A Glass of Sass

Pruned Bush: Confessions of a Wilted Wild Rose

Posted by on April 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm » 146 Comments

A crisis of conscience is a terrible thing to waste. When faced with one, no amount of avoidance, no amount of rationalization, and no amount of vodka will wash it away. I know this because I spent a fair amount of time wallowing in all of those things (including the vodka) over the course of this past weekend.

As anyone who follows me on Twitter or is privy to my Facebook wall knows, I’ve been a staunch and vocal supporter of the Wildrose Party of Alberta during the current election. I attended the Wildrose Leader’s Dinner – a fundraiser for the party – and had the opportunity to listen to their leader, Danielle Smith, speak.

Smith spoke of the rights of the individual, and as a Libertarian leaning woman who has become increasingly appalled at the attempts of both provincial and federal governments to infringe upon rights granted to every citizen of this country, rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights, what she had to say spoke to me.

Smith spoke of the politically engineered divide between Calgary and Edmonton – the ongoing and somewhat strange “North vs. South Cold War” (my words, not hers) in this province and how playing into it left us weakened and susceptible to politicians who would use it for their own nefarious purposes. Having grown up on the west coast and experienced none of the rivalry between Victoria and Vancouver that I’ve seen between Calgary and Edmonton, I’ve never really understood the rivalry. My family spends a great deal of time in Sylvan Lake during the summer – a geographic and somewhat ideological midpoint (I like to call it the “Redneck Riviera”) between Edmonton and Calgary, where North and South live together peacefully despite the melee of differing NHL propaganda in local business windows. When Smith stated that it’s all fine and dandy for us to poke fun at each other’s hockey teams (although this year, why bother, they both pretty much sucked) but we need to reexamine the way we attack each other’s regions, I enthusiastically applauded.

Smith spoke of 40 years of conservative rule in this province that has resulted in a government that no longer works for the people, expecting the people to work instead for it. A government that is vain, arrogant, complacent and does what it wants because it truly believes we will accept it as we always have. A government that has destroyed healthcare. A government that cares not for seniors. A government beholden to special interest groups. She spoke of balanced budgets and equalization payments that kept Albertans struggling while benefitting other regions of Canada and how that is unfair to the taxpaying citizens of this province.

Smith said “It’s time for change, Alberta!” and I couldn’t agree more with that statement and the emotion behind it.

There is no denying Smith is one hell of a smart human being. Her intellect is immediately apparent in conversation, and in her speeches. In fact, Smith is often so far ahead of everyone in the room that I found myself struggling to keep up with her, and that’s not an easy thing for me to admit, being as vain as I am about being a “smart broad” myself. Smith can leave one feeling …. intellectually winded. And I enjoy that feeling. It challenges me. It causes me to think. It causes me to explore. I’m easily seduced by that feeling (just ask my husband – it’s how he won me over).

All of that being said, the reputation of the Wildrose Party as a hodgepodge of extreme right wing zealots had not gone unnoticed by me. Those same followers on Twitter and the Facebook friends who have witnessed my support of the Wildrose Party also know me to be a staunch supporter of “gay rights” as “human rights”, and a die hard feminist. Gay rights are especially near and dear to my heart. I am a self described “Gay Rights Warrior” and believe very strongly in equality for all.

As a result of this, I directly asked those I was seated with at the Wildrose Leader’s Dinner about the party’s position on gay rights. Unanimously, the response from those I spoke with was that members of the Wildrose don’t take issue with “gay rights” and are focused on other matters that need to be dealt with given that we live in a country where gays can marry, are protected as equals under the law. Further, as a Libertarian leaning, grass roots party, they believed in the rights of the individual.

As an LGBTQ supporter, this answer satisfied me, if only somewhat. Although I would have liked to have heard that Wildrose is a staunch support of equality for all, I was satisfied that the party wasn’t a right wing extremist group that would cause damage to my LGBTQ family.

So… imagine my surprise this past Saturday morning when I awoke to find a link to this article detailing the Wildrose Party of Alberta’s stand on Conscience Rights in my inbox (thank you, @Frostiblack, for providing the article).

For those who don’t understand the concept of “Conscience Rights”, the simplest explanation is that conscience rights would allow a doctor to refuse to write a prescription for contraceptives based on his Judeo-Christian ethics, refuse treatment to someone based on their sexual orientation, or race, or differing creed, or anyone of a thousand different reasons only that doctor knows about.

Conscience rights allow doctors to ignore the oath they took when they became doctors. Conscience rights allow lawyers to ignore the oath they took to uphold the law, above all else, when they stood before the Bar to be admitted, thus allowing them to refuse to act on behalf of someone of a different race.

Conscience rights allow marriage commissioners to refuse to marry same sex couples, despite the fact that those same commissioners are given powers by a government that acknowledges the rights of gays to marry.

Conscience rights allow pharmacists to refuse to fill certain prescriptions. Conscience rights would allow me, if I were a doctor, to deny treatment to a Christian, based on the fact that I’m an atheist.

Conscience rights allow doctors to refuse to perform or recommend fertility treatments.

Yeah… you kinda see the irony there, right?

So, how does the Wildrose Party rationalize their stand on conscience rights? In the interest of fairness, and because I really wanted to believe this was little more than media spin on a non-issue, I began inquiring of Wildrose supporters (and one candidate who, surprisingly enough, has requested I not publish their name) the reasoning behind this “conscience rights” agenda. I was really hoping for something that would convince me all was well. I was really hoping for something that would keep me faithful to the party, to Danielle Smith, to the vision of a new Alberta.

“Doctors took an oath to save lives, not destroy them.”

Holy sweetcheesecurds. Seriously? I suppose this is meant to speak to the issue of abortion. But the problem with this argument is that no doctor in this province, nay, in this nation, is required to perform an abortion. In fact, abortions in the province of Alberta are performed at specialized clinics and doctors and nurses choose whether or not to work in them. If the Wildrose Party of Alberta wants to argue public funding of abortions in this province, I understand that, but this “not destroy lives” counterargument is ridiculous and without any validity given that doctors aren’t required to perform abortions.

“Catholic doctors should not be required to write a prescription for birth control.”

First of all, this statement goes against the oath all doctors take. If they weren’t prepared to take that oath, they should have never become doctors. Yes, it is that simple. And I daresay none of those same “Catholic doctors” take issue with writing prescriptions for Viagra or Cialis. All good to enable men to impregnate their wives, all bad to allow women the right to control their own reproductive organs. Welcome to the 1950’s. Excuse me for a moment. I need to kick off my Prada heels, get impregnated and go bake a cake.

 

“No doctor should be forced to perform a sex change operation.”

Oh… the idiocy of this statement is …. no words. No doctor IS required to perform a “sex change” operation. It’s a field of specialty for doctors. By the way, your referring to it as a “sex change” operation further goes to prove just how out of touch and ignorant you are. Read a book or even an internet article. Follow Chaz Bono on Twitter. Do anything but please, get educated! (It’s called “gender reassignment”. Learn it. Use it. “Sex Change” is an offensive term, right up there with “fag” and “dyke”).

“Well, should a Catholic Priest be required to marry a gay couple?”

Of course not. I support separation of church and state. I don’t believe forcing religious institutions to marry gay couples benefits anyone. But the truth of the matter is I don’t know a single gay couple (and I gotta tell ya, I know A LOT of gay couples) that would go to the Catholic church to perform their marriage ceremony. So… what is your point here? No one is forcing any church to perform gay marriages.

“Marriage Commissioners should not be required to marry gay couples.”

Hell yes they should be.

Marriage Commissioners are granted powers by the laws of this province, by the laws of this country. In this country, there is no “gay marriage”. There is simply “marriage”. No couple ends up with a “gay certificate of marriage”. Marriage is a legally binding contract, subject to the laws of this country, the Family Law Act and the Divorce Act of the Court of Queen’s Bench. And guess what, the court doesn’t care if you’re gay or straight – the same laws apply to all married couples. If marriage commissioners aren’t willing to honor the laws of this country that granted them the power to marry, they aren’t worthy of marrying anyone.

And, finally, my favorite counterargument presented to defend the ideology of “Conscience Rights”:

“THEY (oh, how I LOVE the use of the word ‘they’ in this context) can always go somewhere else for access to THEIR healthcare, or for THEIR marriages.”

In fact, one supporter suggested that the queers just get themselves a queer commissioner and all will be right with the world.

And Rosa Parks could have just walked home.

Harvey Milk could have stayed in the closet.

Gloria Steinhem could’ve stayed in her kitchen and baked cookies.

Millicent Fawcett could’ve sat silently while her husband and his cohorts discussed politics.

Martin Luther King Jr. could’ve dreamed about drinking from a “blacks only” water fountain for the rest of his life.

While discussing this issue on Twitter, the following comments were made by a devout Catholic, who has asked to remain anonymous:

As a Catholic, I see 2 points of view. 1) The misunderstanding of faith and teaching to deny a person to be treated w/dignity..and 2) the real pain that someone of faith may endure deep inside doing something they don’t agree with, like abortion. Seldom are issues b/w. What is wrong is denying anyone the human dignity they deserve, which outweigh all moral options.

There, my friends, is truth.

Conscience rights are not about civil liberties. They are not about freedom of speech. They are not about the rights of the individual. Conscience rights are a Libertarian bridge too far. Conscience rights are a form of legalized discrimination – a bitter pill to swallow even if one professes to be a Libertarian. And I can’t swallow that.

In conversations with my family over the past two days, many questions came up. Was I willing to look the fool by publicly declaring that I can’t, in “good conscience”, support this party after having so staunchly supported it on both Twitter and Facebook, and to my family and friends? Was I willing to say “hey, Wildrose, I’m outta here!” publicly and risk offending my friends, people I dearly care about? After all, I could just shut the hell up, no longer support the party on Twitter and Facebook, tell my family and friends I’ve had a change of heart and quietly vote for somebody else.

My 18 year old son, in all his emo, basement dwelling wisdom, said one thing that told me I needed to do what is right:

“Mom, don’t be another brick in the wall. The wall against equality for all.”

Word.

(A personal note to my son: Harley, I’m so proud of you. Thank you for reminding me of who I am, who I raised you to be when I most needed to be reminded of it.)

So… let the flames fan around me. I can take it. I’m far more willing to stand corrected than stand in hypocrisy. I’m far more willing to be called a “flip flopper” than I am to be called on professing to support gay rights and women’s rights while supporting a party that obviously has no respect for either. I may be a lot of things – self righteous, loud, abrasive, offensive – I own those less than admirable traits and I rarely make apologies for them.

But damn it, I’m no hypocrite.

Danielle Smith, I think you are a brilliant woman. I think you have a vision of government in Alberta that I could support. You are intelligent, savvy, bold, fiery… all of the things I admire. I applaud you for those traits. I’ve great respect for you and I say this in all sincerity. But my “conscience” dictates that I can’t support “Conscience Rights” and therefore, I can no longer support the Wildrose Party of Alberta.

Consider this “true” Alberta “Wild Rose” pruned from the WRP bush.

 

Note: The Wildrose Party’s policy on Conscience Rights appears at Health, B-17 HERE.

And in Danielle Smith’s own words:

The Wildrose is committed to the restoration and preservation of property rights, the improvement of Alberta’s Human Rights Commissions, and better protections for freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. As well, the Wildrose will ensure conscience rights for marriage commissioners and health professionals. This would ensure the protection of personal expression for individuals, while also ensuring that personal beliefs are respected for all Albertans. (source)

  • http://twitter.com/DaveKotsibie Dave_kotsibie

    Libertarianism comes riding in on a white horse, seen as the sensible savior to us all. The problem is that Neo Christian Conservatism and all it’s prejudices have hitched their wagon to it and are dragging it down. Until the social ideals are removed from the fiscal ideals, it will be seen as the fringe element it is so desperately not trying to be.      

