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.