Saturday, December 01, 2007

Stelmach Refuses Chandler as a Candidate

The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta Executive and Leader of the party has met in Red Deer and made up its mind about Mr. Chandler’s suitability as a PC Candidate in the upcoming election.

Mr. Chandler’s candidacy in Calgary Egmont is not acceptable and is deemed not to be in the best interests of the PC Party of Alberta.

The Premier announced that decision to the media at about 2:30 this afternoon in Red Deer.

Mr. Chandler is saying democracy is dead in the PC Party of Alberta. He was not kicked out of the party but he indicated to media in Red Deer after the decision that he will not stay in a party that doesn’t respect the decision of the local constituency.

It is ironic that this decision about his suitability for candidacy in the PC Party of Alberta is the same city where The Concerned Christian Coalition, to which Mr. Chandler was associated, was found, by the Alberta Human Rights Commission to:

“…have contravened s.3 of the Act (Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act) by causing to be published in the Red Deer Advocate, before the public, a publication which is likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt because of their sexual preferences.”

Well done Ed and congratulations to the rest of the PC Party Executive Committee too. It is the right decision and done in the right way and for the right reasons. The decision is also consistent with the Statement of Principles of the Party, especially as we say we are a party that is open and accessible to all.

We state in those Principles that we are “…a Party for all Albertans. We welcome their thoughts, their efforts, and support the principles of progressive conservativism.”

That means homosexuals too Mr. Chandler.

This is a good day for the PC Party of Alberta. This decision speaks well of the PC Party. It also shows Alberta to be an inclusive and welcoming province. It shows that Alberta PCs are prepared to stand up to hatred and contemptuous behaviour.

This decision to reject Mr. Chandler’s nomination shows the Premier Stelmach as going on record to assure all citizens that their fundamental freedoms and equality rights under the Charter will be honoured in Alberta by a Progressive Conservative party and his government.

You are wrong again Mr. Chandler. This is a great day for democracy in Alberta.


  1. This is the right choice for our Party and Alberta. I am so impressed that our Premier and Leader listened to our concerns and acted on them appropriately and decisively.

  2. Anonymous6:29 pm

    I applaud Premier Stelmach's leadership to stand up and make a clear statement in favor of open and inclusive party, my Progressive Conservative of Alberta. By this very action we prove that we have the right to place "Progressive" in the front of our name. My only regret is that my Federal party turned its back on those very principles in the past 4 years and also dropped that key identifier off the brand name.

    Mr. Chandler will not go away and we will still have to put up with his actions. That is democracry and that is why as an Albertan I am proud.

    Cameron Donald
    Fort McMurray

  3. Anonymous6:37 pm

    So, Mr. Premier, now that you've excluded Mr. Chandler on the basis of his well-known intolerance towards homosexuals and gay rights, are you now prepared to do the same with other members of your Cabinet and caucus who well known to have similar views on the subject? For instance, any and all members who participated in drafting or supporting the notorious Bill 208 last year?

    Are you prepared to engage in the same vetting of members of your caucus, members of your Cabinet, and all other nominated PC candidates to ensure they've never made any negative statements about homosexuals or any other minority group and, if found that any have, are you prepared to ask for their resignations from the PC Party and their seats, accordingly?

    My guess is that the answer to any of these questions would be the typical stammering and dithering we've come to expect.

    I'm pleased to see that Craig Chandler's nomination hasn't been endorsed. But let's not kid ourselves. When it comes to the PC party, Chandler certainly does not have a monopoly on these views. There are others as well, who have served and will undoutedly continue to serve as sitting MLAs and Cabinet Ministers.

    Chandler's biggest problem seems to be that he was publicly open and transparent about what his beliefs; voters in that nomination knew exactly what they were getting. Others in the party who share his views are just smart enough (or opaque enough) to not go public about their views, and instead confine them to private gatherings, legislative sessions and closed-door policy-making venues.

    I'm not sure which I'd dislike more -- Craig Chander as MLA, who everybody knows is intolerant and would be watched and monitored accordingly, or Joe Schmo as MLA who will hold himself out as a great guy but behind closed doors and in dark rooms will be not much better than Chandler.

    It's pretty clear the Tories would prefer Joe Schmo. (Just as long as he doesn't use the government credit card to embarass them too much.)

  4. Fair comment Anon @ 6:37. Some of those "others" you reference have been defeated in nominations. For example Tony Abbott. His Belinda Stronach comments were way out of line.

    He was beat in the nomination. He then said he would be interested in representing any PC constituency association who wanted him. No one wanted him. A good sign of the "legs" on this positive change.

    Chandler was notorious but is not the only nominee who will be reviewed for suitability to "serve the best interests of the party." I am told all of the nominees - including incumbents - will be vetted.

    The new Party President and Leader will see to that I am sure.

    Exposing any closet Chandlers and then actively not tolerating any intolerance in the team of PC candidates will keep this positive change going.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant for those situations too - should they arise again.

  5. The fact that a bunch of leftists like you are applauding the decision is proof enough that Eddy failed in this instance...

  6. Richard shows yet again the paucity of insight and lack of ability of the far right and self-righteous right to make a point based on evidence and intellect.

    At least my friend Willblog engages on issues and gives a great analysis. Will has substance.

    Richard and the Anonymous trolls of his ilk are commenting at the level of junior high "insults." OMG!!! Someone thinks I am a "lefty" - the shame of it.

    BTW I am left-handed. Does that prove Richard's allegation conclusively?

    Self-justification like the kind inherent in Richard's comment that self-serves to reaffirm a disproven position is pretty normal abnormal behaviour for "true-believers."

  7. Anonymous7:59 pm

    Perhaps we should put this in terms that Mr. Chandler can understand: TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

  8. Anonymous10:09 pm

    I have torn up my membership over this issue. While I do not support Chandler, I support the individual PC members who chose him to represent them in the next election. In my opinion, it is a bad day for democracy - but I'm just one vote and one opinion.

  9. I understand the PC Party needs to fix some things around it nominations process.

    A pre-clearance questionnaire and interview for potential candidates like you federal CPC types do would be a good move.

    Also a disclosure and maybe a limit on donations and nomination spending...I have trouble believing Mr. Chandler spent $127K on a nomination...and if he did he is no fiscal conservative that is for sure.

    Where did all that money come from too? We need to know about nomination contributions for all candidates in the future. Let’s abolish anonymous donors in nominations too while we are at it.

    WE should look at reporting donations in kind too. I know lots of people who donate lots of professional time to candidates (me included) but it never gets questioned or accounted for. It should be reported too.

  10. Anonymous1:37 am


    I did indeed spend $127,000 as I was looking at this as being pre-writ spending to insure I win the seat.

    I expected to win and then spend about $35,000 in the writ on follow up etc...

    I knew what I was doing.

    Nevertheless if you are the future of the APC then it is not conservative at all.

  11. Hi Craig - good to hear from you. Not questioning the fact you spent $127K for a chance to spend more on an election campaign. I am just astounded that you did...and you felt you had to.

    I see the Fed CPC spending lots of prewrit money on attack ads too...strange for fiscally conservative party too.

    I don't presume to be THE future of the PC Party of Alberta. But I intend to do everything I can to insure it restored to its traditional roots as socially progressive as well as fiscally conservative.


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