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Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman proposes merger with Alberta Party

02/01/2015 01:54 EST | Updated 04/03/2015 05:59 EDT
Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman says the Liberal Party should take steps to cooperateand eventually join with the fledgling Alberta Party in an effort to unite progressive voters. 

"I believe that voters are ready for a progressive alternative to the governing PCs," Blakeman wrote in a proposal shared online Sunday morning.

In it, she wrote that she would be willing to become interim leader of the party if she was given a mandate to negotiate "a structured cooperation and eventual amalgamation with the Alberta Party."

In the proposal, she said she would like the support of her party to talk with the Alberta Party "and possibly others" to nominate candidates in competitive areas of the province and "run an election together."

Former Liberal leader Raj Sherman resigned as the head of the party Monday and declared he will not run in the next election, largely expected to come in the spring.

The party's board of directors must now decide whether to hold a leadership race to replace him, or choose an interim leader for the next year. 

Last week, Blakeman advised against a leadership race, arguing that it would be a distraction for the party if an election was called. 

If the two parties do cooperate, a committee would need to meet to decide on a new party name and bylaws after the election, she said. A leadership race would be next. 

The Alberta party, which bills itself as a centrist, currently holds no seats in the Alberta legislature. The party has not responded publicly to Blakeman's proposal.

The party's leader, Greg Clark, is currently out of the province and could not be reached for comment. 

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