Friday, September 30, 2011

The new Alberta premier

Tomorrow, members and last-minute members of the PC Party of Alberta will be casting their ballot in the run-off vote for leader of the party to select one of the three remaining candidates:

Doug Horner
Gary Mar
Alison Redford

I watched a little bit of the Wednesday night debate and I throughout, I simply asked myself, who would I prefer, and who seemed like a premier to me.   And I would say by far Alison Redford looked like someone I wouldn't mind representing Alberta.  After the sudden loss of her mother--she displayed herself as dignified, tough, calm, and well spoken. There have been comparisons to Margaret Thatcher, but I don't know about that.  I may put an "X" for her at the last minute.

Watching Gary Mar only made me not want to vote for him more--he seemed smug and totally uninspiring.  Doug Horner seems like a smart guy with some good ideas, but those ideas appear convoluted and unclear--it's difficult to know where he stands.  I'm tired of cliche platitudes.

All that said, all three have been at the cabinet table of this PC party.  When questionable policies came up and passed, they weren't stopping them and are therefore, part of the problem with this party.  One of them being is also some ethical questions for Mr. Mar. 

This party is intrusive, off-track and out of touch.  None of the candidates have convinced me otherwise.   There will be no change in how this party governs.  They have become Liberals in every way.  And as Peter Lougheed once said, "A Liberal is a Liberal, is a Liberal." 

40 years is enough.  The last seven have been completely uninspiring, directionless, and damaging.  It's time to fire them next election.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

From another planet that Janet Napolitano

"Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn't have a drug war going on, it didn't have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related last year," she said. "Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there." 
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to CTV News.  Then when asked if she was referring to the September 11 hijackers. She said: "Not just those but others as well." 
Now, just when both countries are looking at easing border traffic and creating a North American defence perimeter, if not hiring more and more border guards were enough, now they want to build selective fences along the Canada-U.S. border.

What?!?  Such false optics here to make it look like Obama and his moronic Secretary are doing something about terrorism.  I gotta tell ya, I'm not reading a lot of stories about how pourous the border is, especially between Alberta and Montana.  If anything, I know many Americans who'd much prefer to live in Canada now due to the disastrous policies and economics.

Back in 1963, while in West Berlin, President JFK lambasted the Soviets for the construction of the Berlin Wall.  Over 24 years later, Ronald Reagan demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Whomever becomes the next U.S. president, I'd ask our Prime Minister to tell him or her the same thing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

O Canada! Our flag and reputation

The Conservative government is introducing a bill that will make it illegal for someone to prevent you from flying the Canadian flag.

I didn't know this was an issue, but apparently it is.  That said, let's call this bill for what it's real purpose is... to stop some overzealous nationalist folks in Quebec to prevent you from flying the Maple Leaf in their neighbourhood.  There, I said it.

Patriotism is obviously great and all, but I wonder if it infringes on the freedom for private multi-unit residence boards to ensure a level of aesthetics to their choosing.   Many do not allow political signs,  signs of any kind, or certain tacky decor.

I guess the flag will be the exception, and only when it is displayed properly.  There are specific rules for that as well.  So what if you're displaying the flag improperly, can someone call you out on that and what will the government do then?

In my many travels in the U.S., I saw a larger percentage of home than in Canada that very proudly and properly displayed the American Stars and Stripes.  But meh, that's not our style and that's fine.

But speaking of Canada, apparently, we have the best overall reputation in the world.  Yay us!

The Reputation Institute study measures the trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards 50 countries, as well as perceptions of peoples' quality of life, safety and attention to the environment. Results from 42,000 respondents worldwide ranked Canada first, Sweden next, followed by Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Edmonton's Mayor Mandel may not be an idiot

A week ago, I called Edmonton Mayor Mandel an idiot for suggesting that the current old metal Walterdale bridge that links south with north over the river could remain next to the new modern bridge and be used to host a restaurant.  It really is an idiotic idea and will block the view of the new bridge from the west.

The first proposal of the new replacement bridge had three one way lanes, which when I first saw it, thought that was definitely idiotic considering there are four lanes of regular traffic and one bus/taxi lane merging onto it and then once over, spreading out to four main lanes again.  It's one of the top bottlenecks in town on workers' commutes to downtown in the morning.

So now, our Mayor has pushed back on the planner's three-lane proposal for four lanes.

