Ted Byfield: In her first head to head clash with Kenney, Notley loses badly

The State

The landslide victory of Jason Kenney in the leadership contest for the new United Conservative Party has wide implications for Alberta and for Canada, a fact that will begin unfolding rapidly over the next few months. But it also has similarly wide implications for Alberta’s NDP government and its inner politics. Two developments in that sphere over the week of the Tory leadership contest are noteworthy. In both of them Premier Rachel Notley got badly smacked.

The first was her decision to intervene in the new party’s leadership campaign. Two days before the voting began– the timing could not be accidental — she gave an interview to the CBC. In it she endorsed her education minister, David Eggen in prohibiting the Catholic schools from teaching Catholic doctrine in their sex-education course. They were proposing, she said, to allow a Catholic husband to rape his wife. She and her government would stand four-square against this and prohibit the Catholic curriculum from being taught in the Catholic schools.

But then, ooops! This was not what the curriculum had proposed. A segment of it dealt with several aspects of marriage. Consent, specifically the definition of it, was one. There were others — the duty to have children, the duties of chastity, the need for mutual love and responsibility of husband for wife and wife for husband. “In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I will honour you all the days of my life,” says the marriage service. The premier fumbled for an answer. Well that stuff’s all very well, she said, but “consent to sex” is more important than these other things.

It is? Could she actually have meant this? More important than care during illness, more important than sexual loyalty, more important than finding work, more important than livelihood itself? How was she so misinformed on this? Did she not realize that her department of education has become sex-obsessed, and can apparently think of nothing else?

Now look what they have done. They have somehow dragged the premier and government into the old “no means no” conflict between male and female. Does no always mean no? Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it means maybe, sometimes it means, not yet. And once (in my own experience) when I heard “no,” and decided to be chivalrous and concede, what did I hear next? “Give up pretty easily, don’t you.|”

This article continues at [Ted Byfield Blog] In her first head to head clash with Kenney, Notley loses badly

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