Last night Vice Chairman of the United Conservative Party Interim Joint Board Len Thom posted the following on Facebook:
This evening the Interim Joint Board of the United Conservative Party unanimously passed the following motion:
l. That the Board affirms and supports the rights of LGBTQ Albertans as enumerated in the Alberta Bill of Rights, the Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
2. That the Board shall promote the inclusion of LGBTQ Albertans in the membership and activities of United Conservative Party.
3. That this motion be made public forthwith.
This is an encouraging step for a party whose parent parties don’t have the strongest record on LGBTQ inclusion and rights.
I know this won’t be a popular stance with my more progressive friends, but here is my take;
The UCP IJB making a motion of this kind is a significant step forward. Progressives and activists are right to be skeptical about the value of the statement given the history.
Giving credit doesn’t mean a free pass or forgetting the actions or stances that some of their leadership candidates have taken. But it is about having a good faith assumption of pure intent in the motion being made and passed (unanimously) by the IJB.
It also means there is a level of accountability added when future behaviours of Party leaders don’t adhere to these stated values.
IF this motion is followed through with action by the leadership candidates and subsequently elected MLAs it will be a stark departure from some of the history of this party and its precedent parties.
While words alone are not enough, progress is progress, and any steps forward are worth recognizing. It’s like the old adage about rewarding good behaviour that you want to see more of.
If the progressive/left didn’t crap on the right every time they took a step forward, maybe we’d see more.
The UCP have now talked the talk, so now I eagerly wait to see them walk the walk.
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