Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ted Morton, Regressive Conservative

We don't need the Tea Party here in Alberta.  I'm right-wing of Attila the Hun, but I can smell a rat when I get a whiff.  I just spent the better part of a day reading everything I could find about Ted Morton.  (My principle worry these days is that the separation of church and state in Canada is as much under threat from U.S.-style fundagelicals as it is from eastern religions, and when I see a politician who moralizes more than he addresses the basic needs of voters I get worried.)  Herewith, an admittedly old snippet about Morton from 2006 that pretty well sums up my research:  "City councillor Kim Krushell, a 10-year member of the provincial Tories ... In the meeting with Morton, she was shocked to hear the candidate list moral issues like same-sex marriage and abortion as priorities.  Krushell fears a fundamentalist Morton agenda will create a gaping chasm between urbans and rurals, inside and outside the party.  "Ted Morton scares me," says Krushell. "I think he'll divide the province and the party."  His leadership, she believes, will also distract the government from significant issues, like building the urban and rural infrastructure ..."  My own research reveals that Morton appears to embrace some VERY un-Canadian ideas; he prefers private health care over public health care, is pro-sales tax, and disparages appointed judges and human rights commissions whenever he gets a chance.  Redneck Ted doesn't realize that elected bureaucrats and judges are inevitably more prone to influence-peddling than appointed ones - and a major cause of the political polarization that has currently paralyzed the U.S. political system.  That's why the Canadian way is to elect only the highest officials nationally, provincially and locally, and hire or appoint the rest, based on merit.  You see, Ted, Canada's Fathers of Confederation had the benefit of considerable hindsight when they designed our parliamentary system; they got rid of the inherited British House of Lords and the veto power and cult of personality associated with a U.S. President.  It ain't perfect (we should elect our Senate after all), but my redneck is not your redneck.