"We've asked them to make it four lanes," said Mayor Stephen Mandel.  "It's silliness to build it three lanes.  I can't emphasize how much money we're going to save by doing it now." "You can make it just as wide but have now more space to make the fourth lane work, so it doesn't cost you more money."

Wow, common sense.  Mandel may not be an idiot afterall.

Who'll be Alberta premier?

As Alberta PC members vote in the final round advance polls this week and in the final vote on Saturday October 1st, there are rumours that 2nd place finisher, Alison Redford has some momentum over Gary Mar.  Gary's campaign has radio ads out with general platitude statements, while Doug Horner's keep calling me and for the first time I think I've ever seen, political lawn signs out for a leadership race.

Today, Gary Mar said he's got a four month action plan once he becomes premier.  That means the election won't be until around March 2012.  But part of this action plan isn't about governing, it's about getting his party in order with nominating candidates and election planning.

But wait a sec, if he's not sitting in the legislature until he is an elected MLA, who's the actual premier?  Is that Ed Stelmach still, or someone else?  Am I missing something here?  Will this premier then simply follow Gary's "action plan"?

Albertans deserve to know.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The "Return" of Rasputin

Surprise surprise, but "interim" Russian President Dimitri Medvedev is stepping down.  And golly gee, guess who's gonna "replace" him?  And guess who's gonna be Prime Minister again?

And now with two, six year term limits, old Rasputin, will likely be in power for 12 years.  And maybe he'll have term limits dropped altogether so he becomes a dictator again.  Wouldn't surprise me.

With the Russian language and influence continuing to dominate Eastern Ukraine, let alone "former" Soviet republics, and the Kremlin's ability to turn on and off oil and gas taps at will, Russia will surely continue to dominate with even more vigour than before over much of Asia.

I'll never forget what one of my distant cousins in Ukraine wrote me back in 1991 after Ukraine gained "independence" from Russia (paraphrasing):  "It's amazing how all these former communists are now all of sudden so-called pro-democrats.  Nothing has really changed."

If anyone in the democratic world ever believed that former KGB boss Vladimir Putin was all pro-democracy, foreign policy-friendly, and pro-capitalist, they need to have their head examined.

The return of Rasputin is upon us.

How will this affect Canada?  Well, with Russians continually pushing their military and claim in the disputed Arctic, possibly into Canadian waters, it's only going to get worse under more Putin rule.  

And gee, you wonder why one of the first things Prime Minister Harper did in 2006 was push for more Canadian military presence in the North and continues to do so?

"Oh those Russians"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gary Mar and integrity

Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason has rightfully questioned leading PC leadership candidate Gary Mar's ethics in receiving a hefty severance package a year after he became the Alberta envoy to Washington, DC.

- While health minister, he paid an aide $374,000 between 2001 and 2004 yet no evidence of services were actually provided

- His envoy salary was $264,000, then deferred his severance package, but for only a year where he received $478,000. 

- And recently, his campaign was buying memberships.  While not against party rules, it surely draws into question his tactics and optics.

Gary Mar says we should instead focus on the future.  I couldn't agree more.  You and your ethics are about to be that future, Mr. Mar, and we have every right to question your past.  Don't think you can deflect and hide.

Is this the kind of premier you want?

Unite the right in Alberta

Kevin Libin from the National Post explores a new Blue Committee led by conservative stalwart Ken Boessenkool to unite the two right-of-centre parties.

I just don't see this happening for a very long time, if it all, for a few reasons:

1.  There is no threat from the Liberals or NDP to forming government, especially the Liberals who saw their own exodus of brain power to the 'newish' Alberta Party.  With no threat, there is no fear from Wildrose supporters to stay put.

2.  Therefore, it's not the same situation at the federal level when the Canadian Alliance and PC Parties finally joined forces.  The expediency of a "Paul Martin juggernaut" was a strong motivator back then.

3.  The PC Party, save a few policies and cabinet ministers, is mostly a Red Tory party.  It is NOT right-of-centre, despite what some liberal bloggers say.  It is essentially a liberal party.  Finding common ground on key Wildrose principles likes property rights, small government, and democratic reform, are no where on the radar for the PCs.

4.  Boessenkool's prediction that next election, the PCs could be in a minority situation and then form a coalition with the Liberals is laughable at best and that the Wildrose should fear that.  Actually, Ken, it would be an ideal situation and would further invigorate true conservatives to join the Wildrose.

