On August 13 Naheed Nenshi wrote a column for the Calgary Herald titled “Labels confuse our political understanding” in response to a comment Wildrose Alliance leadership candidate Danielle Smith made. Smith herself responded in print on August 16. (Shane over at Calgary Rants has his take on the exchange.) While this conversation is a good – and interesting – one that I normally would be happy to enter into I wanted to instead comment on something that grew out of the ensuing conversation that occurred on Twitter.
Jeremy at PolitiCalgary beat me to the punch a little bit by publishing the text of the Twitter conversation (although he is missing a few of the comments in the exchange). I agree with him that it was a bizarre conversation between Naheed Nenshi defending his position and someone only identifying themselves as “Alberta Conservative” arguing the need for political labels. I entered the fray at this point. I shouldn’t have but I did, because I feel political labels (not to be confused with party labels) add a layer of annoyance to the political process that hinders a lot of citizens’ ability to discuss the issues on their individual merit. Especially at the municipal level where there are no parties. I immediately tried to exit the conversation as it went in a bizarre direction I wasn’t interested in following. But I digress.
At one point in the conversation, long after the original debate had been abandoned in favour of speculation about conservative and liberal slates for the upcoming 2010 Calgary municipal election, Alberta Conservative mentioned, “@Nenshi If Calgary adopts civic parties like @RicMcIver may do your chances would be very slim in 2010.” Naheed then replied with “@ABConservative PGIB [Progressive Group for Independent Business] ran a slate for years and elected no one, BCC [Better Calgary Campaign, of which Nenshi is part of] had all but 2 endorsed candidates win last time (inc. Mciver – I’m a fan)”.
Now, and this is what this blog post is ACTUALLY all about, Craig Chandler, who is a part of the PGIB entered the conversation with this tweet:
@nenshi PGIB ran a slate once and in that slate Ric McIver was elected. We have endorsed since and all have won every time! Do your Homework
I couldn’t bite my tongue at this comment. Having just finished some reading on the 2007 election a few days earlier I saw this interjection for what it was: a lie. This kind of political hyperbole is something I just can’t stand. If you are going to make a comment as direct and challenging as that, the least it should be is accurate. In my opinion it is comments like this that make people outside politics have such distaste for people inside politics. It is what Stephen Colbert would call “truthiness”. If you say something that sounds true, with enough emphasis and determination, it doesn’t matter if it is true or not because people will begin to believe it. I’m not about to let that happen. So I interjected with:
I know I shouldn’t be surprised that it is Craig Chandler who undertook such a tactic (he doesn’t have a great track record with staying on people’s good sides). But this is the kind of thing we need LESS of not MORE of.
A surprising number of people have been trying to encourage me to run in the 2010 election. I’ve been saying the whole way along I’m not convinced I want to run. But if the rumours are true and Chandler is eyeing up an aldermanic seat, I’m half-ways convinced to run against him. Wherever he may run. If anything just to make sure this kind of rhetoric stays as far away from our council chamber as possible. No, make that three quarters convinced to run. (As you can tell, I really don’t like this kind of commentary.)
Our council has been bitterly divided on too many issues these past three years. False comments like this from from an alderman would be the exact opposite of the kind of camaraderie and cooperation we need to help Calgary fix the issues we are facing. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen because the results could be disastrous.
By the way, in case you are wondering, Chandler hasn’t replied to my “homework” yet. It was sent four days ago. I’ll provide an update if he does.
What a weekend! Did you feel it? The ground breaking momentum the Alberta PCs found on Saturday as they finally rose out of the ashes like a sparkling, flaming phoenix and nominated Some Body as their candidate for the upcoming provincial election in Calgary Egmont. Woohoo! No, you don’t feel it? Yeah, neither did I.
Don’t get me wrong we should be happy the Craig Chandler nomination saga can finally be put to bed, but should we really have cared this much about a party nomination? Sure the nominees and Calgary Egmont PC party members should have been swept up in the hoopla, but why should the rest of us have cared? Raise your hand if you belong to either one of those categories – nominee or Calgary Egmont PC association member? Maybe a handful of you?
