Today we saw another Progressive Conservative choose to throw Ms. Redford and the PC campaign under the bus: this time, for the opposite reason Ms. Kennedy-Glans did yesterday. A MLA of four terms wanted Ms. Redford to defend him and the MLAs of the PC caucus rather than flip flop on her earlier position, of which she had earlier changed her position on. This comes a day after Ms. Redford made a political gambit in hopes of a forgetful Albertan public that would forget about the No Meet committee: a gambit that may or may not pay dividends over the next three weeks of the election.
Ms. Redford is doing something very smart here: she’s banking that anger against the Tories will fade with the ongoing tumult of the election and that the Wildrose have peaked too early. Some polls have the Wildrose picking up some 58 seats, but, obviously, as quick a rise will inevitably meet as quick a fall. Such large jumps in support can only be seen as errant polling or flash in the pan support. Also, Ms. Smith, while having plenty of good coverage and positive spin around her for almost a year, has now to face a fully funded, fully organized natural governing party, with money oozing out of the campaign treasury. Ms. Smith also has to face the issue that she has not had to deal with the force of all her opinions she has ever written (like her support of legalized prostitution, which is anathema to her conservative base).
Ms. Smith is about to get hit with a giant campaign targeting her and her party. Which, for some, is justified seeing the very negative ads that Smith has sent out to vilify the Tories. Will Ms. Redford’s likely incoming tactics work? Probably. Everything is setting up for it to happen. Attack politics, as noted by Warren Kinsella, is like watching a roadside accident: everyone goes slowly by watching it for the gory details: And this will be a very, very gory election with a desperate Tory government and an equally animosity filled Wildrose.
You know it’s bad in Tory town when their candidates start to throw the central campaign under a bus.
Ms. Kennedy-Glans, running against Bruce Payne (Lib) in Calgary-Varsity, has called out her premier on the infamous “Do-Nothing” committee. A committee that Dr. Swann, when he was on it, used his $1,000 a month from that committee to give funds to charitable organizations, and Dr. Raj has been following in the same style of integrity by signing a $43,000 cheque the day of and passing it to the government to reimburse them. Honesty, integrity: That’s all Ms. Kennedy-Glans is asking for from her leader and her party.
It’s a really reasonable thing to ask for, too. The Liberals have been asking for transparency and change non-stop, as per their job as opposition and as a fundamental core value of Liberalism and the Alberta Liberal Party. In a blog posting she rails against Ms. Redford. I would link directly to the blog but, alas, the Tories haven’t mastered the technique of making their blog posts linkable to individual posts on their blogs. Here is her posting below.
Now, there are two weird things about this piece.
Firstly, she is running in a party rife with “governance issues” to fix those “governance issues”. That fundamentally does not make sense to this blogger, unless she is of the school of thought that she can fix the party from within. She cannot do this: Raj Sherman, when he spoke out about healthcare and fundamental mismanagement was canned and he was exiled from government. She joined and is running for the wrong party if she wants accountability in government. It’s just that simple. She probably should have run for the Liberals, and judging from her other blogposts, she is one. The thing is, is that there is already a Liberal running to carry the legacy of Liberal MLA Harry Chase in Calgary-Varity: his name is Bruce Payne. Maybe she should volunteer for him.
She obviously isn’t doing any favors to the PC team, that’s for sure. This brings us to our second point: to throw the central party under the bus means that she herself is going to be thrown under the bus. Everyone knows about the blogpost: like the CBC. You don’t retreat from pressure on that. Redford is being painted as an nontransparent co-opter of the Tories of the old guard. This is not change and it’s simply more of the same, is what essentially Glans is saying. You don’t get away with that as a Tory in Alberta. You can’t undermine The Leader and get away with that. She is going to get thrown underneath the bus by the central campaign, going to lose the volunteers and folks that have signed up with her that came through the party, and her campaign is going to get punted.
Obviously, from seeing this blog post and the general focus of her campaign, Kennedy-Glans is running against the incumbent-party in Varsity (the Liberals) through running against her own party (the incumbent government) and the values that the Tories have represented themselves through to the public. This isn’t a message that brings confidence to any PC voter. If they wanted a Liberal they’d vote for one: the Tories in this race will probably not hold their nose for these shenanigans, either breaking for the real voice of accountability and transparency, or to the alternative conservative choice, depending on their persuasion. Or they will stay home on April 23rd.
Edit: Turns out Mr. Climenhaga was writing satire yesterday and his post was indeed.. well, not really geared towards any conspiracy, real or perceived. So please move along, ignore this post. It’s being kept online for posterity and transparency (and a reminder to myself).
I would like to draw your attention to this strange piece that Mr. Climenhaga has written about Daveberta blogger, David Cournoyer. Mr. Climenhaga alleges that since Mr. Cournoyer has allegedly appeared on a pamphlet advertising a Christian rock radio station that Mr. Counrnoyer has conservative leanings and a dark, evil agenda. At first I thought this might have been some weird, pre-April Fools hoopla but, no, Mr. Climenhaga seems entirely serious in his blog post.
This is really, really dumb on more than one front. Firstly, it wouldn’t be the first time a designer has pulled a random picture off the internet and edited it into their pamphlet. Small businesses do it all the time. It wouldn’t be strange to see a local radio station do the same. So it may all be an accident. Mr. Climenhaga would have figured this out if he only tweeted or contacted Mr. Cournoyer–a few moments to double check or figure out the reality of the situation. He obviously chose not to do this.
Secondly, to conclude that because a person posed for a picture for an advertisement that they completely supported that organization is also rather daft. Mr. Cournoyer has, again and again, highlighted his progressive leanings on his blog, Daveberta.ca, and has noted from time to time that he was an ex-Liberal staffer. It neither fits nor does him being in a photo commit him to every thing that any organization possibly believes in.
Thirdly, and this is the most important point, what is wrong with being an evangelical Christian or being Conservative? I may disagree with some evangelicals on matters of faith, and definitely disagree with Conservatives on matters of public policy and ideology, but at the end of the day neither should be demonized for their thoughts and beliefs. What Mr. Climenhaga is showcasing on his blog is an absolutely infantile view of the world that paints both Conservatives and those of different religious persuasion as something that ought to be shamed, ought to be relegated to the back burners of the public discourse, and that anyone who is of those persuasions should be exposed and demonized. Even if Mr. Cournoyer was an evangelical Christian, even if he was a Conservative, and even if he was on that pamphlet by choice, it is neither a scoop nor something to glorify in with a political hack’s glee.
And Mr. Climenhaga has gone in this direction: to call his anti-Christian rock ramblings and mocking of evangelicals any form of reasonable points of debate would be foolish. Climenhaga has long ventured into trashy blogging, and this is but icing on a already thoroughly sugar-blasted cake. His blogging smacks of a ridiculousness that is deafening and misguided. It is shameful, it is wrong, and it is pure idiocy what Climenhaga has put to his blog. It broadcasts a view of the world that is fundamentally skewed by ideology, that is baseless in many accusations levied against a myriad of politicos and politicians, and is a typical feature of a attack-styled politics that both silences debate and shuns a forthright dialogue amongst Albertans.
Mr. Climenhaga has showcased, again and again, a tabloid style of blogging that should at once be shunned and dismissed. I truly hope that Mr. Cournoyer is not troubled by this affair and that the antics of Mr. Climenhaga reduces his influence on the upcoming election.