Monday, May 29, 2006

Alberta PC leadership contenders

On Saturday May 27, I attended a volunteer appreciation BBQ for Laurie Hawn, MP for Edmonton-Centre (my riding).

In attendance were four Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta leadership contenders, in order of which I noticed them:

- Mark Norris
- Dave Hancock
- Ted Morton
- "Steady" Ed Stelmach

Not in attendance: Jim Dinning, Lyle Oberg.

Mark Norris and Dave Hancock talked together privately on a couple of occassions. Oooh, I know, really exciting.

Several people I know who are in the various camps said I should meet their guy. "Sure." You think I was going to go up to them myself? Heck no. This is politics, and they are essentially applying for the job of Premier--THEY should come talk to me and engage the voters, not stand around and wait for people to come to them. Then again, this really wasn't their event, it was the volunteers. However, Laurie Hawn did introduce each of them, so more or less in reality, it was a PC shmooze-fest.

So did I actually meet any of them? Yes. Just one. A friend of mine called him over, he rushed over to introduce himself, shake my hand firmly, and he noticed my last name written on my name tag and asked if I had family in Two Hills. I don't, as far as I know. Nonetheless, he was sincere, gave me his card, and said, "Very nice to meet you. We'll talk soon."

As some of you know, I would have been actively supporting Preston Manning for premier if he did run. I've met him personally on several occassions and can tell you, that Mr. Manning is one of the nicest, grateful, and most sincere people I have ever met.

Now this is not an official endorsement, just my humble observations. So here I was standing with another sincere man who's still running for premier of Alberta, Mr. Ed Stelmach.

So here's a heads-up to any of the other camps--instead of getting your team to talk up your candidate, nothing beats one-on-one engagement with the actual candidate. I know you know this, but if this province is to move forward, you can't stand have your candidate stand still.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Harper 3 - Press Gallery 1

Another playoff series is occurring in Canada, not just Oiltown--that is, The Prime Minister (PM) vs. the Parliamentary Press Gallery (PPG). [Uh, that's not penalty minutes nor points per game by the way].

The PM is accusing the PPG of bias. No! You don't say! How can that be? Well, this has been going on for so long, Harper's saying the puck stops here and he has every right. Paul Martin (now you can say penality minutes, yes?) did the same thing with the PPG. What gives?

You see, I remember attending a Fraser Institute seminar back in '98 and the study they did on the political leanings of the CBC. Now I know that doesn't apply to all media obviously, but the results clearly showed that CBC employees strongly supported, not the Liberals, but the NDP. Yeah sure, they say they were negative on Paul Martin and Chretien, but we've seen over time, it's not as much as they've been on Harper. Go back to the 2004 election and you'll see. You'll also notice that the NDP get off scott-free on the bazillion contradictions they make.

Canadians are supporting the Prime Minister on this one. They can see right through the PPG's powerplay and whining. Harper's gonna take his message directly to the people and if local media want to cover him they can and will. This "taking to the streets" is much like the election platform and the 2006 campaign itself where Harper demonstrated early on that he owns his message, not the media. Game goes to Harper.

So with the leaderless and hypocritical Liberal opposition, an NDP caucus with no principle, and a Bloc overshadowed by popular Conservative support in Quebec, the Accountability Act that prevents lobbyists from landing gov't jobs right away, diminished donations by corporations and unions to political parties, and now a parliamentary press gallery ignored, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has quickly quashed the enemies. All that remains is the Conservative government and the people of Canada. It's like Stephen Harper started with the puck in his own end and began skating up the ice. Instead of dekeing, he body checks all his opponents and is now in the clear on a breakaway to a top shelf goal in a majority.

Please note that the Iranian badge controversy was made up.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Haught vs. Naught #4

Supernaught - Iran. Recently, a friend of mine was working in Iran for a couple weeks and he just informed me he has to go back. He said

"Bloody ridiculous. Ahmadinejad... everyone there hates him. When I was there, I didn't meet a single person that didn't hate him and think he's totally screwing everything up. A guy I worked with was Zoroastrian... guess he's gotta wear blue now."

