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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wildrose Alliance leadership candidate Mark Dyrholm is “all in”

Keith Pridgen I stopped by the Calgary campaign office of Wildrose Alliance leadership candidate Mark Dyrholm today. Dyrholm wasn’t there. He was campaigning. In fact, according to campaign organizer Craig Chandler, he was busy picking up campaign donations.

Although Dyrholm wasn’t present, campaign volunteers worked the phones for their candidate. The message being delivered to prospective party members is uncomplicated and effective: Danielle Smith is a liberal. Mark Dyrholm is a conservative.

The truth, as Link Byfield points out in his column endorsing Smith, is more nuanced. Smith is a libertarian, not a liberal. But this distinction is not easily communicated in a phone conversation, and Dyrholm’s team is not about to correct any confusion, relying instead on media descriptions referring to Smith as anything but a social conservative.

They’re playing tough, but fair...at least fair by political standards.

Dyrholm is in this campaign to win. In fact, Chandler told the Western Standard that Dyrholm is finalizing the sale of his chiropractic business in order to focus full time on the campaign. “He’s all in,” said Chandler.

The campaign is opening an Edmonton office within the next ten days and has a team of volunteers that keeps the phones busy in Calgary.

(Picture: University of Calgary student Keith Pridgen works the phones for Wildrose Alliance leadership candidate Mark Dyrholm)

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on July 16, 2009 | Permalink



Thanks for the meeting.

Remember all we are doing is presenting the facts and helping the voter make an educated decision.

Debating about what people stand for is important in a race, especially in this party.

Danielle is a great person, but, her philosophy is different then that of Mark's and that is ok.

This is an exciting time for our party and the race will determine what we become.

The best thing about this race is the people will decide and Ed Stelmach can't deny the winner their candidacy.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 11:03:23 AM

As long as Craig Chandler is associated with this campaign, Mark will not be getting my support. Mr. Chandler is a death kiss to any candidate he organizes for. I think it speaks volumes to Mark’s character that he has this right wing religious zealot as his campaign manager.

Simply disgusting!

Danielle Smith for Wildrose Alliance Leader!!

Posted by: aWAPmember | 2009-07-16 11:46:21 AM

The above comment simply proves everything we are saying about our opponents campaign tactics and strategy.

I am right wing, I am relgious and as for the word Zealot? Zealot is defined as a "fanatical partisan" I am indeed fanatical because of the scale of my involvement and devotion to the political cause. Since most people are not involved in the political process I am definitely abnormal.

I am also partisan.

It is unfortunate that you are bringing out the rusty artillery of abuse and we can't have a debate on the issues and philosphies of each candidate.

For the sake of our party please heed my advice. Attack me all you please, but,leave religion out of it. Attacking me in that manner simply further alienates social conservatives from Danielle and if she wins it will be a very divided party unless we tone down the rhetoric.

Our party is worth it.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 12:48:30 PM

The membership will decide, we need to keep the division out of our party. I am not sure the social issues are that important. Both candidates are sound fiscal conservatives and either will be great as leader and Premier. I hope that when the smoke clears we still have a strong united party.

Posted by: another WAP member | 2009-07-16 1:52:57 PM

Agreed that we need a strong and united party and Social issues are important.

Eliminating section 3 of the Human Rights Commission is a policy I moved in the party that is now party policy and crime is another important issue to social conservatives. I could go on, but, you get the point.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 2:30:17 PM

Good point on the social issues, I guess you and Mark have a leadership race to win and setting your self apart from the opposition is necessary to stake your ground. My point was mainly directed at other WAP members. Regardless if you support Mark, Danielle, or Jeff, as a Members of the party keep it clean and fair. Our opposition out side the party is where the gloves can come off.

Posted by: another WAP member | 2009-07-16 2:50:18 PM

Well said.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 2:51:43 PM

Where is the best place to learn more about the WAP? (Texan here. conservative and libertarian... freedomist!)

