Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rodney Dangerfield was an Albertan

Constitutionally, from an Albertan's point of view, Canada is still stuck in 1905. Since that time, Alberta has grown significantly in population, spirit, and GDP. There's no doubt the oil booms have helped grow the economy, but there are many other industries that get ignored--for example: forestry, farming, I.T., housing, investing, construction, engineering, medical research, etc.

This poll is indicative of the feelings of the majority of Albertans who feel they do not receive the respect that's deserved from the rest of Canada, that Albertans are lucky because we sit on a pile of oil.

While I believe a monkey could balance the Alberta budget with the amount of oil revenues that come in, in the 90's, the province's economy proved it could run without government spending above inflation as it does now.

However, prior to that, Trudeau's National Energy socialist Program (NEP) nearly flattened economic growth, not just in oil and gas, but in other sectors as well--investment loses in real estate were staggerring, jobs were lost, and the suicide rate increased. While premier Lougheed at the time tried to stop it, Trudeau went ahead anyway. You wonder if the senate was more effective, it could have put a stop to it.

With that said, Albertans "don't get no respect" not because of the oil and money, it's the fact that the province is underrepresented in the senate. As long as Ontario has the big population, it will continue to have more representation in government. Granted, the current prime minister is from Calgary, as are several cabinet ministers from Alberta, but that's based on an election, and is not indicative of a permanent need for fair constitutional representation.

The need for senate reform is ever apparent even if Alberta didn't have such wealth, as it also applies to the other western provinces. Ironically, Canada might not have been formed if the senate wasn't created as it still is, but even then, the desire for a triple-e senate existed, and the west wasn't even settled yet.

Why Nova Scotia and New Brunswick get 10 senators each and Alberta gets 6 is beyond me.

Over one hundred years later, and you'd think Alberta and the other western provinces would get more representation.

We can elect all the senators we want, but without provincial equality, Canada will continue to struggle with unity, alientation and separation will always be a buzz-word in the west, we'll never progress into a mature and democratic country, and the west, especially Alberta, will never get the respect it deserves and continue to be a treated more like a colony, not a province in a great dominion.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Haught vs. Naught No. 2

Sorry, quite busy last week... this week's Haught vs. Naught goes out to those crazy Alberta Tories at Renewing the One Party State for their "plug" on my "homoerotic" blog. Here we go...

Hatrock's Haught [or] Naught
- Passion Week 2006 -
Yes folks, this week it's not "vs.", it's "or". First we start with Christianity...
Jesus: Haught or Naught? A recent poll came out, asking Canadians and Americans whether they believe the "truths" in Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci Code", that Jesus lived the crux, married Mary M., had kids, and moved to France, etc. 17% of Canadians and 13% of Americans believe it. What does this mean? It means a lot more people still believe Elvis is alive. Gives a new meaning to "A hunk o' hunk o' burnin' love", don't it?
Judas: Haught or Naught? With the release of his gospel, critics slam it as a fake. Did Jesus ask Judas Iscariot to turn him in or was he a traitor? Stay tuned for the sequel to "The Da Vinci Code", titled, "The Leonardo Dicaprio Code" starring Mel Gibson. The Opus Dei has been taken over by 80's band Opus preaching "Life is Live!" It sure is. It sure is. Just ask Jesus!
There, got that out of my systen. Now on to Canadian politics... and [vs.] returns...
Haught: Once again, Prime Minister Harper for visiting the military grad class out at Wainwright, Alberta and pumping them up.
Haught: LibLead contender Gerard Kennedy. Well, according to TheCalgaryGrit he's got all the checkmarks. But cute? And is he cuter than Harper?
Naughty: Rick Mercer. Click here to view his latest videos. One minute he's in bed with Belinda, the next, pouring syrup with Environment Minister Rona Ambrose. This guy is starting to remind me more and more of Kenny Hotz.
Naught: Preston Manning. Haught last week, everyone is still waiting in anticipation of the results of the Draft Manning campaign. Oh God, the suspense is killing me! Will he enter the race to replace Ralph or not? Because I can't wait any longer, I've decided to throw my support around Anne McLellan.
Naught: Michael Igggnatiefff. No reason. Just wondering if he's actually Canadian.
Naught: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. I had to definitely get that one in there. Not only did they not elect any Conservative MPs, their hockey teams didn't make the NHL playoffs (with the exception of Montreal). Notice the Conservative bastion cities that did: Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton. As many know, Stephen Harper is writing a book on the history of hockey in Canada. Is this conspiracy or a backlash against LibLead hopeful Ken Dryden? Stay tuned...
Well, that's it for now.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Haught vs. Naught

Hotz n Rice have "Kenny vs. Spenny", Jane Taber's got her "Hot and Not" list, well now so do I.

I bring to you, the first weekly installment of ...

Hatrock's Haught vs. Naught
(Where the 'gh' is silent.)

With the 39th parliament underway, Ralph Klein getting dumped and finally saying goodbye earlier than expected but still later than wanted, coupled with the LibLead race screaming for attention, there's lots to compare. So here we goooo...

