Firstly, submitted for your approval: A man contests a nomination in the most disfunctional political area in the province (both provincially and municipally), and finds his nomination rejected by the party due to procedural concerns. His logical response? File a human rights complaint. The rejected candidate's cause is championed by Concerned Christians Canada, which claims that the candidate's rejection is a clear case of "Christ-ophobia". Stories suggest that the rejected candidate may also be a member of the AMA, which is also considering filing a human rights complaint that the candidate was rejected based on "Car-ophobia".
The "human right" that the man was denied? The "right" to serve as an MLA. "He was denied a position as an MLA due to his religious beliefs!", cries the CCC. Only one problem: Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, said the man couldn't be an MLA. The PC Party of Alberta said that he couldn't represent them as a candidate - a volunteer position, not a job - for the party, based on the process that the local party board used to nominate him. If I fill out my application for the Calgary Police Service incorrectly, filing a complaint that I was denied my "right" to a job as a police officer due to "Blonde-ophobia" is laughable. If I apply to be a volunteer scout troop leader, but get rejected from doing so because of incomplete paperwork, accusing the Boy Scouts of "Beard-ophobia" in denying me my "right" to lead a Boy Scout Troop will get me a quick and well-earned slap upside the head from the filing clerk.
Nobody's denying this man, or anyone else rejected as a party candidate for ANY party, the "right" to do anything. They're being denied the privilege of running for that particular party - a private association, with its own rules about who can and can't volunteer as a candidate or executive. The fact that they ask members to vote at all doesn't make it a democracy - the Stampede Board doesn't hold a vote on volunteer applicants. This private club decides, through its own rules, who can and can't volunteer for them and represent them. If I try to volunteer at Dave Hancock's office as a door-knocker, and I've got a shaved head with a giant swastika carved into my scalp, I'd expect to be rejected as a door-knocker without having my "rights" violated. Nobody said I can't knock on doors - I just can't knock on doors for Dave Hancock. In this case, it was a procedural issue. In other cases, it was a personality issue.
The job of MLA is completely seperate from this, and every other, party nomination. If this candidate wins a seat in the legislature in a democratically valid, legal General Election supervised by Elections Alberta, and is denied his seat, THEN he's being denied a job, and his rights are being violated. Being told that the club doesn't want you, or that you screwed up your paperwork, and you can't volunteer for them? Life sucks sometimes... get over it, and move on.
Our second story comes from the Alberta Liberals, who moved swiftly (to their credit) to dump a candidate after he was charged with 1 count of accepting a bribe and 4 counts of trafficking drugs in his job at a correctional centre.
Look... there are a great many people who want to run for MLA, but avoid it because they said or wrote something they shouldn't have, or slept with someone they shouldn't have, 15 years ago... some avoid running because they don't want that DUI from 1992 being brought up in public, or they don't want to meet the vengeful ex-girlfriend that their opponent dug up to dish the dirt at a town hall meeting. That's dirty politics, but it IS politics.
THIS is just common sense... if you've recently committed a felony, you should probably NOT contest a nomination for an upcoming election. Likewise, if you've recently WON a nomination, you should probably try to avoid accidentally breaking the law - by accepting bribes and trafficking drugs (allegedly) - it may get out. Just a thought.
Incidentally... I wonder if that former candidate will file a complaint with a human rights commission because he was denied his right to serve as an MLA based on the Liberal party's notorious "Drug Dealer-ophobia"...
- E.S., who most certainly does NOT have a giant swastika carved into his scalp.