There's an understatement. Now that Iran is looking at labelling everyone not a Muslim with Nazi-style yellow badges for Jews, Zoroastrians, and others, this smacks of so many terrible things, I don't have the time to even fathom them.

Naught - Preston Manning. It would've been fun. But hey, at least now he's drawn attention to himself and the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, right? Yep. Alberta would be a good place to start and work on that initiative. And there's an old band out of Calgary called Dinning's Grin that just got bigger.

Naught - Jack Layton: "Let's have a vote on Afghanistan." Harper: "Okay, we'll vote, but it's not binding." I already talked about this in a previous post, but even Liberals are talking about what a good political move it was on the Prime Minister. I could put Harper as Haught, but not until he shows up to an Oiler home playoff game.

Haught - Rona Ambrose. When isn't she though? Ironically what might actually slow global warming would be if environmental lobbyists stopped spouting so much hot air on junk science.

Haught - Iggy n Billy. Two of the 14 Liberals who voted for extending our mission in Afghanistan stood up. There, I said it. Other than that, they really ought naught to worry about what they do, 'cause Harper's way ahead of youz by pre-painting you in an neat little corner of Hansardville.

Naught - The Klein government. Cabinet docs and notes are going to be locked up for 15 years. Leadership hopeful and caucus outsider, Lyle Oberg, mentioned something not long ago about him knowing where all the skeletons are. So does that mean Ralph Klein will come out of the closet in 15 years? Stay tooned.

Naught - Da Vinci Code believers - You remind me of environmental lobbyists and there's a higher percentage of you from Alberta! Upcoming Dan Brown books: "The Picasso Code". Synopsis: "An unexpecting pizzaologist comes across a mystical geometrical pattern in a meat lovers pie and realizes that the many franchises of the Boston Pizza Tea Party are connected with Freemasonry, annoying celebrity comics, and the bloodline of Italian popes. The fate of mankind rests on a painting by Picasso. Deal or no deal?"

Haught - The Edmonton Oilers. Believe it!

Naught - Don Cherry. I've noticed that since Montreal and Ottawa are out of the playoffs that Coach's Corner isn't on for Oiler games. Okay, maybe it's the CBC that is naught, but knowing Grapes, if he wants to say something, he'll say it... with a 7 second delay of course. I'm wondering if this has to do with the fact Kelly Hrudy went to my high school here in Oil Country.

Naught - George W. Bush. So if I sneak across the Canada/U.S. border, I might get shot by the National Guard? W.'s loves the National Guard. It was his way of saying, "I was in the 'military'" without really trying. As well, the wiretapping and all that crap is going a little too far don't you think? Iran and the U.S. are becoming more and more alike in some ways, aren't they?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

An Array of Happenings

Motion to Corner
Harper amazes me. He singlehandedly cornered many-a-MP on the motion to extend the mission in Afghanistan. Layton's been demanding a vote. "You want the vote? You can't handle the vote!" So Harper gives them the vote, but oh look, it's right away! Then Layton complains about the vote. If the Liberals and NDP were to merge, they should rename it the Hypocracy Party. It was a squeeker though: 149-145. Where was Paul Martin? More juicy factoids from Stephen Taylor here. To the 145 MPs: shame on all of you.

Presto says "No"
Well it's too bad. Just when people started paying attention to the bore of a leadership race in the PC Party of Alberta, Mr. Manning decides not to run. Now I've got friends from various camps (Dinning, Morton, Stelmach, and Norris) trying to win me over. I'll think about it, but this party needs an overhaul, not just an oil change.

The General's Guns
As pretty much expected, Auditor General Sheila Fraser, once again, finds a pile of money unaccounted for in the gun registry program. The money was accounted for in future budgets. Potential fiddler: Anne McLellan. It was on her watch. So glad she lost.

