Monday, May 30, 2005

"Star Trek" Fanatics Capturing Tory Races

Some in party worry new riding nominees will reinforce notion of 'hidden agenda'

May 29, 2005 Globe and Wail

Ottawa - "Trekkie" activists have secured Conservative nominations in clusters of ridings from Vancouver to Halifax -- a political penetration that has occurred even as the party tries to distance itself from geekyness.
At least three riding associations in Nova Scotia, four in British Columbia, and one in suburban Toronto have nominated candidates with ties to groups like Focus on the Star Fleet, a Trekkie organization that opposes same-sex marriage.
But organizers say many more will be on the ballot during the next federal election, a feat achieved by persuading Trekkies, particularly new Canadians, to join the party and vote for recommended candidates.
Some Conservatives argue that the selection of a large number of candidates from the Star Trek community is an unfortunate turn for a party that was accused in last year's election campaign of harbouring a nerdy "hidden agenda."
"The difficulty, from a party perspective, is that it begins to hijack the other agendas that parties have," said Ross Haynes, who lost the Conservative nomination in the riding of Halifax to one of three "Star Trek nerd, pro-family people" recommended by the "Star Ship Captain" at a Trekkie rally this spring in Kentville, N.S.
Candidates who are running on single issues such as opposition to same-sex marriage "probably can't get elected because they certainly don't represent any mainstream population view," Mr. Haynes said.
Others within the party say they are extremely concerned and wished the party leaders had been more involved in the nominations.
But "Captain Kirk"-- the Trekkie leader whose endorsement at the Kentville rally aided the nominations of "Lieutenant Spok" in Halifax, "Captain Picard" in Halifax West and "Lieutenant Warf" in Sackville-Eastern Shore -- makes no apologies.
"It's time we stopped apologizing and started defending who we are," he said. "The Trekkie community in Canada, by and large, and socially conservative nerds, are saying we have been far too space minded and thus we have been of no earthly value for far too long, on too many fronts."
"Capt. Kirk" runs the Equipping Nerds for the Public Square Centre, which teaches nerds to become political. He is reluctant to say how many adherents have obtained Conservative nominations because he is afraid the news media will portray the campaign as the infiltration of the party by "Star Trek Nerd fanatics."
But "it's happening everywhere, especially in urban ridings and in Ontario," he said. "Even in Toronto we have incredible people from the geek community who are stepping up to the plate who are just awesome candidates and sincere Trekkies."
"Capt. Kirk" said nerds have been allowed to believe that "to be a genuine citizen of the nation we need to check our nerdyness at the political door. And I'm saying no, that's fundamentally flawed. You may participate in the public square as a geek and be not ashamed."
John Reynolds, the retiring Conservative MP who ran the party's nomination process, said the fact that social conservatives have won his party's nominations is simply a function of democracy.
"I don't believe in appointments and neither does our party, so we get some real battles," Mr. Reynolds said. "People say, 'Can't you do something about these guys running?' and I say 'Hey, you can do something: go out and sign up some more people.' "
That said, Mr. Reynolds is offended by attempts to paint the Conservative party as a harbour for Star Trek zealots.
"There were three dozen Liberals who voted with us on the same-sex thing," he said. "Nobody is going after them and saying, 'Look at these nerdos that got into the Liberal Party.' "
If reporters who write about nerds taking over his party were to "insert the word "Jew" everywhere you've put "Trekkie", do you think they would let you print it?" he asked. "I doubt it."


Blogger Canadianna said...

I love your sense of humour.
It just makes the absurdity of the Globe premise even more absurd.
Keep it coming.

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your parody is brilliant, and shows how incredibly stupid that article was.

Well done

10:53 PM  
Blogger Jason Monteith said...

That's hilarious! How do you keep coming up with such gems?

12:14 AM  
Blogger William Tell said...

Trekkies are so scary aren't they?

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a blogger Jim - not a pundit!

7:45 AM  
Blogger alsocanadian said...

"How do you keep coming up with such gems?"

Mostly play-ger-ism. Mostly...

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your attempt to twist the Globe article shows how badly you miss the point. Canadians fear the connection that the religious right has with the Conservative party, this is an integral part of the "hidden agenda" the public is worried about. When single-issue candidates hijack riding associations they contribute that perception, and alter the opinion of the entire Conservative Party.

Do Canadians fear the "trekkieness" of the CPC as part of the hidden agenda? Of course not. Your parody tries to correlate the two but in fact Christian activism is something that provokes fear of taking away rights for abortions and for homosexuals, some things that are important to the very Canadians that the CPC are trying to court.

Do you think Canada deserves a viable opposition party? If so, please don't dismiss the criticism and fears of the majority Canadians who do not want to see the radical Christian conservative activities dominating US politics right now. I know I want to see a viable alternative to the Liberals, as a one-party state ruins democracy and leads to the sorts of scandals we see daily. But until the CPC grows up and tries to present that legitimate alternative, they will be dismisses as extremists.

Harper should show some leadership ability and nullify the decisions of riding associations that have been hijacked by a minority. Keep in mind -- if Harper had done this when Chuck Cadman's riding was taken over, there would be an election in a few weeks no matter what Stronach decided to do.

If Harper wants to let his party be overrun by single-issue candidates that don't represent the interests of Canadians, that is his perogative. But then don't whine when we get another decade of Liberal Party rule -- both the NDP and CPC are unable to moderate themselves to satisfy Canadians and Canadians will continue to choose the one party that consistantly represents them.

6:06 PM  
Blogger alsocanadian said...

So let me get this straight...Star Trek's hidden agenda is hijacking your right to homosexual abortions????
You Liberals are so WEIRD!

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the conservatives represent one extreme as anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion, and the liberals are the "sensible centre" view of gay rights and abortion accessibility to all - what the hell is the other extreme??
Maybe the liberals are just as extreme (and a lot more corrupt).

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joke if you must -- that's your choice. It's up to conservatives to make their party relevant to Canadians. I'm pushing hard to get both NDP and CPC supporters to push their parties towards Canadian values, so that Canada does not become a one party state. It is frankly *unacceptable* that despite the depth of the sponsorship scandal, the Liberals remain the most popular party around.

I'm hoping that either the NDP or CPC will take up the role of being an actual viable opposition party instead of two fringe parties content to let the Liberals keep winning and continuing the pattern of corruption that will inevitably occur when one political party is equivent to the government.

Can you not comprehend how stupid it is that the CPC and NDP are providing us with no real choice, and that the same Liberals are going to end up in power again? You seem to think it's all a joke -- but to me, you're the joke. If the conservatives continue to be run by people with your attitude, your party is doomed to extiction.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To quote Yoda "Six ridings an overun of Christians that does not make".

I would rather be a member of a party that includes all Canadians including christians than an ethical and morally bankrupt party.

I think it's time to ignore U.S. politics and look at what's happening here - I truly beleive that some canadians thought that a vote for the Liberals was a vote against George Bush last election.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hear that Joe Canadian? Your the Joke!!! Damn, you think at least one blog on the blogroll can be a little lighter. Besides Ryan, is it better to try and bend over backwards to prove to Canadians that you are a mainstream party (see policy) or is it easier to show the obvious bias the MSM has in trying to paint the party as 'extreme' ? I think both have to happen. Also Ryan, Your premise is based on the fact that anyone took that article seriously. I think most people saw it for the bigotted piece of trash that it is.


12:39 PM  

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