Oh, this should be good:
EDMONTON - Premier Ed Stelmach hasn't committed to signing the nomination papers of outspoken Conservative candidate Craig Chandler and won't do so until he sits down with the Calgary Tory hopeful and ensures he's a "committed team player."
Chandler has raised eyebrows over the past few years for his strong, right-wing political bent, including suggesting in August that new Albertans "must adapt to our rules and our (conservative) voting patterns or leave."
Stelmach said at the time those sorts of comments wouldn't be tolerated.
Comments? What comments? Oh ... those comments:
Just because I probably won't have the opportunity to take shots at the nominated PC candidate in my home riding past Saturday, I thought I'd toss out a few gems from the best of Craig Chandler courtesy of today's Globe & Mail:
Earlier this year, a settlement arranged by the Canadian Human Rights Commission forced [Chandler] to publish an apology for comments made on a radio program that he co-hosts - among them, reportedly, that "God sees murder as equal to homosexuality." As part of the settlement, he agreed to "cease and desist" from posting information on the Internet claiming that "homosexuals are conspiring against society" and that they are "sick, diseased or mentally ill."
His homophobia appears to know few bounds. On the website of Concerned Christians, he approvingly pointed to a letter by Calgary pastor Stephen Boisson charging that "[w]here homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds." When Belinda Stronach ran for the Conservative leadership, he suggested the presence of gay activists on her campaign team meant "a takeover from the militant homosexual movement" was at hand.
Oh, man ... it really is true what they say: You can take the boy out of the white sheet, but ... well, you know how that ends, I'm sure. Stay tuned -- we're not done here.
AFTERTHOUGHT ONE: It should be entertaining to see how gingerly the Blogging Tories step around this little IED. Here's Civitatensis, parsing those words about as carefully as words can be parsed:
I am a conservative of the social kind, for example, and I find myself in agreement with Chandler on a significant deal of issues. But I am yet to agree with the way in which he sets out to do or say things. The difference is not ideological but prudential. The leader of the party and the executive (not to mention the press) need to weigh that aspect of things more than they need to scrutinise his beliefs.
Then he tiptoed delicately away. Alberta Tory was also all about the non-commitment:
Much like my friend Mr. Denis, I will take the high road and congratulate Mr. Chandler on his victory. Speculation of what his candidacy will mean for our party is something that I will stay away from for the time being.
Good job, guys -- way to take a stand on principle. This really is going to be too much fun for words, isn't it?