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Conservative leadership hopefuls denounce ‘lock her up’ chants

MPs Michael Chong and Deepak Obhrai weigh in on Trump-style politics at Alberta rally


 
From left to right, Chris Alexander, Maxime Bernier, Andrew Scheer, Erin O'Toole and Lisa Rait look on as Conservative leadership candidate Michael Chong responds to questions from the audience at a Conservative leadership debate in Greely, Ont., on Sunday, November 13, 2016. (Fred Chartrand/CP)

From left to right, Chris Alexander, Maxime Bernier, Andrew Scheer, Erin O’Toole and Lisa Rait look on as Conservative leadership candidate Michael Chong responds to questions from the audience at a Conservative leadership debate in Greely, Ont., on Sunday, November 13, 2016. (Fred Chartrand/CP)

OTTAWA — A couple of Chris Alexander’s rivals in the Conservative leadership race are denouncing what happened at a rally in Edmonton over the weekend, when some in the crowd chanted that Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley should be thrown in jail.

The chants of “lock her up”, which echoed those heard at many campaign rallies for now U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, came as Alexander was speaking about Notley at a rally organized by Rebel Media, an online news and right-wing opinion outlet.

Conservative MP Michael Chong, a rival in the race to replace former prime minister Stephen Harper as party leader, said that while free speech must always be defended, it must also be used responsibly.

Chong took no issue with the rally itself, meant to protest “job-killing regulations and the swelling tax burden,” as he said in a statement Monday.

“This type of activism and political participation is an essential part of how our system works,” he said.

“However, in chanting ‘lock her up’ at one point in the rally, members of the crowd, in their anger, urged undemocratic action more worthy of a dictatorship than Canada’s parliamentary democracy based on the rule of law,” he said.

Chong did not mention Alexander by name, but noted the chanting was not denounced by organizers or by those on the stage.

“As leaders, we should stand up against language and behaviour that undermines the rule of law and legitimacy of our political system and its office holders, whether that language comes from the left or the right of the political spectrum,” Chong said.

Alexander has been criticized for not being seen to do anything to stop the protesters or say anything about the words they were using, but he has since said he disapproved.

“I totally disapprove of that particular chant,” Alexander said Sunday. “I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s the right thing to say at a rally or elsewhere and that’s why I didn’t join it.”

Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai also weighed in, saying that whether one agrees or disagrees, Albertans gave Notley “a clear democratic mandate to govern” in the last provincial election.

“We’re witnessing Trump-style politics invading Canada,” he said.

He called on the organizers to distance themselves from “hate-mongering and insults.”


 

Conservative leadership hopefuls denounce ‘lock her up’ chants

  1. Oh puhleeze clutch your pearls and lie down on your fainting couch, “We’re witnessing Trump-style politics invading Canada,” that’s all were going to hear for the next couple of years…

  2. I’d be curious if Mr Chong would address those chants in front of a crowd of “potential supporters”. If he would then he would look somewhat worthy of being a leader in my eyes. Although his policies would ultimately be the deciding factor for me.

    I understand that there is some discontent, however so many people are showing their intolerance of others who don’t share their views with their remarks that it actually says more about the commentor than it does the subject matter.

  3. It’s not enough to not join in. Leaders LEAD – so you stand there and stop them right then and there. You say, “NO! That’s unacceptable! We don’t do that here!” You’re the one with the mic, after all.

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