Thursday, October 27, 2011

Federal seat redistruction

The federal government is introducing legislation to balance the seat distribution in the House of Commons by adding 30 seats:

+15 Ontario
+  6 Alberta
+  6 B.C.
+  3 Quebec

It's a very small step in the right direction, but it's also way off.  One problem is that no province can have fewer MPs than it has senators, so for Nova Scotia, which has 10 senators, it has 11 MPs.  This is greatly flawed and doesn't reflect a true, equal and fair democracy. 

Below is a table and graph I have compiled based on current 2011 Stats Can population numbers.  Here's you'll see just how unbalanced it continues to be.  The key number here is the Seats/Pop ratio column. I've graphed it to show the differences between the current situation, new legislation, modified, and my "Hatrock" proposal, but with provinces only.

As well, by 'Modified', I mean that if the gov't continued with its current logic in the new legislation and maintained the current (MPs >= Senators) formula, it would have to drastically increase the size of the Commons to 368 seats.

Updated Nov. 2/'11:  Corrected Alberta at 36 to 34 seats under new legislation.

Provincial Seat/Pop. Models Chart
 (Based on above numbers.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Canada, Alberta, and Edmonton things and stuff

It's only Wednesday but there's lots going on in gubermint at all levels...

  1. Bill C-19 was introduced to terminate/kill/shoot down/blow up the Federal Long Gun Registry.  Long awaited by the Conservatives, now with a majority, this will pass.  Many will watch gun crime numbers more closely now I'm sure.
  2. Canadian Wheat Board gets the axe.  Some say taxpayers will then have to prop up farmers when the prices drop.  I don't know about you, but I don't see food prices dropping anyway.  They've only been going up and up.  What I also hope doesn't happen is what's happened in the U.S. where a private monopoly has taken over.  And now, the Wheat Board is suing the federal government.  Oh joy.

Newly minted premier, Alison Redford's been quite busy:
  1. She appointed 2nd place candidate Gary Mar to "Pledge Representative to the Social Committee" .. er.. Alberta Ambassador something or other to China.  Plum job for $250k or so.
  2. She appointed failed candidate and former MLA Rick Orman to head up the economic policy committee or something.  A good appointment considering I supported Rick on the first ballot and agree with a lot of his policies. 
  3. She got the $107 million in for education.  Loved the debate on that one.  Ah, democracy at work.
  4. She's toying with the idea of emulating BC drunk driving laws.  Couldn't have anything to do with the fatal crashes near Grand Prairie and Lethbridge could it?  They're not reacting out of emotion are they?  I can't stand it when governments do this.
  5. She's backtracked/flip-flopped on a few things though already...
    1. Legislative sitting?  First it was no.  Then it was yes.  Then only a couple days now and a few more in November.  Not good. Not good at all.  With lots going on, she needs to be held accountable.  Why? Read on..
    2. Heartland overhead power lines in Strathcona County?  Her newly appointed Energy Minister, Ted Morton said the gov't was going to review all the lines.  Then only four hours later, Premier Redford says only two of them need review and that the lines are necessary, when in fact, they will not even be near full capacity.  I'm vehemently against overhead power lines.  They're ugly for one, and more especially, the health concerns for very nearby residences is quite valid.  These power companies need to "Bury the Line".  Read more at RETA.
    3. Health care inquiry?  This was one of her promises in the leadership race, now she's watering it down.  More to come on that one.
Overall, so far I'm not impressed with her but not surprised.  Even in this short period, she's obviously being handled by party stalwarts who've caused her to back down.

In my opinion, all the opposition parties are doing a good job keeping her and her government accountable.  In the next election, vote for one of them, but not the PCs.  Come on, 40 years? Seriously?


Downtown arena.  On Monday, the public came forward expressing their support/non-support and concerns.  The biggest concern is in regards to the deal and how much taxpayers are on the hook for.  A lesser concern is the location, parking, etc.   The majority of citizens appear to want a new arena but question the funding model.  Here's why I want a new one...

After attending an Oilers game Saturday, I can say that I can't stand Rexall Place.  I had to grab tickets in Ardrossan from a family member, then driving down the Yellowhead and arriving there, parking availability was a joke.  And when taking the LRT, the station is crammed on the way there and back.  Downtown bars eventually got crowded to the hilt with fans.  Getting a cab is a pain.

