Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas and Boxing Day!

... from Phoenix! I had to escape the brutal coldsnap in Edmonton and get some golf in with my dad. Then later, we were discussing politics and wondered what smart decisions Alberta premier Alison Redford has actually made this year.

1. Called in favors to the "old boys club" in the last two weeks of the campaign for money to spend on attack ads on Wildrose.

2. Went into hiding during all the scandals regarding MLA raises, expense and donations only going back three years, her sister, ex-husband, and now with their poor leadership on promising to eliminate the deficit despite good economic growth in the province.

Alberta is an oligarchy and will continue to be one unless something changes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Edmonton growing like hotcakes but Alberta gov't in dire shape

What gives?

In one day, it's announced that Edmonton is to outpace national average on economic growth and jobs, while at the same time, the Redford PC Alberta gov't finance minister Doug Horner offers a gloomy economic forecast for Alberta.

It must be then that the Alberta gov't themselves are creating all these high paying jobs.  Or maybe it's actually the private sector, specifically oil and gas.  So wouldn't that generate more tax revenue for the gov't, or are they simply incompetent and rudderless?  Nah, couldn't be.  Or could it?....  Hmm, let's see here...

Alison Redford promised no new taxes.  What did we get?  An increase to the education contribution on property taxes.

Alison Redford promised more care and cash for seniors in health care.  What do they get?  One shower a week and now a 25% cut in services.

Alison Redford promised more funding for teachers (perhaps from tax increase above).  What do we get?  Haggling with the Alberta Teachers Union.  And now they're pulling back on their promise for the 1-2% increase.

Alison Redford promised accountability.  What did we get?  Sure they now post expenses and campaign donations online, but it only dates back 3 years. How convenient.  And let's not forget about her sister using gov't money for PC party campaign events but there was nothing wrong although someone in the gov't who did much less, got fired by Redford.  The continued illegal donations from school boards and other groups, and while Justice Minister, her signing and approving  the use of her ex-husband's law firm for the gov't to take on big tobacco.

Alison Redford promised to listen to Albertans.  What did we get?  The Heartland Transmission Line to be put above ground despite loud and clear opposition from everyone except the power companies who will increase charges to pay for something now that only Albertans in the far future will get to use.

The PC's for years and year and now Alison Redford promised to get the Highway of Death (63) to Ft. McMurray fully twinned.  What do we get?  More deaths. More delays. More talk. Oh sure, 36km is done and they SAY it will all be done by 2016, but they said that many years ago too.

Alison Redford promised to reduce the gov't deficit. What do we get?  Continued and growing deficits.

Alison Redford promised no sales tax.  What do you think we're gonna get?

Does anyone think this gov't and PC party are going to make anything better?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Edmonton Mayor Mandel - tax fighter?

With the very left-leaning Edmonton City Council (#yegcc), it's good to see the mayor using common sense in using departmental surpluses to lower property tax increases as much as possible.

I wanted to give credit to him because I didn't vote for him last election and supported City Centre airport guy David Dorward who then went onto become an MLA in the crappy crappy Redford Alberta PC government.

But back to city government management.  Empire-building by managers and bureaucrats in city government is huge.  There's no incentive to cut costs or become more efficient because if the allocated budget isn't used up, then what was used is the new budgeted amount, so the incentive is reversed--to use up the budget and then cry for more money.

Every time you hear a government or party wanting to cut departments, you hear unions and bureaucrats bellowing that services will suffer.  Bullshit.  Find a way to continue to deliver those services with less money.  Corporations do this every single day.

If the majority of Edmonton City Council had the balls to stand up to the managers, then property taxes would be going down instead of this trend:

1989 5.50
1990 5.50
1991 6.50
1992 4.50
1993 0.00
1994 0.00
1995 0.00
1996 0.00
1997 6.00
1998 5.00
1999 4.00
2000 2.30
2001 2.80
2002 2.40
2003 4.90
2004 5.30 1% for infrastructure borrowing + 4.3% for operations
2005 4.60 includes 1% for infrastructure borrowing
2006 3.20 includes 1% for infrastructure borrowing
2007 4.95 includes 0.75% for infrastructure borrowing City partially used education tax room created by province 
2008 7.50
2009 7.30 2.5% for total tax bill - includes 2% for Neighbourhood Infrastructure Renewal, Waste Services becomes a utility, not funded by taxes
2010 5.00 includes 2% for Neighbourhood Infrastructure Renewal
2011 3.85 includes 1.5% for Neighbourhood Infrastructure Renewal
2012 5.35 includes 1.5% for Neighbourhood Infrastructure Renewal

Friday, November 23, 2012

Justin Trudeau and the continuing story of Liberal arrogance toward Alberta

The Liberal spin machine is out in full force now that their dauphin has been outed on his 2010 remarks about saying that he's tired of Albertans running the country and that Canada belongs to Quebeckers and Liberals.

This is the typical tired-old Liberal Party arrogance that they honestly believe they deserve to run the country.

Once the most successful political party in Western democratic history, now that they've been out of power for a mere six years, they are in disarray and are hoping that Trudeaumania Part Deux will spur old Liberals into the fold again.

But whether it was his father giving the finger to Albertans, the National Energy Program (NEP) that crushed Alberta's potentially booming economy, their disdain for any Senate reform to give equal representation to provinces like Alberta, Chretien's remarks regarding preferring "to do politics with people from the East. Joe Clark and Stockwell Day are from Alberta, they are a different type", or Scott Reid, Paul Martin's press guy saying "Alberta can blow me".  The list goes on.

Then finally, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's brother, David, an Ontario MP and now former energy critic in a House committee meeting tells Conservative MPs to "go back to Alberta".  Gee, thanks, Dave.

Every time any of these Liberals campaign in Alberta, they praise the oil sands, but then back home, they decry its supposed environmental impact on global warming, and then in the same breath, quietly see the obvious economic benefit to the whole country so they scheme a way to ransack the Alberta cash in transfer payments, through the NEP or a useless carbon tax.

Justin even went so far to say he'd rather have Quebec separate than live in Stephen Harper's Canada.  Seriously?

I'm personally sick and tired of these Liberals who try and play footsie with Alberta, then blast it with arrogant comments.  It's the same old crap.

And Heir Justin is no different.   Heckling "Oh you piece of shit!" in the House of Commons?  When does it end.  How many apologies for rude comments?

He's an arrogant Liberal like the rest of them.  NONE of them have ever had Alberta's best interest in mind, only their own hunger for power and Quebec's interest and therefore, not Canada's best interest as a whole in mind either.

If I was a Liberal (ha!), I'd be supporting a leadership candidate someone way smarter, way more qualified, more dignified, more experienced, who understands economics, technology, and the future.  Astronaut Mark Garneau.  I'm telling you, Liberals, don't fall for the easy, sexy way to power.

Basically, don't continue the history of Liberal arrogance.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alison Redford and corruption

Congratulations to all those who voted PC last election. Don't you feel better?  Especially you 'progressives'.

