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Alberta Politics

thorny candidates could be the wildrose party’s biggest liability.

Danielle Smith Wildrose Alberta
Danielle Smith (photo from Wildrose Facebook page)

As the face of the campaign, Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith is her party’s biggest asset. She is media savvy, personable and, despite her limited governance experience (one year as a trustee on the dysfunctional Calgary Board of Education), she talks about becoming Premier with more confidence than any opposition leader in a long time.

But looking beyond the high-profile face of the Wildrose Party, which polls from the first week of the campaign suggest could be poised to form government, Albertans should be asking important questions about who would serve as cabinet ministers in a Wildrose Party government? The Premier is only one person at the table. Which Wildrose candidate would serve as Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, and Minister of Health?

Ask most Albertans to name a Wildrose candidate outside their own riding, and they will probably respond with a puzzled face. The lack of “star-candidates” is likely a product of timing. The Wildrose Party began to hold its candidate nominations in 2010 during a time when the party was seen to have peaked and was sitting in the mid-teens in the polls. What the party ended up with were plenty of well meaning candidates, but not many who would be defined as “star candidates.”

The recent success of the federal NDP in Quebec provides a textbook example of why any party should take seriously the candidates it nominates to run under its banner, even if it does not look like they might form government at the time.

If the Wildrose Party are to form the next government in Alberta, an important question needs to be asked about whether their candidates are the kind of politicians that Albertans want running the show. Here is a look at some of the Wildrose candidates who could end up serving as a cabinet minister under Premier Danielle Smith:

Link Byfield Wildrose Barrhead Morinville Westlock
Link Byfield

Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock candidate Link Byfield is the former publisher of the right-wing Alberta Report magazine. As has been noted elsewhere, Mr. Byfield was the president of the Society to Explore and Record Christian History and the founder of the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy, which stands, among other things, “against expanding influence of the Charter of Rights.”

John Carpay Wildrose Calgary Lougheed
John Carpay

Calgary-Lougheed candidate John Carpay penned an opinion-editorial in the National Post in 1994 which criticized Premier Ralph Klein for not invoking the Notwithstanding Clause to block the Supreme Court decision forcing Alberta to include protection of homosexuals from discrimination.

More recently, Mr. Carpay defended the University of Calgary Campus Pro-Life Club and was part of the legal team which defended anti-gay activist Bill Whatcott against charges in Saskatchewan. (Mr. Whatcott was recently detained by the police for distributing anti-gay hate literature to homes in northwest Calgary).

Ron Leech Wildrose Calgary Greenway
Ron Leech

Calgary-Greenway Wildrose candidate and evangelical pastor Ron Leech penned an article in the Calgary Herald in 2004 which argued “to affirm homosexuality is to distort the image of God, to insult the nature and being of God.” Perhaps this fits with Ms. Smith’s ideas on conscience rights (which has angered at least one now former Wildrose supporter).

Edmonton-South West candidate Allan Hunsperger is the self-described pioneer in the establishment of Alberta’s private schools in the late seventies and founder of Heritage Christian Schools.

Don Koziak Wildrose Edmonton Glenora
Don Koziak

Edmonton-Glenora candidate Don Koziak‘s short-lived mayoral bid in 2010 was kicked off by a promise to halt LRT expansion, calling the public transit “enormously environmentally unfriendly.” When asked what he would do differently, Mr. Koziak trumpeted the construction of more “interchanges and wider roads.” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford would be proud.

Edmonton-Castle Downs candidate John Oplanich, kicked off his campaign by offering to raffle a free big screen televisionto voters who would support him.

Andrew Constantinidis Wildrose Calgary-West
Andrew Constantinidis

– A number of Wildrose candidates running in Edmonton constituencies have indicated over the past year that they would re-open the acrimonious City Centre Airport debate, even though elected City Councillors have already made the decision to phase out operations of the tiny downtown airport.

– As I have already written, a few Wildrose candidates from Calgary have strong connections with controversial Conservative MP Rob Anders. This includes Calgary-West candidate Andrew Constantinidis, who served as Mr. Anders’ local constituency president and media coordinator during the 2011 federal election.

These are the highest profile stories around these candidates, the truth is that outside of Ms. Smith and the four established Wildrose MLA’s running for re-election, surprisingly little is known about the party’s candidates. And the Wildrose Party has done a superb job of focusing the media’s and voters attention on what they want, namely Ms. Smith and ensuring that she, rather than their candidates are the ones making headlines.

157 replies on “thorny candidates could be the wildrose party’s biggest liability.”

