Monday, December 03, 2007

Fallout and Recrimination

Now that the decision making around Chandler's candidacy is over, we are starting to see various voices in the PC party starting to critique Stelmach's handling of the situation.

Comments like the following are popping up:

Would Jim Dinning have let the Chandler episode run its course the same way Ed did?

I'm not at all sure that Stelmach could have done anything but. From a few intimations in the news, it doesn't sound like the PC party has a process that enables party brass to "vet" nomination candidates. There are some clauses that provide the final say-so on a nominee belongs to the party leadership, but that only kicks in after someone has been nominated.

Second, I suspect that few people realize the lengths that Chandler went to to ensure his nomination in Calgary Egmont. He had managed to get a number of his close allies to step forward to act as board executive for the riding association. At least four of his people were on the Egmont constituency association board, probably enough to make it difficult to shut down Chandler's campaign without generating some seriously bad optics for the party.

Stelmach had a nasty little problem on his hands the day he assumed the party leadership, and I doubt he was even aware of its existence. He actually did the best thing he could - let the game unfold however it may, and then let the uproar publicize all of the activities that have made Craig Chandler notorious in recent years. Waiting for the AHRC ruling on the Boissoin case simply made it even easier to justify refusing Chandler's candidacy, as it put one more nail in Chandler's political coffin as a PC.

The reality of it is that Stelmach had to act in the best political interests of his party given a very limited set of tools. If Stelmach had not acted as he did, he risked giving the opposition a huge array of ammunition to lob at his party during an election, and that's something Stelmach can't afford.

I see that Chandler is threatening to sue the PC party to recover the costs of his campaign. If he actually did spend $127,000 on the nomination itself, the man must have money to burn. I doubt any of his competitors spent even 10% of that amount for the nomination itself. Given that the first thing out of Chandler's mouth is almost always "I'll sue you" (followed a close second by "Christophobe" it seems these days), I don't suppose the party should be surprised.

Perhaps the greatest irony of all this is that the more Chandler lashes out viciously at those he perceives to have slighted him, the less electable he becomes.


Anonymous said...

Threatening a lawsuit kinda sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Remember Chandler's July 29, 2005 rant on his FREE DUMB RADIO NUTWORK program against the guy who filed the Canadian Human Rights Commission complaints?

CHANDLER - QUOTE - "And here's the thing, win or lose, and I'll make this promise to Mr. Wells, cuz I know he downloads our shows and listens; I'll make this promise to you Rob, win or lose, WE'RE GOING TO SUE YOU. And here's why: because it's frivolous what you're doing. We will take our fight to the other courts where you don't just write a simple letter, Rob, and then, and you can get away with ah, just doing that and not having to have legal counsel. We will go to court, ah and we will take it as far at the Supreme Court. We'll get our moneys back if we have any fines or anthing of that sort. We don't pay those either. We won't pay those! This is a battle that you just, ah you know, you started something which is going to need to be decided at a higher level Rob. Rob, I'm actually glad you did, because you chose the right organization when you picked on Concerned Christians Canada, you chose the right organization when you're pushing around Freedom Radio Network because this is about freedom!"

No wonder the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council called Chandler's program "electronic bullying".

Whether it's bullying, or just plain bull ****, I doubt that even Craig is stupid enough to file a lawsuit which would put his hate fulled rantings forever on the public record.

What a great platform upon which to build a political career.

Time for Craig to pack up his carpet bag and hitch hike back east where he came from. If he can't adapt to our law-abiding ways, he should leave!

Anonymous said...

I hope that Ted Morton doesn't choke on that sock that Mr. Ed stuffed in his mouth... Or is there another explanation for his silence on this issue?

Grog said...

In fairness, although Chandler is (or was) a Morton supporter, there's no evidence I'm aware of that Morton has ever expressed reciprocal feelings towards Chandler.

Morton has pretty much stuck to his portfolio lately and hasn't ventured into any hobby-horse issues. I hope it stays that way for the time being - we don't need another resurrection of bill 208 - today or ever.

Anonymous said...

Chandler is just like Conrad Black --- disagree with him and you are sued. Typical!!!!!


Matthew 5, 6 said...

The CBC referred to Chandler as a "radio host". shouldn't that have been EX-RADIO HOST?

The last I heard, Chandler's FREE DUMB RADIO NUTWORK program has been removed from AM 1140. I doubt that any reputable station would let him have his own show ever again, especially after the CBSC's ruling against him.

There are two good things that have resulted from this whole mess.

First, it has shown just how dangerous any extremist group can be when they try to infiltrate a main-stream political party.

Secondly, it has forced the heirarchy of the PC party to look homophobia in the face, and to see just how disgusting this kind of hate really is.

I think it will make Stelmach and his cabinet move to amend Alberta's Human Rights legislation to include SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

In 1998, it has been "read in" by the Supreme Court in the Vriend decision. Now it is time for Stelmach to actually WRITE IT IN.

The party's two and a half hour secret meeting with Chandler was no doubt the most effective gay rights seminar one could ask for.

And I'm sure that they all remembered how the gay community rallied behind Joe Clark to oust the Reform / Alliance incumbent.

Grog said...

Matthew 5,6:

It had been dropped from 1140, then Chandler managed to get it reinstated.

Sometime this summer, Chandler pulled his program off the air into being a "webcast only".

Whether this whole schmozzle will provoke the Stelmach tories to amend the Alberta Human Rights legislation to explicitly include GLBT people is yet to be seen. Don't forget that when Ted Morton proposed bill 208, it was only a filibuster on the part of the opposition that stopped it. The majority of cabinet were endorsing it.

Matthew 5: 6 said...

Yes, Grog..
I was in the public gallery of the legislature, and introduced by my MLA who stated that we were there to express our objection to Bill 208.

I rather doubt that the majority of cabinet were endorsing Morton's bill. The only person from the PC's to speak in favor was some woman MLA from RED DEER (of course). If cabinet had wanted to support it, they would have made it a government bill, and not a private member's bill. I don't think they wanted to openly oppose it, they just wanted it to go away.

Regarding Chandler's AM 1140 radio show, there seems to have been a confrontation between the station's management and Chandler over something in his final broadcast. I don't think that Chandler voluntarily pulled it, rather CHRB pulled the plug on it. Their licence was clearly in jeopardy.

A sign of the change of PC policy is the Attorney General's intervention into the Lund complaint, and the government's
support of Lund's position. This would have been unthinkable even 5 years ago.

Besides, the Alberta Tories are vulnerable for their homophobic track record, and Stelmach's stand against BullyBoy Chandler is a clear indication that the PC's know that exteme Reich wing crap will no longer be accepted by the majority of Albertains.

Anyway, I'm waiting to see how CraiggieBoy will fulfill his promise to go to jail, rather than pay any Human Rights fines.

Anyone want to slip him a few
packages of lube to make his jail time a little less boring?

Grog said...

Matthew 5,6:

I hope you are correct that under Stelmach something more positive might happen.

The actual voting records of a lot of the front bench on bill 208 were disappointing to say the least - and that makes me rather cautious. (My own MLA's response was basically a "PFO" when I wrote to her expressing my concerns about the flaws in the bill)