It appears now Alison Redford's sister, an Alberta Health Services executive is caught in a scandal involving illegal expenses incurred for hosting a PC BBQ amongst other things.

As well, note the difference in language from the Premier between dealing with a similar scandal with a former AHS exec and now with her sister.  It's disgusting.  Visit The Alberta Ardvark to see.

How can people in this province continue to support this diseased PC party is beyond me.  Any of you who believed that they would balance the budget without ransacking savings and now saying 'well, we have an infrastructure deficit' (what, this same party didn't know before?), need to really rethink your voting habit.  I'm serious.  Won't matter though, you'll forget in 3.5 years.  Redford and her corrupt PCs are counting on it.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Real quick U.S. prez election analysis

Obama didn't win. Romney lost.

Romney lost because he lost two and a half demographics:

#1. Latinos.  Bush got 60%.  McCain 40%.  Romney 20%.  Latinos in the U.S. aren't just near the Mexico border anymore.  They can be found in many states.

#2. Women.  Because of his abortion stance and "binders full of women".

#2.1 White men.  Because he flip flopped on issues and confused moderate and conservative-libertarian men... see below... Many went to Obama, some sucked it up and went with Gary Johnson (Libertarian).

Popular Vote (as of Nov 09, 2012):

61,212,519 Obama (Dem.)
58,200,628 Romney (GOP)
 3,011,891 difference

 1,148,187 Johnson (Lib.)

What do the Republicans need to do to win next time?

They should give Stephen Harper a call to see how it's done.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Obama will win

I have a bet with a staunch GOP supporter friend of mine (who's Canadian nonetheless) that Obama will win on Tuesday.  I challenged him because he became so confident that Mitt Romney would win, but also sweep all the swing states.  I didn't

After having spent some time in the U.S. this year, I often engaged colleagues and friends on how they felt.  While they were disappointed in the overall promise of "hopey changey" with Obama, I know of no one, not even one Republican that was excited about Mitt Romney, although they'd likely vote for him.  I'm finding more and more cynical American voters who are Libertarian or none-of-the-above, neither Obama or Romney.

I have declared that Romney's momentum, which picked up a lot of steam after he crushed Obama in the first debate, peaked a couple weeks ago.  The Romney campaign fumbled a great opportunity on the terrorist attack and murder of the U.S. Ambassador in Libya. For some reason, the Democrats were able to confuse the issue enough that it didn't sink with voters.  Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, I believe, had an affect on the electoral feelings of those affected and not, and after seeing the devastation, may want to stick with certainty.

All that said, in analyzing the electoral college map, it takes some mighty last minute big GOP push to win back the swing states that were previously Bush.  Mitt doesn't have the women or Latino vote, where Bush had at least a good portion of the Latinos, and I think that's the difference.

Here's my map of my prediction.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Harper's MP pension reforms vs. Redford's MLA retirement package

The Redford PCs continue to disgust me.

For MPs:  Instead of 66% of salary after 6 years, now 3% of salary for each year of service after 4 years, paid at 67 years of age.  Huge overall decrease.

For MLAs:  100% taxpayer-funded RRSP maximum limit contributions (2013:  $23,820).  100% increase.

What a difference in leadership styles.  What a joke the Redford PCs are.

Worst argument ever by a Senator...

Current Alberta Liberal Senator and former Alberta Liberal leader Grant Mitchell thinks because of the new pension rules brought in by the Harper government, his fellow Senators may resort to accepting bribes because they get "pressure all the time".

Sometimes, you just gotta say, "WTF?"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Marc Garneau is what the Liberals need

Best thing for Justin Trudeau and the Liberals would be for him to lose a close race and then take his energy and youthful team and get behind Marc Garneau.  Is there a bad thing you can say about the former astronaut, engineering doctorate, and head of the Canadian Space Agency, other than he's a bit older and not as charismatic?

“I’d make the necessary adjustments in industrial strategy where we’re getting the pants beaten off us. We have a huge talent pool of educated people but it’s clear to me that we’re underperforming. Thank God we have commodities,” he said.
He gets it.  That beats Trudeau's entire kick-off speech.

Dalton McGuinty?  Where to begin...  Yes, I hear he's a nice man.  If I was Harper, I'd want the Dad to run. For sure.

Liberals could vote for Trudeau out of celebrity and seeing some polls that put him ahead, but do they REALLY know what they're getting?  Are the retiring moms still dreaming of Trudeaumania telling their sons and daughters around the holiday dinner table what his father was like 44 years ago?  Maybe.

For the Liberals sake, hopefully dad at the table with deep Liberal roots will tell them that Garneau is a much better choice for the party, and for Canada.  Because I could live with Garneau as PM having a handle on the economy, but Justin?  Not a chance.

Trudeau would take us where we have no idea where we're going.  Garneau could at least take us upward.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Justin Trudeau tops in poll for liblead

Latest Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll has Trudeau waaaaay ahead.  Like way ahead of really smart, experienced folks like astronaut Marc Garneau, Bank of Canada guy Mark Carney, journalist Andrew Coyne and more.

Well Liberals, I guess after trying substance (Ignatieff, Dion, Martin) you'd prefer to go with style, once again, you don't necessarily care about policies, but simply gaining power no matter what.

In his kick-off speech, Trudeau was very big on rhetoric but not specifics.  Middle class this, middle class that.  But really, how's he going to help them?  There's Harper's approach--tax them less on various things so they have more money to spend on what they want, which he implemented, and there's the Liberal/NDP approach, where they tax them then spend on big useless bureaucratic gov't programs, not direct tax relief, because those progressives, you know, they know what's best for you and society than you do.

Will blue liberals buy into Trudeau's rhetoric or continue to be in their current ideological home, the centre-right Harper Conservatives?

Will soft-NDPers in Quebec, BC, and Ontario flock back to the Liberals under Trudeau?  Would a merger be even necessary with Trudeau?

Also note Liberals, where's the women besides Martha Hall-Findlay?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Trudeau's speech was very good

.. if you're a progressive/liberal.  You should be very excited.  There was lots of good visionary, forward-looking inspiring rhetoric in his speech that will certainly rally the liberals and many soft-dippers back into the fold.  

But there was one part that stood out for me in why heir Trudeau is no where near my belief system.

"To millions and millions of Canadians, their government has become irrelevant, remote from their daily lives, let alone their hopes and dreams. To them, Ottawa is just a place where people play politics as if it were a game open to a small group, and that appeals to an even smaller one."
As a libertarian-conservative I'm right glad that the government has become irrelevant and remote from my daily life and my hopes and dreams.  Why should the gov't be involved in my hopes and dreams?  That's the last place I want them.  His words embody the strong central government approach of Liberals.

Let's face it, the reason the Liberals sucked last time is because Ignatieff didn't inspire and rally the lefties and Quebeckers and Jack was in turn elevated to an icon, causing the Liberalism to be squeezed out.  Further to that, Bob Rae is interim and there was a huge vacuum.  