I actually agree somewhat with with ruralgal about the human rights commissions. A commission, not being a judicial body, is not bound by legal precedent, only by a standard of “reasonableness.” Which is to say, it can sometimes make apparently arbitrary decisions from case to case, and may make decisions that entirely contradict those made by other human rights commissions in Canada.

Of course, if a judicial review of an HRC decision is requested, a judge can find a human rights commission decision to have been wrong, but the law dictates that the courts should generally not disturb such decisions, unless the HRC decision being reviewed was obviously unreasonable or clearly based on mistaken facts or principles.

This system more-or-less works, but more-or-less isn’t the standard to which I want justice to be held. Appointing lawyers with various flavours human rights backgrounds to these commissions, while somewhat more costly, would make for a far more just system of dealing with human rights complaints (and, perhaps, preventing the commission from being used in a hostile fashion by persons without legal training, as it was used against Ezra Levant).

Or, the short version: a restructuring of the human rights hearing process may be one of the few silver linings of a Smith premiership that I can think of (even if support for such a change is largely coming from some of the less savoury corners of her party…)

Hey Dave – Is this post a job application for political reporter for the Edmonton Journal? I’ll be looking closely to see whether they plaigarize your work in the weekend edition.

I am surprised, Dave. Can you please do the same kind of analysis on all the candidates so we can get a more balanced view?

Sorry, I’m just kind of ticked right now reading that the PC’s handpicked judge Mayor is actually admitting that he has no intention of listening to Albertans when it comes to inflated MLA pay. The PCs have been in power way too long. I don’t like the Wildrose alternative but for some reason Albertans (well, rural Alberta, anyway) seem to mistrust anyone progressive, like NDs and Liberals.

What on earth is wrong with being the founder of a Christian School or a Mormon School or a Hindu school or an Atheist school or a Special Needs School.??? I can’t see how that would make someone a THORNY candidate. But I can see how that would make someone a person that believes in something and is willing to act on his believes, work towards a goal and attain a goal. A person who sees a need for “something” and fills a need. Unless of course someone out there has “issues” with the fact that it was a “Christian” school. Then we start running into “Christian discrimination” which, correct me if I’m wrong, is…… Discrimination. No better or worse then anyone else out there who discriminates.

Rob: if by “screwing with natural resources” you mean “briefly considering a modest change to the royalty scheme to be less of a laughable giveaway of public resources” then wow…yes that would explain the total collapse of the Alberta energy sector.

And as for “teachers unfunded pensions…” as they are public employees, why are their pensions unfunded? Because your government finds it convenient to leave it that way so they can renege on the deal and steal the deferred salaries of the teachers at some later time.

Anything to avoid, you know, actually paying for public services, from royalties or taxes.

Alberta, fancies itself a golden kingdom of self-made entrepeneurs, but in reality a filthy pothouse, a den of thieves.

danielle smith’s time spent on the school board gave us a hint of the kind of leader she would make, when she was physically prevented from leaving a meeting until she voted.
rather than standing up and voting along her principles she tried to leave, and someone actually had to stand in front of the door to make sure she voted first.
i think that, were people to stop and actually consider the things she has said publicly, her attacks on redford’s perspectives on albertans, the way she had to milk the tweet on her inability to bear children, among other rants, they would see her in a different light, in particular if they knew how she performs/performed as an elected official.
its clear she knows how dangerous her views are to albertans-why else does she dance around the conscience contract, not admitting or committing to it herself?
all the other candidates are cartoon characters and buffoons-she is the thorn behind the wild rose.

Wildrose Candidate, Allan Hunsperger, was fighting “Satanism in Southern Alberta” and “Teenage Suicide Pacts With The Devil” back in nineties.

When he was the president of a group of Christian schools, he redirected $80,000 in provincial education dollars to fulfil his dream of setting up Calgary’s first gospel radio station.

Sounds like a good future cabinet minister.

Thanks for this outing of the WRA “team,” Dave, who sound like the Social Credit retreads of the Klein regime.

For those who want to block both the corrupt Tories and the mean-spirited WRA from getting a majority, check out changealberta.ca to find out which progressive candidate has the best chance of defeating “mean and meaner” in constituencies that the centre-left has not all but abandoned to the meanies.

I don’t know if Dave’s ever had as many replies on a post before.

I’m a little surprised there’s been no further comment on my pointing out that the WRP (as far as I can tell) has not distanced themselves from Bill Whatcott’s flyer campaign. Has any one else got this flyer?

Last night my candidate (Richard Jones) knocked on my door with three very young volunteers. This candidate is the hardest core social conservative I’ve ever met – I would have voted Wildrose but not with him in my constituency.

