Along with a lot of other commentators, I gave Alberta’s Danielle Smith a good chance at winning Monday’s election. She was my worst-cast scenario, but the rightward swing in global politics makes me wary when candidates like Smith attract so much attention.
Her Wildrose Party lost. The 41-year rein of the Progressive Conservatives continues, and I feel reassured to know the energy-dependent, right-leaning province reacted strongly to her social conservatism. There are some issues the majority of Canadians figure are settled, even if we are not always sure how to deal with them. Racism, same-sex marriage and climate change are among them.
Wildrose Squanders Pre-Election Support
The Wildrose gang was garnering a lot of support in advance polls and yard signs. Then the proverbial manure hit the fan. Shortly before the election, one of the party’s candidates, Ron Leech, made a startlingly racist comment on a multicultural radio station:
I think, as a Caucasian, I have an advantage. When different community leaders, such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speaks, they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a Caucasian I believe that I can speak to all the community.
Danielle Smith didnít see any problems with the statement. She said party members are free to express their own personal opinions.
She made a similar statement when challenged to comment on Pastor Allan Hunspergerís blog post saying gays and lesbians would “suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire.” He was another Wildrose candidate.
Then she dropped the climate-change bomb, claiming the science was not settled. Although her support of the oil sands may have been the right tune for a lot of voters, her denial of climate change science was not.
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