The left LOVES to cling onto and rally around iconic leaders.  It's part of their nature.  They WANT someone to lead them and others to some promised land.  Whether it's Lenin, Mao, or the kids who wear that murderous communist Che Guevara on their shirt, they say they want a revolution.   Jack Layton became an iconic left leader and Tom Mulcair is trying to be one too, but I don't think he quite has it.  

Justin?  Absolutely.

I certainly see Justin Trudeau being a rallying point for the left.  The issue with his liberalism in Canada is that it's almost become irrelevant--with the NDP on the left and Conservatives on the right both taking up parts of the centre.  It's even happening provincially with parties on both ends strattling the middle.

So with that, I applaud Justin for actually having the guts to make the case for liberalism.  He needed to do that to inspire the Liberal base and mark out territory.
"And as we face these challenges, the only ideology that must guide us is evidence. Hard, scientific facts and data. It may seem revolutionary in today's Ottawa, but instead of inventing the facts to justify the policies, we will create policy based on facts. Solutions can come from the left or the right, all that matters is that they work. That they help us live - and thrive - true to our values."
This is liberalism ideology at it's core and as I mentioned in a previous post, what made the Liberal party successful.  Push back on the left and right and say some of both parties ideas are good.  Tout the "balanced approach" with big visionary rhetoric.

Liberals should be ecstatic.

And Tom Mulcair should be very afraid.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Alison Redford at the trough...

Photo image courtesy of Jeff McIntosh, Canadian Press for the Toronto Star.  Text added by Hatrock afterward.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harper: "NDP brings bad ideas.. where Liberals bring none"

Full story here.

In the 90's, back in my U of A political club days during the annual Model Parliament, I noticed how easy it was for us on the Reform/Canadian Alliance opposition bench to debate the Liberal gov't (who were the gov't in power during that time).  They lacked any real passion other than happy they were in power.  But more significantly, they lacked ideas.  They even admitted it to me in the evening parties that their party was not about original ideas, it was about taking them from the left or right and being pragmatic to the n-th degree.  It was classic linear ideology 101.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Liberals were the most successful political party in the the democratic world.  They were masters of balancing the politically astute ideas from the left and right, whether good or bad, whether it solved anything or not, and sold them to the public as sound policy all for one primary purpose... power.  NDP came up with universal health care, Liberals enacted it.  Chretien tells everyone he's getting rid of the GST, but keeps it, although it was good Conservative policy.  Oh sure, the Liberals had their Red Book of 1993, but really, it was more for show that they did have ideas.

The Liberal party of the last 10 years or so has had a massive policy vacuum, even if that policy means stealing them from the left or right, they don't appear to agree with either side.  The only real original idea came from former Liberal leader Stephane Dion with the carbon tax.  Sure it was supposedly original, but Canadians rejected it as a bad idea and elected the Conservatives again instead.

The Liberals continue to swoon for a dauphin leader to pull them out of the vacuum with some grand ideas, when their ideas should be coming from their membership or at least enhanced ideas from the left or right,  it is seemingly so that Liberal support across Canada (and other western nations) appears in a hole.  It will take much more than young Trudeau to save them.  At least his father had ideas, although very bad ones.

With the NDP seemingly moving to the centre and the Conservatives having moved to the centre a while back, the Liberals got pushed out... especially on ideas.  And so Prime Minister Harper is bang-on:  “The one difference between the NDP and the Liberal Party is at least the NDP brings bad ideas to this debate, whereas the Liberals bring none.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Redford's PCs are not your father's PC Party...

In light of Premier Peter Lougheed's death, the father and grand statesman of the PC Party of Alberta, lest I remind all the current supporters and voters of the Redford PCs that they basically campaigned against that era...

From a photo I took of an ad in Vue Weekly magazine from this year's campaign and submitted to Sun News Network, who then ran with it...

The current PCs will NEVER be like my father's PC Party... you know, the one where Mr. Lougheed was leader and Premier of Alberta.

Peter Lougheed

The man who in 1971 started one of the greatest political party legacies in political history shall be remembered forever in Alberta's archive.

That said, his vision became the foundation for the future of my province and we should be thankful of his leadership. He brought us out of an era into the forefront of Canadian power. And because of him, Alberta remains one of the greatest places to live in history.

He was a true gentleman, and a brilliant statesman, not just in Alberta, but in Canada.

Rest in peace, dear Premier. And thank you, Sir.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Debunking a letter regarding Harper and the senate

Here's a letter published to the Toronto Star regarding Harper's recent 5 senate appointees.  My comments are below each paragraph.

Harper appoints five new senators, Sept. 8 - Edward Carson, Toronto
Critics are correct in pointing out the contradiction as Stephen Harper repeatedly appoints a growing majority of right-thinking Conservatives to the Senate, as opposed to launching free elections as he’s often promised, but they miss the more salient point of his actions as well as the longer-term impact they will have on democracy in Canada.
How do you know they are "right-thinking"?  As well, Harper or the government alone cannot launch Senate-elections.  This is up to the provinces.  This letter doesn't make any mention of that.  "longer-term impact they will have on democracy in Canada"... oh and the Liberals who dominated the Senate for 15 years?  I guess they had no impact.  Liberals have never appointed an elected senator.  Conservatives have. So who's impacting democracy more?
In the short term, Harper represents many things, threatening and supportive, to left-and-right-leaning political groups in this country, but he’s nobody’s fool. Harper’s game is the long one. He’s well aware that, as history teaches us all, sooner or later the political and electoral winds will swing away from the ideological right and a new progressive political agenda will begin to take hold, some of which will involve undoing much of the divisive political, social, health, and environmental legislative damage presently being inflicted on Canadians.
You're obviously bias.  I don't wish to point out the zillions of things I thought the Liberals did that were divisive politically, socially, health-wise, and environmentally.  The list is way too long.
Not long after Harper has gone from power, Parliament will once again move back toward a more truly constitutional centre where it is meant to act as an enterprise of co-operation, as well as a place of sober second thought, endeavoring to link and better balance both corporate and the public interests.
Really?  What constitutes "a more truly constitutional centre"?  Oh, must be Liberal.  But what was "the centre" many years ago?   It can be easily argued that the Conservatives of today are at the centre and Laurier's, King's, and St. Laurent's Liberals were to the right of Harper.
But waiting to block much of this will not be the will of Parliament and the people, but the will of a right-wing, unelected Senate ideologically predisposed to protecting and maintaining the legislative agendas from the Harper years.
So what do you suggest then?  I recall the Senate being left-wing, unelected, ideologically predisposed to protecting and maintaining the legislative agendas form the Chretien/Martin years.  AT LEAST HARPER IS TRYING TO REFORM THE SENATE.  No other Prime Minister in history has made the inroads on this issue, which completely invalidates your points altogether.
We only have to look south of our border to see the enormous harm and mischief resulting when a country’s political arms are divided, one being driven by unthinking ideology rather than by facts, common sense, and, ultimately, the decisive will of the people.
But south of our border there exists an elected AND equal senate... you know, the decisive will of the people?  If anyone here is not driven by facts and common sense, it's you and your unthinking liberal ideology.