  • Brkmc

    Raspberry Vodka & tonic cheers! Way to go Kikki!

  • http://twitter.com/DebTheLocavore Debra Krause

    Thank you for this :) 
    Your strength is admirable!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mysunnylife Mary Thomas

    No party has the perfect ideology that will benefit every living creature…. so it will be interesting to c which party u r going to take a shot at…. if this wise woman who promises to make a change is not given a chance!

  • http://www.confessionality.ca Kasia Gawlak

    Props to Harley for the Pink Floyd reference. Apt in this instance, as well as TIMELESS FOR ALL GENERATIONS.

  • Carla

    Gosh Kikki, I was hoping there was something there I could disagree with…. wait! there is!

    You said as a doctor you could deny treatment to a Christian because you are an atheist. Not really. Unless there is something in the Atheist bible that says thou shalt not treat Christians, I don’t think it would apply. You might not agree with them, but treating them doesn’t go against any of your beliefs.

    Crap. That’s all I got. 

  • Malvareztoye

     sometimes its difficult to not conclude that all who file in line behind a political party are of the same mindset-especially when one speaks of something as narrowly focused as  the extreme right. sometimes it is difficult to think that people who stand in file behind these extremist and close-minded politicos can actually be free-thinking individuals.

    but sometimes, all it takes, is to come upon the ‘awakening’ of such an individual, who is a thinker, and who has the courage to hold true to their own set of ethics when they are found-or discovered-to clash with the party they had previously been led to believe was one that had morals that approximated their own. and to have the courage to both admit that they were wrong, and to walk away.

    these are the people who need to be applauded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=697480426 John Winslow

    I don’t care who you vote for.  I don’t really care whether you are a supporter of gay rights, feminism, abortion on demand or any of those things.  What I do care about is you are close minded to the beliefs and freedoms of those who don’t share yours.  

    Call it gender reassignment, call it a sex change, call it whatever you want.  There are many who find these procedures repugnant and a slap in the face to our beliefs.  I have never said they should not be done. I have never protested against them.  But, I have to listen to you slam ME because I don’t believe these things to be right.

    The hypocratic oath does not require, anywhere in it’s few sentences, a catholic doctor to prescribe birth control pills.  So if a girl wishes to be immoral and sleep around rather than wait for marriage, go to one of the thousands of doctors who will prescribe them.  By the way, there are several family planning clinics in Edmonton, and all throughout Alberta.  If a woman chooses to not have children, she can go to other doctors.  Access to birth control is not hard to attain.  By the way, I know at least two Catholic doctors who do prescribe birth control pills, not for that purpose, but for other purposes the pills can be used for.  They prescribe them to control and to heal, not to be a barrier to parenthood.  That is what the Hypocratic Oath requires.

    I’ll give you the point on marriage commissioners.  However, why should they have to marry anyone they have moral or religious issues with?  Are you stating all government officials should be liberal secular atheists without religious convictions and personal beliefs?  If I don’t hire someone because they are gay I can be sued.  If a person can’t be a marriage commissioner based on his or her beliefs, is that not discrimination on religious grounds?  As we have all read, not a single marriage commissioner in Alberta has refused to marry a gay couple.  When was the last time a gay couple, or a straight couple for that matter, walked in and asked to have a specific commissioner marry them?  I imagine the instances are few and far between.  I can see an issue in a small town where there is only one commissioner.  I suppose it wouldn’t be wrong, in that instance only, to ensure the sole commissioner is willing to marry anyone.  Then again, when was the last time a gay marriage occurred in a one horse town in Alberta?

    I bite my tongue on all your liberal beliefs.  I don’t hate anyone for who they are or who they choose to marry.  All I ask is for the same consideration, to be accepted with my belief system and not be judged.  Isn’t that what the LGBTLMNOP community has been asking for? (Yes I was being funny with the LMNOP because so many damned letters get added to LGBT over the years, it is hard to be politically correct when typing them).

    So Kathleen, I say this not because you choose not to vote WRP.  That is your, and anyone’s prerogative, so long as you vote.  However, I am tired of constantly being made to feel like a second rate citizen simply for having religious convictions.  It is time for people of faith to make a stand.  Not a stand to hate, as you are perfectly aware I hate no one based on their religious beliefs or sexual orientation.   However, the time has come, for me at least, to say ENOUGH.  Our beliefs are, to us, every bit as important as yours are to you.  We are not liberal secularist atheists.  Our rights should be every bit as protected as yours.  So, until YOU agree to protect my right not be forced to accept that which my religious beliefs will not allow me to accept, I suppose we have nothing to talk about anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/DaveKotsibie Dave_kotsibie

    See this is why a part of me is happy we don’t have a long election cycle but at the same time the longer it goes the longer the right wing fringe can’t hold their tongue any longer. Call it the Rick Santorum syndrome. The more the WRP vocal supporters show their true colours the more the moderate voter has to really question their motives and hidden agenda. As we are seeing with the US GOP the losers in this movement are women, lower income families, minorities, and the LGBT community. God, Guns and the Bible, thats the WRP motto. 

  • http://twitter.com/DaveKotsibie Dave_kotsibie

    It was a cliche at the start but the longer we go into this relatively short election cycle the more and more the WRP are coming off as Tea Party Lite. Well not necessarily Ms. Smith who I actually admire a great deal even though I do not agree will all of her policies even though there are a few I think are spot on. It’s her followers who more and more are coming across as Rush Limbaugh wannabe’s. Sorry but this is my Alberta and that is  not what I want want.   

  • Ardent Lefty

    I probably disagree with you politically about a hell of a lot, but thank you for this:

    “I’m far more willing to stand corrected than stand in hypocrisy.”

    If everyone (or at least significantly more people) showed that much integrity this province would be in far better shape regardless of who’s in government.

  • http://twitter.com/jkwaldie Jonathan Waldie

    You have the right to do as you choose, but in my opinion, you are over reacting.  This issue is not in the Wildrose platform, and we are electing a government that will implement their platform, they will have no mandate to do anything beyond it….if they choose to make a move on this topic or any other not in their platform, they will have to ask for another mandate, or face the wrath of voters in next election.  As Danielle indicated in the first few days of the campaign, she will take her marching orders from Albertans.  The alternatives in this election are lyers, cheats and theives or almost worse yet, socialists who have no respect for my money.  To me, it is a simple choice, it is time for Wildrose….the voters are in charge. I’d be interested to know which of the other choices you may choose to support?

  • Judge Wapner

    I’m sorry… could you clarify something for me?  Are you claiming discrimination against you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mysunnylife Mary Thomas

    Thanks I bit my tongue and did not write it but thanks for doing it…. saved my day!

  • http://twitter.com/jkwaldie Jonathan Waldie

    This has absolutely nothing to do with US politics….it doesn’t even have anything to do with Federal Canadian politics, it’s Alberta….do we want to keep lyers and thieves in charge, or switch to a new group that has a clearly outlined platform, policies based on common sense and logic? Simple to me….I fear you make it too complicated!! If they turn out to also be lyers, cheats and thieves, they will be turfed out in 4 years….it’s called democracy….we simply do not have to endure incompetence!!

  • A Canadian Foodie

    What a brilliant piece of writing. A pleasure to read – and an eye opener. The sad thing about politics is none of the parties are clean. But, your point is very well taken. :)
    Valerie

  • Judge Wapner

    Two other notes… Your “joke” about LGBTLMNOP… not funny. In fact… it’s exactly the dismissive type of garbage I would expect from someone of “your beliefs”…

    Secondly… Christians having been the majoirty in North America for almost it’s entire history have been the perpetrators of all sorts of discrimination…wether it be racial, religious, gender related, or based sexual orientation.    Yes you have rights…and no one should take them from you.  But you have in NO WAY experienced what REAL discrimination is…You do NOT get to play the victim…so spare everyone the act.

  • BB

    So …let me understand this. As a Libertarian, you are in favor of individual rights provided they endorse the issues and positions you care about. I’m not sure if there isn’t a hypocrisy there either. Oh well …lots to go around . If only life was that simple.

  • Roger K

    Interesting take on “conscience rights.” I suppose my angle is fairly simplistic. I vote with my conscience. I let it be my guide through life. It’s my compass between right and wrong, as I see it. It prevents me from giving change to just anybody on the street that asks, but encourages me to give to charities in my community.

    I tend to vote right wing, so that makes me conservative. And I believe in Jesus. So that makes me Christian. I guess that makes me “Christian conservative.” I can’t help it if that’s how some people identify me, but they do so in a name-calling fashion. It doesn’t matter to them that I’m not a “fag-hater” or a “bible thumper.” It’s an acceptable McCarthyism for them. I’m the guy that thinks government should trim down and stop encroaching on people’s rights. Should anybody be forced to do something? That marriage commissioner who should have to perform gay marriages. Should she also be forced to marry a couple, one part of which she knows to be abusive? Your emphatic “hell yes” leaves little room for doubt.

    Furthermore, I find your examples easy. Catholic doctors and birth control pills. Oh my! No detente in sight. How hard it would be for her to find another doctor who would have no problem with the prescription.

    Should the visible minority shop keeper have to employ the Aryan brother? Should the Jehovah’s Witness have to receive a blood transfusion?

    This is what it’s come to. I like analogies, so I’ll try one.

    If I’m in an orchard and I’m hungry and the first tree I step to has no fruit, do I chop the tree down? Do I examine it’s roots? Do I sample its core and run tests? Do I dig it up, burn it, scatter the ashes and write a press release? Or do I just move to the next tree and eat some fruit? I guess if I’m hell bent on proving a point instead of having a bite (which is why I went there in the first place) I’ll expend all that energy. If I’m practical, I’ll accept the first tree’s condition and be glad that most trees aren’t like that and that this is a pretty nice orchard.

    So, why should you vote Wildrose? I dunno. Here’s why I’m gonna vote for them (I think). I’m voting WRP because I agree with their tax policies, their commitment to municipalities, their stance on healthcare, and because they’re not going to stand in the way of you feeling all high and mighty and morally superior to anybody whose views – moral, social, or other – you disagree with. We have laws and none of them condemn a person for growing up parochial. You and I see this world the same way right up to the point where we’re both disgusted by the ignorant behavior of others, but you take it one step further. You’d have them legally obligated to do things that go against their conscience. To me, that’s just another brand of oppression.

  • John’s Buddy

    I agree with John.  I will not stand for this aggression. It’s time to stop holding the middle aged white men and their beliefs down!

  • Smith

    You realize that the Hippocratic Oath forbids physicians from performing abortions, right? (And performing surgery)

  • http://twitter.com/stratyos Stratyos

    This is a very enjoyable article. Not necessarily because I’m concerned about the same issues as you, but because I can understand what it feels to suddenly (or maybe I should say, “finally”) realize that the people you’ve always highly supported actually disagree with you on a point (or points) that you care about strongly.

    Hope you’ll be able to find a party to support by voting day :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686725380 Leah Orr

    “If a girl wishes to be immoral and sleep around rather than wait for marriage…” How about “If a dude refuses to no longer wait for marriage and he sticks his dick in a lady and gets her pregnant he should somehow carry that child to term and not say a goddamn thing about because he’s a slut who deserved it and he could have gone to a better doctor.” Wait! That’s always happened. Women have sex with men. Sometimes we have it for funsies. Yeah…we’re “slutty” like that. And y’all like it. Right? So stop bitching about how it’s somehow the girl’s fault when she gets pregnant. And stop claiming it’s your right to lord over everyone else’s body. Your dick doesn’t make you King Dick (or the Dickersens).