5.  When the Wildrose Party becomes official opposition next election with somewhere between 12 and 20 seats, Danielle Smith will be in the Legislature, garner more attention and distinguish itself from the PCs.  That will be the launching pad for more donations and further support.

Therefore, this Blue Committee is premature and simply an attempt by PCs to swallow the Wildrose, but the same folks entrenched in the PC party and government at the bureaucratic level all need to be replaced, which takes a lot of effort to change, yet it's healthy for our democracy.  I may be in favour of a merger if it was called simply "Conservative" like the federal party but it would need to adopt more democratic and fiscally conservative policies.

Hudak: "once they taste my pulled pork, I think I can turn them around"

You can't help but read it another way!  Who the heck is running the Tim Hudak campaign in Ontario?  It should be a lesson for political science students on "what not to do", or "how to have a insurmountable lead then lose it in 30 days". 

When I was in Mississauga on business throughout June, I heard the radio ads, I saw the TV ads.  They didn't do much for me.  The messaging and policy were all over the place.  Chain gangs? Is that what the average person thinks about?  It wasn't simple and clear. 

The Liberal War Room led by Warren Kinsella has been pounding away at every misstep and questionable quote the PCs have given to the media and now the Liberals lead in the polls.  The "foreign workers" quote is probably the most telling.

So now, Tim goes on radio and challenges the two other leaders to a BBQ cookoff

“I am laying down the gauntlet, I’m throwing down the gloves, I’m saying I’m going to challenge Andrea Horwath and Dalton McGuinty to a barbecue contest to see who people would rather have,” said Hudak.

“I just don’t believe this poll. Once they taste my ribs, once they taste my pulled pork, I think I can turn them around,” he said.

“Don’t believe the polls till you have the pulled pork.”
Seriously?  This counts for leadership?  "Pulled pork"?

McGuinty will be premier for another four years and Ontarians will be hit with a carbon tax and continue their "have not" provincial status.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Morton and Orman campaign managers leave with "bad taste" and "just about puked"

Ted Morton and Rick Orman's campaign managers are not too happy about their former bosses supporting Gary Mar.

“All I’ve got is a very, very bad taste in my mouth about everything,” said Sam Armstrong, Morton’s campaign manager and longtime adviser.

In a stinging criticism of Alberta’s former envoy in Washington, Armstrong said Mar becoming premier will not bring “renewal” to the party. He said some of the advisers working for Mar have been entrenched in the top levels of Alberta politics for far too long.

“It’s the same old, old boys’ club around Gary that’s been there forever,” Armstrong said. “If this party is going to prosper and renew, and go anywhere in the next decade, that group of people needed to be pushed out.”

Also on Tuesday, the man who ran Orman’s campaign said he was shocked the day before when he learned his candidate had given his support to the former health minister.

“I found out about it at 4:23 yesterday afternoon on Twitter, right before a press conference in which I saw my boss get off the bus with Gary and Ted, and I just about puked,” Patrick Walsh said. “I know politics makes strange bedfellows but that’s the weirdest threesome I’ve even seen.”
No kidding eh?  "Same old, old boys' club." Yep, how anyone can vote for this party is truly beyond me now, unless perhaps you're somehow on the take.

And you wonder why Ted Morton didn't even come close to winning?
“The minute you get into politics and you’re the member of a party, you begin to compromise your principles because you’re part of a team,” he said.

Good ol' Ted.  Compromise for power.

Let's vote 'em out people!

Edmonton's mayor Mandel is an idiot

EDMONTON -- The two-lane one way metal Walterdale Bridge is to be replaced by new fancy three-lane modern one.  It costs less to tear the old bridge down than maintain it annually.  But our genius mayor wants to keep it and put a restaurant on it.

"A single remaining span can pay homage to the historical nature of the existing bridge," concluded the report. "It is possible to build a restaurant on the bank adjacent to the bridge and use this remaining span as the patio or outdoor space.".

The Walterdale is ugly, an eyesore, and a bottleneck.  Councillor Bryan Anderson is bang on correct...

Maintaining the old bridge next to the city's new signature structure after 2015 would be ridiculous, Coun. Bryan Anderson said.

The new bridge is something people will stop to photograph and immediately to the west will be the "Walterdale mess," he said.

"I just think that when you're spending $40 million to make this an iconic piece of new infrastructure that could conceivably last 150 years, it doesn't make to me a lot of sense in confusing that signature appearance with a piece of 70-year-old, girder-style bridging."
Exactly.  Mayor Mandel is an idiot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Doug Griffiths now at the teet

Last place candidate Doug Griffiths, who last week questioned the integrity of the Mar campaign buying memberships and selling them at advanced polls, is now right at his teet.