Liberalism is dying in Canada and around the world because the left is seeing some merits of the right and moving toward the centre and conversely, the right is seeing merits of the left and moving to the centre, squishing out the muddy middle of the Liberals, who were masters at seeing merits of both the left and right and balancing them out somehow.  That's what made the Liberal Party of Canada the most successful party in the democratic world.

Now, as they try to rebrand themselves with dauphins, they will continue to fail at what they were once good at--policy and vision, not platitudes and planks.

To the author of that letter, your point is moot.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Harper v. Obama

With attention on the U.S. conventions and the Quebec election, it's been a busy week for Prime Minister Harper.  He goes to APEC Summit in Russia, inks a deal with China to protect Canadians doing business with China, opens talks with Japan and South Korea on a future free trade deal, and pulling diplomatic ties with Iran.  Meanwhile, he appoints five folks to the Senate, with them confirming that they support democratic reforms.  Conservatives now have 62 seats in the Upper Chamber compared to the Liberals with 40.

While the USA continues to post huge deficits and its job numbers continue to lag (with most jobs added being actually lower-wage jobs) Canada is quietly shining economically.

For Obama and the Democrats to think they deserve another term while next door, Harper and the Conservatives in Canada have proven that an economic recovery can happen under proper watch, is wanting.

The question for my non-partisan American friends is this.... will electing Mitt Romney really change the dangerous economic course the U.S. has been on for years?  Has he convinced you yet?  But further, has Obama delivered on his promise to go through the budget, line-by-line?

Regardless, the partisan U.S. media is out in full force, pulling the truth far from reality, it's become more difficult for the average American non-partisan voter to know who's right.

And because of that, the real threat to America is not terrorists, or China, or the climate.

It's themselves.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Bloc strike back but cry wolf

Quebec has 125 seats in their National Assembly.  As the results come in as of 9:50PM EDT, the PQ have 59 seats and are 4 seats short of a majority.  The Liberals have 46, and the CAQ have 19.

Ok, I'm going to say it.  I can't stand the PQ and how they continually put a gun to Canada's head.  But that's why I hope they win a majority and call a referendum.   There's no way a majority Quebeckers will ever vote for independence (or "sovereignty" as the like to soften it up as).  But I want this bloody issue put to rest.  Bilingualism has cost this country hundreds of billions while at the same time the Quebec language police are in full force against anglophone businesses.  Equalization is anything but equal.  Quebec students continue to pay the lowest tuition in North America and yet they complain and some riot about a tiny increase.  Charest was very weak on that issue and why he lost.

Premier-elect Marois has already been demanding more powers for Quebec.  Her plans to demand businesses with only 10 or more employees to operate in French is plain fascist.  

I don't know about you, but I hope Prime Minister Harper tells her to shove it.  Go ahead Pauline, have your referendum.  Let's put the issue to rest.  If you leave or stay, Canada still wins.  If you leave, we'll have billions saved in not having to prop you up.  Not only that, your debt is enormous. Good luck paying that off without our help.  Businesses will leave in droves to Toronto and out West due to your high taxes and draconian language laws.  If you stay, as long as we don't continue to shovel billions of cash your way into a bottomless pit of corruption and entitlement, we win.  Even still, we win, because we know you'll just whine and cry wolf and the rest of us won't be listening anymore.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Alberta .05 law in effect today

Science has proven that .08 blood alcohol means someone is very likely impaired and therefore unable to drive.  In Canada, if a driver is found with a .08% blood alcohol concentration and deemed impaired, a criminal charge is given.  Then after that, the driver has the right to challenge this in court.  Even still, the driver still gets to keep their vehicle as it is not impounded, although they don't get to drive it.

Not with the new .05 law in Alberta.  Officers can now determine with a roadside breathalyser, although are prone to error, that you are over .05 and seize your vehicle on the spot.  You have no chance to appeal or challenge.  Police are now judge and jury.

Further to that, drunk driving deaths happen when drivers are way over the .08 limit.  This law will do nothing to curb that.

This is grossly unconstitutional and I hope some good lawyers out there challenge this useless, stupid law.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan snubs American music

During his RNC speech last night, GOP VP candidate, Paul Ryan said that his iPod goes from "AC/DC to Zeppelin".

Uh, hello?  It's not Zeppelin, it's Led Zeppelin, with an "L".  And if you're going to put ANY band at the end of an alphabetical list, it's frickin' ZZ Top.

Not only that, but when George W. Bush was governor of Texas, I recall him declaring ZZ Top as the official band of the Texas.

And not only that, but ZZ Top is American.  AC/DC? Australian.  Zep?  British.

Way to go Paul!  Way to not only snub ZZ Top, but all of Texas, Republicans, and all of America as a result of trying to look young, hip, and human.  Obama still has you beat on all fronts, big time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Time to end official bilingualism

Hey, long time no blog post.  Hope everyone is enjoying their summer--especially you Quebeckers who are now in the middle of a provincial election, and now apparently mired in an old, tired debate on language.  *Yawn*.

Sun News Network's host of "The Source", Ezra Levant has rightfully lambasted PQ leader Pauline Marois for attacking anglophones and freedom of speech in general on her idea to force businesses to operate in French that employ over 10 people from the current 50.

Ezra also mentions the federal government spending $100,000 for the language commissioner to go to all the airports to see if customers are being offered both languages and derides that move as well.

However, my political Spidey-senses tell me that the timing of that move is suspect.  Don't you find it interesting how the Harper government, not exactly popular in Quebec, of all governments, would commission this commission for the commissioner (sorry, couldn't help myself) right in the middle of a Quebec provincial election?  I sure do.

So why the move?  Is it to show Quebeckers that the federal government is also protecting the French language within Canada?  Well of course it does.  And if francophones like Pauline Marois don't already appreciate how much has been spent on protecting French, which she obviously doesn't, then they can believe her tripe, vote PQ, vote "Oui", and watch as businesses and talent continue to leave Quebec for better pastures and freedom in other provinces.

But note that if it wasn't for bilingualism, we probably wouldn't have a federal debt!  Because since official bilingualism, the federal government and provincial ones in total have spent hundreds of billions on this useless program and where has it gotten us?  Higher costs for goods and services and more empty threats from separatists who'll NEVER appreciate how much the rest of the country has bent over backwards for them time and time again, year after year, billions and billions later.

If Montreal and Quebec City were to become the economic urban powerhouses as circumstances seemed they were destined for in the 1960's, perhaps they would have attracted more talent and businesses as they were doing and people would have wanted to learn French naturally because it would be a smart thing to do.  Much like learning Spanish in the U.S., it certainly helps to know it and why I started learning it during my work travels there.

