Monday, December 10, 2007

Alberta Separatist David Crutcher Also Not Acceptable as a PC Candidate

Dec 11 - CORRECTION: there is a comment from Mr. Chandler correcting a factual error on this post. He says Mr. Crutcher was not his campaign manager in the recent Calgary Egmont PC nomination campaign. Harley Shouldice was the campaign manager, and according to the comment, still is Mr. Chandler's campaign manager. Thank you for bring that correction to our attention.
As for Mr. Crutcher's Alliance Leadership campaign platform where he outlined his conditions for Alberta separation, the links in this post to his position on this matter speaks for itself.

It was with some amusement that I found that Mr. David Crutcher is considering running for the PC Party nomination in Calgary Egmont. This gentleman was Craig Chandler’s campaign manager for his recent “successful” nomination in Calgary Egmont. Mr. Chandler was recently rejected as a candidate by the Progressive Conservative Party Executive Committee for “not being in the best interests of the Party.”

The quid pro quo irony is that Mr. Chandler was Mr. Crutcher’s campaign manager in his failed bid to leader the Alberta Alliance Party in 2005 where he came in third of four candidates.

Mr. Crutcher was very recently elected President by one vote of the Calgary Egmont PC Association and was removed from the Presidency for supporting Chandler and not remaining neutral in the nomination process.

This trial balloon candidacy is being seen as a bit of mischievousness by some and sour grapes by others on the far right. I believe Mr. Chandler has moved on to the Alberta Alliance or the new Wildrose Party or some other manifestation of the far-right fringe element in Alberta’s political “culture.” Mr. Crutcher seems to want to keep the nomination pot boiling and so be it but lets give him a heads up first and tell him that he will not be the PC candidate under any circumstance.

Looking into some of Mr. Crutcher’s background and previous policy positions one can easily conclude his candidacy is also “not in the best interests of the party.”
I think he should be told that now and well in advance of exercising any delusions he may have of running for nomination and hoping his candidacy will be accepted by the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.

He, like Mr. Chandler, is also misaligned and likely maladaptive to the Statement of Principles of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. When he was running for the leadership of the Alberta Alliance Party in 2005 he touted Alberta separation from Canada as part of his campaign policy. He couched his policy position saying that Alberta should not seek separation from Canada if the Harper Cons won the next federal election. That is sure reassuring (sic).

Such a policy position in his leadership bid of another political party shows that Mr. Crutcher will not be able to adhere to at least one of the very significant Statement of Principles of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, namely:

We must strive to maintain sovereignty over provincial matters, believing that a strong and vibrant Alberta is a cornerstone of a strong and united Canada.”

The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta is not a separatist party Mr. Crutcher. Mark Norris mused about this idea for a few moments in the recent leadership campaign and quickly changed his tune. He lost his leadership bid - badly!

The PC Party believes in a strong Alberta within a strong Canada and will not harbour any overt or closet separatists. Don’t waste your time and money Mr. Crutcher. It is time for you to move on too sir!


  1. Anonymous4:05 pm

    I don't think you should be amused, Ken. Given the weak state of the PCPA in Calgary, he could win the PC nomination if he pulls in enough of the "looney right" vote.

  2. Ken, I hope that the screening happens BEFORE the nomination is held. If the party does not want a big tent with all types of conservative beliefs, then they should not wait until after the nomination.

  3. I agree eric - tell Mr. Crutcher before he attempts to be a PC candidate this time - not afterwards.

    As for the Alberta PCs embracing "all types of conservative beliefs," surely you don't include social conservative beliefs that breach human rights and Charter rights... or that promotes the separation of Alberta from Canada.

    Are those acceptable to you as appropriate types of conservative beliefs? Are those conservative beliefs in your book? They are not in mine.

    I am suggesting is that we reject these so-called "conservative beliefs" as being totally incompatable with the PC Party Statement of Principles.

  4. An Anonymous Coward ;)9:17 pm


    In regard to this quote:

    "As for the Alberta PCs embracing "all types of conservative beliefs," surely you don't include social conservative beliefs that breach human rights and Charter rights... or that promotes the separation of Alberta from Canada."

    In the future, whichever candidates you endorse will be asked if they accept your endorsement in light of your belief that social conservative values are a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Believe me - there are a great deal more social conservatives than athiest statists like yourself. And they vote in much greater numbers - especially in nomination and leadership races. You might find yourself losing a great deal of friends in the future because of this quote sir.

