the reform-conservative family feud continues in alberta’s election.

Wildrose is under attack! The same people that caused the Liberal Party of Canada to be in power for 13 uninterrupted years now have Wildrose in their crosshairs. They want nothing more than to see the Redford PCs re-elected to impose their big government knows best, ivory tower views on all of us.

In a fundraising email sent to supporters yesterday by campaign chairman Cliff Fryers, the Wildrose Party revved up its political fear machine by pointing out that others are revving up theirs.

Reform Party of Canada Logo

Reform Party of Canada

Progressive Conservative Party leader Premier Alison Redford has started to hone in on some of the Wildrose Party’s controversial policies, like citizen-initiated referendums that some critics say could lead to province-wide votes on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. A similar constroversial policy was prominently placed in the platform of the former Reform Party and its successor, the Canadian Alliance. While many Albertans still have fond memories and continued respect for Preston Manning and the movement he created, one recent survey suggests that this could be a good strategy for the PCs to use against Danielle Smith‘s party.

Much has been written about how much the electoral battle between Alberta’s PCs and the Wildrose Party is a continuation of the long-standing family feud between moderate Tories and Reform Party minded conservatives of yesteryear.

Premier Redford, who was a staffer to former Prime Minister Joe Clark, stepped up to challenge controversial right-winger Rob Anders for the Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-West before the 2004 federal election. Ms. Redford was defeated. (Ms. Redford’s ex-husband’s father was the last PC MP for Calgary-West and was defeated by Reform Party candidate Stephen Harper in 1993). PC campaign manager Susan Elliott was the national director of the former PC Party of Canada and a few of Premier Redford’s cabinet ministers, including Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Verlyn Olson and Lethbridge-West MLA Greg Weadick were federal PC candidates during the height of the Reform Party’s strength in Western Canada.

While Premier Redford may be more moderate than some candidate in the Wildrose camp, by almost every objective standard she remains a conservative.

PC Party of Canada

The Wildrose Party campaign includes a number of former Reform Party and federal Conservative stalwarts, including Mr. Fryers (who was Chief of Staff to Preston Manning), campaign manager Tom Flanagan (who was strategist for the Reform Party), Senate candidate and strategist Vitor Marciano (who is a long-time federal Conservative Party operative), and Jim Armour (an Ontario-based consultant and former Communications Director to Mr. Manning and Prime Minister Harper). Former federal Conservative candidate also Ryan Hastman joined the Wildrose Party staff shortly after the 2011 federal election.

Calgary-Southeast Conservative Member of Parliament Jason Kenney was reported to have said that “any attempt to hurt Wildrose by linking them to old Reform movement will backfire.”

Fanning the flames of western political discontent from his desktop in Toronto, former federal Liberal Party strategist Warren Kinsella waded into Alberta’s election campaign yesterday by posting some of Wildrose leader Ms. Smith’s more controversial comments. A similar and more usefully packaged piece of advice was provided by former Edmonton-Meadowlark Liberal MLA Maurice Tougas over the past weekend.

With a few exceptions most Members of Parliament have kept a low-profile during this provincial campaign. Westlock-St. Paul Conservative MP Brian Storseth was spotted in the Bonnyville A&W with Ms. Smith earlier this week. Edmonton-Spruce Grove Conservative MP Rona Ambrose has endorsed Spruce Grove-St. Albert PC candidate and Deputy Premier Doug Horner.

On the NDP side, Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan has endorsed Edmonton-Gold Bar candidate Marlin Schmidt. Quebec NDP MP Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet will be campaigning with Mr. Schmidt today. The shift in electoral boundaries places Edmonton’s francophone community in Bonnie Doon into the Gold Bar constituency.  The NDP are hoping that the retirement of popular Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald could be their opportunity to make electoral gains in this east Edmonton constituency.

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP and Green Party leader Elizabeth May is in Edmonton this week campaigning with EverGreen Party candidates.

Later this week, Papineau Liberal MP Justin Trudeau joining Lacombe-Ponoka Liberal candidate Kyle Morrow over cyberspace to speak to a class of students at St. Augustine School in Ponoka.

