Another Cabinet Minister bites the dust. The Victor Doerksen leadership candidacy is very interesting. Presuming the speculation is right. Why else would he leave Cabinet?
My sense is the evangelical social conservatives were really behind Preston Manning’s candidacy and when he passed, they were reluctantly leaning to Dr. Ted Morton. With time, my guess is they likely found Dr. Morton’s brand of social conservativism too cerebral – all in his head, not enough in his heart and precious little worn on his sleeve…Ted wants to win after all.
For example, I’d bet Dr. Morton’s pending private members Bill is not tough enough for the anti-gay fundamentalist crowd. This Bill might get into Committee debate now that we have an August legislative session coming up. As I recall, the Bill is intended, in part, to relieve a teacher, based on conscious or faith, from the obligation to teach certain aspects of the curriculum that relate to homosexuality. This is pretty scary stuff to me but it is likely just not tough enough for those who believe homosexuality is a sin and a chosen lifestyle.
Victor Doerksen is likely a recruit to this fundamentalist cause and represents a superficial shunning of Dr. Morton, at least until the second vote. If Dr. Morton makes it past the first ballot many of Victor's suporters will go to Morton on the second ballot. Better to have a "second choice" social conservative running this province than none at all will be the rationale.
These Doerksen supporters are likely the same folks who were very active and overt for Harper in the 2004 federal campaign. Remember they made him look “scary?” By staying quiet but showing up to vote in the 2006 election, Harper, this time, was merely seen as “wonky.” He got a good positive glow off of Gomery's findings and eventually a minority government…a good thing in my books.
We know the Gang of 100 who “bought into” the Norris candidacy but I expect we will never know who is really behind Doerksen. Based on the success they enjoyed by staying low key and then coming out strong on election day they made a difference for Harper. They have a strategy that works for them and it ain't broke. Why not use it to get the kind of Alberta Premier you want - for at least the next 2 years! A lot can happen in 2 years!
Will this split the social conservative vote and hurt both Victor and Ted? Or will it energize this sector and generate even more over all interest amongst the sector and sell even more memberships. Time will tell.
To my mind if you vote for Victor and he wins - you better hide your books – he likes to ban them!