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-07-16 3:18:45 PM

The best place to learn about the party is at http://www.markdyrholm.ca

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 3:31:34 PM

or www.wildrosealliance.ca

Posted by: another WAP member | 2009-07-16 3:38:10 PM

//The best place to learn about the party is at http://www.markdyrholm.ca//

Craig, you're being a low-down sneaky-weasel. That's the best place to learn about Dyrholm's vision for the party, not about the party itself as it currently exists. In fact, Craig, scanning Mark's website, you folks couldn't even be bothered to provide links to either the Party's website or it's Policies/Constitution

GeronL; The best place to go for information about the party is the WAP website located here: http://www.wildrosealliance.ca/

You can read through our party platform and policies there.

If you prefer to get some first hand info on the party's history and evolution, you can contact our Executive Director, Jane Morgan, at 1-888-262-1888. She's been active in the party for as long as I can remember and she'll give you the straight poop (completely weasel free).

Now, in order to be fair and, because Craig was being a weasel, here's the web addy for Danielle Smith, Dyrholm's competition in the leadership race: http://www.daniellesmith.ca/ Smith's site doesn't link to the party website or it's policies/constitution either but, to her credit, her campaign team isn't trolling website and telling folks that it's the best place to get information on the party...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-07-16 4:23:44 PM


I am not being sneaky? I am being blatant and promoting my guy.

As for your comment of "you folks couldn't even be bothered to provide links to either the Party's website" is not correct.

Right beside the picture of Mark's family is a link to the Wildrose Alliance Party website. It actually says the party name and in brackets says "click her to visit the Wildrose Alliance website".

Driving someone to our website will not only allow them to see the candidate we support but provides a link to the party.

I do not think name calling or incorrect information is a good thing. Richard, there is no need for us to get back on the wrong track, no matter who wins we need unity.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 5:21:39 PM

Craig; I can't tell you how much this pains me...

You're correct. I was wrong. The link has existed as far back as July 11 according to google cache. I was presumptuous and careless with my statement and offer a full and complete retraction along with my apologies.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pout...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-07-16 5:52:58 PM

The willingness of the Chandler Dyrholm campaign to use a loaded and poorly understood term like 'liberal', to describe Danielle Smith is regrettable.

That the term is being used HOPING to have it construed as meaning "Liberal", socialist, or even libertine, is just desperate.

This tactic reveals all anybody needs to know about the Chandler Dyrholm campaign: that it is cheap, less than honest, and hoping to rely on ignorance to win the race.

Danielle Smith has consistently praised Mr. Dyrholm and is, more than any candidate ever to appear on the Alberta political stage, willing to engage all comers on ideas and personal merit.

The Chandler Dyrholm campaign's ad hominem attack on Danielle smacks of desperation and is likely to backfire.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-16 5:54:38 PM


Time to man up and apologize for trying to smear Danielle.

This kind of cheap, lowest-common-denominator crap can only backfire on your guy.

As one who stands to suffer more for labeling than Danielle does, you ought to understand.

Everybody makes tactical errors; you have a chance to reverse yours.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-16 6:01:52 PM

So... Craig, you just said "if she wins it will be a very divided party"

Are you saying you have no plans to commit to the future of the Wildrose Alliance if your campaign looses? I'm sure the electorate will be interested in a clarification of that statement.

Posted by: Travis Chase | 2009-07-16 6:44:22 PM


The campaign tactics being used by some supporters of Danielle are very disappointing. Danielle is a great person and she is capapbale of defending her position.

As Matthew will tell you. All we are doing is presenting Danielle as she presented herself.

She is entitled to her views as Mark is entitled to his. The debate on whether our party will be led by a Social and Fiscal conservative or a Libertarian and Social moderate, liberal is an important one. Definitions of words are important.

There is no need for all this spin and aggressive emotion. Debate things on their merit.

Hopefully, Smith supporters will allow freedom of speech and debate in this race because currently that is not happening and anyone who states their opinion is called names and belittled.

There certainly appears to be some desperation, but, it is not in our corner.

I wish you well.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 7:17:54 PM

Thank you guys. Down here I can only dream of the battle between libertarians and conservatives. We have statists and liberals pretending to be conservatives in charge of the Republican Party.

If things get real bad, can I move up there?