This morning I spoke to the WRP office in Calgary. I suggested that it would be wise to publicly distance themselves from Mr. Whatcott’s flyers. They said that they have no plans to do so.

You can draw your own conclusions, but my guess is they don’t want to rile the hardline social conservative base…..

You folks have some great info that is not very widely known. I agree with all who want to avoid WRP or help any alternative and for sure it’s important to hammer on the troopers that have a bit of name recognition a la top of fold and those that have poster worthy history so carry on and good luck! I fantasize that if I had a dart board with Tom Flanagan, Rob Anders, or Ezra Levant on it I could retire on the money I’d make in English pubs.

Rural Gal,

“And did not Ezra prevail?” No he did not. The case was dropped through a mediated agreement. Levant then said he would sue, but he has not. Gee, I wonder why!

“And he paid his bill, the other party did not have costs because that is how the Human Rights commissions operate.”

Don’t bet the other party did not have costs. Besides, the issue of costs can always be improved and that has been proposed for a long while, but the old PC guard that are now part of Wildrose stalled the issue. My point is you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

“And please do not go overboard on the rhetoric – I have no problem with mediation and with the legal system: tenant act, etc,etc,etc
I just have a problem with the Commission – and no they are not all lawyers, and they do not necessarily follow the laws of evidence. I have been to a Commission – have you”

Acutally, I have and I can also give you a ton of information on the good they have done for the mostly disabled people in all provincies. The Chumir Foundation put out a reprot on that a while back, but that’s just one example. You will find that “hate speech” represents only 2 per cent of all cases filed with HRCs in all of Canada. Or perhaps you might want to wander over to the law blogs to see what they have to say on the issues.

And it is a slippery slope, not rhetoric as you suggest. HRCs were set up to mediate — as in a dispute mechanism, not as “courts” and are a “gateway” to the justice system, if and only if a case cannot be resolved. Nice try though!

I’m looking forward to when I have a skiing accident, and it costs me $800 to get my arm put in a cast by my private doctor. That’s what private healthcare looks like. That’s the main reason (aside from the Wildrose party’s thin talent pool) that I’ll be voting PC.

It would seem that this article has a negative focus. So here’s a positive: Mr. Carpay supports the right that a human being has to simply be born, to live. I’m sure glad my mother didn’t choose to kill me. Thanks Mr. Carpay 🙂

Kate Watson, your mother had no such “choice” to make if you were born before 1988. It’s not a choice when the options are to carry a foetus to term or else face a high likelihood of death in a back-alley abortion. If your options are to carry a foetus to term or undergo a safe, ten-minute medical procedure, then it’s a choice. Are you afraid of the option mommy would have taken if she really had a choice? Haha, you weak ugly people. Take your hands off women’s bodies.

Hey Jeremy, Media scrutinee of the Wildrose Party? D. Smith is literally married to an executive of Sun Media. Chances of the Sun saying or printing a critical word about her? Zero. She worked for the Calgary Herald and Global Television. Chances of them breaking negative stories about the W.R.? Zero. The CBC is being cut off at the knees. The Calgary Herald is little more than the P.R. arm of Encana and Enbridge.

The Wild Rose is Danielle Smith. And Danielle Smith is Steven Harper, in a sweater, petting a kitten, singing with a little help from friends, accompanying herself on piano. She is awesome! There’s no one to say otherwise.

Well, that “conscience crisis” was quite the hysteria (& vodka?) fueled political brushfire, and now that the smoke has cleared, Stephen Taylor’s blog notes the WRP are up by 17 points. Quick, progressive chicken littles, ignore Alvin Finkel and scramble aboard the Tory Titanic — you still have time to turn this into ’93 all over again when the “massive cuts” and “brutal cuts” parties wiped out all other opposition. Remember how fun Alberta was ’93 – ’97?

Paula Simons blogs today, “As a small-l libertarian myself, I actually have some sympathy with the Wildrose logic. I am myself pro-choice and a strong proponent of gay rights. Yet I do think that medical professionals who have deep religious convictions about issues such as birth control or DNR orders, or marriage commissioners who have religious objections to same-sex marriage should be granted some latitude or reasonable accommodation to exercise their personal conscience – so long as  people who need medical care, or marriage ceremonies, can still get them without undue inconvenience.” To her credit, this reasonable and conscientious columnist appreciates both sides of this issue. Time to move on.

Idea for Tory candidates – Tell voters you’ll join Wildrose if they win more seats then list how much more qualified you’d be than the Wildrose candidate you’re running against…

Time to talk about the issues.
This was a sided blog – but let us not start with the religious beliefs of the Pc candidates. It is no more valid than the stuff pointed out here
Time to move on

“Love your neighbor as yourself” ,a reminder to all party candidates, physicians and religions. And anyone that continues to vote for the thieving, lying, self serving PC’s has rocks in their head.