Haught - Prime Minister Stephen Harper. While he should take girth advice from the size his own Throne Speech, coming in at 24 minutes, almost half of Paul Martin's second one, was laid with specifics, ones we've heard a zillion times from the campaign but not riddled with dithering platitudes. That speech, coupled with his first zinging performance as Prime Minister in question period, "Mr. Speaker, I assure the member that I've never been acused of seducing anyone, let alone my own wife." Now with polls showing an 18 point lead at 41% and high approval ratings, Harper is the haughtest.

Haught - Governor General Michaelle Jean. Well, she's hot! The Queen's rep looked fantastic, dignified, classy, yet hip.

Haught - Jim Prentice. Oooh. He gets to sit in the front row. And next to the Prime Minister. Seriously though, he appears to be taking his Indian Affairs job, well, seriously.

Haught - Preston Manning. Maybe he's luke warm, but his well received speech to the Alberta PC convention last Saturday paved the way for speculation and an answer from the old Reform leader hinting at a possible run at the premiership. Polls already have him leading the pack.

Naught - The federal Liberal Opposition. With no credibility on anything, their lobbed-ball questions to the Harper cabinet have the fresh ministers hammering home runs. But instead of baseballs, the libs are using eggs, but the yoke is on them. And trying to keep track of who's running.

Naught - Ralph Klein. Despite riding high in approval ratings for years and winning a fourth mandate from Albertans, the PC party gives him a low rating and basically dumps the humpty dumpty premier. "Disappointed" by the 55% number, Klein ("Don't call me Ralph anymore") goes back to the future and will step down earlier than he planned in the past. Question is whether his "third way" of health care reform will go through.

Naught - The Alberta PC Party. While it could've been a win-win situation, the gloves came off and a bright orange blood was spilled all over the convention floor. With the party divided into several camps, no vision for the future and what to do with the big surpluses, a lame duck leader, no membership, and a potential leader who wants to play in the crowded tree fort without knowing the secret password, you wonder if this is it for the 35 year reign of this part. However, despite all this, all the other provincial parties are still worse off.

So that's it for this week. If you want to read more on the specifics of the LibLead "race", you all know that The Calgary Grit has the best lo-down.

Ob Ma Di Ed Mo Ha ...

This poll shows:

28% Ma[nning]
16% Di[nning]
9% Ob[erg]
3% Mo[rton]
3% Ha[ncock]
?% Ed [Stelmach]

As I mentioned in a previous post and to friends and family that as soon as Preston Manning hinted that he might run a week ago, he automatically gained a support base. This poll certainly shows that.

I've read in some blogs and postings of people who support Ted Morton that they've worked a lot for him in the past year and for Manning to come in out of no where isn't right or fair.

Well, them's the breaks. Politics is all about timing and momentum and Preston's timing couldn't have been better and the momentum is now on his side.

And really, officially, the leadership race doesn't officially start until September, as determined by Ralph Klein this week, so there's still a lot of time for others to put their hat in. To say, "Morton was here first" is a weak argument.

Amazing though. Mo and Di have been at this for some time now, while Ma says one sentence and kaboom!

But with Ma already way out in front, Di has a lot of work to gain support from other camps, but the fly on the wall says there was an ABD "Anybody But Dinning" movement anyway. Before Ma entered, Di was at 21% but now he lost 5% to Ma. So one quarter of Di's support was weak anyway.

Ob Ma Di Ed Mo Ha, life goes on.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hmm... with Alberta Tory members' (and Albertans for that matter) still in shock with the 55% vote "for" Ralph, and that many are now pointing fingers for who to blame, I'm wondering if there's going to be an even more of an anyone-but-Dinning movement, and if Jimmy's plan (a la Paul Martin) is going to backfire.

Enter Manning...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Manning, what a weekend!

Alberta, Alberta ... won't ya come on home?
Wow. What a weekend in politics!

Friday - Ralph Klein's speech a dud. Pretty much begging to stay on, 'cause well, I've got some ideas, ... wait, er... from .... before. .. but the future, remember? Um. No.

Saturday - Manning gives excellent speech with big ideas, a vision for Alberta and for Canada. Hints at a possible PC leadership run. I was never impressed with any of the other six leadership candidates. I bet with that trial-balloon "announcement", Mr. Manning has already drummed up support and money without him even knowing it. In fact, I bet he's been planning this for a while. Why else would he have given a speech at the PC convention?

Saturday at midnight - Ralphy-boy gets 55% support. I bet it's even lower but some were guilted.

Sunday and Monday - Preston Manning is the talk of the town -- I mean, province.

Meanwhile back in Ottawa...
39th parliament starts today. New speaker right about now. I hope they pick Milliken. He's very good and its one less seat for the Liberals. The House will need some stability.

There's really nothing new that we don't know going on there right now other than Harper's clothes (yawn).

What will be interesting is seeing how far the Bloc will go with Harper? Forget the Liberals and NDP.