Fisking Jim Dithers

Wlliam McBeath (whose blog I discovered via Larry Johnsrude) massacres Jim Dithers’ latest attack on Ted Morton:

I wonder if we’ll start seeing Jim Dinning “Choose Your Alberta” ads being run in the lead-up to Saturday’s vote, with ugly close-ups of Ted Morton in the background as a sinister voice talks about how Ted Morton is a CONSERVATIVE.

Well worth a read.

In the meantime, I am reflecting on the wisdom of unleashing an urban leftist like Gary Mar to attack Morton. I doubt that anyone who would be inclined to support Morton will care about what Mar thinks. But alot of people who will be inclined to support Morton will probably be encouraged to do so by Mar’s unwarranted attacks.

Attacks on Religion: Result of Lost Faith in Enlightenment

So argues Richard A. Shweder of the University of Chicago:

The Enlightenment story has its own version of Genesis, and the themes are well known: The world woke up from the slumber of the “dark ages,” finally got in touch with the truth and became good about 300 years ago in Northern and Western Europe.

As people opened their eyes, religion (equated with ignorance and superstition) gave way to science (equated with fact and reason). Parochialism and tribal allegiances gave way to ecumenism, cosmopolitanism and individualism. Top-down command systems gave way to the separation of church from state, of politics from science. The story provides a blueprint for how to remake and better the world in the image and interests of the West’s secular elites.

Unfortunately, as a theory of history, that story has had a predictive utility of approximately zero. At the turn of the millennium it was pretty hard not to notice that the 20th century was probably the worst one yet, and that the big causes of all the death and destruction had rather little to do with religion. Much to everyone’s surprise, that great dance on the Berlin Wall back in 1989 turned out not to be the apotheosis of the Enlightenment.

The editorial is too simplistic and void of evidence, but an interesting speculation.

Leadership Vote Questions

Commenter TSS:

Only the eliminated candidate’s second choices are counted. Not everyone’s. It doesn’t matter if any of Ted’s or Jim’s voters have Ed as 2nd place if Ed isn’t in the top 2.

Is this right? Or do the second preferences of all candidates get counted in the second round?

Second, are you allowed to “plump” on the ballot or are you required to rank the candidates from 1 to 3?

Not that any of it matters, I hope that people mark 1 for Morton and 2 for Stelmach. But it is important to know how the ballots will work. As we know, the party organization is just looking for excuses to prevent rural Albertans from voting.

Federal MPs for Morton

This is fascinating:

Nonetheless, sources tell the Herald about a dozen federal Conservative MPs will rush back to Alberta in the coming days to help Morton capture Premier Ralph Klein’s crown.

Certainly, the battle for the Tory leadership is proving to be not only a struggle of competing conservative visions — but also two different Conservative parties within Alberta.

Much like Morton’s supporters, many MPs on his side subscribe to more grassroots, big-C conservative philosophies of libertarianism and traditional social values long championed by the former Reform and Canadian Alliance parties.

“It’s a Reform party takeover in provincial politics,” said David Taras, political analyst at the University of Calgary, adding the city could prove to be a battleground of epic proportions between these “two very different” visions for the party.

It’s nice to see more nuanced coverage of Albertan politics, rather than reporting of the silly stereotypes we’ve all come to know and love.