The Twitterverse is in a furor today over a tweet from a staffer in Alison Redford’s office. The unfortunate comment about Danielle Smith’s commitment to families, questioned the Wildrose leader’s reasons for not having children.
It’s an utterly crass and insensitive thing to say. It never should have been uttered, whether in a tweet, in person or anywhere else. All I can say is that I’m glad the light is being shone on attitudes such as this. Maybe others will start to realize how unfair and unacceptable this type of behaviour truly is. Exposing it is sometimes the best way to stop it…for good.
Alison Redford immediately responded with an apology and made a personal phone call to Danielle Smith. Smith reacted with grace and dignity, then issued a very personal statement about her reasons for not having any children of her own, not that it was anyone’s business at all!
A person’s decision to have or not have children is quite simply off limits, whether male or female, in any election. It’s distressing to see that it has come up at all.
Fertility is not grounds for discussion
Laurence Decore talked himself into a corner in 1993 by expressing anti-abortion sentiments. Even though the Liberals had a good showing in the election, many believe his comments caused an exodus from his campaign at the last minute. With Redford appealing to a lot of women voters, the last thing she needed was a reason for women to abandon her. Comments online so far show a very sympathetic nod going to Smith as a result of this. It doesn’t matter that the person has now resigned. The damage is done.
This egregious misstep by someone connected to Redford is just another in a series of errors thus far in the campaign. It seems clear that Redford is appalled by the comment. That she has been unable to make significant inroads in changing the backwards attitudes within her party is not surprising in the short time that she’s had. The truth is that I’m not sure anyone can. If the reaction to the no-meet committee wasn’t enough to convince them that they are out of step, then I don’t believe anything is going to make them understand.
Except a smackdown via the ballot box on election day.
Unfortunately, it seems the province is headed for a step in the wrong direction if a Wildrose government comes into power (as many are speculating). I sincerely hope the next government is reduced to a minority position with a strong opposition on the opposite side of the political spectrum to keep them in check. What is needed is some accountability and balance of perspectives going forward. Too much power on one side of the spectrum will not result in any real change. Diversity of opinion is needed.
Bringing you bite-sized chunks of election crankiness when the mood hits me.