But the venue itself, while sturdy, has crammed seats, crammed concourses, and I could never for the life of me understand why they didn't build a tunnel from the LRT station to the coliseum.  Instead of staying indoors, leaving your jacket behind and going from your office downtown to a nearby LRT station, then get off and walk underground then head right to your seat, you currently have to stand and walk outside for several minutes.  This is Edmonton, people!  It's cold in the Winter.  So people have to bring winter coats and put them on their seats, which are already narrow and crammed.  Not a good deal for $250 a pop for Gold seats.  That said, for concerts, rodeos, special events, it's just fine.  I'm very glad Katz dropped the no-compete clause for Northlands. That said, I only think he used it as a negotiation tactic, not a business success requirement.

That alone makes me want to have a new arena.  Secondly, is the location.  Everyone talks about Columbus as a model.  Let's look at Nashville.  I've been there.  The arena is next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, and a mere block from the main entertainment district on Broadway Street in East Downtown where dozens of bars and restaurants line blocks of road. And the live music is amazing.  The football stadium is only a short walk across the pedestrian river bridge.  Lots of energy there.

As far as the details of the deal, I think the Katz Group needs to kick in a lot more.   I've never believed for one moment that Katz has ever had any intention on moving the team.  Edmonton is one of the best hockey markets in history.  We pretty much sell out every game.  The players are gods.  Bars and restaurants count on Oilers games.  City Council should have called his bluff and asked for more money up front:  $100 million, then provided $100 million in loans, coupled with a ticket tax, and the City could MAKE money off this deal. 

UPDATE:  Council just voted 10-3 in favour of the Caterina amended motion regarding the Katz deal with Councillors Diotte, Sloan, and Iveson against.

Councillor Don Iveson has posted his thoughts on why he voted against it, which pretty much align with my thoughts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CBC's "22 Minutes" ambushes Rob Ford

Poor Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.  And Warren Kinsella is right--showing up to someone's home and ambushing them at 8 a.m. to ask questions, whether a joke or not, is in bad taste and does cross the line.  Especially after recently receiving anonymous death threats and having his 5 year old child there, frightened.

Enough is enough.

Sell the CBC.

h/t to Warren Kinsella

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sell the CBC

It's time for the government to sell the CBC.  Oh I know this post will propagate to my Twitter, then to my Facebook, and many of you will cry "Save the CBC".

I'm not going to delve into the fact the CBC public broadcaster is not opening its books to the public.  What are the fat cat bureaucrats and minions up to?  We don't know.  Yet the government (we) fund it.

And why in this day of austerity is the government propping up a media corporation?  Aren't these "Occupy" protests also about evil corporations being in the pockets of government? 

CBC is a corporation.  It says so in its name.  And it's not a small operation either.  But here's something to ponder, liberals and dippers... it's not a social program either.  It doesn't help the poor.  In fact, it hurts it because taxpayers pay over a billion a year to fund it instead of say lowering taxes, paying down debt, or for funding your other social programs. 

And yes, we can look into other program spending--military, etc., but this post is about one aspect--the CBC, so let's stay on topic.

Is the CBC an essential service to survival (food, shelter, and clothing)?  No. 

So what does the CBC do that other corporations aren't already doing?  What's so different?  Nothing.  What's different is it's a corporation funded by government. 

So why should it be treated any differently than complaining about 'other' corporations?

Is it because the CBC has such high viewership?  It doesn't.  Not even close.  So to say it unifies the country is hogwash.  Hockey Night in Canada?  Sorry, Sportsnet coverage is way better now.

Or maybe.  Maybe because it's a bias mouthpiece for liberals and dippers.  I've seen it on Channel 4 (CBC), 15 (CBC News), and heard it on 90.9 FM (CBC Radio 2).  Too many times.  But you know what, taxpayers are conservative too!  If the government was funding a conservative-leaning media corporation, like, um.. say Sun TV, liberals and dippers would cry afoul.  So, again, why is it any different the other way around?

Or maybe because the CBC fat cats support certain political parties?  Couldn't be?!

Oh, nevermind.

Gerry Nicholls is right.  Sell the CBC.  If the CBC is so important to you liberals and dippers, fund it yourselves.

And buy a share or two.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Harper receives Ukrainian award

Absolutely well deserved.  I've never seen a political figure with such strong support of Ukraine and the Ukrainian community in Canada.  As some of you know, my grandfather emigrated from Ukraine in his twenties.

