Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Alberta Votes Day 17: Conservatives Attack Conservatives for Being Conservative

Alberta Tories play race card, call Wildrose party of old, white men in election

EDMONTON - Alberta's Progressive Conservatives appear to be actively painting their Wildrose opposition as the party of old, white males.

Tory strategists in recent days have begun warning voters that the Wildrose roster of candidates is dominated by Caucasian males and that if the Wildrose wins power it will sanction policies that cater to them.

For those keeping score at home, Alison Redford's Cabinet is 86% male and 95% white. Her two female Cabinet Ministers have been entrusted with the portfolios of Environment and Culture, while her single visible minority runs Service Alberta.

I don't know which party is older, but just three of Redford's Cabinet Ministers were born since the PCs took power 41 years ago.

This is yet another example of how awkward the entire PC campaign has become, as they try to swat at the Wildrose Party from the left.

Take the two words the PCs are trying to make the defining issue of the campaign: conscience rights. For the past week, the PCs have made it a point to imply the Wildrose stand on conscience rights would threaten everything from same sex marriage to women being able to get prescriptions for birth control pills.

However, Redford's very own Minister of Energy Ted Morton put forward a conscience rights bill in 2006, nearly identical to what Danielle Smith is proposing today. It was only defeated because of a Liberal-NDP filibuster, and Morton claimed 75% of the PC caucus supported his position.

All of this underscores how incredibly uncomfortable Redford's attacks on Danielle Smith must be for many members of her old white male caucus - and many long time PC voters. Although Redford will continue to paint the Wildrose Party as a right wing Frankenstein, the truth remains that the monster was created in the PC's image.

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  • Why are we picking on old white men anyway?

    A party of the women: Good.
    A party of the teachers: Good.
    A party of the youth: Good.
    A party of the less fortunate: Good.

    It seems to me that it's ok for a party to be of practically any group expect old white men.

    And why did she use the term "males" instead of men? Are there some non-humans in the Wildrose party?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:48 AM  

  • OK, so the right-wing members of her caucus and the electorate are not that comfortable with a more centrist Conservative Party. The question is: where is the median of the electorate these days? If Wildrose is too right wing for them, and the PCs can demonstrate that, then they'll be fine, won't they?

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 11:33 AM  

  • I'm not convinced it's as simple as a right/left issue.

    Presumably A LOT of the Wildrose vote is because of Smith's personal charisma and a desire for change.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:36 AM  

  • Dan, you’re right that PC scaremongering on this issue seems somewhat hypocritical. In addition to PC MLA Morton’s Bill 208, Alberta had a law from 2000-2005 (needless to say, during the PCs’ 40+ year reign of error) which invoked the notwithstanding clause and defined marriage as between a man and a woman. By way of contrast, Danielle Smith confirmed in an interview a couple of days ago with Edmonton Journal columnist Graham Thomson that Wildrose has no plans to allow marriage commissioners to opt out of their responsibility to conduct same-sex weddings, citing last year’s unanimous decision of Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal that such a law would be unconstitutional.

    By Blogger Herbert B. Patrotage, at 3:00 PM  

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