  • Pingback: The Terrorism Campaign Intensifies #pcaa #wrp #abvote | Steven C Britton

  • Guest

    I think you need to name the candidate who explained WR views on this issue. Otherwise people are left to assume it could be any one of them.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Are you asking me, as a journalist of sorts, to reveal my source?! A source I guaranteed anonymity?
    Forget it. Period.

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/anbayanyay Ban Yan

     I’ve had it with people using religion, that thing which is supposed to make us better than what we are, as an excuse for egregious, jaw-dropping, horrible behaviour. Don’t take up a profession with professional duties that trump your own personal qualms, and then use religion as an excuse not to do your job. Don’t get a bunch of your friends to band together with you in the name of religion and try to keep the government from doing its job.

    If you can’t live in this dirty nasty world with the rest of us, then do the decent, honest thing and opt out — move to an enclave somewhere like the Hutterites do. It’s a perfectly reasonable and respectable course of action. It seems instead like religious people keep trying to drag the rest of us kicking and screaming into their cloister by fiat. Absolutely nothing good will come of that.

    Jesus didn’t tell anyone to behave like a bunch of judgemental isolationists. If your priest, bible study buddy or pastor tells you otherwise, slap him once and see whether he sticks around long enough for you to get the other cheek. OK, don’t actually slap anyone, but if they’re acting irresponsibly, you need to stand up and be the adult in the room for Christ’s sake, literally. The people who try and save society from the great unwashed ultimately always end up on the shameful, wrong side of things.

    Here’s a pretty spot-on essay about what bothers me in your reply. 
    http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html

  • Dane

    Your example for the marriage commissioner falls flat, sir Roger, in that domestic violence is a criminal action and an altogether reasonable reason to deny performing a marriage.  The crux of your argument is reasonable, but not so far removed from Kikki’s slant as you’d like to believe.

  • Matt Ward

    Your ability to criticize something you so openly supported and believed in is admirable. As a political science student right now, this article inspired me to be open-minded to new ideas, but also to remain analytical and critical. Good for you, people make mistakes, and sometimes things don’t exactly appear as they are. We’re only human.

  • Roger K

    Dane… you make my point for me. Domestic violence is (technically) only criminal once the violator is found guilty in a court. This doesn’t happen as frequently as it should. As such, one can be an abusive partner without being criminally deemed so. The hypothetical situation I’m describing is the Canadian condition where the bastard got off, though he’s guilty as hell and we know it.

  • eri

    Anyone who actually READS this article couldn’t possibly think of you as a flip-flopper. And anyone who’s telling you you should still vote WR anyway needs to shut up and respect that you’re not telling THEM not to vote that way, you’re expressing your own heartfelt considerations in your own blog. You are explaining things in a way that makes sense, and in a way that any of us could relate to situations in our own lives, political or not. I’m not walking away from this post with any kind of political message, to be honest, I’m walking away from it with a message of following your heart and being true to what you believe in. I don’t care what part of the political spectrum anyone is on, that’s something they should agree on as a Good Thing.

  • B. Love

    Your comments voice my own dilemna with the 2012 Election. I want change, I want a lot of it. The PC Party is…well I could ramble off hundreds of words that would otherwise depict my disappointment. I cannot in good conscious vote for a PC Party. I cannot identify with Sherman’s Liberals, and though I adore and admire Mr. Mason as an excellent leader of an ideaology he believes in- I cannot. That leaves me with the Wildrose. Yet, they have not attempted to separate themselves from the hate mongerers, the religious fanatics, the staunch conversatives that preach equality to white men and their blond haired women at the expense of anyone else lol.
    While their fiscal policies speak to me, these “family” and “conscious” values scare me. For every 3 reasonable WRP Candidates, there is one that leaves me with a lump in my throat that won’t go away. While I acknowledge that until the WRP is a ruling government, anything that they say is just “a saying”, that once in government, the WRP would realize quickly what does and does not fly with the province- that those who voted WRP are not the only population they must represent and with times, those extreme calls to action may disapate…BUT, I cannot vote for a REPRESENTATIVE that believes so far from what I do…that is not, in fact, representative at all.
    While the PCs face an identity crisis, I just struggle with the “should I or shouldn’t I vote at all” options.

  • http://twitter.com/frostiblack Kent M

    Kudos to you, Kikki. This is a great article and you should feel great.
    I applaud that, unlike so many, when you are presented with something that challenges your current position and leaves you with questions, you reserve the right to change your mind. I’d love to see more of that in this world, and commend you for it here.

    Also, quite frankly, the comments left here from “conscience rights’ supporters absolutely solidify my conviction that the issue makes the WRP a clear no-go for me.

  • Calgary1

    Conscience rights do not have to be written down anywhere to make them valid. If an atheist truly does not want to treat a Christian (or any other combination of doctor/patient), it does not have to be rooted in anything more that a genuinely held belief.

  • Dollhouseyyc

    in a nutshell… Well said and why I believe the agent of change in this province is the Alberta Party.

  • http://twitter.com/TrevorBoller trevor boller

    Thank you Kathleen for your educated and well written post.  I love the true colors of people that come out when they are threatened.  As a church going sinner, I am an advocate for the charter of rights and freedom. I am an advocate for absolute separation of church and state. I don’t even know how political parties even focus on moral issues during economic crisis of the world. Our focus should be Economics, not bribery, there is a difference. (distribution of public funds).  As a First Nation man, we seen how monies distributed does not work and should be reinvested. The test of true love from any church is how you are treated and I can see how some people’s fruits are, discounting any credibility from my opinion. Keep up with your values, for people are NOTHING without them. This is an election of elimination. 

  • Pingback: Wildrose Party gets a thorn in their name – Jasmine Franklin Media

  • http://twitter.com/DinkCheney Aaron J. Marko

    To be fair, conscience rights dictates that even though you will probably run into doctors who are conscientiously opposed to abortions, you will find plenty who are willing to perform the procedure.  Or gay marriage, even though you’ll have people in religious organizations who are opposed to performing gay marriages, you will have people like myself who are more than comfortable with officiating ceremonies.

    I do think that if a person is strongly morally opposed to something, they should probably have the right to refuse to do THAT THING whatever it may be. This is kind of a controversial opinion, I understand and I will accept not as many people who hold my personal beliefs will agree with me, but I strongly believe that there willing to do certain things like gender reassignment surgeries as there are who refuse to do them.

  • Lilyvioletgirl

    I think you may have missed the point of that example – she was trying to explain what conscience rights would allow, not what she would do.

  • Lilyvioletgirl

    Actually, it’s time for people of blind faith to have evidence to back up their beliefs. 

    “Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.” ~Christopher Hitchens~

  • Kristie Gomuwka

    I am going to impliment ‘conscience rights’ by not voting for a party with a female leader.  Women are starting to run this world and we need to put them back into their rightful place….pregnant, barefoot in a kitchen. 

    Does this sound ridiculous?

    Does this sound hypocritical coming from a party with a female leader?

    HUMAN RIGHTS are infact, human rights!

    wrp can take their hypocratic and hurtful policies and exit from the rear!

  • Patsyt

    When in power – particularly if a majority – they can do anything they damn well please. They can, and if history of a range of parties holds true, will implement things outside their platform. And yes, voters can be angry, but this is a province with a long-standing electile dysfunction, seemingly afraid to elect another party, with very low voter turnout, so I wouldn’t have quite that much faith. The problem is that once you are on a policy path, it’s harder to reign it in. You cannot hit ‘reset’ and do over.

  • Patsyt

    I think the conscience rights debate highlights how the very expression of our individual rights is dependent on others doing their jobs…

  • Patsyt

    I think you are comparing apples to oranges here. Marrying two people as is your job or providing them with a well established medical treatment consistent with clinical practice guidelines, both of which happen in service professions, is not the same as talking about employment. As an employer, you are not offering your employees a ‘service’. And as for the ‘just go to another clinic/marriage commissioner’ argument, you are assuming that another is easily available – not the case across the province.

  • Patsyt

    Even though I’m not politically aligned with you – I think the dangers of libertarianism is a prejudiced society is too great, and take issue with many WRP policies on issues like transit, etc – I admire your reclaiming, if you will, of the ‘flip-flopper’ title. I truly despise that we use terms such as that to smear people when they change their minds due to more information or more careful consideration. A healthy democracy requires that people can resist the ease of dogma and ideology. Kudos to you.

  • Redneck Mommy

    I will not vote for a party that offers the remote chance to deny a person their human rights under the guise of ‘conscience rights’ just because I want an economic reform for our province. I will not step backwards like that. I truly believe it’s time for a party change in government but not EVER at this expense. So no, I will not be voting WRP. Not ever until I believe they aren’t hiding some weird judeo Christian conservatism hypocritical manifest that wants to take away the rights of women, LGBTQ and anyone else’s civil liberties. Because personal freedoms and rights trump EVERYTHING. It’s what makes our country one of the best in the world. 

  • Patsyt

    Both of the surgical procedures are referred to are done only by designated specialists; that is, they have chosen the additional training to do so. The issue is not so much finding someone who will do them, but making sure that any physician – who works in a service industry chosen by them – refers people appropriately and non-judgmentally for those services. Birth control is, however, trickier, given that it’s a basic competence and expectation of family doctors. I tend to fall on the side where physician paternalism is not state-endorsed.

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    To the best of my knowledge (and he is welcome to correct me), John is a proud member of Edmonton’s Jewish community…you know, the one built largely by survivors of the Holocaust…  

    Christians all over the planet have been the victims of extreme discrimination and hate crime and have been since the earliest days of Christianity.  For a very very brief overview of some of the most prominent martyrs in Christianity see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_martyrs

    Discrimination is wrong and painful for all those who indure it.  Arguing that one group isn’t worthy of being concerned about discrimination is a pretty weak case. 

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    Consciences rights extend beyond religion. “I’ve had it” with people assuming that only the religious have moral issues with certain social trends.   

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    Kristie it would be your RIGHT to not vote for a female leader.  While I would disagree with your perspective, one of the beauties of democracy is that you don’t have to vote for someone you don’t agree with…just as Kikki doesn’t have to vote for the WRP.  I would support your right not to vote for a female, not to work for a female, to denounce feminism, to refuse a female to enter into your home…in short, I respect your right to exercise your rights. 

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    Conscience Rights are the reason abortion is legal in this country to begin with…

    Conscience Rights are the definition of personal freedoms- in fact, they are defined as the fundamental freedoms in our Charter of Rights. 

  • http://twitter.com/fatdavejohnston Fat Dave Johnston

    Oh for crying out loud…

    There are several things that I disagree with in regards to the WRP than I do agree with considering my christian upbringing… just as there are things I disagree with based on world experiences and personal enlightenment over the years…

    … but the day I decide to let the law of the land dictate what is morally acceptable is the day I get put in the ground.

    The moral conscience is that of the person undergoing the procedure, not that of the person performing it.

  • Dotti

     Four years, huh? Have you seen the ads by the current government regarding what a good job they’re doing of taking care of seniors?

    Liars? Yes. Turfed in four years? Buh hahahaha.

