Checking in on Local Politics

I’m ridiculously bad at following local politics, the American Implosion is far too addicting. Still, it does allow me to cross-reference between our two countries, and watch Southern trends migrate up North. For instance:

In a speech about women in politics at the United Conservative Party founding annual general meeting in Red Deer Saturday, [Heather] Forsyth expressed disbelief that women face structural barriers and are marginalized. “How the heck do you expect to get women involved in politics and get them excited when you have to read that socialist crap,” she said as a number of UCP members hooted and clapped. “When I ran in the nomination, which was one of the most hotly-contested nominations in the province, I didn’t play the ‘oh, poor me’ card. Nor did I play the ‘I’m a woman and they should provide me with a hand-up.’ ”

Forsyth … also criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley for having gender-balanced cabinets. “I honestly would be in trouble if someone asked me to name all the women in their cabinet and I would have trouble even trying to remember five,” she said. “I quite frankly find it humiliating and I find it patronizing that we as women can’t do it. And we can do it on our own and by ourselves.”

Self-hating conservative women? Yep, we’ve got that. We’ve also imported blatant hypocrisy; I can just imagine the reporter smiling as they tacked this bit on:

Forsyth’s message was in stark contrast to interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, who used her speech to announce a new initiative to overcome the barriers Forsyth dismissed. The non-profit, which also involves Laureen Harper, will encourage and mentor women who want to run for the UCP in next year’s election. …

Ambrose said UCP Leader Jason Kenney has made it a priority to attract women and LGBTQ candidates to the party and meets constantly with future prospects. “I’m here to push that message forward,” Ambrose said.

She acknowledged that harassment on social media is one barrier women face. She said female politicians should have staff monitor feeds on Facebook and Twitter to create a buffer.  Ambrose said Twitter, in particular, is “a sewer for women.” “They need to make a lot of changes before it is a safe place for women,” she said.

What’s depressing is that Alberta has a liberal-ish government, with the notable exception of oil pipelines. The NDP have done a great job since coming to power, but their election was due to a divided and squabbling opposition. Now that conservatives in the province have united under the United Conservative Party, however, they’re likely to regain control. This is terrifying, because they “united” by essentially rolling over and handing the keys to the social conservatives. Abortion services are back to being controversial, their leader is fine with harming LGBTQ youth and exploiting them to whip up the base. He’s also opposed to environmental regulations. A party member who fired a woman for filing a sexual harassment complaint is still in charge of Democracy and Accountability. Hell, their shadiness even extends to their own voting procedures.

Maybe it’s time I paid more attention. I bet the NDP could use some volunteers next year

Speaking of the devil, and Twitter shall appear:

Kathleen Smith: UCP just passed a resolution to out teens who join a GSA. And they wonder why won’t let them march under their party banner in the parade.

Marni Panas: Every progressive who is still part of this party should be ashamed of themselves. Any member of the LGBTQ community who is part of this party should take a long look in the mirror. Disgusting resolution.

Marni Panas: The and pay more attention to anti-lgbtq activist John Carpay than the actual kids who will be harmed by being outed in GSA. I’m sick.

: Holy crap. This is what’s happening now at the . If you’ve lost track, they’ve gone from attack teens to attack & teachers to attack First Nation’s persons in a matter of minutes.

Marni Panas: This is what happens when racists and homophobes are emboldened by leaders like Trump and Kenney. I no longer want to hear “this would never happen in Canada. We’re better than that.” It’s happening right now in a hotel in Red Deer, Alberta.

This is all happening as the UCP is explicitly doing outreach to the LGBT community. They’re a bunch of two-faced bigots.