Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wild Race? Yes. Wildrose? No.

Wildrose planning personified.
The Alberta provincial election on April 23rd will be interesting - to say the least.  For the first time in a long time the 30-odd year reign of the Progressive Conservatives is actually threatened by the upstart Wildrose Alliance Church (oops!), er ...  Party, who presently lead every poll that matters.  Now don't get me wrong.  The PC's have certainly squandered their Natural Governing Party status Out Here over the past five years, and deserve a "slap upside the head", as my brother would say.  (NGP?  Albertans lurch from small "c" conservative party to small "c" conservative party so consistently that any smart liberal politician (PC leader Alison Redford, perhaps?) has by now realized that to have any chance of affecting policy you need to infiltrate the NGP Conservatives.)  However, it appears to this writer that these Wildrose Wackos need to be stopped.  (Funny how elections always seem to come down to the lesser of two evils, don't they?)  And these people are so "good" that they're evil.  To wit, from The National Post yesterday: "One of the first things (Wildrose leader) Danielle Smith will have to do if she pulls off a victory is haul out the media muzzle and firmly attach it to some of her members.  Ron Leech, the retired Calgary pastor who thinks he has an advantage over ethnics because he’s a white guy … muzzled. Allan Hunsberger, the fervent christian evangelical who thinks gays will burn in hell … muzzled. Wildrose is a party that began as a reaction to the view that the ruling PCs were no longer conservative enough. It follows that some of the more zealous inhabitants of the PC fringes would make the switch, and feel emboldened by the culture of the new party to express their views more freely than Ms. Smith might desire. Other than a few floor-crossers, a Wildrose government will be packed with rookie politicians inexperienced both in government and the perils of sharing their thoughts in public. Having imperfect members is not fatal to a party, but the leader’s handling of them is critical. Smith has been hesitant to take a tough stand on the issue while the campaign is still underway. She won’t long have that luxury if her credibility is to be maintained."  Religious crazies versus the status quo?  A global warming denier versus an investor in education?  A leader trying to buy our vote with royalty cheques (our own money) versus one who is serious about healthcare reform?  Are you kidding me?  I'll take the latter every time.