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Alberta Politics: Was Lake of Fire 2.0, the 2015 edition, averted by an incompetent Tory war room?

PHOTOS: Former premier Jim Prentice, left, asks a member of his opposition research and strategy team what the heck went wrong on May 5. Actual Alberta politicians and their flunkies may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Pastor Allan Hunsperger, whose blog post ignited Lake of Fire 1.0; Deborah Drever, whose tasteless social media posts […]

The post Was Lake of Fire 2.0, the 2015 edition, averted by an incompetent Tory war room? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Bitter Twitter commentators battle Dippers: Apparently size matters after all! Who knew?

Back in February 2013, then-Alberta-premier Alison Redford announced that, “recognizing the impact of falling resource revenues on our bottom line, my government will lead by example with a smaller, more focused cabinet.” At the time, the usual suspects in the provincial news media seemed to think her reduction of the cabinet from 20 to 19 […]

The post Bitter Twitter commentators battle Dippers: Apparently size matters after all! Who knew? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again

Premier Designate Rachel Notley addresses reporters in the Alberta Legislature Building’s media room yesterday. (CBC photo.) Below: MLA Deborah Drever, new Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell. If Alberta’s Conservatives weren’t worried about the long-term effects of their surprise defeat in the May 5 general election, by gosh they should be now! Premier Designate Rachel Notley gave […]

The post Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: How weird is this? Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson praises Rachel Notley’s NDP government

PHOTOS: Premier Designate Rachel Notley, in orange shoes, with her caucus. Below: Scott Crockatt, the Calgary Chamber’s communications and marketing director; Manning Centre polemicist Colin Craig. Well, these are strange times indeed when the official spokesperson for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce can extol the potential for Alberta’s just-elected New Democratic government in glowing terms, […]

The post How weird is this? Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson praises Rachel Notley’s NDP government appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Picking a cabinet is never an easy job – it’ll be tougher, with higher stakes, for Rachel Notley

It’s a pretty safe bet these four MLAs will be in the Notley Government’s first cabinet. From left to right, Deron Bilous, Brian Mason, David Eggen and, of course, Premier Designate Rachel Notley, who together made up the entire NDP caucus before the May 5 election. Below: Three other possible cabinet picks, Shannon Phillips, Marie […]

The post Picking a cabinet is never an easy job – it’ll be tougher, with higher stakes, for Rachel Notley appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: On proportionality

Among the other possibilities raised by the Alberta NDP’s election victory, plenty of voices have chimed in on a shift to proportional representation. And while there may be limited scope to make a move immediately, electoral reform could well become both good policy and good politics for Rachel Notley.

Let’s start, though, by pointing out where the Alberta NDP has positioned itself on proportional representation.

PR was not a part of the NDP’s platform in the recent election. So there’s ample room for opponents to argue that there’s no immediate mandate for a unilateral change to Alberta’s electoral system, and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Frances Woolley reminds us of some of the hidden advantages of the rich, and suggests that they point toward the fairness of taxing wealth in addition to consumption: The greatest freedom money offers is the freedom to walk away. Your bank doesn’t offer you unlimited everything with no monthly fees? Walk away. There’s always someone else who wants your money. Your phone plan is too expensive? Walk away (o.k., that may not be the best example).

People with money have alternatives, which makes their demand for goods and services elastic. Food (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: NDP Governments Are Always Fun!

Gawd! This gal from the new  Alberta provincial NDP government is giving me flashbacks to Rae Days. Although I don’t think Bob Rae had a death-metal chick in caucus, just some guy that posed topless.   Anyway, six months from now her federal counterpart might be Finance Minister. Who knows?  Life is like a box of chocolates, or assorted nuts, when the Orange Wave washes into town.

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: What’s next for Alberta?

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/podcast150515-alberta-election.mp3

 

This episode focuses on what else but the recent Alberta provincial election that saw the social democratic NDP sweep into power after 44 consecutive years of Conservative rule. To gain some perspective on this rather remarkable result in Canada’s oil and gas heartland and see what lies ahead for Alberta, I speak with an NDP campaign insider as well as a long-time analyst of Alberta’s political economy.

My first guest, Adrienne King, was Rachel Notley’s Chief of Staff during the campaign and was just announced as the new premier’s Deputy Chief of Staff. She’s worked (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably …

PHOTOS: Potential supporters eye all that’s left of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, metaphorically speaking, after Jim Prentice got finished driving it off the tracks. Below: Mr. Prentice and Premier Designate Rachel Notley. Former premier Ed Stelmach’s sound advice notwithstanding, it seems unlikely Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have much of a future after the debacle they […]

The post Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably … appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Photos of shredded documents in Legislature Building prompt fears of PC document destruction spree

Were shredders like this at work in the Alberta Legislative Building this week? Actually modern document destruction equipment may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Freedom of Information Commissioner Jill Clayton and Public Interest Commissioner Peter Hourihan (CBC photos). If serious document destruction has actually been taking place in Alberta, chances are good it […]

The post Photos of shredded documents in Legislature Building prompt fears of PC document destruction spree appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk offers his suggestions as to how Rachel Notley can improve Alberta’s economy and political scene in her first term in office. And thwap comments on the right’s more hysterical responses to Notley’s victory.

- Meanwhile, Duncan Cameron writes that Albertans have joined the rest of Canada in rejecting a regressive tax system. And Louis-Philippe Rochon reminds us that there’s still plenty more which needs to be done on that front at the federal level.