Although English has a minority of first-language speakers in the world, English continues to dominate.

It's time to end official bilingualism in Canada and let language flow naturally as it should.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

New federal riding boundary changes proposed

Here's the newly proposed federal riding boundaries for the Edmonton area, as Alberta gets more seats.

My thoughts:

Say goodbye urban-rural ridings of (held by):

  • Edmonton-Spruce Grove (Rona Ambrose, Conservative)
  • Edmonton-Leduc (James Rajotte, Conservative)
  • Edmonton Millwoods-Beaumont (Mike Lake, Conservative)
  • Edmonton-Sherwood Park (Tim Uppal, Conservative)

Edmonton-St. Albert (Brent Rathgaber, Conservative) remains but it includes just a tiny bit of Edmonton as St. Albert isn't near the 100k mark yet.

Proposed ridings that make perfect sense and boundaries are totally logical:

  • Edmonton-Strathcona (Linda Duncan, NDP)
  • Edmonton-Riverbend (James Rajotte, Conservative)
  • Edmonton-Millwoods (Mike Lake, Conservative)

So why couldn't they make the other proposed ridings on the North side of the River the only three names that make no sensee:

  • Edmonton Callingwood (Rona Ambrose / Laurie Hawn, Conservative) should be the former name:  Edmonton-West.  I lived in Callingwood which is South of Whitemud, East of 178th Street and West of 170th Street--a small section of the entire proposed riding.  People in Westridge should be annoyed!
  • Edmonton McDougall (Laurie Hawn, Conservative) should be the former name:  Edmonton-Centre.
  • Edmonton Griesbach (Peter Goldring, Independent Conservative) should be a combo: Edmonton-East Griesbach.
With these changes, I predict little will change as far as party in the next election except Edmonton-McDougall might be a closer race with Hawn losing more of his West Edmonton base and concentrated to the more liberal areas of downtown west.  And with Peter Goldring now out of caucus, he likely won't run there again, so it is again ripe for the picking from the NDP or Liberals if they put forward a well known name.  Will Ray Martin take yet another stab at it?

Overall, this Albertan is mighty happy about gaining 6 more seats in the House of Commons.  See the green column below under 'New Legislation' to see that while BC, AB, and ON improve their standing in Seats/Pop., it's still not up-to-snuff with the other provinces.  And look at my proposal in the blue column that reduces the number of seats and makes things more even.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Where's the bloody common sense in this country?

It's been a crazy couple of weeks in the news in Canada and I feel the need to vent.


Super nonsense...

If that pissed you off, calm down.. there actually is some sense out there...

That said I pray for the day when common sense prevails again.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Alberta PCs = illegal donations

Calgary Herald Columnist Don Braid keeps the news alive of the continued illegal donations made to the Alberta PCs, who say that they can't release the names of the donors because the chief election officer said so.

Uh, no. This is a law that the PCs put in place while at the same time they are breaking the law on donations.

This is blatant corruption at the highest level.

If you voted for the PCs.  Shame. On. You.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Run Rae run! You too Justin!

No surprise to anyone, Bob's gonna gun for the Liberal leadership.

Makes you wonder if the TV attack ad on Bob Rae by the Conservatives prompted this in some way, like they were egging him on.

Also, after pounding on a Conservative Senator in a highly-publicised charity boxing match by the Sun News Network, I wonder if Sun was doing it to egg-on Justin Trudeau to run as well.  I think it was a pure and perfect publicity stunt by Trudeau.  And you know how I know he's going to run for the leadership?

Because he said he wasn't.

With most of the Liberals not wanting Bob Rae to run, Trudeau will be the rallying and unifying candidate.

NDP proposes crackdown on bad behaviour in house

..from 'Tom' Mulcair's party?  This is pretty rich.  Maybe Tom wants himself to calm himself down.

Highway 63 and insanity

If you are horrified like me at the recent tragic deaths that occurred on Highway 63 and wish it was twinned, but you voted for the PCs a week ago, you know that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting a different result, right?

Redford wants 140 new clinics in the province.  Until it's twinned, I suggest she place all of them along this highway of death.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Charest is a weak premier

Oooh, $1625 increase over 5 years now spread to 7 years.  Give me a break.  Quebec students already pay the lowest tuition in the country because it's heavily subsidized.  Quebec has the biggest provincial debt and yet receives the most in transfer payments.  All Charest has done is shown that these protests and vandalism can actually work and influence government.

Hey, listen, I'm still paying off my student loan, but I got a good career job, worked hard, and worked my way up the ladder.  Maybe if these students got into a program that actually produced a good paying job, then maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal.  $1625 is only a $325 increase each year for 5 years.  That's a 2-3 days worth of work.

As well, if the gov't had planned better and increased tuition years ago, it wouldn't be the relative perceived hit it appears to be now.

But to me, that shows great weakness on part of Quebec's Premier Jean Charest by succumbing to this type of pressure from thugs and losers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alberta election 2012 - detailed results

Uber-Edmonton blogger Mack D. Male at has put together an amazing page of election results at:

Waaaaaaaaaay better than Elections Alberta at

Why they don't hire him to do it, is beyond me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Alberta election 2012 - The Hangover Analysis

PCs got 1/3 of Liberals and previous PCers plus a new public union vote.

That's the short jist of it.  I crunched the numbers and something was uncanny.

The numbers are uncanny.  You have to go all the way back to Klein in 2001 to find the old PC stalwart voters.  They didn't show up in 2004 or 2008.  But they came back this election.  Look at this...

501,063PCs in 2008
378,023conservatives who left PCs to WR in 2012
123,040conservatives/PCs remaining in PCs in 2012

251,158Liberals in 2008
  46,174Liberals to NDP in 2012
127,642Liberals in 2012
  77,342Liberals to PCs in 2012
     31%% of Liberals to PCs in 2012

567,050PCs in 2012
200,382conservatives and liberals in PCs in 2012
366,668New (former?) PC voters in 2012
366,672Voter turnout diff 2008 to 2012

IT'S THE SAME AMOUNT!!!!   In summary, a third of Liberals went PC because they were scaredy-pants of the Wildrose, and somehow the PCs got votes from a magical voter land, perhaps this was the voter turnout difference.

Who are these magical out-of-nowhere PC people?  Several theories:
  1. PC went begging to all the former PC voters in some old list that haven't voted in a decade
  2. Slew of public union gov't workers, teachers, and their families.  Don't forget how much the unions went on a  push poll rampage.
  3. I also think in the final four days, there were about 100,000 PC supporters who'd previously said in polls that they'd vote Wildrose, and chickened out.  

Alberta election - quick analysis

Voter turnout was crap again albeit a tad higher. Liberals simply abandoned their own party for the PCs and a chunk of PCs were chicken. Nothing that Redford did... a terrible campaign with a scorched-earth strategy. It worked.  In the last few days, especially after the debate, the Wildrose campaign fizzled and seemed to hide and retreat when they should have gone on the offensive on fiscal policy.  I think they were hoping to ride the momentum from early in the campaign.

