TABER, Alberta, February 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Citing the growing popularity of a new socially conservative political party in Alberta, noted writer, lawyer, blogger and conservative political activist Ezra Levant told a meeting of pro-life activists last Friday that “for the first time in 40 years” a window of opportunity exists for pro-life activists in the province to get their views across to elected officials.
“There is a new dynamic in this province. And for the first time in 40 years, it’s a little bit easier to get the government’s attention,” Levant said at the Taber Pro-Life Banquet, held at Taber Christian School.
“There are about 75 MLAs right now who are very, very worried about a new party called the Wildrose Alliance,” Levant explained. “And for the first time, you’re getting calls back from them a little quicker than you did before. I think you have to make the case that if you don’t get what you want from party number one, you might just go to party number two.”
“Party number two” is the Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta, a fiscally conservative right-of-centre party formed in 2008 by the merger of the Wildrose Party and the Alberta Alliance and led by Danielle Smith. The party is catching the attention of constituents disenchanted with the ruling Conservative government and attracting even more attention from Conservative MLAs, who have seen two of their own – Rob Anderson of Airdrie-Chestermere and Heather Forsyth of Calgary-Fish Creek – cross the floor in January to join the new party.
Though the Wildrose Alliance now boasts only three MLAs, the party has taken third position in the legislature from the New Democratic Party and continues to grow in popular support. In December 2009, the Wildrose Alliance was the leading party in opinion polls, with 39 percent support, 14 points ahead of both the governing Conservatives and the opposition Liberals.
“The Wildrose Alliance have some people who have been active in pro-life circles for many years,” continued Levant. “The new leader of the Wildrose Alliance, Danielle Smith, is a bit of a libertarian. I’m not quite sure where she stands on abortion herself, but I’ll bet you a dollar that she’s for debudgeting it. That’s the libertarian view.”
While Danielle Smith identifies herself as a fiscal conservative who believes in libertarian policies, according to the party’s website, she hopes to make the Wildrose Alliance into a “mainstream, big tent, centre-right” party that can stand as an alternative to the Progressive Conservative government, especially in light of continued public criticism over the government’s financial management and health-care decisions.
Levant also pointed out, “You don’t have to be a social conservative to be against abortion, to believe that taxpayers ought not to be compelled to pay for it.”
“So what I’m saying is, instead of justly trying to persuade, to force your ideas, I think you can persuade through the fear of a large voting cohort going to someone else. And I think right now you have the best ear of a Conservative government that is more attuned to conservative pressure than they have been in 40 years.”
If the Ontario PCs don’t get the message that was offered earlier last year, Tim Hudak might be the next Ed Stelmach: a sitting duck.