  5. Anon @ 9:17

    Not all social conservative beliefs breach human and Charter rights...and I never said they did. But when they do they are wrong in a free and democratic pluralist inclusive society like Canada.

    I sure don't consider such people who will engage in such breaches of the rights of others to be "friends" and I don't mourn “the lose”.

    On what basis do you presume I am an "atheist statist?" Do you know me? How do you come to think you know my religious beliefs? Have you invaded my privacy? Or are you just trying to call me “names?”

    Do I know you? Why are you anonymous? You’re not on a witness protection program for turning states evidence against your former "friends" - are you afraid of your former "friends?"

    Is that why you are in fear of revealing your identity? Why are you afraid to openly exercise your right free speech?

  6. Craig Chandler10:28 pm


    Why lie?

    Harley Shouldice was my Campaign Manager as listed on my website and still is.

    Crutcher is not a separatist.

    Why do you constantly lie on your blog?

  7. I suspect that this latest gambit out of Chandler's camp is a way to "salt the earth" on his way out of the PCs.

    Crutcher's past, while not as colourful as Chandler, makes him something of a marginal candidate. Arguably no worse than Ted Morton though. However, his close ties to Chandler would hand the opposition parties a bucket of tar and a nice big brush if Crutcher were to stand as a PC candidate in an election.

    Where Anon@9:17 is incorrect in his assumptions about "big tent" is in assuming that Chandler is representative of "social conservatives" in any general sense. (I would hope that most would be horrified by the tactics he has engaged in)

  8. "surely you don't include social conservative beliefs that breach human rights and Charter rights"

    These are statements often come from narrow minded and ill-informed individuals. Normally, however, at least liberal lawyers would understand that the whole debate is actually on whether or not these "rights" ought to be protected by the Charter. For example, in 1990, well after the Charter was introduced, same-sex marriage was not considered to be a Charter right. It took various machinery and lobbying from both sides and now we have an answer. It was controversial (in fact, the SCC would not even go so for as to cause the government to take positive action and change the definition - it required a vote in the commons). I respect both sides who respectfully debate the issue. Ken, for you to insult people for their religious beliefs, which happen to be Charter rights as well, is as narrow-minded as the people who call homosexuals sinful.

  9. If the party members choose a candidate why should the Premier be able to override the members choice? The members are in as good a position as the premier to decide if a person is worthy to represent them. I don't like the control exercised by the premier where he manipulates the process to get annointed candidates.

    Where are the incredulous Tories who complained bitterly about Paul Martin doing the same thing?

  10. Elf - Thx for the comment. The political party system is weak and dangerously unrepresentative of the larger population. About 3% of Canadian voters belong to all the political parties combined.

    That is an enormous concentration of power when you consider that it is the political parties that decide who we voters will have to choose from when deciding who will govern us.

    Political parties also decide who could be the leader of the country or province.

    That is why I like the one person one vote system of PC Leadership selection. Anyone who wants to participate in that leadership decision can do so for $5. If a political party is so weak that its leadership selection process can be hijacked citizens have to wonder if it is worthy of serious consideration to govern.

    They system is open to be hijacked very easily...especially at the local level. We are seeing evidence of this ability to influence political outcomes when Schreiber tells just how foreign money hijacked the Federal PC leadership review that selected Mulroney as leader - and eventual Prime Minister.

    Second, the Premier does not decide if a person is appropriate to run, the Leader of the Party does. It is only coincidental that Stelmach is both.

    In the Alberta PC Party there is a two-pronged acceptance test the Executive Committee and the Leader both have to accept a nominee.

    The leader has to be able to work with a team and to lead a team it has to be reasonably aligned to a consistent governing philosophy. That does not mean toe-the-line becasue a diversity of perspective is necessaary too but extremists are not likely to be welcome.

    A nominee that is clearly misaligned with the party's governing philosophy or unacceptable to the Leader is obviously not going to be acceptable.

    I think this nominee review process is a good safety valve for the system so long as it is open and tranparent.

  11. eric at 10:36 - I think your comment needs some clarification and refocus. I understand the Section 15 Equality Rights making discrimination on the basis of sex has been interpreted by the courts to disallow discrimination on sexual orientation.

    That evolved into accepting SSM in Canada. That was not a SCC but rather a political decision decided by a vote in the Commons. That is as it should be.

    Such matters are best dealt with in the House of Commons and ideally not something that the courts should even have to deal with.

    The courts only get put in those interpretative situations when our politicians pass bad law...meaning the law is unclear or inconsistent with the Charter.