I was quite happy not addressing the PC nomination process in this riding again but for readers arriving at this blog for the first time it is the second most searched topic.
Now we can move onto things we ALL should care about – the upcoming provincial election (I’m almost positive it’ll be called in February) among other items I’ll rant and rave about in the near future.
PS – The most searched topic for readers finding this blog for the first time is “sleeping porn”. When they search that they find this post I made about antics in the legislature and parliament. So there you go – us perverts can now read this blog safely knowing there will be no more talk of the Calgary Egmont PC nomination saga.
PPS – Okay, one more note: the Some Body was Jonathan Denis, who came second to Craig Chandler last time, won the nomination this time. Now that the pre-season is over we’ll see who comes out on top in the playoffs. Round two… ding, ding, ding.
PPPS (I don’t thing that is a real thing) – The Wildrose Party and Alberta Alliance party merged into one miniature, non-news-worthy, juggernaut over the weekend (the Wildrose Alliance). That’s why it is so far down in this post.
I’ve written about it before and it looks like I’m going to have to write about it again: Craig Chandler – you MUST learn what an election is. Seriously. This is getting embarrassing.
As I stated before Mr. Chandler has not won any election. Elections Canada or Elections Alberta has not overseen any “election” in which he has won jack-squat. They are the bodies in charge of our democratic elections. The only thing Mr. Chandler has done is have more than 50% of a handful of Alberta Progressive Conservative Calgary-Egmont Riding Association members who showed up at a specific community hall on a specific day in November say they wanted him to be their nominee to run in the next provincial election under the Alberta PC banner. That’s a long way from being “democratically elected” to anything.
So why is Chandler, who announced a couple days ago that he will run in Calgary-Egmont as an independent, touting the fact his campaign signage will contain the phrase: the “democratically elected conservative candidate for Calgary-Egmont”. Nope. Sorry, that’s probably going to be some other person. Probably one who doesn’t slag and sue his own party.
On a related note – my rabbit and I just held an “election” and I’m please report I have been named Assistant Deputy Prime Minister of Everything. (The bunny abstained on the third ballot – that broke the stalemate and sealed my victory.) As my first act I am going to introduce legislation to make snow tires mandatory and to lower the legal blood alcohol level for drivers to .05.
The rabbit is ticked I’m using my powers so recklessly.
For those of you that are interested in the facts of the Craig Chandler dismissal (and are, like I normally am, too lazy to click the link in my previous post), here is the full text of the section of the PC constitution that are pertinent to this situation.
(vi) A candidate who has been duly
nominated shall be approved by the
Leader and the Executive Committee
and officially endorsed as a candidate of
the Association if such approval is in the
best interests of the Association.
(c) Dispute Resolution
Any dispute or other matter in question between
candidates for nomination for a Provincial
Constituency, or in respect of the nomination
process arising under, out of, in connection with, or
in relation to the nomination of a candidate or a
candidate’s qualification or disqualification before or
after nomination, shall be resolved pursuant to the
(i) The dispute or matter shall be
submitted to the chairperson of the
Provincial Constituency Association’s
Nomination Committee (the “Nomination
Committee”) for a ruling, who
immediately shall call a meeting of the
Nomination Committee to rule on the
dispute or matter. Such ruling shall be
rendered by the Nomination Committee
within seventy-two (72) hours of
submission to the chairperson of the
(ii) If the Nomination Committee is unable or
fails to make a ruling within seventy-two
(72) hours, or if either party to the
dispute disagrees with the ruling of the
Nomination Committee, the dispute may
be immediately submitted to arbitration
for determination pursuant to the
provisions of the Arbitration Act of
Alberta, R.S.A. 2000, c.A-43, pursuant to
the following procedures:
a. The Nomination Committee or one
of the disputing parties shall
immediately after ruling by the
Nomination Committee or expiry
of the 72-hour period without a
ruling having occurred notify the
President of the Progressive
Conservative Association of
Alberta of the dispute or
b. If a ruling by the Nomination
Committee has issued but none
of the disputing parties notify the
President within 48 hours of the
Nomination Committee ruling
being provided to the disputing
18 Amended May 5, 2007
parties, the Nomination
Committee ruling shall be final
and binding on the disputing
parties and the Nomination
c. The President of the Progressive
Conservative Association of
Alberta and in his or her absence
the Vice President Organization
shall, as soon as possible after
being notified of the dispute,
appoint a single arbitrator to
decide the dispute.
