Monday, August 01, 2011

Craig Chandler Supports the Liberals

This week's sign of the apocalypse - an e-mail sent out today by Craig Chandler to all PGIB members:

From: "PGIB Head Office"
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 11:33:02 -0600
To: Craig Chandler

ReplyTo: "PGIB Head Office"
Subject: A Serious Leadership Message For Albertans! - This Email Is URGENT In Nature - NOW

PLEASE VOTE IN THE ALBERTA LIBERAL LEADERSHIP RACE
Seriously! This Is NOT A Joke!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dear Friends,

I know when you read the words above you almost had a heart attack and were scared, been there, done that. I actually threw up about the whole situation. Folks, you know me and I am as solidly small 'c' conservative as they come, thus, I am asking for your trust. After the initial shock of seeing a Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB) logo promoting that you take part in a Liberal leadership race and actually read this letter, you will understand.

[...]

However, the main reason for our letter to you is because we think we need to hedge our bets. With the Alberta Progressive Conservative and the Wildrose Alliance Parties splitting each others vote, this forces us to have a well thought out strategy for the upcoming election. If the wrong person becomes leader of the Alberta Liberal Party and the party manages to crawl up the middle and form government, we are in serious, serious trouble as a province!

That is why we are asking you to register to support Bill Harvey who is seeking to become leader of the Alberta Liberal Party. I know what you are thinking, but, keep reading as this is really, really important for the future of this province. You do not have to be a member of the Alberta Liberal Party to vote so this is a real opportunity for the movement.

Bill Harvey is a long time PGIB member and his views are Classical Liberal in flavour or as what we refer to in the modern day as small 'c' conservative. Bill Harvey's policies of less government, lower taxes and political accountability are of the fiscally responsible Laurence Decore era. His view on eliminating Section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Commission show that he values freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Bill Harvey's policies on putting Alberta first with an Alberta Provincial Police force, controlling our own immigration to his promotion of a Triple E Senate and defense of our oil & gas industry show that he will be a defender of the west.

What is also refreshing about Bill Harvey is that he is NOT a federa l Liberal! How anyone could be supporter of a party that is the enemy of this province is beyond me?


For those not familiar with Alberta politics, Craig Chandler is a colourful fellow who does things like organize fundraisers where you can shoot your gun at Liberal logos. In 2007, he was stripped of his PC nomination in Calgary Egmont in response to comments where he basically said Albertans should either "adapt" and vote Conservative, or leave the province. You can read a good recap of that saga here. These days, Craig runs the PGIB - the Progressive Group of Independent Business who are basically against everything progressive.

Well, it appears Craig himself has adapted, and is now supporting the Liberals and urging PGIB members to do likewise, in a bid to elect Bill Harvey ALP leader.

We'll find out in September how effective they've been, but this will make for an excellent case study in the impact of the primary system. As you'll recall, the ALP opened their doors to all Albertans in May, switching to a system where you didn't need a party membership to vote for the leader, or nominate candidates.

Many federal Liberals have been musing about this idea, and it seems likely the question will come to a vote at the January convention. I'm a huge proponent of open primaries, but detractors almost all point to the potential for takeover from right wing groups as the downside. If Harvey wins in Alberta or comes close, that would pretty much kill the idea of a primary system federally. However, if an organizationally weak Alberta Liberal Party can withstand the PGIB assault in Conservative heartland, it would be a clear sign that the federal Liberals have nothing to fear from opening their doors to all Canadians.

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