find a Maverick Party candidate running in a western riding where vote-splitting on the right might allow a ‘left-wing’ candidate to win. That’s the Maverick strategy, as explained by Colin Krieger, the new party’s candidate in Peace River-Westlock.

In other words, a Conservative MP (I.e. Arnold Viersen) is better than nothing, but Krieger plans to do everything in his power to put the incumbent MP out of a job on Sept. 20.

“So voters can vote their conscience and don’t have to be strategic,” says.

Krieger is hoping their consciences will induce them to vote for the party that is a western version of the Bloc Quebecois. A strictly regional party, he says, can advocate for the interests of the West without having to worry about appeasing central Canada.

“We may not agree with them,” he says (of the Bloc), “but there’s no denying their success.”

So what would a Maverick Party bloc do for western Canada, if elected in sufficient numbers?

At the top of the list is constitutional reform. Fix the equalization payments formula and promote an elected senate, for example.

There are lots more details, but the basics are plain enough: western Canada in general and Alberta in particular will never get the respect they deserve, represented by a national ‘old-line’ party.

The Maverick Party would also support provincial (or regional) independence efforts, Krieger says.

Krieger is an oilfield operator, from the Valleyview area. He and his wife have three adult children, and recently became grandparents.

“That’s why I’m doing this,” he says. “Unless we do something immediately, their opportunities aren’t going to be the same, and that really concerns me.”

Born in Fort McMurray, Krieger has lived in the Valleyview area since he was six months old, growing up on a farm near there.

“I’ve been interested in politics my whole life,” he says.

On the campaign side of things, Krieger says he’s been over much of the riding so far, and will continue to go as hard as he can up to voting day. He has talked to a lot of people and likes what he’s hearing so far.

“People have been overwhelmingly receptive,” he says. “The message has been resonating. If I could talk to everyone in this riding, I would win.”

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