  • Brkmc

    Have you considered a look at the AB Party? I am a member but do not have a candidate in my riding. I Struggle with the same voting ideals as you…

  • uglyisbetter

    The fact that you assume someone on birth control is sleeping around shows your ignorance and the underlying flaws in your logic.  You are basing an argument on judgements rather than logic; something that is rather humorously present in many libertarian and conservative arguments.  These “rights” you speak of simply grant more power to those who already hold power over, say, someone’s health, and you seem to think it’s okay that doctors undermine their responsibility to their patients by superimposing their judgements upon them!  If I were an emergency medical worker could I deny saving someone from a heart attack if I saw they were wearing a Wildrose Party pin when I get there?  The argument against this I hear from people like you is that your religious beliefs are “beliefs” and my political beliefs are only “views” and therefore your beliefs trump mine, thus demonstrating the utter chaos that would ensue after implementing such a ridiculous thing.  If the Wildrose Party has a problem with the LAWS OF THE LAND then they can grow up and address them directly, rather than trying to get around them by superimposing “rights” over top to enable certain groups avoid laws they don’t agree with.

  • http://twitter.com/anbayanyay Ban Yan

     Me too! It’s too easy to say that the scriptures say yada yada and end of. Religion gives people a widely accepted get outta jail free card, after which they are exempted from the pesky need to make a rational argument for their position. I’m glad you’ve opted against using that approach in favour of rationally arguing for your position in such a way that others can rationally respond.

    Was there any particular social trend you have in mind?

  • http://twitter.com/KikkiPlanet Kikki Planet

    Be careful, John. Your extreme zealotry is on display here and only serves as proof to what I state in the article about how “Conscience Rights” are simply discrimination disguised in right wing rhetoric.  

    As a caucasian male, born in North America,  you have more power and more rights than any minority of race, gender, sexual orientation.  Should you wish to use your “religion” as a means to claim victimization, I will point out the flaws in that by stating that you are already protected under the laws of this country that protect religious freedom. Further, you’ve never had to fight for those rights – I’ve had to fight for separation of church and state while you and your peers attempt to force what I see as hogwash mythology into public schools and government. I’ve had to fight prayer in public schools, where it had no place being in the first place.  I’ve had to fight teachers as recently as the past two years who told my sons they should “pray to god and thank him for their test scores”.   

    You’ve not argued one fact set forth in the article with any counterargument that carries validity, choosing instead to engage in rhetoric and claim victimization when all I’ve stated in the article is my personal choice on why I will not be voting WRP in this election.In your world, you are “victimized” by those who simply want nothing more than to be equal. In your world, denying them equality is somehow perfectly acceptable because they, what they represent, the personal decisions they make that are protected by the laws of this country are somehow “offensive” to you and therefore they should be denied those rights.  In your world, your “religious objections” to their lifestyle, their personal choices, their sexual orientation supercede their rights to basic human rights.In your world, your personal judgment of them allows you the right to fight against their equality by fighting for the rights of others to refuse service to those who offend you.  You cloak this in a cape of “defending YOUR rights” when really, your rights need no defending. They are yours and always have been.  As a caucasian male in this country, you’ve not had to fight for the right to anything. It’s been given to you, granted to you by virtue of your race, sex and sexual orientation – the very same things that have kept far too many in history from the luxury of the rights you so take for granted.As a caucasian male, born in North America, you are already the most powerful being on the face of the planet.  All you had to do to earn that? Be born a white hererosexual with a penis.  Kudos to you. Quite an accomplishment for all of that power. I’m certain it was a lot of hard work.My stand on this issue,  my willingness to state very clearly why I could not support the WRP any longer, was a personal one. But you show that decision no respect.  You’ve referred to me as “mad” and encouraged attack on me for making a PERSONAL DECISION that will affect MY LIFE ONLY.  It is some members of your party, and some candidates that chose to escalate this to the level of attacks. I attacked nothing buy policy. In fact, I complimented Danielle Smith several times in my article. If a person can’t attack your party’s policy with being subjected to personal attacks by some party members, that speaks to the lack of character of the attackers, not this writer. Some members of your party managed to make themselves look quite foolish on Twitter today while I stood back and took the barbs with good humour and no offense.  You stand as a representative of the party you support. And that says more about this party than I ever could.Kathleen.

  • Jono Mueller

     John Winslow, you represent the very essence of what is wrong with the WRP – close minded, bigot, and stupid to boot. Stupid because you cannot separate that thing called “church and state”.

    It’s this kind of shallow minded, parochial, and unsophisticated ideology that tarnishes us and give Alberta a bad rep across the country. It’s you and your ilk which I hope to have defeated. I hope that your bigotries die with you, and that your children become more enlightened.

  • Frankinstein

    I am wildly applauding you for this response – and thanking you for saying it. Took the words right out of my keyboard!

  • Jiggs

    Haha, I have to say I love that you feel discriminated against just because your beliefs don’t get to trump other’s rights. Religion! 

  • Jiggsauce

    Yes, because Alberta exists in a bubble where ideas never ever ever come from outside and everything is sunshine and unicorns.

  • RickNewcombe

    The emotion this issue evokes highlights why a Wildrose government would be your best choice for government:

    1. Free votes for the MLA  – Wildrose MLA’s “work” for constituents not the party
    2. Recall legislation – If your MLA does not represent your wishes…demand explanation and/or fire them
    3. Referenda on important issues – getting direct citizen input on important issues

  • Darrell C

    blah blah….Kristie easy to say who won’t vote for…always easy to find a reason…now say who your going to vote instead and why, then we can see what comments come from that

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    You realize there’s a reason vote’s are “secret ballot” in this country, right? You realize even asking someone who they are going to vote is … at the very least… incredibly rude?

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Tremaine Lea

    “I fear you make it too complicated!! If they turn out to also be lyers, cheats and thieves, they will be turfed out in 4 years….it’s called democracy….we simply do not have to endure incompetence!!”

    You missed a zero. They’ll be turfed in *40* years. That’s how long Albertan’s put up with the Tories.

  • IDigYourGF

    hahahahahahahaha….. that’s a good one! hahhahahahaha…wait, wait… okay, I’m trying to catch my breath …. this is a joke, right? hahahaha. Lord I hope so because if it is, we share the same sense of humour. Stop oppressing the religious white guys! I think that will be our first lesbian feminist t-shirts. 
    xoxo

  • http://www.alfredliveshere.com Brahm (alfred lives here)

    Fantastic post as always, and bang on the money with where you stand in my non-objective way. I think Danielle Smith is smart and has some really good positions, I fear too much of the party is Tea-Party-esque in terms of right wing zealots to actually be given power.

    I hope lots of people read this!

  • IDigYourGF

    Dear John,
    Our feisty team of lesbians, dykes, transexuals, transgenders, pansexuals, bisexuals and queers (you forgot the “Q” in LGBTLMNOP but that’s okay) and anyone else you find morally repugnant, our community loves and embraces you. In fact, our IDYGF crew is considering creating an “I Love You John Winslow” t-shirt just to emphasize just how much we adore you, despite our different views and opinions. Isn’t it democracy wonderful! <3! I sure think it is!

    In regards to your  comment regarding women who have premarital sex needing birth control, don't fret, friend, as needing to find a doctor to prescribe birth control is the last of my worries *WINK*. (I'm assuming you're probably either married or celibate, so you don't really need to worry about this either, yes?)

    We should sip some alcoholic-free wine and talk about how much we love and respect women.
    xoxo
    I Dig Your Girlfriend 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/64JZEIYPW2XZTP7ZH5A43BJSSY Jim Strauss

    I’m going to be a complete dick here, so please, feel free to ignore the rest of this post.

    But you just now realized that a party whose base is made up of the most backwards rednecks in the sticks (who are incidentally severely over-represented in the Legislature – equality for cities.  There’s a slogan I can get behind.)  So anyway, your former party’s base is rural rednecks, city rednecks, anyone whose daily limit of reading is confined the Sun.

    And now you’re surprised that Danielle Smith’s grocery-getter’s bumper is adorned with just two stickers, “Vote Wildrose” and “God Hates Fags”?  Sheesh.

    Danielle Smith is smart, but she’s unprincipled.  She’s merely selfish and completely self-absorbed, like most libertarians.  What started out as “principles” (really, just a way to make life easier for selfish selfs), is now ‘evolving’ into a get-elected-at-any-cost-strategy.  So you know, Danielle is TOTALLY not like any other politician.

    Oh, and Shannon Stubbs needs a daddy.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    What can I say? There is a sucker born every minute. And in the minutes I was supporting the WRP, I was the “sucker”.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/livingsanctuary Paula Kirman

    Separation of church and state. Bottom line, yo.

  • http://twitter.com/livingsanctuary Paula Kirman

    Oh, and I never trusted the WRP as far as I could throw any of the candidates. We’ve had bad times with a right wing government for decades now. Going even further to the right is not going to help any. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=801630503 Alyssa Nider

    Fantastic article, and I admire your convictions Kathleen. 

    If only there was more love and understanding in the world than opposition to people’s individual differences. We all deserve the same amount of respect and fair treatment no matter our background.

    DON’T EVER STOP BEING YOU.

  • MJ

     Dear John,

    About a year or so ago, I was walking with my daughter in a park. I was approached by a friendly looking person, and asked, ‘is this your daughter’ (note: I am Indian, my daughter is mixed race, but looks white) I smiled and said, ‘yes’. This person looked straight at me and said ‘you are going to hell for lying, you heathen. How dare you claim this pure child as your own?’ My daughter was crying at this person’s tone, and I quickly raced away.

    Have you ever faced this kind of discrimination because of your a) race b) gender? Have you felt helpless as someone yells ‘you black bitch, stop taking our men’ at you because you’re married to a white man? Have you ever been asked (and pretty consistently) ‘are you the nanny? when you are around with your own child?

    If your answer to the above is no, then no, you are NOT a persecuted minority. NO. You are NOT discriminated against. And I’ll be honest. I do not respect your values. Your values that clearly tell me that I am an inferior human being that may be tolerated cause the government misguidedly offers me rights, but not accepted.

    And you know what the biggest joke is? I was born a Catholic.

  • http://empireavenue.com/PATMAN patman023

    If my conscience dictated that criminals did not deserve my care as a doctor, these rights would allow me to refuse them service, even in the case that they had a pardon granted. It does not matter my belief system, only that I held that as a belief.

  • http://empireavenue.com/PATMAN patman023

    As an IDYGF-approved Lesbro, I want- nay- NEED one of these shirts. I will wear it proudly, and heck, show up to WRP events with it during this campaign!

  • Marylyn

    As a newcomer to your blog I was impressed by your insight. Kudos to your son! I see the WRP as a scary movement towards what is best for the white (male) and the privileged. Less government is a ruse where lower taxes serve the rich, not the middle class and screw the poor. Fundamentally, political parties can be broken down into two guiding principles – the party of “me” (the right) and the party of “we” (the left). I try to understand the rationale of the Conservatives and WRP and their sentimental need for the “good old days”and determination to be just like the Americans. But clearly, this is flawed thinking because what is happening in the U.S.A is a complete failure. As a spiritual person, what “right” do I have to dictate another’s? This is the 21st century, it seems ridiculous to be debating ones sexuality or sexual activities or more accurate, women’s sexual activities. When will we grow up……….

  • Tsart4u

    Well said, free-thinker. :)

  • http://twitter.com/prosperityeng Eric Petersen

    As I applaud your ability to take a stand, there are some fundamental problems coming from both sides of this conversation. 

    First, so many of you assume that the rest of Alberta s made up of fundamentally broken people – too stupid or inept to be able to make a proper decision (but you are the shining light of intelligence). There are a lot of people in this province that learned everything they know out in the fields with their cattle or wheat – they sacrificed that for you. It saddens me to watch someone discriminate someone else just because they are educated (or appear so) and their opponent is not. Many good hearted Albertans are not confrontational often leaving conversations like this to a VERY limited vein of our society.

