Wildrose ‘fires’ MLA Joe Anglin, who continues to sit as Wildrose MLA … for now

Posted on July 07, 2014, 12:22 am
10 mins

A scene at the Wildrose Party nomination vote in Rimbey Saturday night. Actual Wildrose Party members may not have appeared exactly as illustrated. Below: Wildrose, sort of, MLA Joe Anglin and his leader, for now, Danielle Smith.

The Wildrose Party has fired rabble-rousing MLA Joe Anglin.

That’s how Mr. Anglin said he’d view it, anyway, if the party’s local members nominated another candidate in his rural Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre riding.

Well, nominate another candidate was exactly what they did Saturday night by choosing constituency association president Jason Nixon as their standard-bearer in the next general election by a substantial margin.

In this regard, I’m inclined to see the vote results the same light as Mr. Anglin. But Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith subsequently told the Calgary Herald she wants Mr. Anglin to run again for the party, in urban Edmonton.

Say what? So he can lose to the NDP? Leastways, those are the questions I’d be asking myself if I were Mr. Anglin. Plus: What the heck kind of a deal is that?”

The sixtyish Mr. Anglin was polite about it Saturday night, gracefully Tweeting congratulations to Mr. Nixon after the 34-year-old challenger won by a vote of 242 to 122. Mr. Anglin’s cellular phone message yesterday afternoon indicated he’d be taking a little break, until July 15 – and who can blame him, under the circumstances!

It’ll be a break to consider his options, I’ll bet – and they include more than just running for the Wildrose Party in an urban Edmonton seat.

Indeed, I’d say Mr. Anglin ever running for the Wildrose again is a pretty unlikely scenario, notwithstanding Ms. Smith’s assertion that her firebrand west-central-Alberta MLA has been “a huge asset to our party” and “an incredible champion on the issue of property rights.”

What she really means, more likely, is: Go away, Joe. Don’t come back.

Mr. Anglin has a habit of saying what he thinks – which, despite the claims of the Wildrose Party and other right-wing Western Canadian political groups that’s how elected officials should act, doesn’t really go over that well in the real world of politics. And since the former Alberta Green Party leader became aware his own constituency association president was challenging him, he’s already said some pretty harsh things about the Wildrose Party and its leadership.

When Mr. Anglin failed to persuade the Wildrose officials to disallow Mr. Nixon’s candidacy on the grounds the challenger didn’t resign his constituency position soon enough to comply with party rules, he accused the party of being no different from the long-governing Progressive Conservatives.

“If the Wildrose can’t follow their own rules, I am not sure they’re fit to govern,” he grumped to the media. “You just can’t make rules up and say you aren’t going to follow them. Otherwise we’re no different than the PCs.”

Uh… Hard to disagree with that.

Mr. Anglin also filed a complaint with the Calgary Police reporting he’d received an anonymous death threat after refusing to step aside for Mr. Nixon, and accused what the Red Deer Advocate called “a senior Wildrose Party player” of offering him “in essence a bribe” in return for stepping down – a job with the Alberta Electric System Operator, Alberta Energy Regulator or the Alberta Surface Rights Board, presumably on the assumption the party wins the next election.

So, no, I don’t think the Wildrosers really want Mr. Anglin to be a candidate, or expect him to try to be one. And I expect any regulatory job offers, whoever may have made them, are off the table by now.

When Mr. Nixon’s last-minute challenge suddenly surfaced in late June, days before the nomination meeting, Mr. Anglin told me that he’d view losing the nomination vote as proof he’d been fired by the party. In that event, he said, “I will view this as my options are wide open.”

Those options include running for another party, if one can be found that will take him, even joining another party immediately and sitting as its representative in the Legislature, running as an Independent or saying to heck with it and not running for anything.

I would say the most likely options for Mr. Anglin, who is most often described as a “maverick” by the mainstream media, are running an Independent or finding a home in the Legislature under someone else’s banner. Parties with seats in the Legislature now are likely to be wary – but what about the seatless Alberta Party, for which hope always springs eternal?

If Mr. Anglin has approached the Alberta Party – the still barely functioning invention of a group of Alberta Liberal Party reformers in 2010 – it would once again have a member in the Legislature and Mr. Anglin would have an opportunity for up to two years to call a press conference every day as its only MLA.

