04.22.2012 10:13 AM

In today’s Sun: Danielle Smith, kook

Harper didn’t just win by uniting the right, however. He did something else, too. For a decade, Chretien defeated conservatives by highlighting every boneheaded, xenophobic utterance by (mostly) Reform Party MPs and candidates. Harper watched this and learned, too.
As soon as he won his new party’s leadership in 2004, Harper started moving out the Reform troglodytes who had become associated with anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-aboriginal and anti-abortion themes.

Quietly, and sometimes not-so-quietly, Harper expelled the extremists who had been a proverbial albatross around the neck of the federal conservative movement for a decade.

Once he’d cleaned house, Canadians gave him the keys to 24 Sussex. Simple.
Danielle Smith, the former TV talking head now propped atop the Alberta Wildrose Alliance Party, should have heeded Harper’s lesson. When she had a chance to do so, Smith could have expelled the far-right lunatics who now make up a sizeable segment of her candidates.  

She didn’t. As a result, she had a week filled with stories about Wildrose craziness:
– Edmonton Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsberger declared public education is “godless,” and that gays will burn in “a lake of fire” in hell.

– Calgary Wildrose candidate Ron Leech said he’s a better candidate than non-white candidates because he’s “Caucasian.”

– Barrhead Wildrose candidate Link Byfield achieved fame by publishing a magazine that published anti-Semitic articles about “Jewish-owned” businesses and a fictional Jew tax (leading to a complaint by Sun News host Ezra Levant).

– Wildrose’s platform wants to kill a section of the Alberta Human Rights Act that prohibits posting of signs like “no blacks” and “no Jews” for employment or lodging or service.

Unlike Harper, when asked about each of these things, Danielle Smith has shrugged. Instead of condemning the nuttiness in her party, she has defended it.


  1. Steven says:

    Hi Warren

    I dont think the scary smear campaign is working, the last forum Research poll has Wildrose with a projected 62 seat majority


    • tfalcone86 says:

      Scary smear campaign? Do you mean facts?

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        It is columns like this that make no sense to Albertans. You have been saying the same things forever Warren, and all it does is lose more Liberal seats. Can`t for the life of me figure it out.

  2. steve w says:

    Albertan’s know these underlying unpleasantries (I’m being as diplomatic as possible) permeate the ranks of the Wildrose party, but now that the rest of us have taken note and said “tut-tut”, they’ll elect them out of of spite. These yahoos in power in Edmonton and Harper’s gang in Ottawa? I. Want. A. Firewall.

    • Bill MacLeod says:

      Why are “firewalls” so scary? Are firewalls only appropriate for Quebec? The 2001 letter proposing a “firewall around Alberta” proposed such scary things as: replacing the RCMP with a provincial police force, replacing CPP with a provincial pension plan and collecting Alberta’s provincial income tax independently of Revenue Canada.

      Quebec does all these things already. I don’t find Quebec particularly scary.


      • MoS says:

        No, Bill. I want a firewall around Alberta but I want it for the sake of my province, British Columbia.

      • I’ve always thought of Quebec as a distinct society that is very concerned about losing its identity.

        Does the desire for an Albertal firewall also indicate a latent desire for secession?

        • Bill MacLeod says:


          Why would any latent desire by Albertans to secede matter? See the post by MoS immediately above yours, for instance. I get the “distinct” impression that many of you would be pleased as punch if Alberta seceded, although perhaps leaving their resources behind.

          See also the repeated comments that have appeared here over the past several days about the possibility of the federal Liberals running “against Alberta”.

          I would suggest that Alberta is as distinct a society within Canada as is Quebec — to themselves at least, and that is all that matters. Further, Alberta’s society, distinct or not, does appear to be under attack from the rest of the country.


          • Well I speak for myself only and no, I don’t happen to harbour any desire to see Alberta leave. I ask the question to try to understand the situation a little better, that’s all.

          • Bill MacLeod says:


            Fair enough.

            I don’t think that the desire to have your own police force, pension plan and provincial taxation bureaucracy is of necessity a precursor to secession. It may be symptomatic of a latent desire, I suppose. It probably was in Quebec.


        • Mulletaur says:


  3. JH says:

    Don’t think Albertan’s are too worried what folks ‘out east’ think – much to the discomfort of the Libs and the NDP. They proved that a long time ago and all the nattering in the world is not going to change that. And every scream of outrage coming from Toronto or Quebec, about what they regard as Alberta’s business, just confirms for them how right they are.

  4. Blues Spiritor says:

    I have family from Newfoundland/Labrador to Vancouver Island and the N.W. Territories.
    Until all you insular thinkers get out of your ‘house’ and start spouting what’s good for Canada
    …until then you’ll keep repeating the same old same old Alberta, Quebec, nasty nasty Ontario (my home) self serving drool
    and you’ll keep netting the same cyclic results. That’s why our National Anthem is “Ohhhhhh Canada”
    ……sigh continued -ad infinitum.

  5. Blues Spiritor says:

    Oh…and the BULK of my family is from and in Alberta….All over it.
    Small minded Canadians aren’t Canadians at all. Wake up.

  6. gray says:

    These kooks will be useful to tar right wingers with the same brush all across Canada.

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