It is not often you’ll see me singing the praises of Alberta Party leader Glenn Taylor.
I am not convinced the fledgling political party has gained significant momentum to raise its seat total beyond the current whopping one. And with MLA Dave Taylor’s pending retirement from politics, taking away the party’s best-known member, I’d be surprised if they kept that lone seat.
That being said, during a recent visit with the Calgary Sun‘s editorial board, he raised one issue that I was thinking about when I wrote this week’s column.
When the government shied away from human rights law reform that would have emboldened free speech, and actually added new provisions with Bill 44, there was no indication who was pushing these changes in caucus.
One week, then-culture minister Lindsay Blackett was talking about axing the censorship provision of the law. The next time he talked to our paper, that was no longer the focus, and he was talking about enshrining parental choice.
So who pushed for the changes to the changes? If it came from caucus, no one dared say. Blackett himself told our Ezra Levant that former premier Ed Stelmach kept the provision. But it was the minister that had to wear it publicly.
Back to Glenn Taylor.
One of the ideas he floated when speaking with senior editors here at the Sun was the notion that we should know if our MLAs are lobbying as hard for their constituents in private as they appear to in public.
He pitched opening up caucus meetings, or at least letting the public know how caucus decisions were reached.
And if more people in the Tory caucus are in favour of shackling free speech. I, for one, would like to know.
Of course, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue if we had truly free, non-whipped votes in the legislature.