PM receives Shevchenko Medal Award

Prime Minister recognized for outstanding achievement, service and dedication to the Ukrainian-Canadian community
October 14, 2011
Toronto, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today accepted the Shevchenko Medal Award, for his and the Government’s many contributions to the Ukrainian-Canadian community and the people of Ukraine.  The Shevchenko Medal Award is the highest form of recognition given out by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

“I am honoured to receive this prestigious award that recognizes the significant efforts our Government has made to address the needs and interests of our vibrant Ukrainian-Canadian community and to strengthen our ties with Ukraine,” said the Prime Minister.  “Our Government will continue to acknowledge and embrace the contributions of Ukrainians, their struggles for independence and their contributions to Canadian society.”

The Government has taken decisive action for this community, including passing a bill in 2008 recognizing the Holodomor as an act of genocide, upgrading community centres and social housing in Ukrainian-Canadian communities, and recognizing the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians and others during the First World War.  The Government will also continue to strengthen bilateral ties with Ukraine and help in the building of a democratic, independent and prosperous society.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress bestows the Shevchenko Medal Award every three years to recognize Canadians, institutions and organizations for their outstanding national contributions to the Ukrainian-Canadian community. Prime Minister Harper is proud and honoured to be recognized with this award this year.

PM accepts award from Ukrainian-Canadian community

October 14, 2011
Toronto, Ontario

Since Canada established diplomatic relations with Ukraine in 1992, the two countries have enjoyed close bilateral relations.  Generations of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada have forged historic ties of friendship, reinforced by shared values and interests. 

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has been instrumental in advancing the interests of the Ukrainian-Canadian community, by promoting stronger ties between the two nations, identifying the needs of Ukrainian-Canadians and enhancing the role of the community in mainstream society.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress bestows the Shevchenko Medal Award every three years to recognize Canadians, institutions and organizations for their outstanding national contributions to the Ukrainian-Canadian community.  This year, the Congress awarded the medal to Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a tribute event – the highest form of recognition granted by the Congress.

Since 2006, the Prime Minister and the Government have:
  • Passed the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (“Holodomor”) Memorial Day Act in 2008, making Canada one of the first countries to adopt legislation to recognize the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide;
  • Supported democratic reforms in Ukraine, highlighted during his recent trip to Ukraine in October 2010; the Prime Minister publicly expressed Canada’s commitment to support human rights, democratic development, and free and fair elections in Ukraine;
  • Sent over 200 election observers to Ukraine for the 2010 Presidential elections;
  • Entered into historic Free Trade negotiations with Ukraine in 2010;
  • Actively supported Ukraine’s engagement with  NATO; 
  • Renewed Ukraine’s status as a country of priority for international assistance through CIDA in 2009;
  • Signed a Youth Mobility Agreement to facilitate travel and exchanges between Canadian and Ukrainian youth during the Prime Minister’s recent trip in October 2010, giving young people more opportunity to travel and work in each other’s countries;
  • Established the “Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund” in 2008, in response to years of effort by the Ukrainian-Canadian community to recognize the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians and other Canadians of Eastern European descent from 1914-1920; and
  • Upgrading community centres and social housing in Ukrainian-Canadian communities throughout the country under Canada’s Economic Action Plan, such as: the Ukrainian Home of Vita Community Centre, Fraserwood Hall for the Ukrainian National People's Home Association of Taras Shevchenko and the Ukrainian Villa Church. 
Canada is home to more than 1.2 million Ukrainian-Canadians.  In 1991, Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence.  We established diplomatic relations in 1992.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Federal seat redistribution

New legislation is finally being introduced to fix the democratic imbalance in the House of Commons by adding the following seats to these growing provinces:

+7 BC
+5 Alberta
+18 Ontario

Bringing the total to 308+30=338.

But that will then leave Quebec, which has 24.4% of the population, with 23.1% of the seats.  Oh dear no!  Nevermind that they already have 25% of the seats in the Senate where BC and Alberta each have 5.7%.

Which further proves why we not only need an elected Senate, but an equal one as well.  I've mentioned before that if over the next 10 years or so, if Harper doesn't appoint folks in provinces with more than 6 Senators, with the upcoming 9 year Senatorial term, coupled with mandatory retirements, it is possible virtually to achieve provincial equality.  He could hold provinces accountable to the new terms by not appointing anyone if they don't have Senate elections.

Harper's always played the long game in politics.  I wonder if this is part of that plan.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Redford Cabinet

Hot off the presses, followed by my comments...