The beginning of Alberta’s great future begins to crumble when all the ungrateful elect a unknown party to govern this great province.
I am very surprise at all those old Tories that were called the old boys now busy collecting their fat pensions and crapping on the party they formed and ran for years. I worked for the party and it’s candidates for close to 20 years and am totally disappointed at how ungrateful these old fat babies are turning out. Stand up for what you created……….yes you did start this problem by not standing up for what’s right and staying involved in a great party.
Not electing the PC’s back with a larger opposition would be a HUGE mistake to this province.

Arnie the Saskatchewan people took a chance on a new group of conservatives. Now they are beating us every which way. Time to move on from this moribund group.

Does anyone know if joe Anglin is a transmission engineer like his bio on the Wildrose website says? Ask him to prove or substantiate it and all you’ll get is a bunch of nonsensical gibberish. You won’t see the engineering document that would go with the title. Why?

Arnie, I must take exception to your characterization of the Alberta electorate as “ungrateful”. What exactly are Albertans supposed to be “grateful” for?

Lessee…gross mismanagement of resource revenues, to the point that our Heritage Trust Fund has actually NOT grown in 15 years or so, and may be shrinking due to inflation. Contrast that to how Alaska and Norway have managed their resource windfalls.

Let’s not pretend that the PC’s actually PUT the oil in the ground; the reality is that pretty much any party could have managed the HTF more prudently.

An education system that, while reasonably well funded, lacks direction and purpose. Sure, we rank high on various comparative scales, but we’re NOT anywhere near as innovative as we could be. And for some reason, we don’t graduate the skills and people that we NEED here, resulting in having to attract workers (in many fields) from elsewhere.

An expensive health care system that is hide-bound in convention and allows vested interests WITHIN the system to stymie any sort of change in service delivery. Somebody tell me what is really fundamentaly wrong with having RN’s and LPN’s handle initial consults, freeing up doctors to deal with things that actually need their expertise? My doctor shouldn’t have to see me to deal with hang-nails, or giving me flu shots.

And lets not forget all the under-utilized hospitals built in the rural areas, built by Don Getty when he couldn’t think of anything else to do with the money.

Oh, and while we’re talking about infrastructure, our roads and bridges are often in disrepair due to lack of maintenance, brought about by short-sighted cuts to budgets. Now it costs more to fix and upgrade these things…that’s the “infrastructure deficit”.

The big problem with massive “bottom line” cuts in the 80’s and 90’s is that there was NO planning attached to it. Any idiot can (and did) chop a bottom line, but there are consequences to those decisions, and of course those that made the cuts are not willing to take responsibility for those consequences. Now we’re playing a very expensive game of “catch-up”. Leaders of vision extending beyond their own terms of office would have been more prudent.

So, no, I’m not “grateful”. I’ve lived in Alberta now for 35 years, and always thought that our “leadership” was short-sighted and wasting the incredible potential of Alberta. And I have to say, with the general calibre of candidates offered by the WRP, and that party’s apparent intention to roll back any kind of progressive policies to reflect “the good ol’ days”, I have very little confidance that the WRP will do any better.

I do not have any problem in knowing who I am voting for; if for you to guess for. Ultra Conservatives (Wild Rose),and Conservatives (PC) were created to have business in mind and were created to attack anyone that is gear to Democratic changes for the masses. What are my options? mmmm Liberals, a group in the middle that either can move to the right and/or to the left depending where the wind is going to make them more popular. Do they really stand for anything? mmm hard to believe and hard to see … Ah! lack of leadership at the Provincial and Federal Levels …mmmm… too bad that Trudeau wasn’t cloned… my last choice, and not the popular one in Alberta, NDP, they still stuck to the guns….Education and Health Care should not be privatized and compromised. Equal rights for everyone, Equity in distribution of wealth and opportunities…mmm…noble causes that are part of my values … mmm … now you can guess who am I voting for? …knowing that I will lose…. Why don’t I vote for someone that I know is going to win? and to sell myself for less …. I don’t think so … ah! by voting here is my quote: “Vote first and then complain…always remember the right to vote give you the right to complain and not the other way around.”

Most people are neither conservative nor liberal, nor right wing or left wing. These are just labels used by people with an agenda to slur people who don’t agree with them. People believe in or agree with ideas from accross all spectrums. you can’t label us one thing or another.