Yep, sounds like all these folks are lining up for cabinet posts and plum jobs.

I now won't be voting on Oct. 1 on the final ballot.  There's no one to vote for in this lame party and it's obvious who'll win.  Or I might go and write Danielle Smith on the ballot.  It's not illegal to destroy or defame a party ballot as far as I know.

Anyone know if anything's happening to anyone who released the list to the media and to Environics polling?  My guess is nothing will happen.  And with that, I will also be requesting the PC party take my name off their lists and I will be ripping up my membership, maybe right after I put the ballot in the box.

So long Regressive Wrongservative party.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Premier Mar and health care

The Twitterverse is reporting that in a few minutes (4:30pm MDT) Ted Morton and Rick Orman will be throwing their support behind Gary Mar, essentially swallowing up the "Conservative" part of the PC party.  This will be enough to crown Mar as premier.

Gary Mar has been touting private health care delivery solutions and I do commend him for saying that.  It's nothing new though.  But I just don't see any big "change" with this party.

If I was Gary Mar, I'd catch the other parties off-guard and call an election for November.  The Wildrose has no money, the Liberals have a brand new leader and no money, the NDP never have money but have finally figured out how to concentrate their efforts in a few ridings, and the Alberta Party, while it has a leader, can you remember his name, because I forgot, and the party itself hasn't really resonated to a wider audience. 

Mar will win with over 60 seats, the Wildrose will be opposition with a dozen seats, and the Liberals will remain or drop a seat or two as it splits votes with the Alberta Party and NDP.  The NDP might be able to ride the Jack Layton wave and gain another seat or two, but with former leader Ray Martin going against Sue Huff, former interim-leader of the Alberta Party, it'll be the race to watch how the progressives split votes.

This election will be all about health care.  With Mar touting private delivery, Danielle Smith calling for a more European approach with a competitive hybrid, Raj Sherman calling for management reform, the NDP calling for more money, and the Alberta Party, although their "common sense" should dictate that private delivery is needed, they'll want to keep it totally public.

It will be an interesting and lively debate.  All the leaders are well spoken.  But with Mar's private health care, I think it's possible that a chunk of "progressives" in the PCs jump ship to the Alberta Party.  And if the Alberta Party was smart, they'd take advantage of that.

Alberta PC leadership - 1st round

Saturday I sat at home debating whether to vote in this leadership race although I do not support the PC Party.  I ran some errands to fill in the day and drove by the Oliver Community League where the polling station was.  I parked and walked to the door and then had a strong feeling that I should turn around.  Then I said to myself, "You get to pick who you think would make the best premier."  So I entered and was quickly greeted by a volunteer.  I didn't have a $5 membership so I bought one in mostly quarters--coinage I'd never use and so I wouldn't waste a perfectly good $5 bill.

At that moment though I thought, "What are you doing? You can't stand this party and yet you have a membership now?"  Then the volunteer interrupted the thought and told me to take my membership and voting card to the desk and then to get a ballot.

I knew going in who'd I vote for.  Rick Orman--essentially the closest candidate to being an outsider in this race and a self-professed libertarian.  Unfortunately, his campaign never took hold

Why not Morton this time like last time for me?  I think most of us libertarian-conservative type folks had the same feeling about him.  As provincial treasurer, he saw the largest deficits in Alberta history.  To me, this simply shows a lack of leadership, and just following the party line.  Morton's biggest blunder was becoming treasurer in the first place instead of staying on the outside perhaps as it highlighted his "unconservativeness".  When a conservative stops being conservative, they lose support fast.  And in Ted's case, that's exactly what happened.

For Doug Griffiths, the relatively young MLA was smart to enter this race to keep his profile up.

So now onto the top three, if it's really even that; it's more like top one with scraps now.

With Mr. Integrity Gary Mar at 41%, sweeping Edmonton, will the remaining Redford and Horner campaigns abandon him as their second choice?  Will Horner garner the swift support of new Edmonton voters and Northern Alberta like Ed Stelmach did?  Ed had 15% and won so it's not out of the question but that was because Jim Dinning and Ted Morton were polarized enough and both from Southern Alberta to invigorate Edmonton and Northern folks to buy a membership and mark an "X" for Steady Eddie.