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-07-16 7:49:59 PM

As a new member of this party, a previous supporter of WR and a potential voter in this leadership race, Mr Dyrholm will not be getting my support with the likes of C. Chandler as his handler. Too much history there. Period. Let's see a link to some of those questionable tactics the Smith team is employing, rather than drive-by smear.

I'll be right up front - I'm not looking for Skunk-Works political campaigning in this race, there is too much at stake here. Watching the Stelmach Libs...er so-called "Cons" operate gives this Alberta taxpayer a real pain.

I don't like 40% reductions in earnings as a small business owner in this province because someone felt that they weren't getting their "Fair Share" and the last thing that this new Party needs is some easily used propaganda that the kind of campaign tactics used by Chandler, plus his own history, in an attempt to to sway potential voters to "his" man. Like I said, too much history there.

The Stemachistas can use it to good effect, like the Liberals on the Harperites are "scarey".

Reading the to & fro here serves no good purpose in advancing the cause of this political Party to bring down the Stelmach Cons. Grow up Chandler.

Posted by: po'd in AB | 2009-07-16 7:53:50 PM


To clarify for you. If Danielle wins I will be supporting her. She will be my leader and I will work hard for her. If she wins, I will work hard t unite many behind her, very hard.

I am just disappointed and the rusty artillery of abuse being used by some who hide behind fake names.

I appreciate you asking the question and thank you for allowing me the opprtunity to clarify.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-16 9:00:08 PM

"There is no need for all this spin and aggressive emotion. Debate things on their merit."

Amen. Now can we get back to the issue at hand, Craig?

To debate things on their merit and conduct a credible campaign, you need to acknowledge that trying, erroneously, to tag Danielle as a liberal is wrong.

We know how many red meat and conventional conservatives interpret the word, liberal. It means Liberal, socialist, and libertine. Which is why you are employing it in your telecampaigning.

So like I suggested previously, Craig, time to man up, apologize for smearing Danielle as a liberal, and then proceed to "debate things on their merit".

If you are using 'liberal' as code for something, do yourself and Mr. Dyrholm's supporters a favour and say what it is you mean. Do you object to Danielle not wanting state intervention into pregnancy? Do you object to Danielle not wanting to bar gays and lesbians from the dubious privilege of a state-sanctioned relationship?

Next, DEFINE the word 'liberal' as you wish to see it understood so all interested parties may engage you and Mr. Dyrholm in a debate that has actual meaning.

Finally, what possible purpose could promoting arbitrary divisions serve? As a self-labelled "socon" you ought to know that the core issues there are not the domain of the province.

Your penchant for labels, Craig, over ideas can only hurt the party, and your man Mr. Dyrholm. Through no other avenue but your own pronouncements, the great Unwashed, unaligned, but searching public in Alberta will be left with the idea that the WRA boils down to a debate between leftie liberals (who are unelectable) and authoritarian bible thumpers (who are unelectable).

Intead why not let us in on the merits and marketability of your man? Danielle has been consistently displaying her applicable credentials, her winnability, and her diplomacy. Mr. Dyrholm could benefit from the same showcasing.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-16 11:09:28 PM

John (if that is your real name because there is no John Collison on the membership list)

If you would like to talk further call me. I will not get into a mud slinging contest with you on a blog.

We have done nothing but state the truth and simply contrasted Danielle and mark.

If you wish to have the last word after this, feel free, but I will not be responding any further to your inaccurate and inflammotory partisan commentary.

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-07-17 1:41:48 AM

Craig, thank you for the comedic injection, re: my "inaccurate and inflammatory partisan commentary".

And thank you for the generous offer of the last word.

In right of centre politics, the term "liberal" is about the worst thing you can call somebody. And you know it.

Engaging telemarketers to assail WRA members and the general public with that discrediting and descredited message is THE bonehead move of the campaign, so far.

And you also know, or ought to, that Danielle Smith is not a "liberal".

But you have the opportunity to set things right.

Worse than smearing ONLY Danielle -- who rolls well above your level of play ;-) -- your construct that libertarian = liberal is offensive to the large number of formal and informal libertarians in the Wildrose Alliance and in the province.

Again, and I am sorry if you are sweating this as a "mudslinging contest" or if you are being unduly stressed, but man up, Craig, man up: you have been busted playing fast and loose with the truth and for gratuitously smearing the WRA's greatest asset in Danielle. So apologize.

