Successful in Ottawa, Religious Right turns to EdmontonIan | 18 April, 2012 | 09:53
My shortage in blogging lately hasn’t been for lack of topics.
This past week has seen blow up and scandal plague Alberta politics, as the boobs come off the Wildrose bus. First, we have a compilation of quotes by Danielle Smith shaping her as a Christian Libertarian, then we have her denouncing established climate science, plus she has refused to chasten her candidates for slandering the Edmonton Public School Board and damning homosexuals to burn in “the lake of fire” or for saying that being white is an advantage.
It’s well established that Conservative Party of Canada insiders, like former strategist Tom Flanagan and past Edmonton-Strathcona candidate Ryan Hastman, are working closely with the Wildrose Party. So we shouldn’t be surprised to see the social conservative forces, fresh off their recent Ottawa takeover, are feeling threatened by a new Albertan premier who started to put a bit too much emphasis on the progressive in Progressive Conservative.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, backbencher Stephen Woodworth will get to argue for rolling back the start of life (and thereby rolling back women’s rights) sometime soon.
It’s therefore encouraging to see Molly Grave’s new YouTube series “Prime Minister Stephen Harper & Canada’s Religious Right”, which has two episodes posted so far:
With luck (and the polls may be starting to turn around), these recent controversies will pull the Wildrose back from majority territory and into a minority situation. It is likely that we will then see (in a cruel irony to their federal brethren) a Wildrose coalition government, supported by either the NDP, Liberals, or both.
Now, like the last UK election where the natural alliance would seem to be between Labour and the Liberal-Democrats, it is very likely that given the balance of power, both the NDP and Liberals would rather see a change in guard then continue to prop up the Tory dynasty. For at very least, it would be easier to fight an election against a relatively new government, then one with such a long history. However, progressive Albertans should heed England’s lessons as such a coalition could still mean harsh, unnecessary austerity and regressive policies, all at the cost of a few minor concessions (like electoral reform).
So I’m a little less pessimistic about Alberta’s future than a week ago, if only because a few Liberal or NDP cabinet ministers could be enough to stave off the harsher portions of the Wildrose social policy. Nevertheless, I’m not envious of my friends and family in Alberta who are faced with these options.