What we really need is fewer people trying to comtrol our lives ie freedoms, or telling us what we should think. If I am not like you or don’t agree with you, it does not mean I am any less of a person than you, just different. Get over yourself.

Personally I like non-mainstream candidates who stand up for their ideals. Remember how the national media used to tell us how scarry PM Harper was?

Cue the “hidden agenda “rhetoric “.. sigh
Why is the WRP always referred to as “right wing” ( usually with the standard extreme thrown in of course but leftwingers are now referred to as “progressive” …some consistency would be great

The health care privatization issue, alone, should shift Albertans to voting for centre-left parties that would protect our public health care system from attack. But it’s doubtful they’ll listen.

Best solution at this late date is to vote for the centre-left candidate in your constituency who’s in a position of strength, leading, and thus best able to fend off a PC/Wildrose challenge. Keep in mind, that person ‘might’ not be your first, partisan choice. (So what? These are desperate times. Just hold your nose and vote.)

Here’s a good blog on health care:
http://changealberta.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/mean-and-meander-set-out-to-ruin-canadas-health-care-by-alvin-finkel/

To the point that Dave highlighted only 7 Wild Rose candidates: rural Albertans might be interested to visit protectthepatch.ca and learn about the 13 Wild Rose candidates whose stated purpose for running is solely to protect the rights of oil companies. How will they side when it comes to property rights? Prepared to be trampled if Wild Rose has their way, landowners. Rural Alberta, Wild Rose is not your friend.

My biggest fear here is that we have college aged young people with fairly liberal values feeling that Smith and the Wildrose Party speaks for them. But do they? Based on almost everything I’ve read thus far (my political apathy appears to be fading), the answer is NO.

The more I read, the more Wildrose is exactly mimicking the US Republican Party. Running the election in a very party/leader-centric, strict talking points fashion. Trying to seem relateable and “everyday Albertan” while deflecting from serious social questions, such as provincially funded abortions, gay rights.

This party is selling something to young people that it absolutely cannot and will not back. Freedom and open-mindedness.

Do not know why the old gay rights come marching in! They have rights by law – get over it and quit obsessing about it. No one is going to take them away – duh – they are in the charter.
I do not know whether you cannot read or do not know the chater rights of Canadians, or you are just trying to stir the pot. This story was told long ago – its over – no body cares if you are straight or gay – I am having dinner tomorrow with a group that includes a gay couple. We just do not discuss what goes on in the bedroom – we have much more interesting topics to discuss – such as the way forward to elect WR candidates.
And abortion – its in the federal law
Now let us move on to accountability – the important issue – reaching $5 billion in non budgeted promises – yeah Premier – where is it coming from? Oil – did you read the business section this morning?

Just went to protectthepatch.ca. Everyone says there are just ” wet behind the ears, dumb rural hats, religious nuts etc, etc” running for the WR. Well thanks for highlighting these fellows – very successful oil patch guys. And some of them are also ranchers, some have been in municipal politics – pretty good resumes for me. Gee they actually earn a pay cheque, some of them meet a payroll, etc. pretty solid citizens
We have to remember that the province of Alberta is wealthy because of oil, we have stuff because of oil, we support other provinces because of oil, and yes the govt can pay big salaries and throw a lot of money at problems because of oil.
Stop kicking your golden

Dave – check out Nora Abercrombie’s work in SEE Magazine from 1997 regarding Byfield’s Alberta Report. If I remember correctly, it reported that the magazine had defaulted on a $186,000 loan from the province. The magazine was facing lawsuits of various kinds related to things like violating copyright. Mr. Byfield was also a key person at a hate rally (sorry – it was billed as a Town Hall Meeting) sponsored by federal PC Peter Goldring when the federal government was trying to figure out what to do with marriage – all the speakers were anti-same sex marriage, and all but one of them told proveable whoppers during the rally, seriously misrepresenting the reality of marriage around the world (Goldring kept his mouth shut on most of the contentious points – but the others, including Byfield, claimed that marriage had always been 1 man + 1 women throughout history etc – but at the time of the rally, more than 300 MILLION people lived in countries where polygamy was officially practiced and legally permitted). Then Byfield ran in a bogus Senate “election”, showing no respect for Canadian law or process. From past actions, it seems Byfield does not believe the law should apply to him – and do we really want another person like that in government?

I have heard this scary thing before by the federal liberals against manning and then Harper. It was bs then and I doubt Alberta’s are as prone to scare tactics as Canadians are. We will see though.

Yeah, and at one time Alberta did not allow women to vote! Times change, attitude change. So how far do we want to go back? Yesterday, turn of the century.?

I bet I could find even your attitude or perspective have changed!