19 thoughts on “the reform-conservative family feud continues in alberta’s election.

  1. Will Munsey

    Boy… there’s a winning strategy… having Justin Trudeau endorse you in the riding of Lacombe-Ponoka.

    Maybe Justin’s boxing success changed something.. and I haven’t noticed… but really… Trudeau in Lacombe-Ponoka?

    Yikes!

    Reply
  2. Brian

    Let’s get this straight. Ryan Hastman lost to the NDP – yes, to the NDP – in Alberta. Now he’s working for the Wildrose? I don’t think the PC’s have anything to worry about with “talent” like this.

    Reply
  3. Tom

    Reform/Alliance/Wild Rose…the name changes but the narrow minded, male dominated (76 of 87 candidates) stale old ill-informed ideas remain. This is not the party to guide a vibrant province with tremendous advantages and a bright future ahead. Wild Rose is the party of the past.

    Reply
  4. David

    As long as Tom, and others, cast a blind eye to jack booted enforcers of political correctness – their cries of “wolf” will only expand their credibility deficit.

    For they have concluded that it is too simplistic to stop digging when they are in a hole.

    Reply
  5. Old White Guy..

    The comments and accusations made against Wild Rose by Tom Olson and Susan Elliot are simply outrageous.
    Dragging the race card out of the basement is an act of desparation. This attack on Caucasion males is racism, pure and simple. Had Olson and Elliot slandered a minority womens group,one can only imagine the howls of indignation.
    Listen to Elliots comments regarding the referrendum process and how the evil white guys will use the process to target womens and minority rights,including abortion. Clearly, the PCs have a very low opinion of the average Albertan.
    Clearly,Olson and Elliot are contemptuous of our ability to make sound decisions regarding the democratic process.
    Trotting out the race card is the last resort of an arrogant and disfunctional group of scoundrels.
    [Comment edited due to inappropriate language]

    Reply
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  7. BemusedLurker

    The intriguing aspect of this election is a potential winner bringing in discusion of plebicite type decision making.

    Can you imagine if the 80% of urban voters sign up for true equal vote (allowable tolerance of +/- 5%)ridings…

    Am weighing the consequences of a term of wild rose versus the potential gain of electoral equality

    Reply
  8. Tom

    Oh my David- touched a nerve did I? And I haven’t even put on my “jack boots” yet. All I’m advocating for is a society that respects all individuals- male/female, gay/straight, regardless of colour. The Wild Rose would use “conscience rights” to allow discrimination. Isn’t your conscience supposed to guide you to do the RIGHT thing? Question my credibility all you like, it’s not at issue (but nice try at obfuscation). Focus on who is ready to lead Alberta into the future and what party pines for the past.

    Reply
  9. !o!

    I read Warren’s post on this one, it’s a good list.

    Some Danielle Smith quotes:

    On abortion: “…abortions are a horrific practice… Any politician who challenges the status quo gets pilloried by the media, abortion-rights groups and opposing politicians…the taxpayer should not be on the hook to pay for it.” Windsor Star, December 4, 2000

    On university behaviour codes: “It is perfectly reasonable [to] expect its students to refrain from practices that are biblically condemned, and sign a pledge not to get drunk, swear, harass, lie, cheat, steal, have an abortion, practise the occult, or engage in sexual sins such as premarital sex, adultery, homosexual behaviour and viewing of pornography.” Calgary Herald May 21, 2001

    On two-tier health care: “Bring it on.” Calgary Herald, June 1, 2003

    On queue jumping: “We already do have this two-tier system, so why not allow people to pay for private services?” Global TV, June 1, 2003

    On democracy: “Democracy is pure theatre.” Calgary Herald, August 3, 2003

    On the courts: “The courts are out of control [because they have been] striking down the abortion law, the change in the traditional definition of marriage, the legalization of swingers’ clubs.” Calgary Herald January 14, 2006

    On overriding Charter rights: “There are ways around the [notwithstanding] clause.” Calgary Herald January 14, 2006

    …and on what she really thinks of the leader she now claims is a friend?
    On Stephen Harper: ”He’s blown his moderate credentials, he got some of his facts wrong and he has come across as a kooky conspiracy theorist.” Calgary Herald, September 14, 2003

    Reply
  10. Albertagirl46

    Having been a supporter of Reform, it is still hard to believe that it devolved into the entity that calls itself the Conservative Party of Canada. I have no respect for nor trust of those that started with Reform and stayed with CPC. The CPC is the antithesis of what Reform started out as.

