Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Alberta Election - On the Campaign Trail April 16th

With an additional unprecedented $7 Billion in promises, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith has asked Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives to come clean on how this would be paid for.  Redford was in a rush to pass a budget prior to dropping the writ. 

While Allan Hunspergers remarks, made in the capacity of a Fundamentalist church pastor are still being kept alive by Redford, the media and he LBGT community, Danielle Smith has stayed on message with the Wildrose platform.  Redford was apparently shocked by the remarks, even though she has a candidate, Ted Morton, in her party with similar radical views.  Smith has made her stance on conscience issue very clear by stating that a Wildrose government would not legislate on conscience issues.  Allan Hunsperger also committed to supporting the party platform in a brief statement yesterday.

"I love people and everybody, I have no intolerance about anyone, but I do have a personal religious view.  My views were my personal religious views.  I also agree with the leader, and Danielle Smith says the Wildrose will not be legislating on contentious social issues."

Danielle Smith, once again reiterated her commitment not to legislate conscience issues.

 "I believe in freedom of religion, and I do believe that religious people do have an opportunity, and should run for public office.  What they believe in their own religious private practice is none of my business," Smith stated. "As a political leader the separation of church and state is there for a reason. We do not want the state interfering in the private religious affairs of our citizens."

Smith previously stated that she was pro-choice and pro-gay marriage.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is well entrenched and he Supreme Court of Canada has ruled on issues like abortion and gay rights.  Time to give the fearmongering a rest. 

Redford came under fire yesterday for comments she apparently made at a private fundraiser.  According to a fundraiser attendee, Redford said that she was still dealing with negative impacts from Klein’s cost-cutting during his reign from 1992-2006.  Klein is suffering from dementia and obviously can't defend himself.  Klein imposed some difficult budget cuts, balanced the budget and ensured that Alberta was debt free, something strange to the PC party now. 

As Redford often does, she reacted.  The comments and criticism caused her to issue a press release.

“There have been questions raised about my commitment to Premier Klein and his legacy. I think it is important to remember, I have been a loyal PC member for the past 32 years, including Premier Klein’s tenure.”

A long time friend of Ralph Klein, with no association to the Wildrose party, criticized Redford's remarks.

 “Leave Ralph Klein alone.  When it comes to Ralph, I am non-partisan. Just leave him alone. This is a man who can’t speak for himself.”

Danielle Smith came under fire for comments she made questioning climate change and said her party would scrap a Progressive Conservative plan to capture greenhouse gases.  She said she would scrap the Progressive Conservative plan to capture greenhouse gases.  She said that she was not denying climate change, but didn't believe in footing a $2 Billion bill on something that is not totally understood.

"We've always acknowledged that our world is in a long-term transition away from carbon fuels.  In the meantime, we want to provide supports to consumers to be able to find energy efficiencies so than can reduce the amount of energy, and amount of emissions." 

Smith said that her government would offer tax rebates to Albertans who made their homes more energy efficient. 

This is without a doubt the most exciting election campaign in Alberta in four decades.  A poll released yesterday has the Wildrose leading with 43%, the PCs at 39%, with Liberals and NDP at 11 and 9% respectively.   The election is on Monday, April 23rd

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