More later...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Alberta election seat prediction 2012

WR 45, PC 37, ND 2, LIB 2, AP 1

9 minutes to go!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Strategic voting and "progressives"

I've never done it.  I've always voted for who I wanted to win.  It's primarily the left that promotes strategic voting, proportional representation, and all these other voting schemes.  Why?  Because they won't admit that all those parties are essentially the same and so they don't have the guts to merge into the "Progressive Party" like the federal PCs and Canadian Alliance did into the Conservatives.

So here we are in Alberta, with essentially five parties on the centre and left vying for a lot of the same votes and now a website called "Change Alberta" to help "progressives" decide which of the "progressive" candidates in their riding has the best chance of beating a conservative (although I would argue the PCs are not conservatives anymore).  With under 300 likes on their Facebook page, it looks like revolution, folks!

Strategic voting may work in a couple ridings with great focus and rigorous team work and if there's a minority gov't, these "progressives" could hold the balance of power, but there's so many parties on the centre left that it's not just NDP or Liberal to choose from.  As well, they just don't have the numbers, except, like I said, in maybe a few ridings in Edmonton.

The big problem with strategic voting is it is not a true reflection of the electorate and who they really want.  True NDP supporters went nuts for many years while their soft support continually went to the Liberals.  So I believe many of these strategic voters are fence-sitting liberals who've pitched themselves in the "progressive" camp.  The NDP federally and provincially in Alberta have moved to the centre.  I fail to see why Alberta "progressives" don't just vote for NDP candidates straight-up.  Look at what the NDP did in Quebec last federal election.  Shouldn't that be an example enough for them to see what they can accomplish?  To my friends on the NDP team, don't be fooled by these strategic voter schemes and continually promote your NDP candidate as THE candidate to challenge the PCs or Wildrose and support what you truly believe in, not what you are against.

As well, you've read my arguments on this word "progressive" that the left liberals use all the time now to describe themselves and their "beliefs".  Essentially, just when you thought the government couldn't get any bigger and our taxes couldn't be higher, they want the government to "progressively" grow with higher taxes to pay for it.   HA! Joke's on me!

And now, just like Alison Redford, they want to "Change Alberta".  Well, I like Alberta the way it is a lot actually.  That said, I and a heck of a lot of conservatives despise the current government who are progressively intruding into our lives and freedoms while ransacking the public purse and sneakily raising taxes.

Is it any wonder why in Q4 of 2011 compared to other provinces where people are leaving in droves that over 6000 net new people now live in Alberta for better paying market jobs, a lower cost of living, and lower taxes in Alberta?

Apparently, "progressives" want to change that.

Alberta leaders' debate - Holding On

My quick take on last night's TV debate:

General Comments:

  • At least it was somewhat exciting as compared to the other debates in the last million years
  • Great to see two women debating--how many other provinces, states, and countries can say that?
  • All four leaders were poised and articulate
  • Too bad Glenn Taylor wasn't invited--he could have syphoned even more votes from the PCs
  • Podium positioning with the cameras was off.  One camera angle showed the back of Brian Mason's head while he was talking to Redford, but we only saw Sherman's face. The podiums should have been in more of a semi-circle with better camera angles
  • What's with calling each other by their first names?  Only Smith called each by their last name.
  • The panel questions were good but lots of issues weren't even brought up--energy, environment, infrastructure, cities, transportation

Brian Mason (NDP):
How can you not like this man?  His policy positions were clear--you know what you're gonna get.  I was texting live with his son, who's a friend of mine, and said he should be proud of his dad.  During the open debates, I liked the way Brian interrupted right at the end of each leader's talk so as to not give them the thunder but not seem rude.  I liked how he attacked Raj Sherman's Liberals as well and had Redford step into a contradiction on health care.  His steadiness may continue to peel some Liberal votes to swing 1 or 2 ridings to the NDP in Edmonton.  That's about it.  I think after this election, he'll step down as leader and Rachel Notley will take over which will mean three party leaders in the Legislature who are women.

Raj Sherman (Liberal):
I also like Raj.  He's a good man with good intentions.  He seemed a tad awkward at times but carried himself well.  I thought the "This is Alberta not Alabama" comment wasn't necessary, albeit a bit funny.  He then asked Redford to step down right there which seemed odd.  If  public health care is your issue, Raj did a good job in convincing you that he's your man.

Danielle Smith (Wildrose):
Very poised and articulate--her TV experience shining through no doubt.  Some bloggers say there weren't knockout punches, but I felt Danielle had two on Alison Redford.  One was calling her out to rollback the MLA and cabinet wage hike and the other was when Redford attacked her on the Wildrose paying off floor crossing MLAs but Smith quickly spun it back by saying Elections Alberta is too busy investigating over 50 cases of illegal donations to the PCs.  Zing!  Overall, more importantly, if you were thinking of voting Wildrose and weren't sure about Smith, you're more likely to vote Wildrose now after seeing her very good debate performance.

Alison Redford (PC):
She did a lot better than I expected in fending off attacks from the left, centre, and right.  Her body language at times looked like she got tripped up but she remained steady.  You have to admit that she was in a very difficult position to begin with in dealing with PC ghosts of the past, and her own recent record which was rightfully the bulk of the focus.  The PC attack regarding the Wildrose transferring money to the constituency when PC MLAs crossed the floor is a terribly desperate and weak argument.  There were so many other things she could have attacked Smith on to hold Edmonton seats--airport lands, LRT, museum but she didn't.

In summary...

All that said, I think all four leaders did a good job of solidifying their base, although the PC conservative base is gone.  The Wildrose may get a couple more points over the PCs as a result and the NDP may get a one point bump.  Redford failed in making anything stick to Smith.  With the Wildrose riding high in majority territory, Smith wins the debate by holding the party poll standing and with two knockouts on Redford.

With nine days to go until the election, I think the odds of a Wildrose majority are slightly higher than a minority with the NDP holding the balance of power.  Many Edmonton ridings are in play now and I'm hearing that Redford might not even keep her seat.  If that's the case, the PCs will have a lot of self-reflection to do.  A Wildrose gov't will likely discover a lot of questionable practices that the PC gov't had but we didn't know about... call it a hunch I have.  PC support will dramatically drop.  Progressive support might corral around the Alberta Party if and only if Glenn Taylor can get out there (and only if he wins his seat).

And then I'm going to make a "wild" prediction (pun intended) where in a new leadership race, a PC candidate will look at merging with the Wildrose but they'll propose to drop the "Progressive" name--much like what happened federally.  Just throwing it out there!

Now who said Alberta provincial politics was boring?

Wait, I think we all did at one point.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Long Gun Registry? Scrapped!