Libertarianism does not = liberal.

You owe it to your candidate Mr. Dyrholm, and to Danielle, and to WRA members, and indeed to Alberta voters to apologize and CLARIFY your termionology. So far, you have declined to do so.

Apologize, Craig, and let's move on; Apologize and let's move forward as a movement.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-17 11:56:46 AM

Craig & John,

You both are off your rockers.

John, I have checked out the Libertarian Party website and you guys are indeed liberal. Your classification of drugs under "victimless crime" makes that point crystal clear. Craig is correct in labelling Danielle a social liberal. The games she is playing using the word "moderate" does not fool anyone. Just because you deny she is a liberal over and over does not mean it is not true. Moderate is liberal and by Danielle saying she is moderate she is also saying Mark Dyrholm is extreme and people get that.

Craig, despite what happened to you in the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party you should not have left. Why? because Ted Morton is on his way in and Ed Stelmach is on his way out. Social conservatives under Ted Morton are welcome with open arms. You sold out your principles and you should be ashamed of yourself. Quite the hypocrite in my mind.

If Mark wins the right is divided between two parties and if Danielle wins social conservatives have no where to go.

Come back home, Ted Morton needs you. Let's fight from within. Ted Morton respects and appreciates all Wildrose Alliance members. We can work together. Do not divide the movement!

Posted by: Gord Clarke | 2009-07-17 4:25:31 PM

"Mr. Chandler is a death kiss to any candidate he organizes for."

I believe the Angolan Men's National Ice Hockey team has more wins on the ice than C.B.C has in politics. Too much cash, not enough savvy. His brother on the other hand...

Posted by: PGIB | 2009-07-17 5:14:40 PM

This is getting amusing...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-07-17 6:11:48 PM

@ Gord Clarke. Good post, even tho you are only half right ;-)

If you wish to use the term "liberal" to imply freedom, freedom of choice, and a freedom and security based on property and personal responsibility, then you indeed have nailed Danielle correctly as a liberal.

If you wish to imply she is in any way akin to the Liberal Party; to socialism of any stripe, or is a personal or pub pol libertine, you are way off base and off the same rocker Mr. Chandler is.

Read Link Byfield's recent post on the conservative nature of libertarianism and the libertarian nature of conservatism -- which he ably describes en route to explaining why he, a "socon" champion, supports Danielle.

If and when Danielle wins the WRA leadership, two things are a certainty: socons, self-described or not, will have the safest most secure party they have ever had in this province; And Danielle's friend Ted Morton will have a red carpet rolled out for him. But not red the way Mr. Chandler would like to color Danielle ;-)

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-17 6:24:43 PM

Is THIS stance on abortion "liberal"? I would say it is libertarian. http://www.prowomanprolife.org/the-story/

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-17 6:28:37 PM

Yup... amusing...

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-07-17 6:29:03 PM

John Collison: Your impression of Danielle is quite accurate. She represents the foundation of what built this country - small, unintrusive government. If you're a fan of big government and ordering your neighbors around, she isn't for you.

Libertarianism is about freedom and self determination. It is not about some anti-drug Sharia law and socialism (read modern conservatism).

Soldiers like me pounded the ground overseas and some of us died for the ideals that Danielle Smith represents.

Dennis Young
Libertarian Party of Canada

Posted by: Dennis Young | 2009-07-17 10:56:31 PM

The 'Libertarian vs Social Conservative' wedge that one of the campaigns has been trying to construct out of whole cloth since the WAP AGM is a gross oversimplification of a natural friction point that has existed in all conservative movements since WWI (or even further). The biggest factor that 'perspective' ignores is the reality that there are many conservatives with personal moral convictions against things like abortion or gay marriage, who at the same time *do not* believe they have the right to impose those beliefs on others through government.

I'm not sure that the campaign pushing this rhetoric realizes just how insulting their messaging is. I've tried to make this politely clear to people on that campaign, but they seem fairly committed to their course of action. At least it makes my choice easier.