Alison Redford, QC, Calgary-Elbow
Premier, President of Executive Council, Chair of Agenda and Priorities

Doug Horner, Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert
Deputy Premier, President of Treasury Board and Enterprise
--Obvious choice. He's a smart guy. Especially when a lot of his support on the third ballot went to Redford.

David Hancock
, Edmonton-Whitemud
Minister of Human Services, Government House Leader
--Ooh, "Human Services". She did combine a bunch of ministries together. Good for her! No change at House Leader.

Ted Morton, Foothills-Rocky View
Minister of Energy
--Liepert out.  Morton in.  A good fit although he did a lousy job at Finance.

Verlyn Olson, Wetaskiwin-Camrose
Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Deputy Government House Leader
--No idea who this person is.

Fred Horne, Edmonton-Rutherford
Minister of Health and Wellness
--I've heard of him.  I thought Gene Zwodesky was doing a good job though. Much better than...

Ron Liepert
, Calgary-West
Minister of Finance
--Terrible Health Minister.  Will he tow the line like Morton did, or will he shake it up?  Let's hope for a shake up and cuts to the bloated bureaucracy first.

Thomas Lukaszuk, Edmonton-Castle Downs
Minister of Education
--Well that's interesting.  Why?  I have no clue.

Diana McQueen, Drayton Valley-Calmar
Minister of Environment and Water
--Water is now part of the environment and not natural resources?  Who knew?

Jonathan Denis, Calgary-Egmont
Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security; Deputy Government House Leader
--Jonathan brought much needed common sense to Housing and implemented a lot of great ideas.   He's one of the best cabinet ministers in my opinion. He's a lawyer, and although he supported Morton and Mar, his good work has paid off.
Cal Dallas, Red Deer-South
Minister of International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations--That's one super ministry with one super name for an MLA.

Evan Berger, Livingstone-Macleod
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
--Awesome!  Again, I don't know why.
Frank Oberle, Peace River
Minister of Sustainable Resource Development
--Oh, it's "Sustainable" now is it?

George VanderBurg, Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
Minister of Seniors
--What does this mean?  It's becoming a bigger job with more folks retiring now.

Ray Danyluk, Lac La Biche-St. Paul
Minister of Transportation
--Fitting that he's from that riding--where the highway of death is.  Look for much faster development of HWY 63 to Ft. Mac.

Jeff Johnson, Athabasca-Redwater
Minister of Infrastructure
--Wait a minute?  Did the Dept. of Infrastructure and Transportation just get split into two separate ones?  It looks like it.  Why?

Doug Griffiths, Battle River-Wainwright
Minister of Municipal Affairs
--Doug has good vision for building communities.  This is a good fit for him to prove himself.

Greg Weadick, Lethbridge-West
Minister of Advanced Education and Technology
--That's nice.

Jack Hayden, Drumheller-Stettler
Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation
--Good stuff.

Heather Klimchuk, Edmonton-Glenora
Minister of Culture and Community Services
--Go get 'em!

Manmeet Bhullar, Calgary-Montrose
Minister of Service Alberta
--Ah, the umbrella ministry.  Don't make it bloated!
So there you have it folks.  My comments on a "new era".  Leipert's budget in Spring will be telling of the direction of this machine.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Don't wanna get shot? Don't trespass and steal

These kinds of judgment rulings really piss me off.  Every person has the right to defend their property, and yes, with guns.  Here, the government is defending the criminals.  What's this farmer supposed to do, nothing?  Call the cops and wait?  Give me a friggin' break.  You don't wanna get shot?  Then don't trespass and steal.  It's not vigilantism. It's called defending your property.

Justice Monica Bast rejected the defence's argument that the shooting was impulsive, saying she believed Knight was aware to some degree what he was doing.

Knight chased and used a shot gun to fire at a man who was stealing Knight's ATV from his farm near Tees, Alta.

In the early morning of March 26, 2009, Knight found three men in his farmyard.  He jumped out of bed and gave chase clad in boxer shorts and rubber boots to a man riding Knight's all-terrain vehicle.  Knight rammed the ATV with his car and, when the man abondoned the machine and began running, Knight pulled out a shotgun, firing two rounds at him, police said.

The man was eventually caught after Knight called friends and relatives to help in the search, police said.
Crown prosecutor Jason Snider recommended Knight be sent to jail for 90 days to be served intermittently.

Snider told Justice Bast the shooting was a vigilante act and the court must send a message that behavior of this sort is wrong.
It's not wrong.  You're wrong.   Unbelievable.  Alberta would be the last place I thought this type of injustice would occur.  I guess not.

