Well the witchhunt is apparently on and Kevin Taft is leading the charge.
His latest bone of contention is that 4 of Alberta's 83 Returning Officers have PC activity in their past or are married to a PC volunteer. Freedom of association apparently doesn't apply to tories in Kevin's world.
The job of a Returning Officer is an important one. They require exceptional organizational, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Moreover, they must remain calm in the face of the hectic campaigns going on around them.
Even though Kevin Taft admits he has absolutely no evidence to suggest that any of his accusees have performed their duties in anything but a highly competent manner, he is still calling for their resignations in his typically petulant, professorial fashion.
Returning Officers must do their duties in an entirely impartial manner, of that we can all be in complete agreement. But to suggest that those who may have a partisan past are unqualified for these positions is short sighted.
Look at Judges, for example. Their positions require total impartiality given the exceptional responsibilities entrusted to them. Yet if you look into a Judge's pre-judicial past, you'll likely find some kind of partisan activity. I think specifically of a good friend of my family, Mr. Justice Adam Germain.
Mr. Germain serves on the Court of Queen's Bench and has a plethora of important and impartial decisions to make every day. I know him to be an exceptional man who holds his responsibilities in the highest moral regard.
As fate would have it, he was also my Liberal MLA from 1993 to 1997. Given this, there is an entire 4 years of Hansard recording his interventions and opinions expressed on a variety of topics in the Alberta Legislature. He was also a candidate for the provincial Liberal leadership and, subsequently, a federal Liberal candidate in 1997. A partisan past indeed.
Surely Mr. Taft would hold Judges to the same standard as mere Returning Officers. Based on Kevin Taft's standards, Mr. Germain would not be fit to hold such a high position requiring impartiality (that is unless Liberals are exempt, but I doubt that).
And yet we see Mr. Justice Germain and countless other members of the bench with similar backgrounds serving our justice system every day. They're there because we recognize that, above their respective histories, they possess exceptional ability to make sound, rational, and impartial decisions in service to the people of Alberta.
It is this high standard upon which I believe our Returning Officers are chosen, rather than Kevin Taft's McCarthy-esque PC witchhunt.
The Premier is right to ignore the Liberal rambling and mud-slinging. It is beneath him and, moreover, a waste of Albertans' time.