A sampling of curiosities and contradictions.
April 17, 2012 Leave a comment
Last night, I was talking to someone who does not follow politics. They are very intelligent, but are very busy and do not have a lot of time to keep with the news. As I was explaining some of the issues, they remarked that the complexity of politics made it difficult to follow along. After the conversation, I took off my political scientist and former staffer hats and saw that, to many casual observers, there are probably a lot of things that do not make sense at first glance.
Here is a sampling of seeming curiosities and contradictions that we have seen in this race so far.
Danielle Smith is a pro-choice, pro-same-sex-marriage libertarian leading a party with several prominent social conservatives. She has pledged not to legislate on contentious social issues, yet it is Wildrose policy to support the ‘conscience rights’ of public servants.
Alison Redford initially criticized Smith for being too socially progressive (re: legalizing prostitution) and then says the Wildrose is socially regressive on the issue of conscience rights (amongst others). This is especially notable, given her energy minister’s staunch social conservatism and his previous attempts to introduce conscience rights. (I also wrote an earlier post about both parties’ connections to private health care providers, though I also said that was an inside baseball issue that few really care about.)
Raj Sherman, a former Tory, was elected Liberal leader on a platform of being fiscally conservative and socially progressive, but the Liberals are running on a platform that includes raising taxes and re-regulating electricity.
Brian Mason, who usually characterized the Liberals as being no different from the Tories, is criticizing the Liberals’ proposed tax reforms for increasing tax revenue too much.
The Alberta Party, which has proposed less centralized leadership and ‘new politics’ has a candidate that is running to be a spoiler and has called for a candidate nomination to be overturned.
Now, I am not saying that there are no explanations for these happenings—indeed, I can think of valid explanations for all of them—but I can see how it would be perplexing to someone who does not follow politics all that closely.