The General also found that despite all the money poured into Indian Affairs, aboriginals are still getting the short end of the stick. Minister Prentice has a lot of work ahead of him. Glad the Kelowna Accord was dropped--it wouldn't have made a dent into the lives of the truly needy, only continue to line the pockets of bureaucrats and chiefs. Sad.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Here's a good post by Dissonance and Disrespect on the Conservative's plans to grant amnesty to unregistered long-gun owners--a brilliant political move by this minority gov't and another promise that Harper made, to eventually scrap the whole registry.

Bill Graham and other liberal pundits can cry all they want. I don't own a gun, never shot a gun, nor do I really like guns, killing animals for sport and the like. BUT, I do recognize that free citizens should have a right to own them without fear of reprisal from the gov't for proper use and that we have hunting regulations for a reason.

But most of all, when the bill became law in 1995, it was predicted that it would be a waste and lo and behold, now has the investigative potential to be the more grossly mismanaged and corrupt than Adscam.

Initially and continually wasting taxpayer dollars isn't excuse to keep a program afloat.

Methinks the Liberals are whining and want to keep the registry to move the debate away from the powderkeg that's about to ignite with the Auditor General's report.

And that'll be an explosion bigger than all the registered guns combined.

Monday, May 15, 2006

One Hundred Harper Street

PoliticsWatch has a neat outline of Prime Minister Harper's first 100 days in office. A few comments...

- Anything the Liberals say is moot and pure hypocracy. They had their 13 years.

- Stephen Harper has done more in 100 days than Paul Martin did his entire time as PM (Is that Paul Martin or Prime Minister? You decide.) By "done", I mean actually make a promise, a decision, and follow through on it.

- Anyone expecting those 100 days to be perfect, is like expecting the Liberals not to be corrupt.

- Harper has learned that if any in his caucus shoots off the mouth, it doesn't stick in the long run anyway anymore, so don't talk about it and give it legs.

- Bill Graham and the Liberals are whining because Harper has ignored their policies and promises. While the Liberals are good at stealing ideas from the NDP and Conservatives and taking credit for it, the Conservatives simply ignore them altogether.

- Harper likes hockey. Canadians like hockey. Canadians like Harper. He's one of us.

- The third-way in Quebec is working. LibBloggers like Jason Cherniak who see a potential "yes" separation vote putting the blame on Harper because of his cozying up to Charest fail to see that Charest is the current and actual premier of Quebec, not who the polls say.

When Harper wins a majority next time around, the real test of the first 100 days of that mandate will be if he follows through on other policies that conservatives have been fighting for and will determine whether he will truly become a great prime minister. Things like broad-based income tax cuts, Senate reform, debt repayment and further decentralization that will actually strengthen the dominion are what so many have been dreaming of since Trudeaumania built up a fallacy of national pride.

Harper will become great when no longer we will say, "Well, he IS in a minority, so he has to make compromises." So far, these 100 days seem like 100 weeks and you can forget about compromises when he wins a majority. You think the Liberals are being ignored now, just you wait!

Welcome to One Hundred Harper Street, a place where the street hockey game doesn't get out of the way from incoming traffic.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Haught vs. Naught #3

"When you're hot, you're hot. When you're not, you're not." - Jerry "Smoky" Reed.

Naught - Bob Rae. Warren Kinsella calls on Bob and everyone else who uses "nazism" comparisons as a failed debating tool. Get on your knees, Bob, and apologize.

Haught - Rona Ambrose. While she has both carefully and uncarefully balanced Canada's commitment to Kyoto with the party's line and her own views, she's ignoring the crap, chairing the whatever environmental conference, env lobbyists galore ask for her head, and she'll continue to move in the right direction.

