EDMONTON - Two small right-wing political parties in Alberta are proposing a merger in advance of an expected spring election.

The Alberta Alliance has announced on its website that both it and the Wildrose Party of Alberta will ask their membership to approve the idea.

If accepted, the merged party will call itself the Wildrose Alliance.

The leader would be Paul Hinman, member of the legislature for Cardston-Taber-Warner and current leader of the Alberta Alliance.

The proposal calls for the Wildrose Alliance to combine similar policies, adopt a constitution similar to that of the Wildrose Party, and to elect a new combined party executive.

The two parties have already contacted their members to explain the plan and invite all to a meeting in Calgary on Jan. 19.

"Paul Hinman is respected by members of the Wildrose Party, as are the achievements of Alliance Party founder and president Randy Thorsteinson," said Wildrose Party president Rob James.

"The policy differences between our parties are minimal. We strongly urge our members to get behind this union."

Hinman said the Conservative government led by Premier Ed Stelmach has lost touch with what is most important to Albertans.

"We owe it to Albertans to give them a united and effective alternative," he said.