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Friends close; enemies closer? Rumours abound Wildrose is about to return to PC mothership

Danielle Smith

Tout le monde political Alberta was abuzz last night with rumours the entire Wildrose caucus is on the verge of walking over and joining Premier Jim Prentice's Progressive Conservatives, perhaps as soon as today.

The Wildrosers will be briefed at today's caucus meeting, then the Provincial Government of Petroleum Unity will be formed, or so goes the universal rumour.

This makes so little sense that, this being Alberta, it's probably true. Certainly it will be close to unprecedented in the annals of Canadian politics for an entire opposition party just to surrender and join the government holus-bolus, but there you go.

Certainly it would effectively bring to an end one of the most entertaining and interesting periods in Alberta political history.

Perhaps there will be a few holdouts, perhaps not. If this happens, the Wildrose Party's furthest right true believers will feel abandoned and furious, but what do they matter? They haven't been part of the Wildrose brain trust's political calculus for a while now, as its members felt increasingly anxious to return to the comforts of governing, whatever that took.

An anonymous blogger of some variety of small-c conservative bent reported Opposition Leader Danielle Smith is leading the charge, begging her caucus to come with her to the PC benches.

Perhaps Premier Prentice will reward Ms. Smith for her past hard work and good sense with the post of deputy premier -- don't look at me, that's part of the rumour too!

Calgary Sun Columnist Rick Bell reported in tiny paragraphs that he has seen a copy of the "reunification document." He quotes it as saying: "In this time of declining oil prices and economic uncertainty it is imperative we come together as conservatives."

The Calgary Herald said Wildrose movers and shakers like Ms. Smith, Rob Anderson and party president David Yager are refusing to comment and not returning their phone calls -- always a sure sign something is up.

Remember, when the kid cried out to Shoeless Joe Jackson, accused of throwing the World Series, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" Joe had nothing to say in reply.

Say it ain't so, Danielle!

Speaking of Joes, it seems to have been Independent MLA Joe Anglin, a former Wildroser, who tipped Albertans to the fact something was brewing.

As they say over at the mainstream media, "more to come…"

For the moment, just remember this about politics in Alberta: "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, Alberta Diary.

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