Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Wildrose Leader

Okay, the Wildrose Alliance party picked Danielle Smith as their new leader.

Certainly, I consider Smith a far more constructive choice than Dyrholm - the closeness of Dyrholm to Craig Chandler was enough to make me uncomfortable with Dyrholm (in fact Dyrholm's campaign team was more or less the same bunch of suspects that show up around Chandler every time Chandler tries to stick his oar into the politics).

The vote numbers are interesting:

Ms. Smith garnered 6,295 votes to 1,905 for Mr. Dyrholm.


That means that around 25% of the party voted for Dyrholm. Interesting. Once again, it shows us that there is a sizable body of reactionary conservatives that have taken up residence in the Wildrose Alliance. This is not unlike the Reform/Alliance/Conservative parties on the federal scene - a significant, and likely very vocal, faction exists within the party.

The challenge now will be for Danielle Smith to bring this faction to heel without alienating the remaining 75% of the party. We know what happened with the ReformaTories - the extreme took control (and has control today - do not be deluded by Harper's apparent shift towards the "center").

I know that Danielle Smith has some strong libertarian beliefs. I will be very curious to see how this influences the party policies, and how - if at all - it differentiates itself from the reactionary element that Dyrholm would represent. (What I have seen of libertarianism expressed in the US, I'm not sure it's that much different in its end result - except perhaps for less religion-centric commentary.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's telling is that only 8,000 people voted - barely more in the Liberals last leadership race. Seems like the media has pumped up this party to be something more than it really is.

Patrick Ross said...

It's interesting that you would suggest that the extreme right has control of the Conservative party, but there's been no sign of the extreme agenda the "hidden agenda" chorus has insisted is lurking.

At some point you'll just have to admit what Canadians already know -- the "hidden agenda" doesn't exist.


As it regards the WA, when a party's membership jumps by nearly 10,000 members, it's pretty clear that something very significant is underway.

Unless Stelmach can put the brakes on, that trend will continue.

Kimberly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Edmonton Sun's piece on page 4 of Sunday's paper?

"Call of the Wild" headline with a photo of a demonstrator with a picket sign that says "STOP THE HATE" which is probably a protest against Chandler's sock-puppet Dryholm and the WRA's resolution to rescind section 3 of the Alberta Human Rights Act.

I guess someone told their supporters to leave their white sheets and pointy hats at home this time.

Looks like another re-branding of the same old KLAN......

MgS said...

@Patrick:

Leopards don't change their spots. If you pay attention to how Harper and his cabinet vote on the bills that come from the back benches, it's hard to convince me that they don't support the theocon agenda.

They might not be talking about it, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

I'm pretty certain that in Harper's micromanaged world, he clears every 'private member's' bill his party tables before it gets presented to parliament.

Trust is earned - Harper hasn't earned mine; and the WRA is going to have to go quite some ways to earn it ... for the reasons I already stated.

Patrick Ross said...

Here's an idea:

Instead of saying you're "pretty certain" of these things, why don't you provide some evidence?

For example, if Harper is personally approving every private member's bill originating from within his caucus, why would his government kill a bill like C-484, which had progressed as far as Parliamentary committee?

It doesn't seem like the evidence lines up in your favour.

MgS said...

@Patrick:

Harper voted for C-484 personally.

(as did most of his cabinet - even though they don't talk about it)

As for killing 484 off last fall - Harper did that with his eyes purely on timing his election - he knew damned well that if 484 passed before calling an election, he'd guarantee that he lost the votes of half the population.

Bills like 484 are quietly allowed the light of day in Harper's world to remind his ultra-religious base that he hasn't forgotten them. (Better known as a "dog-whistle")

Anonymous said...

Patrick Ross is either on some drug or should be (figuratively speaking). The Wildrose Alliance is a fringe party with a leader so arrogant that Ron Liepert blushes.

MgS said...

Anonymous@2:26: I'll give Danielle Smith a chance to show us what she's really about before I make such a harsh judgment of her.

Unlike her, Harper has a pretty extensive public history with which he has sown the seeds of my distrust of him ... his tenure has PM has merely confirmed my fears.

Remember, Harper is the man who said "Canada is a Northern European welfare state" and America, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world"... You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it

... people wonder why I don't trust him?

Anonymous said...

The last quote is precisely why I will continue to vote for Stephen Harper.

MgS said...

That's your right. Frankly, his vision for Canada is not mine.

MgS said...

I see that someone else isn't buying Harper's recent attempts at changing his spots.