d. The arbitrator shall not be a
member of the Nomination
Committee or the Provincial
Constituency Association from
which the dispute originates; but
shall be a member in good
standing of the Progressive
Conservative Association of
e. Upon his or her selection, the
arbitrator shall contact the
disputing parties and shall
advise them of his or her
appointment and request
submissions in writing from the
parties within seventy-two (72)
f. The submissions in writing shall
be in a form satisfactory to the
arbitrator and shall include
summaries of the relevant facts
g. The arbitrator shall not be bound
by formal rules of evidence or
procedure and may accept
submissions of fact and
arguments in a manner deemed
by the arbitrator to be reasonable
and appropriate in the
circumstances. The arbitrator
will have power to determine the
dispute, whatever its nature,
including determining questions
of meaning, intent and
reasonableness of nomination
rules themselves and their
compliance with the constitution
of the Progressive Conservative
Association of Alberta, and the
power to direct changes to the
h. Upon receipt of facts and
argument, the arbitrator may
request further submissions if
i. When the arbitrator has received
submissions of fact and
argument deemed sufficient by
him or her, the arbitrator shall
so advise the parties and shall
deliver a decision in writing
determining the dispute within
one (1) week of so advising the
parties, which decision shall be
final and binding on the
disputing parties, the Nomination
Committee and the Provincial
j. All fees and costs of the
arbitration shall be in the
discretion of the arbitrator. The
arbitrator may in his or her
discretion direct that a portion of
such fees and costs be paid by
the Progressive Conservative
Association of Alberta in
circumstances in which the
20 Amended May 5, 2007
Association of Alberta has elected
to make submissions to the
k. The arbitrator may at his or her
option require that security be
posted in respect of payment for
fees and disbursements.
l. The candidates for nomination
upon filing nomination papers
will be deemed to have agreed,
and the Nomination Committee
and the Provincial Constituency
Association, on appointment of
the Nomination Committee, will
be deemed to have agreed, that
all disputes and matters will be
determined by the foregoing
process; and that such process is
accepted in lieu of, and no
recourse shall be available to, the
Courts for or in respect of any
such dispute or matter.
m. The arbitration proceeding,
including submissions to the
arbitrator and the decision of the
arbitrator, shall remain
confidential to the participants
and shall not be disclosed to
anyone other than the
participants, the Nomination
Committee, the Provincial
Constituency Association and the
Association of Alberta, except as
required by law.
Notice under section 14 c ii l it says, “and no recourse shall be available to, the Courts for or in respect of any such dispute or matter.” I hope Chandler read that too.
Aren’t by-laws and the ilk fun!
It looks like Craig Chandler has resigned his Alberta PC membership and is suing the party just days ago he wanted to represent in the next election.
Maybe it’s just me, but this smacks of arrogance. It strikes me that if you can turn your back that quickly on the party you wanted to fly the flag of, you didn’t really believe in them or want to represent them in the first place. You just wanted to have power – to be an MLA (if you seriously can consider being an MLA “power”).
I have a problem with all this though: I’m not sure exactly what he is suing for. It is written into the constitution of the Alberta PC Party that the executive have the right to overturn a riding associations’ proposed candidate if it is “not in the best interests of the party” (pages 17-21). They followed their by-laws (whether you agree with them or not).
As I said in a previous post: a candidate selection process is not part of the ‘democratic system of
But here’s what I really think is going on: I don’t think the Alberta PC executive decided to reject
When you put it altogether it’s just politics, and the Alberta PCs made the right move and for all the right reasons. The only issue is they should have done it earlier to avoid all of this. Hindsight is 20/20. Either way, there is no reason the Alberta PCs should pay up.