Gordon Kesler was the first separatist politician elected in Canada outside of Quebec since the 1870s. His stunning victory in the February 1982 by-election for the Western Canada Concept received national media attention. After the win Kessler became leader of the party. He won the Olds-Didsbury electoral district defeating Stephen Stiles of the Progressive Conservatives and Lloyd Quantz of Social Credit and three other candidates.
During the 1982 general election, held only months later in November, Kesler lost his seat despite Western Canada Concept fielding a full slate. He had shifted districts to his home district of Highwood after promising to move to Olds-Didsbury if elected. The time he served was the second shortest between election and defeat in the legislature's history. Harry Alger from the Progressive Conservatives defeated him with a five thousand vote plurality.
In a 1983 letter to the editor of the Alberta Report, Doug Christie, founder of the Western Canada Concept, accused Gordon Kesler of betraying separatism. Kesler and his party had been striving to distance themselves from the controversial Christie.
- Early 80's Separatism
- Doug Christie Letter to the editor
- Alberta Legislative Assembly votes and proceedings Statement by the Speaker
|Legislative Assembly of Alberta|
Robert Curtis Clark