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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why is Link Byfield supporting Danielle Smith?

In a column for the Western Standard, former Alberta Report publisher and senator-elect Link Byfield answers a question on the minds of social conservative observers of the Wildrose Alliance leadership race:

A number of my fellow “social conservatives” have asked me why I am supporting Danielle Smith for the leadership of our party, the Wildrose Alliance.

By way of an answer, Byfield makes three arguments: 1) Danielle Smith can win, and winning is important; 2) Libertarians and social conservatives have more in common than in difference; and 3) Smith has dedicated her entire career to advancing issues and values important to social conservatives.

Byfield’s support of Danielle Smith is politically significant. He is trusted by conservatives, and if Smith is good enough for him, she has got to be good enough for conservatives of every stripe.

But Byfield’s column is also interesting in that it attempts to reconcile social conservatives and libertarians. I like to think of this reconciliation as creating a culturally conservative libertarian movement, where people are free to, not compelled to, pursue conservative values and build conservative institutions.

According to Byfield, the common enemy for both social conservatives and libertarians is big government:

As the state gets stronger, everything and everyone else get weaker – individuals, families, churches, local communities, businesses and markets.

The orderly reduction of state power is the shared priority of all conservatives.

Danielle Smith understands this as well as any conservative I know, and is more determined than most to do something about it.

With his column, Byfield goes a long way to neutralize a possible weakness in Smith’s campaign – a suddenly strained relationship with social conservatives. He has also added to the simmering debate on the Western Standard on the symbiotic relationship between political liberty and social conservative values.

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on July 16, 2009 | Permalink


So that is what the visit today was about. Trying to get talking points. I hoped you enjoyed the Coffee at least.

Still so may holes in the panicked approach of your campaign.

Words are important and trying to change their definition this late in the game will not help, just further alienate the workers.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 1:58:29 AM

I'll be supporting Smith. In fact I was talking about her to 8 long term Albertans at a dinner table last night. 4 ex Liberals and 4 ex conservatives were very interested....

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-16 6:21:17 AM

Craig: There was nothing underhanded about the visit. Personally, I wanted to see who the man everyone talks about was.

I came away with a sense of respect. You're very motivated, organized and smart guy. I'm glad to have met you.

Dennis Young

PS: See you friday on the range.

Posted by: Dennis Young | 2009-07-16 9:41:16 AM

Going to the range Friday...what time?

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-16 10:24:17 AM

Link Byfield is great. We pretty much only disagree on abortion, which is a very significant disagreement, but still there's near total overlap. He's a wonderfully thoughtful social conservative. He gives them a very good name.

And I see Chandler's still is a belligerent asshole bent on smearing people and bending the truth (that is, breaking the commandment "thou shalt not lie").

Craig is interesting. He's all about acting unChristian in the promotion of Christian politics. I wonder if there's a special place in hell reserved for people like him. Not that he cares because it's not clear he actually believes in hell (or the Christian faith). (He only started associating with social conservatives in the last ten years to advance his career.) If he believed in hell, he might moved by the idea of it to campaign ethically for once.

What would Jesus do? Don't ask Craig. He's never seriously considered the question.

Posted by: Robert Seymour | 2009-07-16 10:36:16 AM

JC: It's $125 for the shooting at the Shooter's Edge and the steak and vino after. It kicks off at 5 pm.

Posted by: Dennis Young | 2009-07-16 2:14:49 PM

Dennis, I take it that its a competition shoot?

And if I'm supporting Smith, its not because I'm anti christian...its because I like her platform.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-16 2:25:03 PM

Pistols at 5, JC. You're on!!


Posted by: Dennis Young | 2009-07-16 2:31:07 PM


I as well enjoyed are meeting, I was just being sarcastic in the above post. I have always been friends with Matthew and am looking forward to a greater realtionship with you.

We may disagree on some things, but, there is much common ground.

See you on Friday. We just picked up some great steaks as well. Food, Guns and fun who could ask for a better night.

This event is open to anyone and it is not a Mark Dyrholm event.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 2:39:45 PM

I understand to a certain degree why social conservatives would like libertarian values. Then no one could force them to change there long held beliefs. But do they understand that they then could not force their morals and religion on others?

Maybe Link is just getting out in front with the thought that his race/religion etc. may not be the dominant one for too many more years. If he can't force his beliefs on anyone through the government any longer, then it is wrong.

Posted by: Bret | 2009-08-25 9:34:30 PM

I can NOT get an answer out of anyone from D. Smith's campaign team on her personal info. Is she married? Divorced? Kids? hell, is she a lesbian!! I have no idea!!! This kind of avoidance scares me.

Posted by: Candace Lane | 2009-09-12 10:36:05 AM

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