Friday, July 29, 2011

Alberta poll: PCs 54%, WR 16%...


PCs at 54%
Wildrose at 16%
Liberals at 13.5%
NDP at 13.5%
Alberta Party at 2%
Undecided at 19%

It is summer and these numbers don't mean much, but the media and bloggers are dumping on Danielle Smith and the Wildrose for "plummeting".  That's what happens when you peak way too soon.

When Danielle went through a honeymoon period, the Wildrose was tops.  Mind you, Ed Stelmach was still intending to be leader and premier.  Since he's stepping down, the numbers have changed.  And now the PCs are currently in a leadership race, drawing support and attention.  I've always felt that the best the Wildrose can do in next year's election is official opposition somewhere at 10-18 seats.  But even now that seems difficult.  The problem is that the party touted itself as grassroots but had a top down management style as well, which ticked off a lot of riding associations and soft supporters.

"Hey, but the Liberals are in a leadership race too, why aren't their numbers up like the PCs?"  Because really, no one really cares about that race, other than maybe Raj Shermann.

The NDP haven't moved much.  And the Alberta Party?  Well, not much to say really.  Each will get 1-3 seats next time.

Anyway, when the PCs pick their leader, that's when a new poll will mean something, whether it's Gary Mar, Ted Morton, or Rick Orman vs. Danielle Smith, it'll really depend on how they're perceived ideologically.  For Danielle, the further left the PCs go with a leader, the better off she and the Wildrose are.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Edmonton downtown arena funding

Mayor Mandel and Premier Stelmach are meeting today to discuss funding for the new downtown Edmonton arena to host the Oilers, along with a casino, hotel, bars, restaurants and a whole entertainment area.

The project is $100 million short.

Mandel wants the province to kick in.  Stelmach's right for not just handing the money over, but the tax revenue generated from alcohol taxes alone (especially in this town) will eventually make up the amount.

Or why not a loan?  Wait, the province doesn't exactly have a good history with Oilers owners and loans, do they?

Or, here's another idea from Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith.

The leader of the Wildrose Alliance is saying "no" to the idea of tax hikes to help pay for a new arena in downtown Edmonton, but Danielle Smith has an idea of her own.

Smith is proposing a special lottery to help raise money for what would be the new home of the Oilers. Progressive Conservative Party leadership hopefuls Ted Morton and Alison Redford have both suggested that the province could help by raising sales taxes, even by just 1%.

Smith says under her plan, "interested Albertans" could buy tickets, with proceeds going towards arena construction. The City of Edmonton has a framework deal in place with the Katz Group, but the sides are still about $100 million short on funds.
Shame on Morton and Redford for their stupid tax idea.  Why should folks in Calgary pay for an Edmonton arena?  Is that their solution going forward to fund any new project?  Raise taxes?  I thought Morton was smarter than that.  Guess not.  Now I have no idea why I supported him when he ran for the PC leadership years ago.  I'm certainly not supporting him now.  (I haven't decided yet, but if I were to choose, Rick Orman is now on my radar although the PCs have completely lost my support.)

Anyway... a lottery?  A simple yet effective idea.  While I'm not sure it would generate enough revenue to make up the entire amount, it wouldn't hurt either.  I'd buy a $50 ticket.  Why?  Because I want a new arena downtown.  Those who don't want an arena, don't have to buy one. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jack Layton

Very sad news about Jack Layton.  I wish him a speedy relief from his suffering and a quick return to his role as leader of the opposition.  If anyone can beat cancer, it's him.  He has now appointed Nycole Turmel from Quebec as the interim leader.

In other political news, this summer has not turned out to be your usual "silly" one... thankfully.  We'll leave the silliness up to the mainstream media.

Anyway... get well soon, Mr. Layton!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Leadership races

Hey, now that Will and Kate have completed their Canadian journey, did you know that the Alberta PC Party is having a leadership race?  Did you even know that Premier Ed Stelmach is stepping down this fall sometime?  Do you know that the PC Party has been the governing party in Alberta for 40 years?   Well, it's all true!

Can you name all the candidates?  Can you name three?  Does it matter who wins?

Oh and did you know the Alberta Liberals are having a leadership race too?  Does anyone care?  Who's running?

Well, there are a lot of candidates.  Seems everyone wants to be premier these days.  And don't forget about Danielle Smith from the Wildrose Party (they dropped the Alliance part).  Oh and the new (old) Alberta Party has a leader too but I forget his name.  I know he's the mayor of Hinton though.  Then there's the old vet, Brian Mason of the NDP.

More importantly, did you know that the pub near the Leg. that Alberta MLAs frequent is no longer in operation?  It's true.  A month ago, Martini's Pub and Grill, a staple neighbourhood pub on 109 Street and 99 Avenue, one of my favourite establishments, closed its doors after a bazillion years in business.

I know, I'm not happy about it either.