Finally.  That only took, what 17-18 years?  And 6 years with a Conservative gov't.  Promise kept.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Wildrose announce Energy Dividend -- a.k.a. "Danielle Dollars"

Danielle Smith and the Wildrose Party have released their next platform plank -- The Energy Dividend (hereafter now referred to as 'Danielle Dollars').
The Alberta Energy Dividend will:
  • Send 20% of all provincial surpluses generated by oil and gas revenues directly to Albertans, providing every Albertan with an estimated $300 in 2015.
  • Ensure Alberta remains well-positioned to meet economic challenges by only paying out energy dividends when the provincial budget runs a cash surplus.
  • Help Alberta families and seniors meet the rising cost of living during times of economic prosperity and rising inflation.

In this bold policy announcement, they can be sure they've shored-up the old Social Credit vote and the old "Ralph Bucks" crowd.

So, after Week #1, we've had the most exciting campaign period in recent Alberta history.  Here's what I've read, seen and heard off the top of my head:
  • Health care inquiry?  What health care inquiry?
  • I'm wondering how many Alberta Party folks wished they had Dave and not Glenn Taylor as leader.  If the PCs get dumped bad, will the AP be able to attract the PC-liberal and Liberal defections?
  • PC leader Alison Redford backtracks and orders all PC MLAs to return the "Money For Nothing"--a month after she said they only had to return the money earned since she's been premier because she "can't change the past".  I guess she found her flux-capacitor.
  • Danielle Smith calls out Alison Redford saying the PC leader "doesn't like Alberta much" because she wants to change it.  A bit confusing to some considering if you vote Wildrose, then aren't you changing it?  Ok, the government, yes, but the essence of the province, no, or maybe change it back to how it was.  Something like that.  Ok, can we move on now?
  • Liberal leader Raj Sherman then interrupts a Redford campaign stop.  An odd move.  He also announces they'll put in more rural hospital beds and doctors.  Raj is a good guy, I've spoken to him.  Politically erratic, but he's certainly drawn attention to the management problems in the health care system, hasn't he?
  • And you've all heard the now fired PC staffer who tweeted about Danielle Smith not having kids. Redford gracefully apologizes. 
  • Veteran NDP leader Brian Mason then rightfully sends the other leaders a letter an asks everyone to calm down and focus on the issues.   Thank you, sir.  Alberta election campaigns are supposed to be boring.
  • The Wildrose then announce a return to balanced budgets, a $200/child/year tax credit, and to eliminate school fees.  Basically, a two-child home could save up to $600.  Add the $300 in Danielle Dollars and a family is now getting back almost $1000 a year.  That's pretty significant.
  • Redford's PCs are now trailing the Wildrose in polls with the Wildrose at ~37% and the PCs at ~34%.
At this point, my guess on the outcome is a Wildrose or PC minority.  I'm getting the feeling that Albertans might want to put a check and balance on a larger rookie Wildrose caucus or give Redford a check with the Wildrose holding the balance of power.  I think a lot of liberal-progressive vote is propping up the P in PC and the Cs have moved to the WRP.

Or, it could be your typical Alberta 30-40 year mass change of the old, in with the new.

At least so far it's been interesting.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chretien is right

..about a Lib/NDP merger. 

He mentions Peter Mackay being elected leader of the PCs (by undermining David Orchard). But then seeing the potential Paul Martin juggernaut, it quickly motivated Harper and Mackay to deal. And deal they did quickly.  The PCs had a huge conference call with the ridings and voted.  And voila, today, a Conservative majority.

Chretien was also correct on party funding by saying parties shouldn't appeal to one group, like unions or corporations so he reduced that influence. This was the most fundamental change to Canadian political history.  It was shocking to many considering Liberals are all about gaining power first and foremost. 

Then Harper took the opportunity to take it one step further and eliminated that influence. When I argue with people who claim Harper is in cahoots with big business, I ask them where they think the party gets its money from?  They still think it's big business.  Well, it's not, I tell them. Harper got rid of that.

Anyway, now you look at Mulcair wanting to move his NDP party to the middle.  He at least sees the vacuum there.  The ghosts of Jack continue to lead the party, so Mulcair, a former Liberal, is in a tough position if he wants to pull off a Peter Mackay.  Keep in mind, that other smart, articulate NDP candidate was open and honest about merging.

Or maybe Chretien is seeing the writing on the wall for his Liberals (as per Harper's master plan and what happened in the UK).  With the NDP about three times stronger than the Liberals in the House, and with the Liberals still holding Bob Rae around, it's not easy being Liberal--especially after the Conservatives and NDP squashed the last two intellectual Liberal leaders in Dion and Iggy.  And who's waiting in the wings?  Who?  No one.  Trudeau's busy boxing Conservative senators. 

So that's why I say, ol' Jean Chretien is right.  Maybe the only way back to power for the Liberals now IS to merge with the NDP.

h/t Warren Kinsella

Angelo Persichilli, Harper's comm director, has quit

This is a huge loss for the PMO.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CBC federal budget cuts

Rumours are that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is going to cut upwards of 10% to the CBC budget.  I say, why not 100%--all $1.1 billion?  It's not like anyone is watching the channel.  Don't believe me?

According to the BBM, here are the latest TV ratings.  CTV programmes dominate the top 30, with CBC only having 3, count 'em, 3 shows in this list with Hockey Night in Canada (East and West as the same programme), Dragons' Den (I love this show), and Republic of Doyle.

I don't mind CBC Radio2--I listen to it for maybe an hour a week tops for some classical music.  I like the Lang and O'Leary Exchange too, plus Peter Mansbridge One-On-One, but Power and Politics is annoyingly bias sometimes. 

And so much for Canadian content--why does the CBC play American programmes like The Simpsons, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy?

So anyone who says the CBC "keeps the country together" is simply ignorant.  Barely anyone watches it. Lefties also get in a huff when the government subsidizes big bad evil corporations, but why is the CBC any different?  It is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation isn't it?  And why is it trying to compete with other businesses in a marketplace like this?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What does "Progressive" mean?

Years before the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada merged back into the Conservative Party, many folks on some old online discussion groups, including myself, predicted that if the PCs and Reform Alliance were to merge, the name of the party must simply be Conservative.  This upset the red-tory camp, citing tradition, John A., blah blah, when they failed to realize John A.'s party was actually called the Liberal-Conservatives.  Anyway, the name has changed many times, and so have many principles from over 100 years ago (free trade, etc.).  (And some senators really need to get over this.)

Now, the original Progressive Party was a left-leaning populist party from the West, and when it folded, its leader became leader of the Conservatives and in 1942, merged the two names together to form the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

In some provinces, the PC Party of [province name] is barely found, if not at all--nothing in Quebec, Saskatchewan, or British Columbia.  All of these have been disbanded or rebuilt and rebranded (ADQ, Saskatchewn Party, or BC Conservatives).  Will it happen in Alberta?

