The latest round of fear-mongering from Alberta’s sinking Progressive Conservative dynasty has already resulted in negative, self-inflicted consequences.
Uncovering an almost-year old blog post from Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsperger in which the Christian Minister claimed that homosexuals would “…suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire…” the P.C.’s were all over the main media outlets with screams of bigotry.
Horribly anti-gay, they called it. More evidence of the party of ‘old, white guys’, they claimed.
That a Christian pastor would believe that homosexuality is a sin is apparently new knowledge to P.C. leader Alison Redford. That he would have the audacity to exercise his freedom of speech is, to the P.C. party, unconscionable.
I could go in the expected direction here, defending the Wildrose candidate’s rights of not only free speech but freedom of religion, and considering I don’t personally share that candidate’s opinion, I might make a serious case.
However, like so many tried and failed P.C. strategies during this election (criticising Reform, insulting Ralph Klein, etc.), the rush to find a skeleton in the Wildrose closet has resulted in the uncovering of more Progressive Conservative skeletons of their own. The rebuttal to the P.C. fear-mongering can be found within the Progressive party itself.
Jump ahead to 2006. Minister Morton introduces Bill 208, the Progressive Conservative government’s own Conscience Rights bill. Prevented from passing thanks to an opposition filibuster, the bill was described as ‘intolerant,’ ‘highly undemocratic,’ ‘a malignant tumour’ and ‘devastating for gays and lesbians.’
An Edmonton Journal writer stated at the time that the proposed bill ‘threatened to exhibit the government as a hotbed of homophobic knuckle-draggers’. Sound familiar?
Following his defeat in his bid for the P.C. leadership, Morton vowed to keep the pressure on Ed Stelmach regarding the same-sex marriage issue.
What is so interesting in this election campaign isn’t that the free-falling P.C.’s have resorted to gutter politics in the hopes of slowing their demise, it’s that a senior party member who carries a track record of being in favour of Conscience Rights and against same-sex marriage has been invisible on the issue.
Morton is not known for keeping quiet, yet he and the many P.C. members who have traditionally supported him have been silent (muzzled?) on this issue.
In the final analysis, any attempt by the P.C.s to smear the Wildrose party with the brush of intolerance, bigotry, and prejudice is completely devoid of credibility so long as Ted Morton and like-minded P.C. party members refuse to speak.