CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Larry R. Heather in Calgary Southwest
Friday, October 10, 2008
In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with Larry R. Heather. Heather is a candidate in Alberta's Calgary Southwest riding, running under the Christian Heritage Party of Canada (CHP) banner. The CHP is a minor, registered political party running a significant number of candidates across the country, looking to earn its first ever seat in the House of Commons.
Best known as an anti-abortion activist, this shipper-receiver holds a Bachelor of Religious Education from Saskatchewan's Briercrest College and Seminary, and a BA in religion from Calgary's Rocky Mountain College. He hosts the Gospel Road program on AM1140 in High River, and is remembered by many for his ketchup-soaked run-in with abortion law activist Henry Morgentaler.
He has run in the federal election of 1984 (Calgary South, ind.), 1988 (Calgary Southwest, ind), 1993 (Calgary West, CHP), 1997 (Calgary Southwest, CHP), 2004 (Calgary Southwest, CHP), and 2006 (Calgary Southwest, CHP), provincial elections of 1986 (Calgary Glenmore, ind), 1989 (Calgary Elbow, ind), and 2004 (Calgary Glenmore, Alberta Social Credit), and for various public school board ridings in 1989 and 1992. He has run against some big names, including Ralph Klein (1989), Preston Manning (1997), and Stephen Harper (1993, 2004, 2006). His 2006 campaign featured controversial and graphic images, to illustrate his pro-life and anti-same sex marriage messages.
His major opponent in the riding is economist and lecturer Stephen Harper, a Conservative, who just so happens to be the current Prime Minister. Harper previously represented Calgary West. Other names on the ballot include Liberal Marlene Lamontagne, New Democrat Holly Heffernan, Libertarian Dennis Young, and Green Party candidate Kelly Christie. The riding is any part of Calgary that is west of the Canadian Pacific rail line, and south of the Glenway Trail.
The following is an interview with Heather, conducted via email. The interview has had very limited editing, to eliminate in-text mentions of website addresses, but is otherwise left exactly as sent to Wikinews.
Why are you running for political office, why at the federal level, why this party, and why in this riding?
- I am running for the Christian Heritage Party for Calgary Southwest because it is the only Federal Party that is committed to the Supremacy of God's ethical laws in the crafting of federal administration and legislation. To flavour the ballot with this option for the voters is an imperative for me personally. It is my highest act of citizenship to offer my constituents the option of returning to the founding principles of our nation's Christian Heritage, the only way that Canada can continue to survive as the nations we have known in the past. Of course, these sort of decisions are primarily made at the federal level and that is where my focus is. The Calgary Southwest electoral district is critical to contrast our approach to that of the Conservative Party Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. This has been my home riding since 1963 and I, unlike the Prime Minister, actually make a residence in the riding.
Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/life experience to serving your constituents?
- This is my seventh federal campaign for member of Parliament, two as an independant [sic], and five as a Christian Heritage Party Candidate. Six of the runs were in Calgary Southwest, one in Calgary West. I have also run for public school board and MLA for the Alberta provincial elections in the past, both as an independant [sic] and for the Alberta Social Credit Party.
- I have participated in a number of community and Christian ministry positions, both in leadership, and on the member volunteer level. I have a wide base of reading and research into various issues affecting the welfare of citizens. I am always looking towards learning new approaches and solutions that deal with reality and the world we truly must live in.
As you campaign around your riding, it's likely that some issues are mentioned more often by voters, than other issues. What would you say are the three hottest topics this election, in your riding? What would you and your party do to address these issues?
- I believe the management of the economy under ethical free enterprise is the primary concern of the voters in Calgary Southwest. Also troubling to many is the proper management of health care, and general respect for the value of innocent human life under the barrage of a compromised justice system. The disrepect shown to the pre-born and the traditional definition of marriage, has many wondering whether the decision makershave not abandoned all sense of moral rationality.
Are there any misconceptions about you, your leader, or your party and platform?
- Any examination of the full policy of the Christian Heritage Party will show a complete response of policy to the major areas of federal responsibility. Because we talk about critical issues that no other party will mention, it is wrongly perceived that we are strumming a one string banjo. This is not true, and exactly the reason why our Party Leader, Ron Gray—should be included in the national leaders television debates - where the full range of issues will not be censored out. Check out our platform at chp.ca, or go to my campaign website for my applications to the specifics of issues in Calgary Southwest. or interact with me on my Calgary Southwest blog or my Facebook page.
There are more ways than ever to get your message out, from the traditional campaign fliers and lawn signs, to new media like websites, Facebook, and YouTube. The tried-and-true routes get the message out to the masses much easier, but digital alternatives are much more measurable in how many are seeing or interacting with your campaign. What seems to be the most effective, from your experience?
- The blog and Facebook for me, are just in their beginnings, but I see from the start, the willingness of people to see their input put on public sites where their opinion and allegiances can be made known is evident. The door to door brochure is still the mainstay source for most, the doorknocking and personal face to face encounter the most effective as time allows. But electronic interaction is the way most active people will have a chance for direct interaction with the Candidate in this busy day and age.