Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ted Morton's Alberta

Members of Alberta's Progressive Conservative Party may want to think carefully before selecting Ted Morton as their next leader.

Morton doesn't represent anything close to the politics of Peter Lougheed - in fact, in my view he represents a much more mean-spirited kind of politics.

First is the fact that Ted Morton is among those who signed the infamous Alberta Firewall Letter several years ago. At best, the Firewall Letter is a neo-separatist document that attempts to argue that Alberta should isolate itself from the rest of Canada.

Second is his legislative record. As this article points out, Morton hasn't exactly got a record of even-handedness in legislation.

Among his crosses to bear is a controversial law he championed that gives cabinet unilateral control over all land use with little compensation and no judicial accountability or appeals process. The law “extinguishes” individual land rights.

I find that particularly interesting since a long standing hot button issue among those who would be Morton's "base" is property rights. That he would engineer and support a bill that so blatantly undermines property rights in a province like Alberta tells us a great deal about Morton's desires. He isn't a politician with 'grass roots' desires - he's after power and power without consequences or accountability.

On issues like human rights, Morton's track record is equally deplorable. His zombie Bill 208 legislation is so blatantly hostile to GLBT people it's not even funny, and generally hostility to GLBT people also brings with it a parochial view of women which is very limiting to women's ability to participate fully in society.

Morton is (and has been) a polarizing force in Alberta's politics. The PCs need a broad base of support in order to survive the upcoming election - there's a lot of competition emerging on Alberta's political landscape, and polarization will not do the PC's any favours.

Both the Alberta Party and Wildrose Alliance are eating the support bases of an increasingly polarized and fractured PC party. Selecting Morton as a leader will not be favorable to the PCs. (although it will make for one heck of a dogfight with the WRA...)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Every point you make is in favour of a vote for Morton. That's where I'll be going now.

MgS said...

@Anonymous 1:20:

Thanks for confirming that what dons the cloak of "Conservative" today is in fact no longer about liberty and freedom for all.