Let us talk about today and the issues today. Like accountability, like good governance, is it ok to have a pay cheque for work not done, like the ability
Ity to steal my land, like following a federal law of .08 instead of a boogie man of .05, let us talk about throwing over $5 billion dollars of unbudgeted promises and then slam your opponent for wanting to put $200 million dollars into a provincial saving account cause they won’ t find the money unless they cut teachers, nurses, etc, etc. if you cannot find $200 million, how can you find $5 billion.

So let us move the conversation to today

Yes, times change – but they change as people change, and these are the same people. You don’t hear any of them saying they have changed their minds, do you?

I want change, but it has to be change for the better. If you look at the Wildrose platform – let us take the Family Pack tax credits, for example. $2500 in tax credits (split into a $2000/child deduction and a $500/child sport/arts credit) and a ban on school fees.

You only benefit from the tax credit if you already make enough to pay that much in taxes – which means it does nothing for the poorest families. It allows middle-income and high-income people to benefit, but not the working poor. So why not? If the idea is that Alberta is rich and should be sharing the wealth with the citizens, or if the idea is that families deserve a break, then why are some families deserving and not others? And the school fees: so how are schools going to be able to afford all the materials they need? Is Wildrose going to increase school funding after all the hoopla they made abut funding being restored by Redford? Is there a plan? Seems not. So what will schools do? Fundraise? Use out-of-date textbooks? What is the plan?

Now let’s look at the oil and gas rebate. The government has no mechanism in place for this, and the amount will float. It is also completely at the whims of the international markets and the ways in which the companies do their accounts. But let’s look at what it does on a larger scale. Alberta needs to diversify. The reasons are obvious, and have been often stated by successive governments. Putting all your eggs into one basket – especially one where the prices are set by foreign cartels – is not good business or politics. We are already seeing results of environmental degradation and increases in health issues in the communities around the major sites (the government’s own studies are showing this, but it seems to be kept fairly quiet – the Athabasca trout report etc). Part of what keeps things in check at the moment is a strong lobby that advocates fr slow and reasonable, aka “sustainable”, development. If you make every Albertan dependent on a royalty cheque, the push becomes for more development to serve that interest. It is short-sighted and self-serving. A government is supposed to provide leadership – and in areas here the public is NOT expert, it i important to be guided by knowledge rather than by an electorate that puts self-interest above common good.

If you truly feel those resources belong to all Albertans and all Albertans should benefit directly, then support the push to have all oil and gas development in the province be province-owned. Imaagine how well that would go over with the Wildrose oil company donors.

Theo-Conservative.

That is what Harper called himself years ago and that is exactly what the Reform-I mean Alberta Alliance-I mean Wildrose Party is.

Corrie Adolph running for Wildrose in Calgary-Currie, longtime lobbyist for increased military spending was a volunteer for Rob Anders election campaigns. One wonders about her opinions on F-35s and MPs who literally sleep on the job.

Oil and gas owned by the province!! You, of course, talk tongue in cheek. It already is owned by the province – oil companies buy leases, they build infrastructure to extract and get to market, and they pay royalties from their profit. And please do not tell me about oil profits – how do you think they can afford the billions that it costs to develop (and yes meet enviromental stds). You know why the Chinese are buying into some of the oil companies – cause without that money we could not afford to do some of the extraction we are doing! We are an oil economy – the schools, hospitals, social programs and the rest (and yes we have the highest per capita spending in Canada) are because we do have oil and gas revenue.
Thank goodness, the govt is not running oil companies. The govt record of running businesses did not work out so well in the past (Swan Hills, Mag-Can).
And do look at the donors for 2011 for both parties – I would say oil money is about equal – you just have to recognize the names!

I am surprised that so few people are raising issues with Danielle Smith’s very “thin resume” which shows no serious experience in managing anything other than a microphone.

Yes, she is media savvy but how will that help her to address issues that require management and budgeting skills. Just talking about stuff doesn’t mean you know how to be strategic, to implement priorities and deal with conflict.

A lot of people ar choosing to be charmed by her media/communication skills and avoiding looking at the substance of what she has accomplished.

Have a look for yourself! What would you hire this person to do…certainly not to be premier

http://www.daniellesmith.ca/meet-danielle

Alberta is PC-Wildrose combo deal. Both have the same healthcare privatization policies. Why should a family of 4 pay $1100/mo for healthcare? And even then only 50% covered and family pays $10,000 more of the deductible. NDP is not even rated. Only, Liberals under Dr. Sherman have credibility. Dr. Sherman is an emergency ER doctor and will fix the healthcare.