Maybe we should change our motto to "Kind of Strong and Not So Free".

Alison Redford sworn in as President of the Executive Council of Alberta

An historic moment in Alberta...

Screen capture from

Ontario sucks

Way to go Ontario!  Enjoy your continued have-not status under the McGuinty Liberals.  That said, many voters stayed home.  Why?  Because Hudak's PCs ran a terrible, unfocused campaign and the Liberal War Room pounced on it painting "Tea Party Tobacco Frat Boy Timmy" as a devil.  And then, Ontarians simply picked the devil they know.

Here's your theme song...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ontario election prediction

McGuinty and the Libs will win a majority tonight, thanks to the party's dominance of the GTA and winning back some centrist voters from Tim Hudak's PCs.   Toronto has a Conservative in the mayor's office and one at the PMO.  They did not want a trifecta with one running Queen's Park.

For Hudak, as I said, his campaign is one of the least focused I've ever seen.  All the Liberals had to do was throw him off and paint Hudak as evil and they did that and Ontarians will pick the lesser of two evils or at least the devil they know.  McGuinty is liked as a person even if you totally disagree with his decisions.

In the end, the Liberals will get about 3.5 points over the PCs but 20 seats over them.  Ontario will continue to be a have-not province and the Leafs won't make the playoffs...


Dion and insenaty

I have coined the term "insenaty" to describe politicians who agree that the Senate needs reforming but will come up with any reason not to reform it.

Former Liberal leader, Stephane Dion is no exception.

"In fact, the situation could be even worse in Canada than in the United States, as we do not have a constitutional mechanism to solve disagreements between two elected chambers claiming the same legitimacy to speak for the people," Dion said.

Um, excuse me?  So what's the current procedure, professor, because it seems you forgot?  If the Senate defeats a bill from the House, that's it.  It's done.  And that's the point!  The bill obviously doesn't satisfy enough regions of the country.
"Bill C-7, in allowing Parliament to unilaterally reform the Senate, is truly a constitutional Trojan horse," Dion said.

Anything would be better than our current 'appointment for life' system.   This whole "Trojan horse" argument is fear mongering.  Why not open the constitution for just senate reform?  Ooh, the big bad Quebec separatists are gonna be mad!  I say screw 'em.

It's ridiculous that New Brunswick has 10 senators and BC and Alberta each have 6.  It makes no sense whatsoever and to accept the status quo is just stupid. 

It's insenaty.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Ra Ra Ras Putin, lover of Soviet regime

No surprise here.  Vlad Putin wants to create a Eurasian Union.

This week he has unveiled a grand vision to create a “Eurasian Union” linking old Soviet neighbours, foreseeing a “powerful, supranational union, capable of becoming one of the poles of the modern world”. Coming from a former KGB colonel who described the break-up of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century”, his words could easily prompt fears that he wanted to resurrect the USSR. He stressed that wasn’t the case. “It would be naive to try to restore or copy what was in the past. But time dictates that we should have closer integration based on values, politics and economics,” he wrote. The Eurasian Union could provide an “economically sound and balanced partnership” with the European Union. 
The Baltic states are part of the EU.  Ukraine wanted in that too, but their current prez, Yanukovych, is reluctant and was mainly elected by Eastern Ukrainians, more integrated with Russia than Western Ukraine.  The "Stans" want balance between Russia, China, and the U.S.

But I gotta ask, remember the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)?  What happened to that?

Regardless, from the beginning of his reign, Putin's desire all along has been to recreate the Soviet Union with himself as its head dictator.  Just watch him.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Federal stuff and provincial stuff

Lots going on politically in Canada.  Here's a quick recap and my views:

Harper Government is finally able to scrap the per vote subsidy to parties.  You support a party?  Donate and get a tax rebate.  That simple.  This will put the nail in the coffin for the Bloc, and hurt the Liberals.  Dippers and Conservatives will need to fundraise more and shouldn't have difficulty, but this will further solidify more of a two party system with the Conservatives becoming the natural governing party.  Liberals just don't have the money anymore. 

On another policy, the feds now have it where a small business will get a tax credit for every person they hire within the next year.  I just filled one of these out for one of the employees I now manage. It wasn't an easy form to complete, but we'll get $10k if approved.  We'll likely use it for more software training or profit share.  See how it works people!

