1. Justice Minister Jonathan Denis campaign signs defaced to read ‘Jonathan Penis’
Photo courtesy of Reddit user AdmiralAntille
This week, Jonathan Denis was victim to political vandalism when his name was modified on several campaign signs to read “Jonathan Penis.”
Denis, running for re-election in Calgary-Acadia, didn’t seem particularly upset. On Twitter, he quipped that it has been a “hard topic” to discuss, that he “appreciates all the exposure,” and that “sometimes you have to be very firm in politics.”
This story eventually made national media, and Denis was quick to share the story link with his friends on Facebook.
2. Wildrose candidate ousted over “gay activist” remarks
Photo courtesy of CBC.
Wildrose leader Brian Jean punted candidate Russ Kuykendall, who had hoped to run in Calgary-Varsity, after a 2007 blog post about “gay activists” was discovered.
In the post Kuykendall wrote for conservative publication Western Standard, he suggested Mayor Stephen Mandel—now a PC cabinet minister—and other organizers wanted to provoke anger by hosting the Mayor’s Pride Brunch at St. Andrew’s Centre .
Jean said the Wildrose works for all Albertans, and Kuykendall did not meet required standards for candidates.
Danielle Smith, former Wildrose leader, faced significant criticism in the 2012 provincial campaign when she refused to disqualify Edmonton-South West candidate Allan Hunsperger after a controversial blog post emerged. In that post, Hunsperger said Satan was creating a “trap” for gays and lesbians and they would “suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell.”
“Lake of fire” has since become shorthand for intolerance.
3. Bring your wife’s pie
Photo courtesy of CBC
Wildrose Drumheller-Stettler incumbent candidate Rick Strankman’s campaign came under fire after his team organized a pie auction where participants were invited to “bring your wife’s pie.”
The poster sparked significant online discussion, with some commentators suggesting the wording is sexist and others alluding to the double entendre.
Strankman expressed regret for the wording in a tweet: “I apologize for our poster. It was posted by our volunteers through my account. As soon as I saw it, I asked them to take it down #abvote.”
4. Volunteering on provincial elections
Premier Jim Prentice criticized a government-issued directive this week which ordered public servants to advise their supervisors if they are volunteering on any election campaigns, even on their own time.
Prentice said the directive is “ridiculous and offensive” and all employees have the right to engage political process with the party of their choice.
Wildrose leader Brian Jean said the directive “reflects a government mindset that considers public servants to be pawns for partisan political ends.”
That directive has since been reversed.
5. Alberta Liberal Party post-mortem
Dr. David Swann, interim leader of the Liberal Party, spoke with the Calgary Herald Editorial Board this week, offering an apparent post-mortem analysis on the seemingly inevitable collapse of his party. Swann, who revealed he is no longer interested in leading his party after the May 5 election, took to criticizing his competition, the Alberta Party. The Liberals recently appointed a candidate to run in Calgary-Elbow—where Alberta Party leader Greg Clark is running—following informal discussions on not running a Liberal candidate in this constituency. This sparked significant debate online and further criticism of the Alberta Liberals. In his interview with the Herald Board, Clark said that the Liberal Party “isn’t working” and that it is time to try “something new.”
“I have been trying to push co-operation for four years. Unfortunately no other parties have been willing to talk about co-operation until the last six or eight weeks,” said Swann.