Alberta Liberal Party leadership candidate David Khan stopped by the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce lunch to drum up support for his campaign and for his party.
Khan said that his campaign has helped to energize the party and he has been selling plenty of memberships as he travels across the province.
The potential leadership candidate said many former members of the Progressive Conservative Party joined the Liberals after the PC party elected Jason Kenney with a mandate to merge with the Wildrose Party.
As a response to the unite the right movement happening between the PC Party and Wildrose Party, people at the centre of the spectrum have been meeting to discuss uniting the centre of the spectrum.
Khan said that he does not support merging the centre parties because there is no time to unite before the next election.
“There is no time to create a new party. These things take years, if not a decade to do,” Khan said.
Khan would rather draw those at the centre of the spectrum to the Alberta Liberal Party. He said that the party has constituency associations in around half the ridings across the province and has been successfully raising funds for the party.
Khan said he wants the Alberta Liberal Party to be a home for those who are disillusioned with the NDP and tired of the “tire fire on the right.” He said voters shouldn’t have to choose between massive debt and issues like gay rights.
Another problem Khan has with uniting the centre is that being at the centre of the spectrum doesn’t have much meaning.
“The centre doesn’t mean anything. Liberals stand for something,” Khan said.
Khan said liberalism is hundreds of years old and the philosophy and political movement have a good track record on inclusion, social progressiveness, individual freedoms and fiscal prudence.
He also wants to remove the idea that being a liberal is a dirty word in Alberta. He said that gone are the days of the National Energy Program and Pierre Trudeau and Albertans have started to appreciate the federal party again.
“I think most Albertans, as most Canadians are small-l liberals. I think we have the same values and principles and morals as the majority of Albertans.”
Khan is running against Calgary lawyer Kerry Cundal.
The new leader is to be announced at the party's annual general meeting in Calgary on June 4.