    Second, whether to the right wing or to the left, you all strive to point out how wide the divide is. Wake up people – whether you are fighting for equality or protection of your beliefs, highlighting the gorge between us acts as a river that only makes it deeper. Kikki, this is the biggest problem I have with your article.

    We have some VERY diverse beliefs in Alberta and while we work out this ever-so-delicate issue of coming to a consensus (which is likely impossible in any society) we need to build bridges, not put up fences.

    It seems to me that some days our world makes some gigantic steps forward in globalized awareness and generally getting to better understand one another. On the other days, I read things like this and watch us slip further backward as we try to point out why the other person is wrong. People of Earth, GET IT TOGETHER!!! I venture to guess that most people on this planet would have a belief that another one of us would find deplorable. That my friends is diversity. Wake up and smell the sweet, sweet stench. 

    We will love it one day and hate it the next but what do you want to remember when this is all done? Do you want to focus on how much you dislike the other person’s point of view? Or how good of a conversation you had with someone who was not tolerant of your point of view but made a couple shades of change as they began to understand where you are coming from? Take a moment to watch this video before you post - http://www.nfb.ca/film/north_wind_and_sun_fable_by_aesop.

    Kikki, you may not agree with this stance but as the powerful force you are, I would have preferred you to stay engaged and inspire change from within. You truly underestimate the influence you had with your warm smile and sharp wit. Unfortunately the majority of Albertans are luke-warm on this topic (we have so many others that are optically more critical) but jumping ship just leaves that ship with one less person to make a difference (whether it is the right ship or not).

    I have hope for this province and our country that despite the petty actions and words, we will rise above the sensational media and truly come together as a people. I can’t control the comments that come after mine, but I hope we can find a way to reconcile rather than rend this fragile relationship.

    Does the WRP have it right? Probably not – but neither do the others. I don’t expect the new government to be perfect, but I do expect them to listen to what we as Albertans have to say. And we would do well to help each other to understand where we are coming from while respecting their point of view.

    Or, maybe I’m just some redneck who’s opinions don’t mean anything.

  • http://twitter.com/DaveKotsibie Dave_kotsibie

    You know Kikki I was going to ask the same question as Jim.
    You seem like a fairly intelligent and independent woman so what blinded you to
    what a hell of a lot of us were already thinking? We all want change from the
    PC”s but at what cost?

    My own personal experience when asking the WPR Candidates, party
    officials and staunch supporters any questions about information on policy
    decisions has been met with what I can only describe as immature arrogance and
    outright ignorance about their policy details. They don’t even know past the
    talking points. Hell, I asked one candidate (cough)DonMartin(cough) who posted
    on twitter how great the WRP Health Spending account was. I asked can I get more
    information and he replied he’d send me details in email. I sent him my email
    which I don’t think he was expecting and heard nothing. Finally asked Danielle
    on twitter and he went apoplectic crying about how was he supposed to explain
    the details on twitter. My guess is he actually had no fuckin clue but he had
    it written on a 3×5 card from head office and started to tweet it.

    You see it now on twitter when they are backed into a corner
    about details they regroup, try to change the subject and then play the passive
    aggressive victim. I’ve said it before, I admire Danielle but her base are
    personally people I would not want to be associated with. Look at the Socialist,
    Terrorist, Communist labels being thrown around. Intelligent people don’t counter
    an argument like that. People who write manifestos in a cabin in Idaho do.

    It’s surprising how little people use google to try and gain
    perspective. When you google the names of a lot of these people let’s just say
    some interesting history comes back.  

    An informed voter is a dangerous voter. ;-)

  • http://empireavenue.com/PATMAN patman023

    First to be implemented, Conscience Rights.

    Then what? Ignoring all sound medical advice, and forcing doctors (whether their conscience dictates it necessary or not) to jam an ultrasound probe into a woman’s vagina if she decides (for whatever reason, medically necessary or otherwise) to have an abortion? And then from there?

    I cannot support a party that would permit the deeming of one of my family members as sub-human.

    I cannot support persons, regardless of the fact they are a Heterosexual Caucasian Jewish Male, a Polyamorous Pansexual Mixed-race Atheist Transgendered Female, or *ANYTHING* else out there, who hold the position that they, and their beliefs, are superior to anyone else out there.

    Much love to all.

    P

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584440385 Christie Wiebe

    Another fantastic post Kathleen! I’m yet again challenged to dig deeper into my grey matter….

    There is one thing you said that I think needs repeating….
    ….”Redneck Riviera”….lol

    I love you, that is all.

    But for real, thank you for so eloquently being a voice I am proud to support!!

  • Pingback: thorny candidates are the wildrose party’s biggest liability. | daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Thank you, old (yet young and hot) friend. You’ve always been so supportive of me, even when you have not necessarily agreed and I am so appreciative of that. Love to you and… “that guy”.

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Neal

    I don’t believe you were ever seriously entertaining voting for the Wild Rose party.  I’m not a supporter of theirs but this whole thing seems like way too big of a setup.  If gay rights are a key voting issue for you then you simply never would have found your way to that party.  You’d have to be naive beyond believability for that to happen.  And since you clearly know how the Internet works, I just don’t buy the story that you went out to party events without prior research.  So this whole thing seems like BS.  Sorry.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    As I stated in the article, I directed asked both candidates and supporters about gay rights. Their answer is contained in my article. Further, this article would not have received the attention it’s received had it not been for the resulting attack on the part of some supporters of the Wildrose who accused me of being a terrorist, a liar, a crazy woman, a conspirator. Your accusation is neither original nor carries any validity for one specific reason: what did I have to gain? I have humiliated myself by publicly supporting this party when it goes against all I believe in. My website has not advertisers or sponsors and is paid for entirely by me, so there was no financial gain to be had. I’ve been subjected to attacks on Twitter and I’ve lost a very dear friend because of my stand on this issue. So I ask you: what did I possibly have to gain?
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://twitter.com/Imparo Troy Wason

    Good morning Kathleen,

    Let me begin by saying how much I have admired your courage, conviction & principles the past 24 hours. The barrage of insults, innuendo & downright nastiness you have endured has been incomprehensible to say the very least. You have handled it with incredible grace under pressure. I have spent over 28 years in the political realm and I have seen nothing like it.

    I’m sure you have already gathered without my full disclosure that I am a card-carrying Progressive Conservative. I have been a member since my second year (circa 1984) at the University of Calgary. Unfortunately, the ski club wasn’t doing it for me. I make no apology for either affiliation. The PCAA Principles have mostly been aligned with my beliefs. For better or worse.

    This is not to say that the PCAA, a human construct, has been perfect. In most elections 40-60 percent of Albertans turnout to exercise their franchise and 35-40% of that vote gets a majority. Parliamentary democracy at its finest! I can say, however, from personal experience, that all of our legislative representatives, regardless of Party affiliation, deserve our gratitude for the work they do. 

    Like the majority of the PCAA, I consider myself a social moderate and fiscal conservative. Not always an easy act to balance, but I remember how Premier Lougheed did it so well. He built a big tent and opened it up to those Albertans who saw a bright future for their province.

    One could argue, he succeeded beyond expectations. However, that was then, this is now. The PCAA, not surprisingly, has a lot of baggage. Ask anyone who has been married for 40 years what they have been through in their lives. Lots of good, some bad. 

    In my opinion, your blog and the reaction to it by supporters of the WRP is a microcosm of what I have seen for many years within the PCAA, i.e. the struggle between social moderate and conservative for the soul of the organization. The split, similar to what happened with the PC Party of Canada, was inevitable. Some lamented, others rejoiced.

    Now, the battle is out in the open. Increasingly, epithets of red tory, socialists, commies, pinkos, lefties, terrorists, etc. are wantonly thrown about by former colleagues, friends and complete strangers with venomous and bitter vitriol, not only at the usual suspects, i.e. NDP & Liberals, but the moderates of their former Party and the province’s newest political entity, the Alberta Party. Bold derision for the ‘other’ is the common goal. ‘True conservatism’ has become code, i.e. primacy of the individual as long as they are like me. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. We’ll bitterly criticize you, but if you do it to us, it’s typical liberal scare-mongering.

    Regardless of the outcome on April 24th I truly hope that we can have an open discussion, without fear, about ‘conscience rights’ and what it means to Albertans. Your courage to write has prompted this dialogue and we thank you, Kathleen.

    _______________________________

    Reality: 72% of Albertans (+/- 3.4%) are committed to voting for one or the other of the ‘conservative’ entities, if an election were called today. The remainder will split their vote among the other four recognized political parties. The next Premier will be a woman. Period. Full stop.
    The helm: Two intelligent, gifted human beings. Both capable, intelligent, but only one, in my opinion, has the experience to lead this province.
    Supporting characters: 174 well-meaning Albertans. Some known, most not. 28 days to find out.
    Unknowns: PCAA – most of the skeletons are out of the closet. WRP – still finding them.
    Dilemma: The devil you know vs. the devil we are learning more about every day.

    One Party has been in power for over 40 years, the other has deep roots in the Social Credit Party of Alberta. The PCAA is led by a social moderate with international experience in constitutional and legal reform. The leadership of the WRP is led by a libertarian with extensive media and public policy experience. Their aims and policies are significantly different and should not be lumped together as ‘those conservatives’. There is a difference.

    The ballot question has already been established. Do you put your trust in the Party that you have known for most of your life, or, do you change for the sake of change? That’s the question.

    Either way, on April 24th, the sun will rise, Alberta will not fall into an abyss and the legislature will look significantly different. May Albertans choose wisely.

    Parliamentary democracy works best with a strong opposition from all political stripes and philosophies. 

  • Jerrymacgp

    Libertarianism seems to me to be baed on the concept that the only liberty being protected is the right to be a white, middle-class, fundamentalist Christian, intolerant of persons of other cultures, races, or sexual orientations.

  • Jono Mueller

     > You’d have them legally obligated to do things that go against their
    conscience.

    Yes, yes, and more YES. What if it was against a Marriage Commissioner’s conscience to marry a mixed race couple? Would you agree with the MC bowing out? Well guess what, I give not a flying fuck what YOU or the MC might care about. It is the law of the land, and you either do you job or you step down.

    The problem with you and your parochial ilk is that you want to feel all high and morally superior about issues that mainstream society disagrees with. Well, tough noogies for you and yours. You are allowed to not agree with the moral rights people are born with. You are not allowed to have them imposed through governance.

    > To me, that’s just another brand of oppression.

    Yes, and jailing Catholic priests for sexual abuse – you know, just because some law says it’s illegal – is also oppression, in your books.

    I would rather be overtaxed, in debt, and governed by the dippers than have our society reframed by rednecks.

    And yes, that’s what you and the WRP come across as – rednecks. If you don’t like the label, fix it. You know what you have to do. You just don’t want to.

  • B. Love

    pretty sure her message was not intended towards you or your beliefs, only that she did not share them, and thus will vote accordingly. Now your reponse; however, has only served to justify her comments.

  • JL

    White, middle class, *straight male*…

  • Pingback: Not this politics bullshit again.. | Video Games and Building Blocks

  • Lexi

    Hi Kathleen

    First a disclosure, I’m a member of the left, and I have only ever voted NDP or Liberal or Green in my life. I have never, and will never entertain fiscal conservatism, and I greatly fear what would happen to our province & nation if we hand over power to the Christian conservatives and religious right. From my standpoint it seemed that no fiscal conservative would be willing to walk away from their party of choice regardless of the where their party stands on social issues.I was left believing that either the fiscal right didn’t have any moral imperatives other than siding with the religious right, or that they just were too apathetic to care.