Haught - Paul Himan. Who? MLA and leader of the Alberta Alliance Party (AAP) for calling on the gov't to look at an APP (Alberta Pension Plan). That's AAP for the APP. Anyway, it's a great idea, 'cause the CPP is a joke of a "fund". I bought this up with Stockwell Day 9 years ago at a Reform Youth Convention when he was provincial treasurer and he seemed very open to the idea. Yeah, well, it needs to be talked about again and again.

Naught - Denis Herard. Advanced Education Minister. This stupid bill will actually end tuition increase caps to allow bloated university bureaucracies. It was brought up in 2003 and killed. I believe in affordable and accessable education. Our parents sure had cheap tuition. At the start, I did too, but then... then it got nuts. When I was done, it had doubled. That's a quadradic increase! Remember when Ralph did all the cuts in the 90's? Guess who decided to give themselves big wage increases? It was the university big wigs. Great. Now they can go even more nuts.

That's it for now. Going to watch the Oilers win game 4.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kyoto Klimate Kommunists

I don't get it. I don't get how environmentalists in Kanada kan kontinue to support the Kyoto Akkord, lambast the U.S., and ask for Rona's resignation when Kanada has overemitted by 35% (mind you the Libs had no plan) and the U.S. rekord is much better without resorting to Kyoto. Oh wait, they're lobbyists aren't they? Nevermind. Kontinue as you were.

What's wrong with koming up with our OWN realistik non-world-dominating plan? Go Rona go!

What's with all the k's you ask? Just trying to save the c.

"It ain't over 'til it's over"

Just as they said they would, the Conservative government is suing the Liberal Party for monies still owing from Adscam.

Just think, 11 years later, this whole scandal still continues. How many more years until the whole truth comes to light and justice finally prevails?

It's likely that the Conservatives will be in power for many years now to see it through.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The often forgotten student unforgotten

Stephen Taylor points out an aspect of the recent federal budget that was overlooked by the media, as they, like governments of the past, often forget about the potential taxpayer--the post-secondary student. Grants and scholarship are now fully 100% tax-exempt. Student loans are now easier to get for students from middle-class families. This is huge.

Too many friends of mine at the U of A had difficulty getting loans because "my parents make too much", when in fact, they really didn't.

That said, more loans for students means more debt at the end. Hopefully the feds will also have a remittance program upon graduation, as they have in Alberta. For me, that knocked off 25% of my loan and is certainly incentive to graduate.

The sooner grads can pay off their debt, the sooner they can invest, buy houses, start families, and the like. And isn't that the idea here folks?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Opine o' Plenty

Haven't posted in a while, but here are my quick thoughts of the lastest ...

Budget 2006 -- Politically, a smart budget. But I will expect some income tax cuts next time, not targetted-to-win-majority social-engineering tax cuts, when the Tories are a majority. Harper had to follow through on the five campaign promises, which he should be applauded for.

Minimum sentences -- Violent crime is way up. Simply put, criminals and would-be offenders need to know they can't get away with murder anymore.

Harper in Quebec -- I'm wondering why Harper, despite the support for being in Afghanistan lags, is doing so well now in Quebec, although Charest is not. Mind you, what has Gilles done lately?

Afghan -- The flag issue sure got legs, didn't it? It had a small backfire on Harper as a majority of Canucks now think we should pull out, as compared to not long ago when Harper visited there. The real public test will be if anymore brave soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice, what will be the public's reaction? Personally, I don't give a rats ass. The Taliban need to be stopped and there are too many reasons to explain why.

McGuinty -- While whining won't get you anywhere federally and in gaining respect in the ROC, Ontarians have found their champion in reminding us where the centre of the universe is. However, cosmologists agree that the centre of the universe is actually everywhere. McGuinty already knows this, but won't admit it.

Alberta PCs -- While the battle of Alberta didn't come to fruition on the ice, it is certainly ramping up in this "race". Which city will win over the rural members? More than an "anyone but Dinning" mentality, will it simply be, "We just don't want red, let alone the Red Mile." And what is Manning waiting for? Oh right, Morton turncoats. Waiting...

Federal Liberals -- Oh, nevermind.