Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Brian Jean: WildRose's Second Lake Of Fire?

Newly minted WildRose party leader Brian Jean is running around the province trying to drum up votes like every other politician in Alberta these days.  His latest "fear" seems to be that the PCs are going to start sliming his party.

“I think they’ll even claim our ethnic candidates are
racist. I wouldn’t be surprised.” 
The interview is over but a couple minutes later Jean phones back. He wants to add something. 
He says the PC run the same kind of playbook as the federal Liberals tried on Stephen Harper. Remember, Jean served in the Harper government, as did Prentice. 
“They tried to demonize him. They said we had a secret and hidden agenda. They claimed we were theocrats and racists and bigots and there were going to be soldiers on the streets of Canadian cities.” 
“The PCs do this because they have taken over the space of the Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta. The PCs have taken that ground.” 
For the record, Jean says he “has no interest whatsoever” in pushing social agenda issues. Gay-straight alliances will stay with Wildrose.
I suspect most Albertans know very little about Mr. Jean, except that his son passed away recently.  I certainly hadn't heard of him before myself.

As a former MP, I sincerely hope that Mr. Jean doesn't think his resignation erases his past history as a politician, because it does not.  I didn't feel like wading through all of the Hansards since 2004 to figure out how Mr. Jean had voted on every issue, so I wandered over to Campaign Life's lovely little "reference card" to find out how MP Jean had voted on Social Conservative hot button issues since he went to Ottawa.


The upshot?  Campaign Life likes this guy - he's been a very obedient little MP for them.  Let's take a closer look at his voting record:

Transgender Rights (Bill C-279 and Bill C-389):  Nope.  He's opposed to that.  

Gay Marriage (Bill C-38, Motion 12):  Nope, he opposed that.  


Abortion (Bill C-484, Bill C-510, Motion 312):  Mysteriously he supported both bills which would have reopened the abortion debate, as well as Motion 312.  

Hate Speech (Bill C-304):  Yup, he voted to remove hate speech protections from Canada's human rights law.  

Basically, if you are gay, trans, or female, this guy doesn't have much room for you in his world.  If you belong to a minority that is frequently subjected to hate speech, he figures your abuser has more rights than you do too.  

He's remarkably closed-mouth about his beliefs, which is his right.  As voters, we then must turn to his past actions to understand exactly what this man represents.  He's been a very dutiful ally to all things the TheoCon base wants.  He might be somewhat less verbose about things than the unlamented Alan Hunsperger, but does that mean that voters should trust his statement that he “has no interest whatsoever” in pushing social agenda issues?  

Mr. Jean refuses to answer for his votes on the matters as an MP, and now he's running to be the next Premier of Alberta.  He has a responsibility to be honest with Albertans on this - not just "oh I won't push those issues" (as Danielle Smith so vapidly tried to convince us of in 2012).  There is a fundamental inconsistency between his actions as an MP over the best part of a decade and statements made to the Calgary Sun.  

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