    Yet,  you have restored a modicum of hope that the fiscal right be a social progressive and stand up against the social conservative side of their own parties. I was starting to believe that no such animal existed.I am sorry to see the vitriol of the WRP against you. Believe me, I have seen it before, after all being left wing, I too have been called a communist terrorist pinko (even by my own brother-in-law). 

  • Jono Mueller

     Zita, are you _that_ daft? Like really? Can you not differentiate between individual choices and beliefs vs. legally based and societally held norms?

    In the civilized world, we have something called collective rights. They sometimes trump individual rights. Among these are freedom from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, etc. etc.

    You most certainly have the rights to believe what you want, and arguably, to an extent, to communicate those beliefs. You do not have the right to exercise those beliefs if you are in a position of state-sanctioned authority or oversight, or to let those beliefs inform your decision making when you act on behalf of the state.

    To put it in words you might understand, since you seem to be having trouble distinguishing individual vs. collective rights, YES – you have the right not to work with a woman. Or a native person, or someone with a skin colour you do not approve of. It is your individual right to quit your job and to associate with like minded people.

    But NO, you do not have the right to deny women or natives, or blacks a job based on their sex, ethnicity, or skin colour. Looks to me like the WRP wants to turn the clock back on an established norm, those of collective rights, and return us to the backward ages of stupidity for which many have fought  hard to change.

    I don’t give a shit whether you respect my rights to anything. What I do care about is having my rights trumped by your bigotries.

    If you don’t like gay marriage – a CIVIL, not religious institution – then dont get gay married. Simple as that.

  • http://www.gratefultobeofthisworld.blogspot.com/ Dea

    this is my first visit to your blog and may I just stand up and give you HUGE PROPS for sharing this experience with the public and your readers, your friends, your allies, and everyone. This is such an important step to take – and to take it sooooooooo publically is very, very admirable. You have definitely NOT wasted your crisis of conscience! I had a similar experience when I left my church, and then belief in god behind me. Since then I’ve been saying I’ve found more humility in saying I don’t know than I know when it comes to god and church. But I could just as equality quote you –

    “I’m far more willing to stand corrected than stand in hypocrisy.” Well said. I’ve never met you, but you’ve touched me deeply today.

  • Jesse G.

    John, I have read your comment many times over as well as the whole article I am very much torn. Well what you say is not wrong, the simple fact is there is no right or wrong response to this whole issue. Though I will share with you my beliefs, I believe a government is here to serve the people and a government needs to look at what is best for ALL its people not just any group.As it stands Canada is a multicultural country who accepts every one of every nationality and of every belief. Most of these beliefs do not agree on many issues that stem around human rights. It is because of this I feel the government should have no religious backing to it, it should look at the country and determine what is best for Canada, it’s people as a whole not what each group of people want.
     
    People like Doctors, marriage commissioners, teachers and government employees are paid by Taxes. EVERYONE pays taxes and why should any tax payer be refused by any Doctor as there taxes pay that Doctor? Marriage commissioners that are paid by the government should not be allowed to refuses to Marry anyone but I feel they should be allowed to say they do not agree to the marriage on personal level and should be allowed to recommend someone who is. Why should we have to pay more taxes just to hire more people to do the same job because some feels/believes they shouldn’t have to do what they are being paid for?
     
    This is not about taking anything away from a person with beliefs this is giving everyone equal rights when it comes to government funded services. Remember at one time women and non-white men were consider a lower class of citizen and did not get all the same rights based on the religious beliefs and we have come a long way from that and now For most people with beliefs it is almost unthinkable to consider either of those to be acceptable. As I said before, there are so many people with beliefs how can you make an exception for one person beliefs and not everyone? Does that mean a Muslim worker can refuses to provide a service to any women who is not accompanied by man? Or that a teacher can refuse to teacher can refuses to Teach sexual education, evolution, or many other courses because it conflicts with their beliefs?
     
    You are not a second rate citizen, but you are not the only citizen in this country and because it is impossible for the government to make every Belief system happy it needs to look best belief stricter all together and do what is best for EVERY citizen whether it is in their belief or not. If you work for the government or and government funded program then you are getting tax payer money and sadly like any other business in the country that is not government run if you are paid for a service you deliver on that service. If you don’t like it that is fine stop getting government funding and then you can pick and choose who you want to service. YOU HAVE A CHOICE.

  • Bryce Mclaughlin

    I guess practising Catholics cannot become doctors if they follow the Hippocratic Oath as applied by you. As opposed to, say, going to a non-Catholic (or non-Muslim) physician. I can’t decide whether your hypocrisy on Conscience Rights is amusing or sad. It is, though, pretty hypocritical. And this is coming from somebody who is appalled by the Wild Rose Alliance.

  • Pingback: KikkiPlanet.com … Tracking the Impact of a Voice in the Wilderness

  • LOL

    Oh, you poor white religious dude. Everyone’s always picking on you, hey? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/64JZEIYPW2XZTP7ZH5A43BJSSY Jim Strauss

    Don’t feel bad.  There was a time I used to like the Reform Party.  I guess I just got my lumps earlier than you.  I suppose I should remember next time that I got my lumps as well.

    Thanks for indulging my snark, and apologies for being an ass.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    LMAO… I actually quite enjoyed your snark. It was a delightful break from some of the threats of bodily harm I’m receiving via email. (Sidebar: stay tuned for upcoming article, “Burning Bush – Getting Flamed by the Wildrose”)…
    I do hope you’ll return to the site again… we don’t usually have this much controversy happening, but it’s election time and everyone is an opponent, I suppose.

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Jono Mueller

    Bryce, you disingenuous so-and-so. This is like saying that a practicing Catholic cannot be scientist, because they cannot believe the Earth is 4.7 billion years old.
     
    Allow me to correct you. What you mean to say is that FUNDAMENTALIST Catholics cannot be doctors, blah blah blah

    See now, I would agree with you. If you you make a conscious choice in your life to believe in a backward, dark ages interpretation of history, contradictorily written by different sources, then you make the choice to lay down roadblocks to certain paths in life.

    Your choice.

    Society’s choice to make judgements about you and your beliefs.

  • http://anniegirl1138.com/ Annie

    I left the United States nearly five years ago to come to Alberta. I have watched the horror as civil and human rights have been steadily eroded or completely disregarded down there. The current war on a woman’s right to authority over her own body saddens and angers me. But I have told my friends and family back there that Canada … Alberta … was different. Those things couldn’t happen here. The people here are too grounded and are too freedom loving to allow one group to trump another in terms of liberty.

    And today? I feel like I went to sleep last night in Alberta and woke up today in Texas.

    Good for you, Kathleen, for calling the Wildrose on this very important issue. Shame on Danielle Smith for playing the politician and ducking the issue. Sarah Palin couldn’t have done a better job.

  • Ryan

    John,

    I would like to respect your opinion, but regardless of my polical beleifs, I really struggle to see how your ideas could work in our society (without chaos ensuing).  Your points are that laws (yes, basic requirements of various professions) don’t need to be followed if individuals are morally opposed to them.  I ask you question – how do you deal with people whose religion or moral compass tells them that taxes are evil and they shouldn’t pay them (so they don’t).  Maybe I’m an ambulance attendent responsible for responding to emergencies.  I arrive on scene and find someone having a heart attack.  I realize they are a smoker and my moral compass tells me smoking is evil – do i get to decide whether or not to perform CPR? 

    We have laws in this country.  If a doctor doesn’t want to prescribe birth control – don’t become a doctor.  simple enough.  If you don’t want to up hold the law, don’t become a police office.  Don’t want to let minorities on your bus or in your cab, don’t become a bus or cab driver. 

    what shocks me about your opinion is that I read somewhere on this post that you are Jewish. I think of the persecution of the jews through history – the rights that they were denied simply because others didn’t like them.  What you write above is an exactly the same – very hypocritcal and a slap in the face to all those (jewish and other) who have fought for equal rights and fair treatment for all across this world.  I can’t adequately describe how grotesquely disturbing your views are.

    In the event the Wild Rose wins are ends up with any influence, the chaos will begin.  On the upside, I’ll get to walk around this province doing whatever the F*ck I please and I know you will support me (those are your views – liberty for all) as I need to be lead my MY moral compass and and everyone has to deal with that.

    Cheers

  • Pingback: Alberta Conscience Rights | Chris LaBossiere

  • Pingback: Alberta election: Conscience rights, Kikki Planet, and thes story of Kathleen Smith v Danielle Smith | Edmonton Journal

  • Let’s hear it

    Please enlighten us. How does a secular person see abortion, contraception,  marriage equality, etc as a ‘moral issue’?

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    What part of what I said do you believe to be “daft”? Her right to vote as she sees fit? Her right to work for whomever she chooses? Her right to dissent against a political movement? Or was it her right to refuse to let someone (anyone) into her home?  I’m not exactly clear how or why you have reached the conclusion that I am a bigot based on my comments, but I assure you that I am not.  Nor am I an idiot.  In fact, I a metis-descent woman, who firmly support the right gay marriage and legalized abortion.  And despite this, I still believe that one of the most beautiful things about democracy is that “Lisa” can vote for whomsoever she chooses. I’m amazed and baffled that you have an issue with this statement.  

    I do have an argument that opposes Kikki’s stance, but it has nothing to do with religion or morality.  But I am thrilled to know that the judgement and personal attacks happen to ALL those who share strong opinions, and not only to those on the left.  Pluralism has its costs, and being attacked is one that I am willing to pay. 

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    Pardon me, that was supposed to read “Kristie”- not Lisa.  I’ve been battling a few battles today, and mistook the name of the original poster.  Apologies to you, Kristie. 

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    Side note: I support gay marriage.  Always have. Also, I’m pro-choice. Always have been. 

  • Keats82

    “This whole discussion boils down to the right to “believe” in what you want to, and “be” who you want to be.”

    If I am reading this incorrectly, please disregard this reply.  But what you said right there might explain why there are such personal attacks; as your sentence reads that those who “be” who they (you) want to be are choosing to do so.

    I did not chose to be gay.

    I may not have had my dad in my life all the time after my parents divorced, but I have lots of gay friends who had their masculine and caring fathers present in their entire childhood and adolescence, and they still turned out gay. 

    I wasn’t led to this lifestyle by some creepy, perverted man.

    It wasn’t because I “just didn’t know” how be a man. (But O, how I tried)

    I was exposed to so much outside the doors of my loving home and family; innuendo, misunderstanding, fear mongering and blatant intolerance.  Jokes and side-eyes, whispers, threats of violence – and some times I couldn’t escape it.  For simply being openly gay.  I’d have people assault me, never knowing who they were, only that to them I was a “fag”.

    This is only a small part of my story, but I think it is reflective of what any minority faces as a whole.

    So, perhaps that is why mudslinging and name calling starts to come up – I’ve said nothing here, but I’m known to use some choice words when describing religious groups of certain demographics – because they refuse to acknowledge that my homosexuality is not a choice.  They _refuse_ to.

    They are willing to accept the benefits of modern medicine, industry, mass production – but not the overwhelming evidence that gay people/animals/window panes do not choose their orientation. (Yes, I had to have fun there).  And only because a few verses in a book proclaim it immoral and sinful, the same book of which dozens of other items are dismissed as incompatible with our modern times.

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story.  I am sorry that you have been subject to such cruelty.  I have nothing but support and respect for the gay community and assure you that I am not at all blind to the struggle it has been subjected to. I am a strong supporter of gay marriage, among other rights being discussed here. 

    Thank you for giving me a chance to rephrase, and more accurately portray what I was trying to say: 

    I wrote:  ”This whole debate boils down to the right to “believe” in what you want to, and “be” who you want to be.”   

