Alberta Politics

Rebel Media becomes a wedge issue in the United Conservative Party leadership race

This weekend’s violent march of Nazis and white supremacists through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia made international headlines and also had repercussions for the United Conservative Party leadership race in Alberta.

Leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer, a Calgary lawyer who is trying to position himself as a social moderate in the contest, used this weekend’s dark events south of the border to call on Jason Kenney and Brian Jean to denounce Rebel Media. The fringe right-wing website is more of an opposition group than a media organization and is seen to be closely allied with “alt-right” organizers in Canada and the United States.

“Enough is enough. We have to be better than this in Canada. Stand up to them for a change. We all need to lead by example,” Schweitzer tweeted.

Founders of the website include Ezra Levant, who, along with Kenney was a member of the “snack pack” in the mid-1990s, and Hamish Marshall, who is Jean’s campaign manager and was campaign manager for Andrew Scheer‘s successful federal leadership bid.

Many Wildrose Party and federal Conservative politicians have supported Levant’s Rebel website on social media, through online interviews, and participation in rallies and events organized by Levant and his employees.

Schweitzer’s challenge to Jean and Kenney will undoubtedly result in nasty pushback from a legion of right-wing twitter users, which I am sure he is prepared to respond to. But drawing a line helps Schweitzer differentiate himself from the two major candidates in the race, who have both been seen to be sympathetic or supportive of Levant’s Rebel website, and signals what kind of conservatives might not be welcome in a United Conservative Party led by Doug Schweitzer.

7 replies on “Rebel Media becomes a wedge issue in the United Conservative Party leadership race”

Schweitzer sure is getting a lot of pats on the head from people who will never, ever vote for him or his party.

I really commend Schweitzer on taking a principled stand. But I tend to agree with those who suggest it means he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the UCP leadership.

And where was Doug Schweitzer when the PC Party of Alberta was being overtaken by the Alt Right of the Wildrose Party. By trying to run as the moderate centrist conservative is laughable because this UCP party is not mainstream conservative it is a party of angry white born again Christian males who feel besieged that there is vast left wing conspiracy that ate going to enslave them. Sorry Doug, your crocodile tears are false and that you are a day late and a dollar short. Your political views would be more receptive in the Alberta Party.

Doug Schweitzer will never lead the United Conservative Party.

Not really sure who or what Schweitzer thinks his constituency is.

His 3/6/9 salary cut plan, tax cut plan and proposal to privatize ATB make him toxic to progressives.

His social stands, and opportunism in going after Rebel Media make him toxic to conservatives.

Schweitzer seems to be targeting the progressive side of the former PC’s. However, I am not sure if there are that many left in the UCP now. He might be one of the few remaining. I think his main task is to try portray the UCP as being more progressive than it is, but without being a too serious leadership threat to the main contenders. I suppose the results of the leadership vote will show how many UCP members are interested in a more progressive message and if there are actually many PC’s left in that party.

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