Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Progressive" ideology backfires

David Orchard used to be the key opponent to the PC/Alliance merger. Even though the Alliance had to let go of most of its policies and the new Conservative party constitution included so called "progressive" social policy among the founding principles, Orchard kept insisting that the merger was in fact a takeover. While Orchard didn't run in the 2004 election, his campaign against the merger and against the new Conservative party was one of the factors that helped the Liberals to remain in power that time.

Now Orchard is seeking a Liberal nomination in the northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. He's recruited hundreds of new members to the party, preparing for the nomination vote. But the vote may never take place.
Anxious to increase the number of women running for the Liberals in the next federal election, Dion is considering appointing former provincial NDP cabinet minister Joan Beatty to be the party's candidate in the northern riding.

So far, she hasn't said anything about this one way or the other beyond the fact that both the NDP and the Liberals want her as a candidate. I suppose it would be hopelessly old-fashioned to suggest she has an obligation to the voters who just re-elected her to the legislature, but that's another issue.

However, it's pretty clear that unless she's appointed, she doesn't have a snowball's chance in Phoenix of becoming the Liberal candidate in northern Saskatchewan.
If Dion goes ahead with his plan and cancels the nomination to appoint a token woman candidate, let it be a lesson for David Orchard. Back in 2003 he denounced the Alliance as "reactionary throwbacks" and praised "progressive" ideology - the very same ideology that mandates ethnic and gender quotas, claiming that "fair representation" of women and minorities outweighs the rights of the best qualified candidates to get the jobs. Well, if that's what Orchard supports, it will be only fair once Orchard himself gets a "white males need not apply" notice. Especially if that comes from a political party that benefited from Orchard's support a few years ago.

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