    What I was trying to say was that this whole debate boils down to genuine human beings who are trying to find balance between who they are (including their identities, their persons, and their beliefs) and the rights of others to their own beliefs, identities and persons.  I believe that very few people are viewing this as a way to silence a movement or otherwise take away someone’s fundamental freedoms- most of us are just trying to understand where our own freedoms lie in the balance.  I would never advocate my personal religious views interfering with who you are.  I just think that there is a bigger discussion that needs to take place on this topic, and am concerned that it is being displayed as so extreme on either side that the real debate isn’t happening.  

    I hope that makes sense.  Please forgive me if I offended you. I assure you, it was the furthest thing from my intention. 

  • Guest

    We need to keep the wild rose from forming a government. Volunteer on a campaign, donate money, pound election signs into the ground, write letters to the editor, get your friends, family and co-workers to pay attention to these issues,  and most importantly- VOTE!

  • http://twitter.com/anbayanyay Ban Yan

    A person doesn’t have a right to expect to be let out of random bits of their job duties owing to finding certain duties objectionable. If that person finds an employer who is willing to accommodate their qualms, great. I applaud the employer for their ingenuity if they can make the situation work (and there are examples where this has been done), but I don’t agree that we can extrapolate that an employee has the right to shake hands with his boss and then sit down and rewrite his job description after the fact to better suit his inclinations.

    A vegan can’t expect to keep a job waiting tables at a steak house while refusing to serve people steak. The vegan could possibly work as a host or sommelier instead, though I don’t know why a vegan would want to work at a steakhouse in the first place. If the manager can work out accommodations with the vegan, a vegan could be a productive member of the staff at a rib joint. However if the rib joint needs a bus boy and the vegan can’t do that, there’s no obligation on the part of the employer to put the vegan on the payroll while getting nothing out of him. The vegan can work at a farmer’s market or a newspaper or what have you instead.

    If the employer chooses to, they can let the employees who don’t object do the things that others find offensive. For instance, the medical system has assumed the duty to provide all required medical services, and has come up with a seemingly satisfactory way to allow medical staff to opt out of procedures they object to, without substantially messing up people’s overall access to service. The employer has assumed the responsibility to ensure that the clients’ needs are looked after without requiring all of their employees to provide all services to everyone (which would not work anyway, medicine being a collection of highly trained specialties). The government and the medical community chose to solve the issue of conscience regarding medical procedures by allowing individual practitioners to opt out of specific things without blocking access to those services and treatments. It works because there are enough willing professionals to staff abortion clinics and doctors who will prescribe birth control measures — if medical objections to these things became too widespread, the government would find itself unable to make good to the public on its duty, and would ultimately have no choice but to require doctors to do the offensive procedures anyway. Making doctors do things they object to might make some doctors leave the jurisdiction and it might cause medical labour issues, but if the system must provide services to its clients, it needs some doctors to provide those services.

    We shouldn’t extrapolate from the medical situation that employees generally have the right to accept and keep jobs that come with with essential duties they are unwilling to perform under some circumstances. That slope is slippery!

    In summary, everybody’s happier if the person providing a service is OK with providing the service. A doctor who’s doing an abortion procedure he doesn’t want to do, while muttering things like, “You’re going to hell, ya whore” under his breath is unhappy, and I’m sure the patient wouldn’t enjoy it either.

    Employers have worked this out with their employees in the past as a pragmatic measure, not as a recognition of some right for people to take jobs and then cherry-pick from among their duties. Accommodation of conscience only works to the extent that the objections are occasional and the people objecting are few enough that accommodating the objections would not disrupt the ability to fulfil all the obligations that the employees are retained to meet. Ultimately, organizations exist to meet a need, and they hire people to facilitate satisfying that need. If you can’t do the job, what are you there for? A conscientious qualm is not a disability, after all.

    Now, to go a little further, you can see how having a couple of objectors is OK but having a staff full of them could in fact prevent doing certain things that need to get done. One marriage commissioner could quietly get away with not doing mixed-race marriages (possibly without even having to be forthcoming about their objection), if there were a dozen others who were willing, but if the numbers were reversed, it’s easy to see how people’s individual qualms can translate into institutionalized discrimination. Add to this the dimension that if the system in question is public, those people who are being denied services are paying taxes to bankroll the system that refuses to give them what they need. That is not a road we want to go down.

  • Ehem

    Oh, girl. Here comes a RANT. 

    As a minority in this province, my rights are under fire. I got the right to marry my partner less than ten years ago, and I’ve had that right attacked by the social conservatives of this province every day since. 

    I cannot and will not respect someone who wishes to relegate me to second class. 

    ANALOGY TIME: A man walks up to a woman and says, “hey girl, I respect that you think you should be able to vote, but I just have moral convictions against womens’ suffrage. Let’s agree to disagree. Cool?”

    No, not cool. That’s straight-up sexist. I don’t like sexists. No, I won’t take the ‘high road.’ No, I won’t shake their hand and act civil. In my opinion, anyone who challenges human rights in the public arena has declared war on me and the people I love. They get nothing from me but absolute repulsion. 

    I won’t be kind or amiable to someone who thinks I shouldn’t be allowed to get married or someone who thinks that a public servant should be able to deny me, despite the fact that I pay taxes. I have dignity and will not afford any legitimacy to their archaic and offensive beliefs.

    Finally, you suggesting that I should play nice with anti-gay bigots and those who want to privilege their freedom of conscience is like telling a black man he should play nice with the Aryan Guard, because it’s well within their freedoms to use racial epithets. It’s offensive and reeks of your privilege. 

    You dig, Zita? 

  • http://twitter.com/zita_dulock Zita Dube-Lockhart

    You don’t have to be kind to me.  I understand and appreciate your anger, and respect your right to enact that in any way you choose. I assure you I am not a bigot. I am also a minority in this province, and have been turned away/discriminated against because of my constitutionally protected rights.  I do not pretend to understand your reality- only clarifying my own. 

    I will not pursue this discussion on this forum, as there is nothing but circular arguments and emotional responses. But I thank you for your comments and wanted to acknowledge that I had read them. 

  • http://3edgesword.blogspot.in/ Feynman & Coulter’s Love Child

    Oh Kikki Kikki Kikki…almost everything you wrote in here was wrong. Most of it from a moral standpoint, of course, but a few extra tidbits as well.

    For one, conscience right’s DON’T force a doctor to go against the Hippocratic Oath (which, by the way, they don’t all take). In fact, what makes them act against the Hippocratic Oath is the top-down marching orders already handed down to them by the provincial government’s bloated healthcare bureaucracy. On the topic of abortion Hippocrates was very clear about this 2500 years ago: a doctor shall not do. For centuries, they vowed that they shall not do.

    And then one day, the bully-pulpit at the Government of Alberta said “YES YOU SHALL”. And so the conscience of doctors, and the ingrained sense of right and wrong that served our civilization for a couple dozen centuries, was thrown out with the aborted bathwater.

    A similar problem recently struck marriage councilors: a politically correct fad swept into the public consciousness and demanded, despite centuries of combined wisdom to the contrary, that their infatuated lustings was the same thing as the deep and long-lasting love of couples which built our families and later our tribes and ultimately our civilization itself. Like the poor doctor before him, the man who isn’t just a public official presiding over an event but rather a living breathing Iuppiter Lapis serving as the conduit for a man’s oath before God himself, has now had an edict from Queen Redford thrust into his lap. His options, apparently, are “do this or get out”.

    In your world and the world inhabited by Red Redfords, these human beings are merely tools, automatons designed to carry out the will of the State. The Commissioner for Oaths in such a word might just be as well replaced with a LITERAL Jupiter Stone, a faceless nobody to whom one can partake in serious oaths with a triviality and a blitheness appropriate to the spirit of the modern age. The government knows full well now that the participants in this event don’t literally mean the words that a tradition they haven’t gotten around to yet demands they say: but the provincial government gets a cut of the cash and gains another half-step of power every time another “outdated” moral becomes a mere morass, with another edict to be handed down as the rule from above.

    This, not the factual errors (1/5th of abortions take place in hospitals, for example) is the primary problem with this post. It takes the dim statist view of government as the arbiter of what’s good and holy. Individual rights, individual consciences, individual beliefs and the privately held moral opinions of the citizens of Alberta are mere obstacles: to be one-by-one demolished and diminished and distorted. Then one day, it will happen to you.

    You may love the lovers of Sodom and Gomorrah, Kikki, though will you love the next taboo coming up the pipeline? It doesn’t necessarily even have to be sexual: for example, Raj Sherman last year was absolutely livid that doctors were being intimidated, and that Alberta Health was insisting that their buddy who donated lots of money to the PCAA last year really is the next in line for a heart transplant or cancer treatment. Today though, he’s with you on conscience rights: if the medical bureaucracy has decided to rejig the waiting lists for political reasons, a doctor’s conscience should bother him not. A Commissioner of Oaths used to have the power on a marriage license to reject the application entirely if he believed that the persons getting married were not serious to the task. Will a future marriage commissioner be allowed to tell the polygamist that he can’t be married as long as he has the five other wives waiting back at home? Will the movie “Green Card” be seen as alien and bizarre in twenty years time when our marriage commissioner of 2033 just has to rubberstamp the application in front of him for an immigrant looking to game the system? Will your son reach your age only to find whatever immoral fad that we don’t even register on the radar today is his new cause célèbre? When you’re looking back on a quarter century of more of the state ever more and more determining that your private life can’t even extend to a private conversation on a public road, or that your job is now required to fulfill some insane mandate contrary to the ideals of the position when you signed up for it, and that no matter what your personal opinions are don’t matter, the protected classes react with shock and outrage that you would even try expressing them ever-so-slightly at the ballot box, you’ll see why the membership of the Wildrose Party were so concerned about preserving the rights of private citizens to exercise their conscience.

    Because eventually, even you may get one.

    (More on this post, tearing all of your sacred cows apart, at http://3edgesword.blogspot.ca/2012/04/abvote-conscience-rights-liberty-fags.html )

  • Ehem

    The worst part is that you have the gall to call yourself an ally. 

  • Keats82

    Nothing but your own rationalizations and dogma that has been carried over for centuries.  Homosexuals were sought out and killed in the past not because they were running around trying to sully your sons and daughters, but simply for being who they were.  And you have the audacity to say that the love between a man and woman trumps that between two people of the same gender, simply because you have been taught to believe so?

    Thanks for the heaping dose of hyperbole, nonetheless.  I hope one day you meet a homosexual and realize that they have the same capacity for deep and trusting love with a committed long-term partner.

  • Ehem

    Oh Keats. Rule #1 of Alberta internet: never respond to FACLC. 

