July 07, 2009
Could the winds of change be blowing?
The Wildrose Alliance 2009 AGM Sets the Stage for the Party’s Leadership Race
By: Mike Walker
The AGM of the fledging Wildrose Alliance party was held at the Bearspaw Community Centre in suburban Calgary on June 5th and 6th. The room was filled with what looked to be well over two hundred attendants. This was an impressive number for a party not even two years old.
Party President Jeff Callaway first addressed the attendants as they arrived on Friday evening and introduced outgoing party leader, Paul Hinman. The former MLA made a heartfelt speech about his many years of public service made on behalf of Albertans.
The line up of speakers throughout the AGM was impressive. They included Nadeem Esmail from the Frasier Institute, John Carpay of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, and David Yager of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada and writer for the Calgary Herald.
But the most important speeches were from two of the leadership contestants. The first leadership contestant to speak was Danielle Smith who recently resigned her position with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. And the second was Mark Dyrholm, a chiropractor and Vice-President of the Progressive Group for Independent Business.
Last of the main speakers to address the attendants at the AGM was Prime Minister Harper’s advisor Tom Flanagan. The conservative strategist spoke about how conservatives through the 80s and 90s incorrectly believed that the free market could create a utopian society on earth.
Somewhat of a surprise was that the policy proposals that were made at the AGM were of very little real consequence. For anyone who attended the AGM, it was evident that it was the speeches made at the AGM that set the tone for the entire venue.
President Jeff Callaway did an admirable job as the MC of the event, but at times seemed a little too nervous and unable to bring the room to attention. The only real disappointment from Jeff was that he made no mention that June 6th also happened to be D-Day and Tax Freedom Day.
Outgoing leader Paul Hinman gave a gracious speech delivered with some of the folksiness one would expect from someone with strong rural roots. Compared with subsequent speeches at the event, one would suspect his lack of charisma is only a media creation.
Armed with numerous power point slides, Nadeem Esmail spoke passionately and effectively as he usually does about the plight of health care in Alberta. John Carpay quoted Voltaire to emphasize that free speech must allowed for all Canadians, even Bill Whatcott.
David Yager’s speech was all about how Evil Ed destroyed Alberta’s oil industry. His powerpoint presented the premier in such an unflattering light, that you were left wondering if it was possible he was asked to remove a slide that had a picture of the Premier shaking hands with the devil.
The biggest surprise of the AGM was Danielle Smith. Despite being praised by so many in the media and libertarian pundits alike about her ability to communicate, her performance was pleasing but overly rehearsed. Despite a strong speech, there was very little warmth in her style.
Her main rival Mark Dyrholm came in with no expectations from the audience whatsoever and gave a speech in which he spoke passionately about his conservative roots as a young man in the Reform Party. In contrast to Danielle, his past suggests a strongly conservative candidate.
Tom Flanagan demonstrated his intellectual vigour and good humour, but it was obvious that he is more comfortable in an academic environment that appeals to the intellectual curiosity of students. He did not rouse the attendants, but skillfully answered all questions from the floor.
The speeches suggest a competitive leadership race was kicked off at the party’s AGM. It will be the more media-savvy libertarian candidate who grew up in the PC Party, Danielle Smith, against the more family-oriented conservative candidate who grew up in the Reform Party, Mark Dyrholm.
Copyright 2009 - Mike Walker
Picking on the new guy...
May 13, 2009
Did you know that Michael Ignatieff spent over 30 years away from Canada - more than half his life?
Did you know that while away he went so far as to call Britain and then America his country? And that he even told an interviewer the only thing he missed about Canada was Algonquin Park?
How about that Ignatieff, who claims to represent all the people, admits to being flattered when people call him by his aristocratic title - "Count Ignatieff" - and actually brags about being "horribly arrogant," "cosmopolitan," and even an intellectual "samurai?"
Did you know that Michael Ignatieff is the father of the Liberal carbon tax, proposing the idea even before Stephane Dion did? Did you know Ignatieff admits he's considering hiking the GST, and bluntly warns "we will have to raise taxes" because of his big spending schemes?
Did you know that Michael Ignatieff thinks that the only way to know you are in Quebec and not Vermont or Minnesota is French road signage? Or that he boasts he does not speak heavily accented “Quebecois” but rather “French-French?”
Like many Canadians you may not have heard any of these facts about the man who has come back to Canada, demanding to lead you and me. Ignatieff has, without question, enjoyed one of the longest political free rides ever.
Well, I am writing to tell you that his free ride is over.
And we will take our message directly to the Canadian people.
To get our message out about Ignatieff's blind ambition to become Prime Minister after staying away for over 30 years, we have created a new website titled none other than Ignatieff.me - a perfect name for a politician who has always put himself first.
The inspiration for Ignatieff.me was Michael Ignatieff himself, who smugly posed on the front cover of magazines - around the time he told the British press "someone like me does not exist in America and that seems to me to be terrible."
At Ignatieff.me you can learn more about Ignatieff, watch new political ads, and use our Internet tools to inform your family, friends, and neighbours about the man, the "Count" who seeks to lead our country after staying away for over 30 years.
So please, click here to visit Ignatieff.me. I guarantee you'll learn more facts about Ignatieff there than you have anywhere else.
And once you're done learning about Ignatieff and spreading the word, click here to support our website, by chipping in. Unlike Count Ignatieff, we depend on grassroots Canadians like you.
National Campaign Director - Conservative Party of Canada
P.S. Go to Ignatieff.me right now - you'll be amazed by what you see!
Notice for those who care about liberty...
If you agree that there is no place for oppressive Human Rights Commissions in a free and democratic country like Canada, please forward this to people on your contact list.
If you agree and are a resident of Ontario, follow the link below to register to vote in the upcoming Ontario PC leadership election. Even if you are not a resident of Ontario, please forward this to friends and family.
MPP Randy Hillier is running for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. As you may know, a major plank in Randy's platform is a promise to abolish Ontario's Human Rights Commission.
This is an opportunity to demonstrate that there is significant support for the idea of getting rid of these kangaroo courts. If we don't get behind this initiative now we may never be able to convince Canadian politicians to take the issue on again in the future.
Please act now: www.abolishhrcs.ca