Saturday, December 01, 2007

Chandler purged


Stelmach and the Alberta PCs have clearly seen which way the wind is blowing in Alberta - and it isn't from the far right - hot air aside.
RED DEER — An ugly internal dispute over sex, religion and violence erupted within the Alberta Conservative party Saturday, ending up with a candidate being ousted and Premier Ed Stelmach saying the reasons for the "difficult" decision must remain confidential.

Mr. Stelmach presided over a private meeting of his party's 40-member executive committee, which voted not to endorse the nomination of a candidate who founded a group linked to an anti-gay letter.

Mr. Stelmach emerged from the closed-door session to announce that Craig Chandler's nomination in Calgary-Egmont was "not in the best interests of the party."


Mr. Chandler said he felt like the clock had been turned back 50 years and he was being grilled in front of the anti-communist hearings in the U.S. led by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

"(They asked) 'Are you a right-winger? Are you a social conservative? Do you believe in Jesus Christ?"' Mr. Chandler told reporters.

He used the word "Christ-o-phobic" at one point and said there is a "growing intolerance" within the Tory party.

This from the man who has called gays as bad as murderers and said anyone not willing to vote conservative wasn't welcome in Alberta.

It was a surprising display of rational self interest on the part of the provincial Tories - Calgary is right wing, but it's a pro business, socially moderate and urbane right wing. Chandler would have cost the party Calgary-Egmont - not that they're guaranteed to keep it anyway - and thousands of votes province wide.

His ouster will cost them some psycho reactionary support split off to Alliance and Wild Rose, the split on the right in Alberta has always had more effect than the left wing split that Alberta Liberals whine about whenever New Democrats get votes.

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