While most true conservatives and libertarians have already abandoned the PCs, where will those remaining park their support on the run off vote October 1st?  My bet is on Alison Redford or no one.

So now if there ever was a clear choice for libertarian-conservatives, it's certainly with Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Party.  That is, if the party gets better organized and more media attention.  As I said to the National Post last month, it's not ready for prime-time governing, but a successful stint as official opposition, and being able to raise some real cash, the possibility of governing in say 2015 is not out of the question, if not as a serious challenge to the PCs.

Forty years with the same party in power is not healthy for any democracy.  I urge Albertans to vote for anyone but the PCs in the upcoming election.  Even if you're a soft PC supporter, you'll be doing the province a favour.

In the meantime, I'll be debating whether I'll be voting in the final run-off vote on October 1st. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Gary Mar unrepentant on improper membership sales"

And super blogger Alberta Ardvark is relentless on following this story... 

PCAA leadership candidate Gary Mar said his campaign volunteers did nothing wrong by selling party memberships within 50 metres of an Edmonton polling station. Adding that his supporters were only trying to help people who can't speak English. "Within the polling station, the advance polling station, you could buy a membership from the party," Mar said. "Except that there's no one at the party table that speaks three different dialects of Chinese."

Update: A scrutineer from the advanced vote says that she "spoke with at least 3 volunteers who were acting as interpreters and always available."
This is how Gary Mar runs his campaign.  If he were premier, this is one example of how he'd run our province.  Integrity.

And another thing...  If I were on another campaign, I'd have the party double check the resident addresses of the members signed-up from other campaigns, or maybe just a specific one.  Call it a hunch.  I've seen it happen on other nomination races and it disgusts me.  Luckily the candidate who was doing it didn't win.

Rick Orman questions latest poll

Alberta PC leadership contender Rick Orman has challenged the validity of the latest poll released by Environics which put Gary Mar on top with 31%.

And he has every right to considering the unusual circumstances.

Not only that, but PC Party president, Bill Smith (no, not that Bill Smith) has also published a scathing rebuke of the release of this poll saying that it is a breach of the party rules.  Read blogger David Climenhaga's article for more info.  Here is the text from the PC Party website:

Statement on unauthorized use of membership list
The Progressive Conservative Association is very concerned with respect to the recent use of what appears to be a private Party membership list by a public research company. Any unauthorised and inappropriate use of our Association’s private membership lists  is absolutely unacceptable. The privacy of our members is of paramount importance to myself and our organisation.

We have been able confirm that the list did not come from the Party. What we have determined is that a list was given to a media outlet who subsequently gave it to a polling firm. We are surprised that any public research firm would use a list that was obtained in such a manner. Furthermore the list in question is not at all an accurate reflection of the membership that will be participating  in our leadership process.

We will be contacting all leadership campaigns regarding this issue . It should be noted that all Leadership Candidates signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose or disseminate the membership list prior to receiving it.

The conduct in question does not reflect our Party’s values, our commitment to our membership, or the ideals expressed by all campaigns throughout this Leadership process.

Bill Smith
President PC Alberta

Why was a private list given to the media?  A list, by the way, that has my name on it from the previous leadership campaign where I bought a membership to vote.  I wonder if any lawsuits will result.

But I think we all know what really happened here.  Same with campaigns selling memberships at advanced polls.  So what happens now?  Will the guilty campaign's candidate have to resign?  Or will they put the blame on "overzealous supporters".

Again, if the party cannot even hold an above-the-board leadership vote, is this a reflection of how they govern the province by stretching and breaking rules?

Of course it is.

Where's the integrity?

There isn't any.

If this isn't enough to show you that it's time to punt these corrupt bastards out of office, then I think you should start to question your own political ethics and decide what's best for our provincial democracy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Strathcona County drops photo radar

Credit is given where credit is due.  Strathcona County smartly voted 5-4 in favour of dropping photo radar and using a more physical police presence to curb speeding and other infractions.

"Our officers on the street can enforce a whole lot more than just speeding," said Botterill. "They can go after the root cause of the accidents, not just the contributing factor.

"We have the advantage of telling our residents we're no longer doing the random road tax," said Botterill.
Wow. Common sense prevails!

"Another bad day for Team Gary Mar"

Here's another Alberta Ardvark article on the questionable tactics of the Gary Mar campaign.  This is typical old-school politics crap... ship them in by bus and sell memberships at the polling station door by a campaign, not by the party.  And then put the blame on someone else by using the old "overzealous supporters" line.  Yeah, whatever.  I call that lack of leadership in ethics.