Healthcare privatization or 2-Tier will not work. WHY WILL ANY DOCTOR WORK FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTHCARE WHEN HE CAN DIRECT BILL THE PATIENT MORE MONEY. We are looking at eventual full privatization. USA type tent cities and bankruptcies – here they come.

Dr. Sherman has an excellent election platform. He gives an incentive to the university kids, extra funding for home care for the elderly, eliminate school fees, fix the broken healthcare, favours the oil pipelines and assists the farmers. Liberal party under Dr. Sherman will make significant gains.

well how many did u list in your article?? Daveberta is guilty of this quite often. If he seriously looked at the very qualified list of candidates that the WRP has vetted and put forth to represent them, he couldnt help but be impressed!! Just as any party there are those that have a business background, some are christians ( oh no! ) some have oilfield experience, some are teachers/ professors, some are more outspoken than others, and some are more reserved than others, etc. etc.
Lets talk about one PC Candidate who bears watching. Alison Redford is the most out of touch Premier- elect we have had for years! She is scared to death at the fact she will be the head of the party that is going down to defeat in 14 days. History will show her smug attitude and mismanagement of so many items will undoubtedly be the final nail. The PC Party has lost its conservative base slowly but surely over the last 10 – 15 years and have waited for an alternative “real” conservative option. Now we have one with a dynamic, witty, and very intelligent leader and the tories are running for cover. They are like the author of this article are doing there best to install fear into wildrose followers and trying to steet clear away from the PC’s horrific track record!!! Sorry Pc’ers in 14 days its all over. If you are lucky you may have 20 -25 seats left when its all over. The time has come for this great province to be governed by a true conservative leader -WRP Leader Danielle Smith!!!!

[…] The most controversial topic of week two came from a blog post on The Wildrose’s stance on Conscience Rights, which blew up like a minefield and brought a new direction to the online discussion which continues today. The second most discussed point came through another citizen in the form of a question asked towards all party’s in regards to their stances on Abortion. The response from a Wildrose Chief Administrative Officer kick started another round of fiery discussion which is still being discussed online today. We also saw a scuffled between Progressive Conservative candidate Thomas Lukaszuk and a resident on the campaign trail, turn into a fullfledged “he said – he said” controversy. False rumours of a Progressive Conservative turmoil within the war room dominated the conversation on Saturday morning. And last, but not least, we saw the discussion around the background of WildRose candidates explode on Twitter with a post from Political blogger Dave Cournoyer. […]

Just did a little survey of the major Parties makeup,
Wildrose is 96% White Men, 4% Non-White
Compare to Conservatives at 23% Women, 14% Non White,
Liberals 21% Women and 13% Non White.
There is clearly a long way to go in representing actual make-up of this Province but Wildrose would be certainly be a step backward!

I am a Canadian Citizen, by adoption. When it comes to politics it may me laugh how poor are my Canadians friends in understanding the history of each party and the platform that they stand for. Tories and WildRose, even with minor differences, were created to contra-arrest the Democrat or Liberal party that was created by the people and to represent the people interest. So who the first ones represent? the answer then become clear: “BUSINESS” and because I am a regular Joe I am not in that elite, so one group that I don’t have to worry. Next…Liberals…over time they have learnt to play on the jumping rope, one day on the right, the next one on the left, and today we’ll witness that the lack of Leadership is very apparent, because they lost the touch of why they became a party in first place, so this party, for me, is going down the tube. What is my option?…well, I believe firmly that neither Education and/or Healtcare should ever be compromised and be part of the “Business”. It should be an equal right for all citizens regardless their own conditions. Then, I have to add that wealth should be distributed equitable among the citizens of the country that in one way or another they make possible to creat that wealth in first place..so who represent those values?…the answer again is right NDP. Should I know that in Alberta they won’t ever win? Yes, I know that, but I will never compromise my own values and believes with a group or groups that do not represent and look after my own interest, so until one day Albertans wake up, learn and educate themsselves about the political spectrum, I will continue to lose my vote, but still I will be allow to complain about the party in power, and you know why? because I exercise my write to vote and that give me the right also to complain…

And the rumors of turmoil in the PC war room seemed to reach fruition this morning – seems they had to call in Dawson and Watt from Ontario to get this campaign on track. Rutherford show this morning.
So panic mode now

Rural gal:
Some of the WR candidates might, indeed, be decent, “solid” citizens “earning a paycheck” (then, who among the candidates doesn’t?) but that doesn’t mean they’re thinking intelligently when it comes to making HUGE and important decisions about Alberta’s future. A successful society is not only about making the almighty dollar, whether you understand that, or not. It’s about quality of life, culture, and justice for all.

