On this lazy Saturday morn (as opposed to my lazy Monday morn, my lazy Tuesday morn, etc.) a couple of mini-comments on provincial and federal politics.

First, the NDP honeymoon with the media appears to be ending.

After the revelation by the Globe and Mail that interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel was once a member of the Bloc Quebecois, the media has started sniffing around the Very New Democrats looking for past allegiances.

Postmedia — which used to be Canwest, which used to be Southam, or something like that — send out a survey to all 103 NDP MPs asking if they had ever held a membership in another party. Only three MPs returned the survey. A Toronto newspaper did the same, and received no replies.

And what of Linda Duncan, the Edmonton-Strathcona golden girl (she comes with her own halo) and media darling? Well, it seems St. Linda of Strathcona replied she was “not available to participate”.

Hmmm. Not available to participate in a small survey that wouldn’t take any more than a minute to fill in? Is she so busy doing good works that she doesn’t have time to tick off the “no other party” box, or whatever. This is very suspicious.

Now, I know Dippers will be crying foul about the survey, saying that it smacks of 1950s-style “are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the (fill in the blank) party?” And why, they will no doubt whine, aren’t members of all parties being asked the same question.

Those are legit questions, but the Dippers are going to have to come to the realization that they are no longer the coddled, babied and pampered third party, and are now in the big leagues. Scrutiny will be much more intense, so get used to it.

And as for Duncan, why the silence? I hope somebody in the mainstream media picks up on her silence, and asks her why she didn’t answer.

Could it be that she was once a member of …. THE COMMUNIST PARTY? Or worse….THE CONSERVATIVES? Or worse still…THE LIBERALS?

The horror, the horror…

Meanwhile, the provincial Liberals are facing some unwanted publicity, which is rare for a party that craves any kind of publicity.

It seems that the party’s idea to open up the leadership campaign to anyone who wants to vote in it, without even buying a party membership, has resulted in some questionable tactics.

As revealed first in the Globe and Mail (how does the Globe consistently beat the Journal at Alberta stories?), there are dozens of suspicious names (dead people, cats, Conservatives, dead Conservatives, dead cats) on the list of supporters. Suspicion has fallen upon Raj Sherman, who says he has rounded up 18,000 supporters. When the total number of supporters comes in at 25,000, it’s a pretty safe bet that most of the questionable entries come from the Sherman camp. Hugh MacDonald, another leadership candidate, has called the list “a joke”. Gotta love Hughie; he calls it the way he sees it, even with his own party.

Am I surprised that there are questionable names on the list? Not at all. I figured this anyone-can-join idea was going to be fraught with problems. I’ve received “demon dial” calls from the Sherman camp, and even one last week that said my name was not found on the voters list, and that I would have to register again. I don’t know where the call came from.

Sherman is hyper-aggressive, and intent on winning the leadership. Liberal leadership races are a gentleman’s (and gentlewoman’s) game. Liberals always play nice with other Liberals, and with everyone. (Maybe that’s why they have a nearly 100-year record of defeat.) It looks to me that Sherman is not using the traditional Liberal fair play handbook, and borrowing tactics from the more cutthroat Conservative race. As I wrote in my blog about Sherman, he is cut from a different cloth. It will be interesting to see if Sherman’s much more aggressive tactics will alienate, or appeal to, the party faithful.

One thought on “On Linda Duncan’s silence, and Alberta Liberal lists.

  1. Great post Maurice – I am no big fan of Sherman’s tactics such as demon dialing programs, but this sort of stuff seems to be the “new normal” in politics. It isn’t the “nice” politics we are accustomed to with the Libs, but maybe it can help gain some ground for the party. Even my darling Liberal daughter Danielle is considering buying a PC membership just so she can have a say on who our next premier will be in our one party state. Something has to be done to effect real change.

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