As I have been writing this, it has been 11 days since my last post. This is due to travel and illness.
But I’m back. It’s good too be back. And, it appears we have some catching up too do.
Now, last week, you may have seen this face on your newspaper, or your newsfeed.
This is Terry Lo, or @calgarydreamer. He tweets a lot on the yyc food scene. He organized YYC Burger Week and YYC Pizza Week. You also heard him on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.
Last week, he made some waves this week with this post. He resigned his position as VP Communications for the Calgary Glenmore Wildrose Constituency Association. Here is a portion of his post that I would like to highlight.
This past weekend at the AGM, the party, either in the misguided misunderstanding that nothing LESS than the statement of equality would do after the Lake of Fire event, or out of genuine desire to swing far right, actually BACKTRACKED and voted out the 2013 statement that affirmed and protected HUMAN RIGHTS.
In that moment, the party actually went against their leader and the recommendation of the MLAs, and basically said “screw you” to groups that have never felt included, or protected adequately compared to the white, christian majority. And the sad part, the membership seems to be falling on the argument that the more generic “ALL” statement supported is more than adequate. It’s far from that. In an ideal world, where peace reigns and harmony rises upon the streets, then it would be. But not a single member can comprehend ever the fear of a LGBT or minority kid who’s been beat up by another kid who belongs to that majority. As this vote proves to many outside of the party, “All” in the context of a Wild “Lake of Fire” Rose means the same as the famous statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’
This vote confirmed to me that the misguided angry beliefs of a minority of the rank and file holds actual sway in party policy. I’ve since spoken to another notable ethnic member who confirmed a similar experience as well over years. Ideologically, I believe now that the party is swinging far right again on social issues, and as such, totally in opposition to my own beliefs. And ANY party that visibly does not protect my son, is one that has lost my support, and in fact, earned my opposition.
To specify what happened, and I imagine you know this part, the Wildrose Party voted 148-109 against adopting as policy a statement approved last year that affirmed the rights for everyone regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.
This led to a wave of criticism towards the Wildrose Party. Some of course questioned the leadership of Danielle Smith. Some wondered who’s voices are being listened too within the party. Some used terms like bigot and homophobic.
Today, things got worse for the Wildrose. Two MLAS, Kerry Towie and Ian Donovan announced they have crossed the floor to the PC Party. This, along with Joe Anglin who left earlier this month, knocks them down to 14 seats in the Alberta Legislature. With rumours of more planning to cross the floor.
Now, I wasn’t at the convention or voted on this policy. I don’t know the debate or the discussion those that were at this convention had. What we do have however is a perspective from someone who was there. But first, let’s read the statement up for discussion.
Wildrose will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freedom of belief, public expression, practice, and association. These rights and freedoms shall be protected, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”
This is the perspective of Jane Morgan who’s blog is called Up Close and Personal. You can read her perspective here.
Now, Terry will be coming on the Podcast to discuss his perspective. It is fair to say that while Terry has received tremendous support for his decision, he has faced some criticism too. Some have questioned his motivations. Was this his so called 15 minutes of fame? Was he really a member of the Wildrose Party? We will talk to Terry about both.
Of course, we will welcome you into the conversation as well. What questions do you have for Terry? Do you Agree or Disagree with his decisions? Do you admire his decision? Or, do you question his motivation?