There is said to be interest in such a symbiotic relationship among the membership of the Alberta Party executive.

If he runs as an Independent or an Alberta Party candidate, even if he doesn’t win, he could just split the vote enough in the riding to let a Progressive Conservative squeak in.

Whatever Mr. Anglin does, as a man who famously neither minces his words nor engages in self-censorship, the former U.S. Marine is likely to do it with guns blazing.

Since, for the moment at least Mr. Anglin remains a full member of the Wildrose Legislative caucus, that should make for some very interesting conversation when next they meet.

+ + +

Alberta’s Greens, once defunct, are defunct no more

When I last wrote at length on this topic, I described the Alberta Green Party, of which Mr. Anglin was once the leader, as being defunct.

This, as it turns out, is only sort of true. Let me turn it over to Janet Keeping, the leader of the current version of the party, to explain:

“A Green Party was first registered in Alberta in 1990. … However, in 2009 disaster struck when internal dissension culminated in a failure to fulfill provincial filing requirements and the Green Party was deregistered, i.e., ceased to exist.

“About two years later, a small group of supporters formed a society – Vision 2012 – with the goal of getting a renewed Green Party off the ground. During the fall of 2011, volunteers collected thousands of signatures of Alberta voters on a petition calling for registration of a new party which, pursuant to the Chief Electoral Officer’s rules, had to bear a different name for the purposes for the next election. 

In this way the Evergreen Party was formed and ran 25 candidates in the 2012 provincial election. With that election under its belt, provincial Greens were able to change the name of the party back to the Green Party of Alberta and are now looking forward to fielding candidates under that banner in the next provincial election.”

Got that? The Greens are defunct no more.

Another option for Mr. Anglin, perhaps. Or, perhaps not, as he doubtless expressed a point of view during the internal dissention that led to the party’s discombobulation in 2009.

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

13 Comments to: Wildrose ‘fires’ MLA Joe Anglin, who continues to sit as Wildrose MLA … for now

  1. Harr E. Stuart

    July 7th, 2014

    Joe Anglins defeat was brought on by nobody else but by Joe Anglin…I was one of Jason Nixons team members and after the vote, on Sunday, people complained to me that they were not allowed to vote because they did not have a current membership, a requirement to vote for their choice of candidate…When I asked them who they would have supported, they all said Joe…when I asked them if the had supported Joe in the last nomination bid th Joe won, they said, “yes”…When I asked them if Joe or any of Joes supporters had contacted them prior to the deadline to make sur their membership was up to date and they new about the voting place, date and rules, they all answered, “no”…Mr. Anglin and his team showed absolutely no effort to even attempt to win this nomination and must accept the loss as part of being very lazy or complacent about where they sat…Mr. Nixon played by the rules to the letter and all of us telephone aids had a deal…the deal was to be positive, honest, kind and informative when it came to calling and selling memberships…We had a set of rules between us that we would not bad mouth Mr. Anglin or his supporters ad stuck to our guns…Mr. Anglins supporters in the last 2 hours were ruthless in getting out the message but to people who had no current membership and/or who had already voted….Mr. Anglin did this to himself, including all of the appeals he pushed f to stop the nomination…Laziness did not do him well and I feel for any other party who would take the chance on him…With Joe, it’s all about Joe and to hell with the riding..

    Reply
  2. Harry E. Stuart

    July 7th, 2014

    That is hilarious….fortunately a very bad portrayal of Jason…To really really place any judgement of Anglin,you first hae had to live in this riding…I see 2 different people when I see Anglin in Rimbey vs. in any other part of Alberta…I have read hi bios and have to laugh…to have had that many careers, the guy must be at least 150 years old…

    Reply
  3. Will Munsey

    July 7th, 2014

    David,

    It’s interesting you say Joe is interested in the Alberta Party and that we’re interested in having him as an MLA. I wonder who you got that from, ’cause you never actually asked us (and I’m always willing to talk to you). It appears to me yours is simply a bit of speculation based on Mr Anglin’s early interest in the formation of a new party after the his experience in the Alberta Green Party.