    SSM is settled law of Canada now. The debate is over. Same goes for Capital Punishment.

    As far as respect goes, the law should be respected. What the Canadian Human Rights decision where Mr. Chandler apologized wasn't about SSM in any event.

  12. A further clarification on Mr. Crutcher:

    Until August 2007, Crutcher was the Fundraising Chair/CFO of the Chandler nomination campaign committee.

    He remained listed on the Chandler campaign website as "GOTV Chair" at least as of this morning.

    Additionally, late in the campaign, a "letter" on Chandler-styled letterhead was delivered to residences in the area, signed by Crutcher and other members of the PC association executive endorsing Chandler.

  13. I have been a member of the party for over 20 years and garnered close to 6,000 votes in the 2001 election as the PC candidate in Gold bar. I helped organize the marriage rally 2 years ago in Mill Woods which had close to 4,000 people attend.

    During the years as a member I have been mostly fighting for democratic reform and openness in the political system. As a founding member of the Canadian Committee for a triple E senate we managed to get resolutions put forward to help make Canada more democratic which resulted in the election of 2 senators.

    The handling of Craig’s nomination puts a chill up my spine. If social conservatives feel they are not welcome and feel there is no one else to vote for most will stay home.

    When that happens Liberals are elected.

    What I see the party effectively doing is deciding that they are smarter than the voters in Craig’s riding in Calgary.

    What I have found is that the voter is normally right and collectively has a sense of what is right and wrong.

    The handling of Craig’s nomination has a funny smell which I hope is not the start of rot in the party.

    Sometimes Democracy stinks but it is better than the alternatives. With the handing of the nomination the party appears to heading down the road of the Alternatives.

    Changes must be made to the party constitution to insure that if the party is going to reject a candidate let them know before they run. And give them reasons.

    What happens if the 30% of the party who supported Ted Morton feel that they are being forced out. Will they stay home or support another party.

    Remember what happens to the federal PC party when that last happened. 10 years of Liberals.

    Other than complaining here is my solution , take as you may. Let’s have fixed election dates and then 6 month prior to the election lets have a province wide vote where the voting public goes and picks a party they might want to support and asks for the ballot so they can pick a candidate.

    That way the public will be come more involved in the political process and feel they have a say in who will represent them not just who managed to sell the most tickets to the party.

    This will have a 2nd and I feel a positive benefit. It will allow the MLA to reprecent his riding , not just the party. For if he or she supports a policy that is not in the best interest of the riding and takes the party position . the result will be 6 months prior to the next election they might not get the nomination.

    In 1986 many pc MLA’s in the Edmonton area supported AGT vs Edmonton Telephones as per party orders. The result was an NDP win in the Election in Edmonton with most riding not returning to the party still.

    In order to make a difference the party needs to have the courage to change.

    David Fletcher
    Candidate of Record Edmonton Goldbar 2001
    Past President Edmonton SE Reform Party.
    Past VP Edmonton SE Canadian Alliance.

  14. Hi David...good to hear from you - it has been a long time. I appreciate your input.

    I think the 70K Alliance vote in the 2004 Klein election already indicated the far right SoCons left the PC Party.

    The PC Party is not as strong as it appears due to over a decade of political neglect and leadership enuii. It has money but lacks energy and enthusiasm. 8 years of post debt drift has not given social Progressive and fiscal Conservative people a reason to believe.

    The progressives in the Party, where I come from as you know, are reenergizd by the Morton leadership defeat and the Chandler rejection. Don't count us out of filling in the void the SoCons have left as they go to the Alliance, Social Credit or Wildrose.

    You are right that it is all about having the courage to change. That change is to a renewed Progressive and Conservative political position...not into a socially conservative mode. Alberta has grown with so many new people coming in that it has already changed beyond that old style model.

  15. There has been a great deal of political apathy not just in Calgary Egmont, but in Alberta in general. People do not realize how much their votes truly count.
    The Craig Chandler incident has woken the electorate up. I know that people may be frustrated with another nomination process, but they will show up to exercise their democratic rights. The people of Calgary Egmont will not fall for the same trick as before. People will see through Vicki Engel's "Chandler by proxy" campaign.
    I believe that the people of Calgary Egmont need someone who they can identify with and who will listen to their concerns.
    Take the time to look at my website (still under construction) at

  16. Good luck, Don!

    I think you are correct in your assessment that Chandler is something of an opportunist preying on a generalized malaise in the Alberta voter.

  17. Western Business & Taxpayers Association11:43 pm