Doug Griffiths, another candidate is right in saying "If you can't run the campaign with integrity, then how can you promise integrity after?"

So I think I might vote in this race now.  But not for Gary Mar, that's for sure.   And I don't think anything will change in this province with him at the helm either.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gary Mar campaign buying PC memberships

Blogger Alberta Ardvark has delved into the story that the Gary Mar campaign has been buying PC Party of Alberta memberships for supporters.  And unbelievably, it is not against the party rules.

The Ardvark is right in saying these are "antiquated rules for an antiquated party".

I've also checked various campaign websites to see if you can still buy a membership at the polling place just before you vote (as in the last leadership votes) and they all say you need to show your membership card.  So are they selling them there or not?   I don't know.

I have received numerous emails from each of the campaigns.  The only phone call I got was from Gary Mar's team while I was at the Eskimo game.  Friends of mine on some of the teams have not contacted me to try and win me over.

So with that, it's looking more and more likely that I won't be voting in this race.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

"Alberta has the stupidest gov't in Canada"

Ezra goes off on how stupid the Alberta PC government is.  I couldn't agree more--40 years is enough of this drifting, visionless, anti-liberty, and wasteful government party.  The PCs need to go.

Have not McGuinty

I normally don't bother with Ontario politics, but I do note that in general, after some time to reflect, when Ontarians put the Liberals or NDP in power at Queen's Park, they then soon balance it out with a federal Conservative government, so it doesn't bother me who's running the show there.

That said, before Dalton McGuinty, Ontario was a proud "have" province.  Since McGuinty, Ontario is a "have not", which puts the pressure on "have" provinces--BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador--to dish out even more.

I don't care whether you like Ontario PC leader, Tim Hudak, or not, even if you're a Liberal, Ontario needs to go back to being a "have" province again and it seems the only way is to ditch McGuinty.  He's had his time.  If you're on the left, even slightly, then vote NDP already.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Very tired of this Alberta PC Party

Oh here we go again.. PC leadership candidates yapping about high-speed rail, like it's some dangling carrot.  Well, this bunny's not gonna bite.

The only way this rail link would work and makes sense is if it went from downtown Edmonton to Red Deer to downtown Calgary.  Otherwise, folks will continue to drive since they'll still want to get around their destination city.  And what about winter time and the blowing snow? Oh, and why not have it go to Ft. McMurray too?

Speaking of the Mac, more people died on Highway 63 yesterday.

Before we even begin talking about luxury items like high-speed rail, why isn't more effort being put in to twin Highway 63 and get it done before more people die?  Years ago, I also advocated that to pay for maintenance it should be a toll road since it's mostly business that uses it, and if workers are headed up there, they should be allowed to expense the toll.  You know who also advocated that?  Peter Lougheed.

On another note, with this stupid distracted driving law in effect yesterday, people in Calgary are being pulled over for.. wait for it... drinking coffee.  What's next, switching stations on your radio? *Sigh*.

I've really had it with this PC party.  They have no idea what they're doing anymore (and haven't for many years).  Come on people, it's not like there's a threat from any of the left leaning parties. Isn't 40 years enough already?  I doubt I'll bother voting in their leadership race. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Robocop Nation

And you wonder why we are relying on machines and nanny-state laws more and more for lack of policing...

Police were ill-prepared for riot: report

An independent report has found that confusion among police caused them to lose control of the sprawling crowds gathered on Vancouver's streets to take in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final on June 15, setting the stage for the rioting that followed.


"A huge factor in what happened that day was alcohol," Furlong said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. "It had an enormous impact on the atmosphere and the attitude and the behaviour of people from fairly early on and right to the end of the day."
My bet is if this type of event is occurring, they'll look at having bars and liquor stores close early or not be open at all that day; yet another intrusive law that won't stop anything.  What would have stopped the rioting is having police better managed with a strong presence prior to the game.  Let people go to the bars, sure, but when they exit, they'll see well-policed streets.

Oh, and no one has been charged yet.  Apparently, due to the lack of police, they're relying on citizens' video and pictures to convict.  Has it really come to this?

Public surveillance cameras, red-light cameras, photo radar, Tasers, useless redundant laws, draconian bylaws, and now relying on cellphone cameras... sorry folks but none of that can hold a candle to having the physical presence of law enforcement personnel maintaining good public order.