Quantcast
Connect with us

Far right party leads in polls in Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province

Published

on

MONTREAL — After 41 years at the helm of Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province, the Tories are facing possible defeat in a general election on Monday, against a new far right party.

The Wildrose Party, named after the province’s official prickly flower, was formed in 2008 amid growing disaffection with the Tories over fiscal and social policies, judged to be straying from its libertarian roots.

The scion of the ruling Progressive Conservatives was able to capture seven percent of the popular vote in elections that year, but failed to win a single seat in the Alberta legislature.

Four years on, the Wildrose Party is back, led by former journalist Danielle Smith and leading by seven percent in the polls.

The battle lines were drawn at the height of the last recession when the current Progressive Conservative government proposed hiking royalties paid by companies exploiting the oil sands, the third largest oil reserve in the world and a key energy supply to the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Well, what happened then, we saw all kinds of money from big oil and gas companies going to the Wildrose Party, big donations,” political scientist Bruce Foster of Calgary’s Mount Royal University told AFP.

The situation for Alberta’s natural ruling party worsened when last October Alison Redford became the province’s first female premier and promised to boost spending on health and education to keep up with soaring economic and population growth.

“The far, far right of the Progressive Conservatives went to the Wildrose,” believing that the party had become “more progressive than conservative,” explained Frederic Boily of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the provincial capital.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Wildrose’s arrival on Alberta’s political scene reminds some of the Tea Party’s entry in the United States. Both Boily and Foster agree on the comparison.

During its rise, the Wildrose has drawn support from key Canadian conservatives, including members of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tory caucus, and even Harper’s former chief of staff Tom Flanagan, who today is managing the 41-year-old Smith’s election campaign.

“You hear from many people who joined the Wildrose say ‘I didn’t leave the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, they left me,'” said Foster.

ADVERTISEMENT

Many of them were fiscal conservatives upset that the province’s riches have been squandered. After paying off the province’s decades-old debt in 2005, Alberta now faces a Can$886 million deficit this year.

Wildrose supporters see in Redford, a 47-year-old human rights lawyer, “someone who is going to bring in too much state control, who is going to restrict their freedom,” Foster added.

In the dying days of the election campaign, the Wildrose has faced a backlash in the media over racist, homophobic and bigoted public comments of its candidates, as well as ridicule over its platform debunking climate change science.

ADVERTISEMENT

But it’s unclear if this has affected voting intentions.

Wildrose leader Smith responded to critics by saying that she is personally pro-choice on abortion and supports gay marriage, and vowed that a Wildrose government would not legislate on “sensitive moral issues.”

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISEMENT

Photo by Dave Cournoyer (Flickr: Danielle Smith) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s ‘craziness’ will drive Mexico to find other sources of soybeans — permanently hurting US farmers: Ex-diplomat

Published

on

President Donald Trump believes he has worked out a killer trade deal with Mexico and Canada -- but one former Mexican diplomat tells Storm Lake Times columnist Art Cullen that the damage done to the relationship between the countries will have lasting ramifications for years to come.

Jorge Guajardo, who served for six years as Mexico's ambassador to China, recently explained to Cullen that Trump's erratic behavior has shown his country that it must look for other major trading partners so it doesn't run the risk of getting burned by the United States again.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Yale psychiatrist: Trump using racism as a coping mechanism as his mental state rapidly deteriorates

Published

on

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump continued to attack the young congresswomen of color nicknamed "The Squad," after he was criticized for saying the women should go back to their own countries, even though all four are U.S. citizens. Now, he's doubling down.

On Twitter Wednesday he called the women "left-wing cranks." He added that they were free to leave if they don't like America.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee about the President's racist tirades against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-IL).

Lee is a forensic psychiatrist and an expert on violence at Yale School of Medicine. She helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She is author of the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” president of the World Mental Health Coalition, and editor of the New York Times bestseller, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

This word is the single biggest tipoff that Trump is lying

Published

on

President Donald Trump exhibits a verbal tic that gives away some of his biggest whoppers.

The president tells demonstrable lies on a daily basis, but it's a "flashing red light" that he's lying when he recounts someone calling him "sir," according to CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale.

"Trump has told false 'sir' stories on all manner of subjects: health care, the Middle East, the courts, unions and -- just last week -- both tariffs and social media," Dale wrote. "But no genre of Trump story is more reliably sir-heavy than his collection of suspiciously similar tales about macho men breaking into tears of gratitude in his presence."

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image