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    LMAO. Word. True dat. ;-)

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Obviously you did not click on the link I provided for the Hippocratic Oath. Had you done so, you would have noticed that the link leads to an explanation of the oath and how it applies to modern medicine despite being outdated. The Oath is a symbolic expression of the renunciation of a physician’s SELF INTEREST. The spirit of the oath is of importance. Just like marriage vows, which are little more than symbolic (no marriage is official until documents are signed by both parties to the marriage, as governed by the laws of this country) the oath is without true legal meaning. Religious oaths are without legal meaning. Do you take yours with any less seriousness because of that?
    The oath is not a required part of becoming a doctor. That being said, the laws of this country that govern the actions of physicians always put the patient first. Legal precedent in the Supreme Court of Canada has made clear the fiduciary duty of physicians in this country. The Hippocratic Oath serves as a symbolic recognition on the part of the physician taking the oath that he recognizes that fiduciary duty, just as marriage oaths are recognition on the part of the couple swearing to them of the legally binding contract they are entering into. The government of Canada grants the power to any doctor to perform his duties via his medical license. And the government of Canada can choose to take that away for a multitude of reasons. Your God has no place in the physicians office as your God has no power in that office, regardless of how much you pray. Your God didn’t license that physician to act in the best interests of his patients. My government did.
    As for the matter of marriage commissioners: the government of this province grants the power to marriage commissioners to oversee the legally binding contract two people voluntarily and in good faith (in the legal sense) enter into that the government of Canada has defined as “marriage”. And as I’ve stated many times, marriage is little more than a legally binding contract in this country, despite all of the religious ideology attached to it. Your church doesn’t handle your divorce, the government of Canada via the Court of Queen’s Bench handles your divorce. It’s a LEGAL matter, not a RELIGIOUS matter, no matter how much religious pomp and circumstance you choose to swathe it in.
    Therefore, when a government appointed official uses the power granted to him by a government that acknowledges all marriage as equal to discriminate against those who wish to join into a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT, that marriage commissioner is engaged in an abuse of power.
    NO marriage in this country is made valid by any religion. Being a good and fair country, this great nation recognizes the separation of church and state and therefore religious institutions are within their LEGALLY granted rights to refuse to marry same sex couples, divorced couples and whoever else they decide they don’t like or approve of. But make no mistake that without power from the Canadian government to officiate over a marriage, any marriage performed in this country is without standing in a court of law. Any marriage not registered with the government is without standing in a court of law. So while you’re pontificating on your God and his power, know that your God has no power in this country without the power my government gives him. The government dictates what is and isn’t a marriage. And the Canadian government has clearly stated that all marriages are equal, regardless of what you or your church or your God feel about them.
    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • Margotkitchen

    Way to go Kikki!
    Margot

  • http://3edgesword.blogspot.in/ Feynman & Coulter’s Love Child

    Yes, I have the audacity to say that. I’ve met those sort of people, far more than I ever would wish to, and I’ve seen absolutely no evidence be it anecdotal or otherwise to indicate that the nonsense Kikki was on about is correct and that the truisms that I stated were wrong. They don’t really love. Now if you want to embrace and endorse such lustful creatures, fine; that is a personal decision of yours that I can only counsel strongly against. But understand that those are merely your dogmas that you are defending, and I reject them outright.

  • http://www.kikkiplanet.com Kikki Planet

    Dude, I sometimes wonder if you aren’t secretly plotting AGAINST the WRP. Because I’m certain you are aware sentiments such as those you’ve presented in the comments section are indicative of the attitude that many find in WRP supporters to be terrifying. There is a reason supporters and members of this party have been painted as non tolerant bigots. It’s because of comments like the ones you’ve been eager to leave on this post.

    Kathleen Smith
    Founder & Publisher of KikkiPlanet.com
    kikki@kikkiplanet.com

  • http://3edgesword.blogspot.in/ Feynman & Coulter’s Love Child

    Of course I’d read the link. It’s exactly what I had already talked about quite explicitly: if some doctors wanted to (in whole or in part) ignore what the oath said, or made the conscious decision to violate their oath, that was clearly something that was already being done. But to claim that Conscience Rights “required them” to violate their oaths was ludicrous, and of course I called you out on it. What oath is being met “in spirit” or otherwise by every few years the government making a decision and then forcing doctors to accept it or get to private practice? (and then, in a final moment of chuzpah, also banning private practice). The only thing more reprehensible would be to claim that every single government policy regarding healthcare over the past half-century has been solely in the interest of improving the welfare of patients. Hey wait….

    As you may have read in the blogpost, we already don’t consider “all marriages equal” and we never have. Good on us, of course, because such a silly endorsement would be silly. It would be like taking seriously the modern far-leftist distortion of the Christian principle that all men are created equal in the eyes of God. In such a “up is down” universe you would even see governments trying to foster nonsense like pay equity. What specifically happened was that the plain language of the Constitution was distorted to say exactly what it did not say, and then expected that the whole of society must be re-organized on that say-so. I reject that utterly, as do all sensible people, and a government that recognizes in the interim that individuals MUST retain their power (regardless of who signs their cheques, a remarkably feudalistic way of looking at society) to disagree with the way that the system has been perverted will always have unquestioning support of myself and anybody else who isn’t suckered in by the demands of false consensus or the faddish rises and falls of tribalist group identities. Were only for such a system to be in place: a system where officers of the law tell the Crown that they will not allow a family to be broken up just because corporal punishment has raised the ire of a bureaucrat, where a judge steps up and decides that the man should not be punished for enacting his own defense of property and person without turning it over to an incompetent state authority, and where a commissioner of marriage has the audacity to state that as a taker of oaths himself, he cannot in due conscience state a lie that the people getting married truly are entering into the agreement they are supposedly entering. Religion, while most likely the reason this hypothetical oath-taker is a responsible person who actually believes in the oaths and the statements behind them, doesn’t strictly enter into the picture. If you get outside of your urban bubble with its naked June dance party and tightly related somber September march of fallen comrades, you may talk to people who were mad as hell about the royalty framework discussions under Ed Stelmach. What is the overriding Albertan principle that they objected to? That the government could pass a bill in the Legislative Assembly and change the law from A to B? Or that, the law be damned, an agreement was made, and promises were given, and that on a fundamental level it is not moral nor acceptable for the government to simply change a law and then expect that those who live under it will just have to deal with the fact that something you swore to is no longer valid, and that some more ‘agreements’ are going to be coming down the pipeline (no pun intended) where you know full well that they will not be honoured, that they are paying thin homage to the oaths without understanding or appreciating the tone and timbre that go keeper? I’m pretty sure you’ll find the latter. These are the concerns that deeply worry the members and would-be voters of the Wildrose Party.  They don’t feel comfortable giving any man an order like that. I wouldn’t either. Good on them for grabbing one of the smallest and more easily enacted tools to move Alberta in the right direction. (and with no help from me, no less. brings a tear to this Albertan’s eye. I haven’t been this proud since January 27th 1993)

    To quibble a minor (major?) point, by the way, this country (nor does any sane country) actually “recognize the separation of church and state”. But that’s neither here nor there really. Like “all are equal” or “violating the hippocratic oath”, it’s just a minor factual error. It’s okay, you balance it out with a factual accuracy. All marriages ARE registered with the government of Canada. That’s a handy tidbit. It’s useful information. It is, almost certainly, a good resource for them to hold onto.

  • Pingback: Breaking Through The Noise And Looking At The Echo | AlbertaTweets

  • Krmckay

     Dear Lord, what a huge pile of crap.

  • Pingback: Where’s Your Line in the Sand?

  • Yvohcna

    Thank you. I can breathe again, knowing that you, me, and hopefully many others like us can see through the discriminatory “Conscience Rights” movement slithering across our province.

  • Andrietta Sundelin

    Dude, do you have a reading problem?  I ask sincerely, since I have my own ‘reading’ problems.  First off, the Supreme Court of Canada determines what 

  • Andrietta Sundelin

    Although, that wouldn’t go over so well, as the reverse, Calgary1.

    Believe me, I’m speaking AS a Christian.

  • Pingback: Following in the Footsteps of Ki Ki Planet | Susan on the Soapbox

  • Educatealberta

    Check this Anti-Wildrose  page out:

    http://www.facebook.com/antiwildrosealberta 

    I encourage everyone to read it.

  • Andrietta Sundelin

    Zita, who cares if John Winslow is a survivor of the holocaust or not?  Henry Morgentaler was indeed Jewish and a survivor of the holocaust.  However, that’s irrelevant.  What IS relevant is that Henry Morgentaler is an abortion provider.  Which gives him more authority to speak on the matter than the John Winslows of the world..

    Judge Wapner was merely questioning the degrees of discrimination.  And there are CERTAINLY degrees.  Stop changing the goal posts, please. Ignoring the extremely variable levels of discrimination does EVERYONE a disservice.  And I am speaking AS a Christian.

    Finally, why are you ignoring Mr. Winslow’s obvious signs of bigotry (I mean, writing an improper term for the LGBT population simply because you are too LAZY to Google the correct term, does NOT give you a free pass) in order to nitpick at something someone else said?

  • Andrietta Sundelin

    Also, Ban Yan, if conscience rights allow employees to opt out of serving the needs of their customers, customers should get a reciprocal right to opt out of being served by specific groups of employees, said or not.  

  • Andrietta Sundelin

    You need to be very careful about how you use the word harm, here, Zita, because I don’t think it means what you think it means.  Harm is a very specific term applied to the promotion of injury or damage.  No doctor worth his/her salt would provide an abortion to promote, intentionally or unintentionally, injury to the fetus.  However, denying a patient an abortion promotes injury to the WOMAN.  

    Secondly, even if abortion did harm a fetus, harm to the woman is far more egregious.  Therefore, a doctor should take his/her oath as a way to determine the method of LEAST harm, which would, still, be providing an abortion to a patient who wants one.

    Zita, it is the religious who claim to have a corner on ‘moral’ issues.  So, take it up with them. (To clarify, I don’t identify as a religious, per se, Christian.)

    I believe a fetus is a life, ALL throughout pregnancy.  I am still Pro-Choice 100%.  Actually, I am 100% Pro-Choice FOR that reason. NO one gets the right to co-opt another person’s organs/body against their will, not even to save their life.  The arguments that atheists/agnostics have against abortion, tend to crumble upon closer examination, for this reason.  Religious arguments against abortion are ‘valid’ only because they are based on one’s religious beliefs (however, I can and will argue against the biblical INTERPRETATION of these religious beliefs).  An atheist/agnostic can only support their views with facts, after all.WHO gets pregnant, Zita, females or males?  WHO undergoes the processes of implantation and gestation? WHO gives birth? Legislating conscience rights in this area, WOULD be legalizing discrimination.  Discrimination by proxy, but discrimination, nonetheless. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aleida-Guerrero/510796661 Aleida Guerrero

    You just make my day.

  • Melissa Alpha

    Danielle Smith is still the lesser of the two evils. There will always be someone else to take up the mantle if a doctor doesn’t want to treat a certain patient. I think we should respect conscience rights. Its like saying we should all put up with everything, for the sake of liberty? No, everybody draws the line somewhere, its unfair to force them into doing something they’re uncomfortable with. Some doctors aren’t religious, pro-choice, pro-life, etc etc.

    This is too much nitpicking. I personally abhor IV needles and drips, and would rather die than ever receive one. So, should I receive one regardless if my life is endangered, despite the fact that it is my deepest loathing, and I truly cannot tolerate the idea?? Its all about rationalizing, choice, and freedom to do what we want, and to avoid what we do not. I think this is a bit extreme.

    Don’t flame me. I’m a flaming homosexual, and if someone is homophobic, well, to each their own!

  • Polarchap

    It is difficult for me to see this issue as anything less than legislated discrimination.  At the extreme, Hitlers conscience dictated that people of the Jewish faith were undesirable citizens of Germany.  He truly believed that.  His belief system didn’t matter…only that he held it as a belief?  I think you are trying to make discrimination a little more palatable by calling it “conscience” instead of what it really is.

  • Pingback: Politix: A Personal Essay | confessionality

  • Pingback: Reasons Why I Won’t Be Voting For The Wildrose Party « Natural_Beauty

  • Pingback: change alberta « joyful follies

  • Pingback: Wildrose’s thorny candidates » StraightGoods.ca

  • Pingback: 2012 Alberta Election: Social Media Highlights - MasterMaq's Blog

  • HardyHarHard

     LOL! Hilarious….he is joking right?