Here are just 3 issues that highly concern me, and I don’t like the Wildrose (or PC for that matter) stance on any of them, one bit:

1. Creating a 2 tiered health care system where Alberta will have elite care for the wealthy and cruddy care for everyone else (And yes, I speak from experience; I lived in the States for nearly a decade, and it isn’t a good system for the middle class and poor, at all).

2. The potential sale of Alberta’s water. This is sheer craziness, as Southern Alberta is a semi-desert and our northern water in great jeopardy, thanks to the tar sand extraction and pollution. Water is more precious than oil.

3. Our low royalties make us the dummy, laughing stock of the Western World. What fools we gullible, ignorant Albertans make ourselves out to be on this issue. I can’t speak for right wing voters, but I don’t sell my land or belongings out for a song – and I wouldn’t if I were an MLA representative of the COMMON GOOD for average people, either. (What we have now, is a system riddled with MLAs who are either morally corrupt or who fell off a turnip truck yesterday.)

Sorry, WR looks all nice and pretty and shiny, but underneath, it’s policies are absolutely the same old right wing nonsense that will further devolve Alberta into a republican style, free-for-all state where only money speaks, and nothing else (and the PCs keep pace with them in that regard).
No thanks.

Health care: no one advocating private health care- publicly funded health care in private facility is not private health care in your definition ( which I think is user pay) . Great model in Europe- lower costs, greater access, and equal or better outcomes. Do not always be cranking your head to the US. The world renowned Gimbel Eye Center is a good example.
Sale of water? Where did this one come from? If I was in Calgary I would be far more more worried about the regiulatory taking of the Calgary water licenses and reallocating ( see bill 36 on the ” regulatory taking” for the public good)
Well how did changing the royalty system turn out for Ed? Oil companies went to Sask and created a boom. So let us do it again – we sure have way too many jobs in Alberta!

Rural Gal (and Rob), please name all the oil companies that moved to Saskatchewan from Alberta as a direct result of the supposed royalty regime changes. I’ll give you $100 for each one. The Royalty regime was NOT changed in Alberta. Stelmach revoked it in 2008 before it was implemented as a result of the economic crisis. In fact, revenue from royalty rates are even lower now than they’ve been in years.

I guess I’m one of these “evil Americans” you folks refer to, but I do have to say that I am in complete disbelief that such a seemingly large majority of Albertans view conscience rights for a minority of their fellow citizens as “frightening” or a “threat.” At the very least, it seems to me at least a valid issue to raise and discuss rather then something to be dismissed as “extremism” in hysterical and even hateful terms.

In the US we have well established rights to REASONABLE religious accomodation in the workplace that work very well; check out some of the EEOC guidelines available on the web. A fair and reasonable balancing between the rights and freedoms of differing individuals is just common sense, and, in the view of many reasonable people in much of the world, a human right.

As for the charges that ensuring individual rights of conscience in limited and reasonable areas consitutes some sort of pernicious “discrimination,” I say that’s completely ridiculous. Asking an otherwise competent and qualified employee to violate reasonable personal beliefs on the occasional matter they consider to be one of serious gravity, perhaps even a matter of life or death, simply to keep their job seems to constitute the real discrimination. Perhaps on the gay issue, it might be a matter of discrimination, but on the medical questions its a far different matter.

I hope that voters realize that this is another example of demonization of an unpopular group (in this case social conservatives) by corrupt politicians seeking to win an election by any means, and that the long term effect is a real trampling of freedom and individual rights.

This is a lovely site., to actually find the wildrose did not check out the candidates… I can name a few that have very very thorny sides…. I guess PC here I come

by the way Tuxedo guy,,,, all the layoffs in 2009,,, do you not remember… houses for sale, people bancrupt…. maybe you were asleep,,,,

Tuxedo guy
You get to keep your money. Companies do not move, drilling rigs do – to sask and bc where the economics were attractive.

Rural gal, you’re still incorrect. There were only a few rigs which moved to Saskatchewan, and that was only because of the development of new finds in that province, both of conventional oil (the Bakken) and bitumen. It had nothing to do with royalties in Alberta.

I suppose the fact that Danielle Smith scabbed – and that is the proper term for it – during the Calgary Herald Strike uniquely qualifies her for the premiership.

The future is bright for Alberta with the right leader, focussed on utilizing our unique strengths to our advantage. Ms. Smith has no political experience (except on the most dysfunctional school board in recent memory) and her candidates are largely “seat fillers.” Wild Rose wants to drag us backward into battles already lost in the sad old Reform days. Wild Rose is the proverbial “pig with lipstick”…

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