Alison Redford will be sworn in as Alberta Premier on Friday.  She's already flip-flopped though, first saying she'd wait until Spring for the next Legislative session, but is now saying a Fall session will happen.  Just wondering if they'll have all that scaffolding down in the Chamber by then.  She's also appointed leadership "rival" Doug Horner to his same job as Deputy Premier, and Edmonton MLA Dave Hancock to House Leader again. Hancock apparently pulled in a lot of votes for Gary Mar in his riding.  She's also moving ahead with her promise to restore $107 million for teachers and suggested ransacking the Heritage Sustainability Fund to do that.  No debate on that though.  Who needs it when the big ATA union voted you in.  That said, a shaky start. 

In PEI, Liberal Ghiz wins again.  NDP in Manitoba will likely win.  And Ontario?  Well, if you wanted to take a course on how to beat the living pulp out of your opponent who was leading by a good margin, and then cause them to lose a pile of support over an election where your team is back in majority territory, the Ontario Liberal War Room led by Warren Kinsella would be your study case.  I hope he writes a book about it, like he has before, because it would be an interesting read.  I can't imagine how frustrated Ontario conservatives are with the Tim Hudak campaign.  It's almost comical.  Kinsella's names are a riot and the fact that I can remember them, rings true how effective he is: "Frat boy Timmy", "Tea Party Tim", "Tobacco Tim". 

Monday, October 03, 2011

Alison Redford to be new Alberta premier

While at a wedding cocktail reception on Saturday, several friends kept asking me what the results were as I was glued to my Twitter feed on my phone.  As the results came in and they were at half the polls reporting, I said she was going to win due to the inability for Gary Mar to get passed 45% and that Redford would get two-thirds of Doug Horner's second ballot choices.  It was still close, and when Mar pulled ahead by 5-6%, he still couldn't penetrate even 45%, I was pretty sure she'd win at that point.  On Twitter, Dave Rutherford was the first out of the gate stating her victory based on his sources.

Final Tally
37,101 (51.11%) Redford
35,491 (48.89%) Mar

Well, I will admit that I voted for her and Horner 2nd.  I voted for her for three reasons.  I watched the debate on Wednesday and was impressed with her strength and felt of the three candidates, she would best represent Alberta, but maybe not ideologically.  Secondly, I didn't want Mar to win as his ethics are questionable, and thirdly, Redford is said to be a liberal-progressive, which splits the PCs and is a win for Danielle Smith, who'd I'd prefer as premier.  Now, a lot more conservatives potentially will leave the PCs for the Wildrose Party, but only if Smith and Co. can prove themselves as a viable alternative.

An indication of that is only 78,176 members turned out to vote Saturday, which was an increase from the first ballot vote two weeks prior, but it is a large decrease from the 144,000 that voted in 2006 which saw Ed Stelmach shoot up the middle to win.  That's a big vacuum.

Despite all that, Redford is a relative unknown to many conservatives and I believe Albertans for the most part, will give her a shot to see what she can and cannot do.  It will be difficult for the Wildrose to paint her in a bad light while the honeymoon is on, and I thought the press release from Danielle Smith congratulating Redford on her win while slamming her when she hasn't had a chance to govern yet was in bad form.

The fall session was to start October 25th, but Redford has postponed it, a budget, and a potential election until the spring.  The Wildrose is not happy with this, but while I took a tour of the Legislature building yesterday, the tour guide apologized for the state of the Assembly Chamber itself.  I took the picture below from the public gallery to show all the scaffolding they must use to change the 600 lightbulbs to energy-saving ones as they cannot fit a scissor-lift through the doors.  As well, they are painting.  I don't see them finishing and cleaning up by October 25th.  Whether that's the reason, I really don't know, but found it interesting and coincidental under the circumstances.

As we began our tour, media were on hand, waiting for someone, and I thought perhaps she would be there.  But alas, it was Raj Sherman, newly elected Alberta Liberal leader.

Even though I voted for her, this blog, and I'm sure many others of the conservative-bent, will watch her every move over the next while.  She'd be smart to introduce some conservative policies to keep that camp involved in her party, especially on dumbing-down or scrapping the Alberta Human Rights Commission, but her promise to restore $100 million to education for teachers within a couple weeks seems bold and decisive, but in reality, it seems like a bit of a stretch to accomplish.  If she does it, you'll note it is without any budgetary debate, which indicates to me, not much will really change with the way the PCs govern.

I remember just a week and a half ago when I saw her at an Edmonton downtown lounge sitting and having a conversation with a man, possibly an advisor.  I thought to go up to her and wish her luck, but I didn't, because who knew at that point she'd ever become our premier.

But she did.