    We’ve had no discussions with Mr Anglin and while many people think Joe might be a good fit for the Alberta Party (I don’t think he was ever much of a WRP line-toer), there is nothing afoot. Mr Anglin has NOT approached us and we would not consider his joining us at the moment. We have a prescribed policy for MLAs seeking to cross the floor. We’ve always been very leery of floor crossing for simply political self-preservation (we hate that). Thats why we have a policy that prescribes the process quite clearly, and currently Joe’s conditions are not even possible for consideration. That said, we recognize that people change and what once fit them once, no longer fits them… and they need to find a new home.

    As a new party, trying something new… hammered by the constant criticism of irrelevance (which you contribute to), we welcome all people to contemplate a change of the way we do politics in Alberta. Wasn’t it Bernard Shaw who said something to the effect that “progess is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

    If at some point, Joe Anglin is interested in the Alberta Party, we’ll talk to him, just like we’re open to every Albertan who is fed up with the partisan nature of politics in Alberta. Heck, we’d entertain anyone with the desire to improve the way we do things… and that runs the spectrum from Jim Prentice to Rachel Notley… and every Albertan in between. Right now, however, I’d invite you to do a little more talking WITH the people you’re talking ABOUT to get your ducks lined up correctly.

    Love your writing, David. Always have. Just wanted to set the record straight on this one. And for the record, we are still functioning and we still believe there are better options to the way we do government in Alberta.

    Call me, buddy. Even if you think I’m irrelevant, I can still buy a decent cup of coffee.

    Reply
  4. Travis

    July 8th, 2014

    Joe Anglin had some pretty nasty things to say about the Wildrose Alliance before he ever became a candidate and MLA for them.

    Anglin is the worst kind of opportunist and his foray of destroying the Green Party only shows that. If the Alberta Party wants him they can have him, after all Dave Taylor sure worked out well for the Alberta Party right?

    Reply
  5. Harry E. Stuart

    July 9th, 2014

    Couldn’t agree more with you Travis…Anglin is so” toxic” (a word I heard many times while phoning people in the riding to support Jason Nixon), it’s surprising that any party in their right mind would want him…Remember, he started out with the NDP supporting Jim Graves (a very nice man) in this riding, started the Green Party, drowned the Green Party, then somehow wormed his way into the Wildrose Party….He’s a power hungry little man who couldn’t tell the truth if it smacked him upside the head (my opinion)….This riding (Rimbey, Rocky, Sundre) are quite happy to have him gone especially after his critical comments about local councils and the Ponoka County Council…I hope his political career is done and there are a few of us willing to go the extra mile to make that happen, with the truth about him…I understand MacDonalds and Walmart are hiring..

    Reply
    • William Munsey

      July 9th, 2014

      Joe neither “started,” nor “drowned” the Alberta Green Party. He did sign up over 200 rural members who showed up at an AGM to vote him in as leader. The older guard of the party saw those 200 new members (many wearing boots and jeans and plaid work shirts) and tried to close the meeting. They had an emergency executive in the parking lot and simply drove back to Calgary. According to the constitution of the party at the time, once opened, a meeting could only be closed by members. The rural members voted Joe in as leader and the party split. What is unknown to most is that the very next day, Joe wrote to the former executive and offered to resign if they would hold a free leadership race. I also told them he would NOT run. It was the way way to heal the rift. No answer was ever received from them. In fact, no communication was ever initiated by them. Two hundred new and duly registered members showed up to an AGM buy were rebuked by a party that was focused around a very small group of urban greens, mostly from Calgary. That’s what stumbled the Green Party. A little FYI.

      Reply
      • Harry E. Stuart

        July 9th, 2014

        Well Thank-you for the information…In Rimbey, Sundre & Rocky, and points in between, Joe was turfed not because he was too good at what he was doing but because he was very much to toxic to most….I was on the phoning committee for Jason Nixon and heard many stories, none good about Joe… Another thing that got Joe turfed by people in Rimbey was due to a comment he put in The Rimbey Review suggesting that the councils who worked to get Rimoka Funding were incompetent people…That p*ssed of a lot of people including myself…What a lot of people do not know is Joes political history…from the NDP to The Green Party to the Wildrose…a jump from the far left to the right…I suggest he is but a power hungry man and am happy he will not be representing this riding in the next election, actually, those of us volunteers who fought hard to defeat him, hope and pray his political career ends here, in Canada, at least…

        Reply

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