Posted by: LR | 2009-07-17 11:51:30 PM

Gord Clarke:

I like Ted Morton, or at least, I did. I even signed up 5 people for the PCs to vote for him in the leadership race. But after trampling over property rights with Bill 19 and Bill 36, he has a lot of work to do to restore the trust of former supporters.

The last 2 years have demonstrated to me what I should have realized much earlier - the PC Party is FUBAR, in much the same way as the Federal PC party was over a decade ago. In a Wildrose Alliance government, men like Morton (or even Blackett) will not be forced to betray their principles, if they exist.

Posted by: LR | 2009-07-18 12:09:55 AM

All we need to win is your division. Keep it up, this is great!

Posted by: Gord Clarke | 2009-07-18 4:26:47 AM

Good point, LR: What the hell happened to Morton? I voted for him too, but never again.

Posted by: Dennis Young | 2009-07-18 10:31:57 AM

I also voted for Morton. In fact I dragged my wife out to vote for Morton. We also actively campaigned for our Lee Richardson in order to help Harper get in.
Since then we've come to the conclusion that we voted for liars, and won't be fooled again if we can help it.
That's why I'll be voting WAP or Libertarian...or not at all.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-18 10:41:29 AM

I'm really stuggling to understand all the fuss about this new party. The Conservatives running Alberta are a tax and spend authoritarian government, worst in the nation by most bottom line economic measures: should be a very easy target to shoot down.
I go to the WildRose Party site; but I find the vision includes:
-Invest in research for environmentally friendly energy production.
-Provide tax incentives to industries and individuals to invest in environmentally friendly endeavours.
-As a society, take responsibility for each other and the government will support initiatives that follow this approach.
Hey - when the Green party folded in Alberta did they join the vision committee here?
I don't see anything different than status quo to be honest. Even on taxation, the words leave open enough space to drive a truck though since they ignore royalties.
I do see a potential leader saying she would scrap the HRCs, and that is a refreshing change, but unless there is a lot not on their website she would really have her work cut out for her to be anything different than just another tax and spend Conservative party.

Posted by: V.M. Smith | 2009-07-18 4:45:13 PM

Hey - to the orignal JC.
Well Harper's a liar on a few things for sure, but he promised to spend spend spend ($92 billion) to buy votes when in the race against Martin. He did keep that promise: sigh.
Hey the Liberals regularly bought majorities for much much less; he was not even cost effective at vote buying!

Posted by: V.M. Smith | 2009-07-18 4:53:23 PM

Shouldn't that be :

The "Conservatives" running Alberta are a tax and spend authoritarian government

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-07-18 5:11:10 PM

@ Dennis Young: you are right -- Danielle Smith is closer to the proud founding traditions that made Alberta the greatest province in Canada. She is also closer to the classical-liberal Laurier Liberals than any of the socialists who have since hijacked that banner.

And to V.M. Smith: I agree with your critique of the existing Wildrose Alliance website. But one of the purposes of a leadership race is to elect a leader who can LEAD. That means that Danielle, who understands that the natural environment can ONLY be protected through true property rights will be able to upgrade the website to reflect this understanding.

She may even see fit to post this example of what happens when Green-Socialist government takes control of environmental protection. It is a catastrophe of planetary proportion, yet the Harperite and Stelmachite socialists never mention it: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/aralsea/

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-18 6:15:23 PM

Folo Danielle Smith on twitter:

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-18 6:21:31 PM

@GeronL: Great point. Tragically "authoritarian" and "tax and spend" have come to be the most apropos terms for contemporary conservative parties, from the fuzzy fascist Bush Republicans, to the right wing social democratic Harperites, to the Neo-New Democratic Stelmach Tories.

All of which underscores the absurdity of having THE WILDROSE ALLIANCE ITSELF FOSTER PHONY SOCON-LIBERTARIAN DIVISIONS. This race should focus on the individual merits and potentials of the candidates themselves. Ludicrous ideological spats among people who are closer to each other philosophically than to ANY of the existing alternatives only help the Tories.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-07-18 6:27:06 PM


I couldn't agree more. I'd like to see Dyrholm run a more positive campaign, so that I have a fair chance at comparing both candidate's merits.

Posted by: LR | 2009-07-18 8:25:59 PM

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