- Justin Ling discusses how C-51 fits into a wider pattern of intrusive surveillance plans – even (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty

PHOTOS: Ed Stelmach in the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Preston Manning, the Godfather of the Canadian right; Stelmach’s finance minister, Ted Morton; New Democrat political strategist Brian Topp. Ed Stelmach, the last good premier the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party managed to elect, spoke up yesterday about the tactics used by his party […]

The post By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: On fitting results

It will be some time yet before we see how Rachel Notley translates the Alberta NDP’s election triumph into policy. But we have had a chance to see Notley’s response to frivolous attacks on the NDP’s newly-elected MLAs – and she’s had absolutely the right reaction so far in not letting those attacks undermine elected representatives: Premier-designate Rachel Notley says she doesn’t see Drever’s Facebook photos as a big problem for the NDP.

“I think transition and the challenges that come with transition are what happens when governments change, which is something that happens in normal, healthy democracies,” Notley said.

(Read more…)

Alberta Politics: With Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell, in frail health, set to retire, PM must choose replacement with care

PHOTOS: Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell prepares to read the Speech from the Throne in November 2014. Below: Mr. Ethell again and past lieutenants-governor Lois Hole and Norman Kwong. Photos from the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor.) More significant change is coming to Alberta’s government in the wake of last week’s election of Premier Designate Rachel Notley’s New […]

The post With Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell, in frail health, set to retire, PM must choose replacement with care appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave

PHOTOS: The Alberta Legislature Building as it transitions to Orange from Blue. Whatever will the lobbyists do? Below: NDP-connected federal lobbyist Robin Sears and Conservative-associated Alberta lobbyist Hal Danchilla. WANTED: Someone – anyone! – willing to work for major national lobbying firm in Alberta. New Democratic Party connections essential! Orange party card as asset. Back […]

The post Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Political Eh-conomy: Calling capital’s bluff in Alberta

The votes had barely been counted in Alberta when stories purporting to herald capital flight, particularly from the oil sands, were already appearing in venues like the Financial Post. As if on cue, the TSX fell 2%,the day after the Alberta election. What are we to make of this? Is Notley’s Alberta in the position of Rae’s Ontario 25 years ago, already being undermined?

An assessment of the NDP’s victory in Alberta grounded in reality has to account for the fact that the place of the oil industry in the province is, for the moment, being left largely (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Working across the aisle

Among the other lessons learned from Alberta’s recent election, let’s point out one more with implications for the federal scene.

While the main opposition parties recognized that they were too far apart in their general policy orientation to justify a formal coalition, both the NDP and the Wildrose Party were happy to point out some of the areas which were ripe for cooperation as part of their criticism of the governing PCs.

In other words, neither tried to pretend that there was no room to discuss post-election cooperation, nor to claim that some areas of disagreement or personal differences rendered (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- CBC follows up on the connection between childhood poverty and increased health-care costs later in life. And Sunny Freeman points out how the living wage planned by Rachel Notley’s NDP figures to benefit Alberta’s economy in general.

- Meanwhile, William Gardner laments our lack of accurate information on health and well-being in the wake of the Cons’ census shredding, particularly among exactly the marginalized communities who are most likely to need help.

- And Richard Thaler reminds us why it’s foolish to assume that people and economies can be treated as if they’ll (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the rise of Rachel Notley’s NDP serves largely to bring Alberta’s political system into step with those of its regional neighbours.

For further reading…- Murray Mandryk had previously pointed out why we should be cautious about reading too much into the Alberta results. But the most important distinction looks to be that Saskatchewan is currently functioning as a pure two-party system – so the support level which won Rachel Notley a resounding majority would leave the NDP on Saskatchewan’s opposition benches. – Dan Arnold and Andrew Coyne both confirm that a progressive victory in Alberta (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On first steps

Dru Oja Jay, David Bush and Doug Nesbitt, Graham Steele and Karl Nerenberg have already offered their suggestions on the first steps for Rachel Notley’s Alberta NDP government (and the progressives hoping for it to produce positive change). But I’ll offer my own take based on one overriding principle: having earned power by showing that Alberta’s citizens have more say in their own province than they’ve come to expect, the NDP should govern so as to enhance both the perception and the reality of public involvement in governance.

So what might a plan for government look like based (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On rebuilding projects

I’ll have plenty more to say about last night’s resounding Alberta NDP election victory in posts to come. But for now, here’s a quick take on what comes next for the PCs.

I had earlier wondered whether the PCs might effectively take a majority-or-bust position in contrast to the other parties.

Going into last night, the NDP and Wildrose Party each had reason to draw something positive out of winning, say, 20 seats and/or a role as the Official Opposition. And that may have implied some willingness to put resources into achieving those outcomes even if it meant falling short (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Day the NDP Painted Alberta Orange

It had to be one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen on TV. So beautiful I almost couldn't believe it.I just sat there stunned.But it was true. What once seemed like an impossible dream had actually happened.Rachel Notley and the NDP had crushed the Cons to smithereens, and turned Alberta ORANGE. Read more »

The Canadian Progressive: Prospect of NDP government in Alberta terrifies Harper Conservatives

The prospect of a Rachel Notley-led New Democrat government in Alberta terrifies Premier Jim Prentice, the Harper Conservatives and their Big Oil backers.

The post Prospect of NDP government in Alberta terrifies Harper Conservatives appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.