About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Strange Bedfellows

I saw this on Twitter this morning, and thought it was worth talking about:

Created by Aviva Zimmerman, a 27-year-old a documentary filmmaker, stage director and social activist from Calgary, the video was a project to promote the idea of strategic voting in the upcoming Alberta election. Strategic voting is a trend that's been dogging many progressive voters in Canada for years; do they cast they're vote for a party who's platform they believe in most (like NDP or Green, for example), or vote for the left of centre party with the best chance of winning (usually Liberals) in order to prevent a right-wing party (usually Conservatives) from gaining power.
But in Alberta I believe we have our first instance of someone promoting the notion of strategically voting for one right-wing party to stop another. 
“We are not PC people, we’re just a group of young people, all under 30, living in Calgary, really getting scared about the Wildrose party,” Zimmerman told the Edmonton Journal. “They’re saying that if they can’t vote for something they believe in, they just won’t vote. I’m trying to tell them that no vote could be a vote for the Wildrose.”
 And progressives do have cause to be concerned about Wildrose. Last weekend, a June 2011 blog post by Edmonton-South West candidate Allan Hunsperger, a pastor with The House church in Tofield, offered some strong words referencing the Lady Gaga song "Born this Way" saying that gay people could choose "to not live the way they were born."
"You can live the way you were born, and if you die the way you were born, then you will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering," he wrote, adding that "accepting people the way they are is cruel and not loving."
When that came to the media's attention, the blog was quickly taken down and Hunsperger apologized saying that obviously, as a potential Alberta MPP he recognizes the rights of all people, and he was speaking merely as a pastor and religious leader. How he's able to put aside his literally set in stone religious beliefs to be a secular politician, I don't know, but apparently Hunsperger can.
Next up on "I Can't Believe They Said THAT!" is Calgary-Greenway candidate Ron Leech, who said on a multicultural radio station in Calgary that, "I think as a Caucasian I have an advantage. When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speaks, they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a Caucasian, I believe that I can speak to all the community."
Leech obviously had to apologize for that saying, "What I was trying to say, which didn’t come out that way and I apologize ... is that it’s not a disadvantage for me to be Caucasian to represent the diverse cultures of my riding." 
I don't know, but doesn't that second one sound a bit different in not just tone, but intention, than the first one? And these are just two quick examples I found when I Googled the words "Wildrose concern"...
You can learn more about the I Never Thought I'd Vote PC campaign at its website. And Unless I'm very much mistaken, look for the Alberta election, and the question of right vs. righter, on this coming Monday's "Beyond the Ballot Box" on CFRU 93.3 FM.

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