Racists, homophobes and xenophobes do not feel at home in the New Democratic Party consequently NDP nomination meetings are not derailed by bozo eruptions and do not attract much media attention.
This radio silence means many Albertans are uninformed about the quality of the nominees the NDP considers of sufficient character to represent the party in the 2019 election.
If the two nomination meetings Ms Soapbox attended last week are any indication, the caliber of NDP nominees is outstanding.
On Thursday Janet Eremenko was acclaimed the NDP candidate for Calgary-Elbow and on Saturday Anne McGrath was acclaimed the NDP candidate (replacing Stephanie McLean who is stepping down) for Calgary-Varsity.
Both women are stellar candidates with much in common. They have a long history of community service, Janet works in poverty reduction in Calgary and has a strong sense of civic duty (she ran in the last municipal election). Anne has been active in politics and social justice for decades. She was Jack Layton’s chief of staff before becoming Rachael Notley’s principal secretary. They’re both married with children and are deeply committed to making Alberta work for all Albertans.
They’re eloquent speakers who can clearly articulate the Notley government’s accomplishments including $25/day daycare, the $15 minimum wage, and increased support of public healthcare (the Cancer Clinic will be completed ahead of schedule), and public education and infrastructure.
They’re in the enviable position of running for a party that knows what it stands for; and is led by a leader with a reputation for intelligence, integrity, compassion and wit.
Janet and Anne’s supporters packed the venues; Janet’s event was held at a popular restaurant, Anne’s took place in a community hall. There was barely room to move let alone hear each other as lawyers, doctors, business executives, entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, electricians, welders, union reps, seniors and university students pressed close to hear what everyone had to say. They were noisy, optimistic and generous (both candidates raised thousands of dollars).
And why shouldn’t they be upbeat, they’d just won the trifecta. Voters decide on how they will vote based on three things: the party, the party leader, and the local candidate. If they’re lucky they’ll nail two out of three, but rarely do all three elements line up like three cherries on a slot machine.
NDP voters in Calgary-Elbow and Calgary-Varsity are over the moon because they like the NDP party, they like Rachel Notley, and they like their local candidates. Compare this to the dilemma faced by UCP supporters who are still waiting to find out what their party stands for (their leader holds the pen and will tell them when he’s good and ready), who are concerned about their leader’s position on social issues, and who are being asked to support local UCP candidates who may have zero influence on the party’s leader and the party’s policies.
Janet and Anne’s supporters are well aware the 2019 election will be a hard slog, but they’re up for the challenge, looking forward to the chance to put Rachel Notley and their local candidate up against Jason Kenney and the UCP candidates. They’re confident that most Albertans don’t want to drag the province backward to the Klein era, economically and socially, and would prefer to move forward into the 21st century with confidence and resolve.
A supporter summed up their position with a Notley quote: “We’re not afraid of the future. We own it!”
So yes, the NDP nomination meetings don’t get much media coverage, and for good reason. The NDP field quality nominees while the UCP is plagued with racists, homophobes and xenophobes.
If you’re still not sure whose vision, Notley’s or Kenney’s, best reflects your Alberta, take a closer look at the NDP and UCP nominees, that’ll tell you all you need to know.
NOTE: this post is about the quality of the people running for nomination for political office in Alberta. If it reads like a puff piece for the NDP that’s because I’m comparing certain NDP nominees to certain UCP nominees.