    Perhaps the game plan with WRP is the same that was used in Reform. Find a front person that is well spoken and has recognition, use them to establish your presence, and then the real players can emerge. Wonder who Tom Flanagan is grooming for the real leadership. Too bad he doesn’t run.

    Reply
  11. Joe Calgary

    I guess you haven’t bothered to do much research into the pc parties candidates eh Tom?

    If you had, you would know they are full of “old white guys”. How does that square with your stance? Or is it just Wildrose old white guys you fear as opposed to those old white guys in that other conservative (supposedly) party.

    Perhaps your just not comfortable making your own decisions… Is that it, you prefer a party full of old white guys and social workers who will cheerfully decide what’s best for you over a party full of old white guys who want you to be your own man?

    There is a solid home for you if you are afraid to decide your fate for yourself Tom, and it’s nice and inclusive… Although full of old men too. It’s called Venezula.

    They like voting for crooks and thrives too.

    Reply
  12. Tom

    Calgary Joe, I happen to be an old (over 50) white guy myself. I’m just stating facts: Wild Rose has nearly no female candidates. Other parties have twice as many female candidates running as Wild Rose. Hmmm…anything to do with WR intention to delist abortion? Or allow discrimination masked as “conscience rights” toward anyone they so choose?
    Oh, and I don’t fear you because we disagree, my friend, but I pity you for your own fear of anyone who looks or feels differently than you.

    Reply
  13. AllianceoftheReformedWildRose

    I find it interesting that when it’s pointed out (rightfully) that there is a lot to be concerned about with WRP candidates, the fearmongering card is played by their supporters.. Social issues aside, Danielle Smith has said that half of her candidates want to leave the City Centre Airport issue alone and move on, while the other half want to pursue it. I can’t think of a position that is more out of touch, or sadly out of date.

    Reply
  14. Brandon

    Within the next few years, you will see the same thing happen in Alberta parties that happened with the Federal parties.

    There will be merging of parties until you have another neoconservative party like the current federal CONservatives.

    This could be the Alberta Rose merging with Progessive Conservatives and then dropping the Progessive part and calling it CONservatives.

    Read here how Rod Love did it:
    “How Canada’s divided left can get it right”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/article718710.ece

    Reply
  15. Andy Grabia

    “They want nothing more than to see the Redford PCs re-elected to impose their big government knows best, ivory tower views on all of us.”

    Bold mine.

    Danielle Smith has a BA in English. Tom Flanagan has a PhD and is a tenured Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Cliff Fryers, author of that message, has a law degree and practiced at Fraser Milner, one of the biggest law firms in the country. He was also the Board Chair of Enmax. If they want to talk ivory tower, they should do so while looking in a mirror.

    Reply
  16. Rural gal

    I am a responsible, intelligent, inclusive person who happens to be female- note I list my humanity first- not my gender, color, etc. Redford shows me disdain! I do not need her to tell me what I need to do or think, I do not need her arrogance about who she thinks I am. I do not care that there is more men than women in WR, I do not care if they are pink, purple or some other color, I do not care if they are rich, poor, young or old. I care that they respect the people of Alberta.
    So Redford and your team of bigots – please go away. As an Albertans, Tom Olsens remark and Susan Elliot’s remarks are shameful and I am deeply offended. So stop with the labels on WR – the fox is in YOUR hen house

    Reply
  17. Recovering from 18 years with GoA

    For Tom, that you felt the need to put yourself out there for Calgary Joe is a sad, sad statement. Your public comments of this week were offensive, and the defensive tone of your postings here carry the stench of desperation.

    Reply
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