So back to this word "progressive" that was lost for so many years and has seemed to be the calling of centre to left leaning liberals, socialists, and what have you. 

What does "progressive" really mean?

Simply put, it's liberals and socialists trying to rebrand themselves to make themselves sound hip and relevant.  The liberal brand is damaged.

They cite human rights, gay rights, and other social freedoms as progressive, but you know what?  Those views are already under the libertarian ideology.  

In Alberta, we really have four parties vying to be the real "progressive" choice to attract those on the left and centre-left into the fold.

But in looking at what progressives often tout as policies, it's more laws ontop of non-enforced laws, regulation, more government, more rules to make things "fair", which usually mean higher taxes, fees, less freedom, centralized decision making, bureaucracy, less democracy, and more socialism.

These folks believe they know better than you.

Any society that needs the government to create more laws, rules and regulations to manage itself is not progressive, it's regressive.  And it ain't libertarian.

And what we have here in Alberta is a very regressive Progressive government.  Their progress toward higher spending, less savings, tinkering with the idea of reintroducing health care taxes, sales taxes, and lying about not raising taxes in the last budget when they in fact did just that, might be "progressive" for a government bureaucracy to grow, but it sure as hell not progress for folks these taxes and regulations hurt.

This government spends more per capita than any other province, save Newfoundland and Labrador.  Much more than Quebec.  Think about that.  I mean, what do you expect would happen when you have the same party in power for over 40 years--that changes rules to fit their needs.

The lowest common denominator approach to implementing laws so something doesn't happen that one time ever again doesn't work, as there are already many existing laws in place that simply need to be enforced.

Take the .05 thing.  There's already a law.  Actually it's in the Canadian criminal code.  Why not enforce the existing .08 and judges not allow repeat convicted drunk drivers from driving?  Why punish those who don't break the existing criminal code?  You see, that's regressive.

Now we hear of Liquor and Gaming looking at limiting the number of drinks a patron can have by keeping track.  This was in reaction to a single incident where a man died in Ft. Mac from being served too much.  But really?  Are these bureaucrats mad?  There are already laws in place that allow and encourage bar staff to cut off obvious intoxicated patrons, even kicking them out of the establishment.  I see police walk through busy bars all the time.  Was the bar staff negligent?  Maybe, but how are they to know what preexisting conditions he has or how many drinks he had beforehand?

Take the new distracted driving law... bad drivers are bad drivers in my opinion, and studies show in many U.S. states that these laws, which are really laws upon existing unenforced laws, do nothing because the original law wasn't being enforced in the first place?

These ideas are pure nanny state governance and don't allow people to take more responsibility or use common sense.

Now, while I believe there needs to be a certain amount of planning and coordination that goes on with infrastructure--in developing land use for example, on the other hand, the other social areas, red tape and regulation goes to far and can impede the free market and responsible businesses and communities to simply do it themselves.

The government bureaucracy has gotten so big, obviously thanks to the public union influence, that it doesn't even know what's it's really doing anymore.  I know of very qualified and educated people in the Alberta public sector who have nothing to do for weeks.  Nothing.  They just go to the office, grab a coffee, and just sit at their computer and do no productive work.  While I'm not saying this doesn't happen in the private sector, there's a market cost to that and eventual correction, where in the public sector, there's nothing.  The union's there to protect your job.   Now that is only two close people in the government that I know about.  How many more are there?  How many?

And let's not forget about the "Money For Nothing" committee with MLAs.

You know I could go on and on.

So yep, all of these things sound real "progressive" regressive to me.

Is that the type of government you want?

Or how about one that progresses toward more liberty, freedom, personal, family, and community responsibility?

Because that's what "progressive" should really mean.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mulcair wins NDP race

Back in the 80's during junior high and high school, my close group of friends and I were each politically aligned across all three parties--PC, Liberal, and NDP.  I believe we had two influences at the time--our parents, and our social studies teachers.

One of my friends was an NDP supporter because his particular teacher was a staunch socialist.  This teacher had pictograms on the wall of how socialism worked--how wealth was equally distributed which made all the smiley faces happy.  My social studies teacher, on the other hand, explained socialism as such:

"Imagine if we redistrbuted the marks in this class so you'd each have the average.  No matter how hard you studied, even if you got 100%, you'd get the average.  Is that fair?"

We ALL thought that wasn't fair.

The classic socialist way of thinking, seemed to be what the NDP at the time stood for, along with strong union ties.  Ed Broadbent, a charasmatic leader, brought the party to its highest standing in the house, however more likely due to a weak Liberal leader, seeing their party standing reach the lowest in its history.

Sound familiar?

After Ed stepped down, the NDP elected two capable women to lead them, but with a strong Liberal leader in Jean Chretien, and the conservative side split up, the momentum was lost. 

Then a former Toronto city councillor jumped into the fray, and the era of Jack Layton, began, albeit slowly.

Jack's political prowess was not in winning over the rest of Canada, even where the NDP was born, but in seeing a political vacuum occur in Quebec, where the Bloc was losing its stature, especially in a Conservative minority gov't, often voting with the government, as the government poured money into Quebec.  Few have mentioned this strategy, but a hole was found when a piddly amount of arts funding into Quebec was to be cut and this cost Harper a potential majority.

Even though the idea of a coalition between the Liberals and NDP (with Bloc support) was most popular in Quebec, with the NDP creeping into political areas usually exclusively associated with Gilles Duceppe's party's views, Quebeckers began to realize that the NDP, if enough support was given, could actually form government with a strong Quebec-centered caucus and policy.

Another "Quiet Revolution" was born.

But we must remember, that in 2007 the captain who won one of the strongest Liberal ridings in Quebec, Outremont, was Thomas Mulcair.  A former cabinet minister in Jean Charest's Liberal government, Mulcair easily won the riding, most likely due to defecting Bloc supporters.

Then Jack appointed him and Libby Davies to be co-deputy leaders in caucus.  And because of Jack's sad loss to cancer, on the weekend, Mulcair became NDP leader and leader of the official opposition.

And it was the right choice for the NDP--maintaining their strong foothold in Quebec with someone who is well known and popular there.

He says his first priority is party unity.  Even elderstatesman Ed Broadbent said himself he wasn't supporting Mulcair due to Mulcair wanting to broaden the party base (there's a 'broad' pun in there somewhere) and more the party to the centre.  There's a bit of work to do there, but this is smart.  Jack began to do just that with even suggesting tax cuts and being working family oriented, so that those words weren't exclusively for Harper.

Many years ago in the UK, the Labour party and Conservatives squished out the Liberals to non-existence.

By electing Mulcair to continue Jack's legacy, the NDP may do just that.  But Mulcair has recognized that his first priority is party unity.  He needs to convince the old party brass of Brian Topp and Ed Broadbent that, like my old friend's social studies teacher back in the 80's, the old socialist way of thinking may get some elected, but it won't form a federal government.

No wonder the Liberals want to move their leadership race to this Fall.