Crutcher, as you know, is also a close associate of Craig Chandler, having worked on his campaign for the nomination before the Chandler/PGIB "One Riding At A Time" electoral machine ensured his election to the presidency of the constituency association, thus easing Chandler's path to the nomination. Since the PC Executive and Premier Ed Stelmach have rejected Chandler's nomination, Crutcher would be seen as a "Chandler-by-proxy" by the people who contributed to Chandler's alleged $127,000 nomination bid (note: HOLY CRAP!!!) and the social conservatives who bought memberships in the party purely to support Chandler, thus ensuring that their interests are represented over the great unwashed and silent moderate majority.
One has to wonder, if whomEVER the "One Riding At A Time" folks get elected to sit in Egmont is going to be busy representing the donors of the fabled $127,000 (note: HOLY CRAP!!!!), who, exactly, is going to be representing the voters and non-voters of the riding? NOTE: The following example is absolutely, 100% hypothetical. I have heard or read nothing to substantiate this, it's completely, as far as I know, 100% fictional. Please, Craig, don't sue me. If Birthright, for example, donates $50,000 to a candidate and he wins, but the majority of the riding's citizens are pro-choice, which view is the candidate, as MLA, going to champion? The view of the people in his riding, or the view of the group that bought $50,000 worth of favours and influence? Any candidate associated with Chandler's $127,000 price tag is going to be suspect, for that same reason.
Crutcher doesn't come without baggage of his own, mind you... he ran in Egmont for the Alberta Alliance in 2004, garnering 14% of the popular vote. In 2005, he finished 3rd in the leadership race for the Alberta Alliance. He joined the PC's in July of 2007 (yes, he wants the nomination after a whopping 5 months as a member), and (as covered earlier in this post) was successfully planted as president of the constituency association shortly thereafter. Among Crutcher's stated opinions:
- Supports an Alberta provincial tax on consumer goods
- Supports publicly funded alternative medicine in order to save money and resources
- Supports traditional marriage and is pro-life
- Supported Alberta's separation from Canada if the Conservative Party of Canada did not win the most recent federal election
Of course, none of the above is considered "baggage" by the Chandleristas. They'd mark it under "Qualifications".
Crutcher has requested that the PC Executive and Premier review his eligibility to run for the party, and notify him whether or not his candidacy WOULD be accepted, should he win.
On this, David and I agree.
Certainly, the PC Party of Alberta needs to reform its nomination process, and set up some sort of vetting process for potential candidates. In absence of one at this time, and considering the delicate state of affairs in Egmont, I think it's reasonable that ALL PC members in Egmont should hope that they won't be asked to trudge out of their homes on some cold January day to vote, only to find that the vote won't count if cast for Crutcher.
Of course, the PGIB Campaign Machine would likely also appreciate the "Heads Up" as, if Crutcher won't be approved by the party, they may be able to talk Erik Gregson into giving up his rumoured designs on Calgary Fish Creek in 4 years, and try to run in Egmont as the official "Chandler-by-proxy".
After all, the group's stated purpose, straight from the pen of PGIB Godfather and Kingpin Craig Chandler, is thus:
...the PGIB is launching a campaign to take back the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party called ONE RIDING AT A TIME. This campaign will help conservatives such as yourselves to win nominations within the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party... We can take ownership of the party and win nomination by nomination.
Gotta win a nomination, first. What better way than by getting your candidate pre-approved by the party before spending your $127,000 to buy the riding's nomination.
I wonder what it would cost to "take ownership of the party"... let's see, 42 ridings is a majority, 42 times $127,000... $5.3 million. To take control of the party that, in government, controls around $35 Billion annually. Seems like a bargain.
On second thought, maybe a vetting process is exactly what they want... 42 pre-approved candidates are better than 1.
The well is already being poisoned by Chandler for Jonathan Denis to run for the nomination again... so who's going to run against Crutcher?
ADDENDUM: It seems, based on murmurs in the ether, that Crutcher, Chandler and crew fully expect the Crutcher nomination to be squashed. In fact, they seem to be counting on it. After which they'd likely present another vocal evangelical to be rejected, and then another, until finally they could hold a news conference and declare their experience as proof positive that the PC Party of Alberta hates/doesn't want or value or welcome/is biased against Christians, and all the Christians in the province should vote for whatever party they're joining/taking over/founding.
The only way to stop this, of course, is to allow the candidacy of one of their chosen delgates, and then have the party members in Egmont simply CRUSH him in the nomination vote, without any "interference" from the party brass. Chandler apparently figures that nobody can beat a PGIB campaign machine-backed candidate with grass-roots, last-minute organization. He may be right, but it would be glorious to prove him wrong - at which point he'd still move on to the "PC Party and their members in Egmont hate Christians" step outlined above.
Just a quick note, in response to the press conference that hasn't happened yet... the PC Party isn't against Christians. The PC Party is against preaching intolerance in the name of Christ.
Which, I suspect, Christ would be opposed to as well.