A plot to overthrow Alberta's NDP government from the inside has seemingly failed, as delegates expressed overwhelming support for Premier Rachel Notley's leadership this weekend.
A leadership review at the party's annual general convention in Calgary saw 97.8 per cent of delegates vote in favour of Notley.
A movement calling itself Albertans First Plebiscite Warriors announced in February it intended to hold a coup d'état — or "kudatah" according to one angry dissenter's creative spelling — against the NDP by buying party memberships and aiming to remove Notley from power.
Over 1,000 applicants rejected
NDP member Mimi Williams told the Calgary Herald the party rejected over 1,000 membership applications believed to be from Albertans First supporters.
Williams said she combed through social media posts and political donation histories of applicants to decide whether they would be accepted or rejected.
On Facebook, Albertans First leader George Clark slammed the NDP's decision to reject applicants.
"They didn't let us in but they are afraid of what we can do to them," Clark wrote.
"We gave them every opportunity to be inclusive and become more representative of what Albertans value. They chose to become a closed shop with special privilege participation only when they rejected thousands. That will result in their ultimate and complete rejection by Albertans at the next election."
Plan was just a "feint"
Williams told the Herald, even if the memberships had been approved they likely would not have been selected as delegates who need to be voted in through constituency associations.
After the vote in support of Notley, the group suggested that the plan to infiltrate the party had actually been just a "feint," implying it had more tricks up its sleeve.
@IanRoddick No that was a feint. The battle is on undeclared and unopposed fronts. We did get more rejections than convention attendees tho.— AlbertansFirst (@AlbertansFirst) June 11, 2016
Members of Alberta First who did not make it into the convention at the Hyatt hotel held a rally across the street at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary. One member suggested the few dozen at the rally outnumbered the NDP convention, which was attended by over 800 delegates.
On Saturday, NDP members tackled two resolutions relating to the attempted coup. The delegates approved one resolution forcing rejected applicants to wait one year before reapplying, and rejected another that would have raised the party's membership fee from $1 to $30, CBC News reported.
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