Sunday, December 2, 2007

Let the people of Calgary-Egmont decide on Craig Chandler

The Alberta PC Party decided yesterday to quash the nomination of the duly nominated candidate for the district of Calgary-Egmont, Craig Chander. Many progressives are celebrating. I'm not.

I may be a bit biased as I know Craig personally and consider him a friend despite our almost completely opposite ideological differences. And yes, some of his comments in recent weeks can almost be considered radioactive and downright repulsive. But as far as I'm concerned, he won the nomination fair and square. The only reason to override the will of the local district association would be if Craig did not disclose certain facts about his past, or if he had a criminal record. Neither is the case. He has always been forthright about who he is and what he stands for; and the time to have stopped him was at the district level when the nomination meeting took place, not the Star Chamber of the party executive.

What this move tells me is that Ed Stelmach, the Premier of Alberta, is a control freak. He wants to control the agenda and "rebrand" his party as moderate even if it ultra right at the core. While I concede the leader has to lead and set boundaries, he or she is not free to decide who the messengers are. If some "slip through" and get nominated, the proper procedure is to make sure if the party gets elected to govern the perceived rogue stays on the backbenches or is asked to run a toothless committee. It's not to isolate the person midstream because then he or she will run as an independent or for another party, fragmenting the vote even further. More likely however, the rebel candidates will sink the fortunes of the party elsewhere which is what should happen.

The voters in Calgary-Egmont should decide whether Craig meets their merits as a Progressive Conservative. He won that right, he should get it back and not be forced to run as an independent. No, I would not vote for him (I'd probably vote for the Libs or NDs) but I would still want that choice.

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1 comment:

s.b. said...

Mr. Chandler is completely unfit to hold public office in Canada. The Conservative Party of Alberta did the right thing in rejecting his nomination.

His political views and statements are not just "different" or even offensive they are, and I don't use this word lightly, fascist.