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Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP government moves too cautiously, but in the right direction, on raising the minimum wage

PHOTOS: The government of Alberta’s spin on an increase in the minimum wage – what a contrast to the grim excuse-making of a few months ago! Below: Jobs Minister Lori Sigurdson (from the Premier of Alberta’s Flickr account), Premier Rachel Notley (photo by Dave Cournoyer) and Alberta Chambers of Commerce President Ken Kobly. They may […]

The post Alberta’s NDP government moves too cautiously, but in the right direction, on raising the minimum wage appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Civil disobedience, Alberta-style: obviously it’s only an outrage when non-conservatives talk about it

PHOTOS: Which one looks most like a certain Wildrose critic, back in the day? Just asking. Below: Wildrose MLA and frontbencher Rick Strankman, who was pardoned by PM Stephen Harper. Below them, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and enviro activist and Alberta values violator Mike Hudema plus his scary book. VICTORIA, B.C. Before I leave La-La […]

The post Civil disobedience, Alberta-style: obviously it’s only an outrage when non-conservatives talk about it appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Reflections on the end of the Alberta NDP’s first session: voters want the government to succeed, the Opposition and media seek failure

PHOTOS: Members of the Press Gallery mark the end of the session in the Alberta Legislature by showering paper on MLAs. That, of course, was back in the day when the press still used presses, and wrote their reports on paper. Below: Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips in shots taken from the […]

The post Reflections on the end of the Alberta NDP’s first session: voters want the government to succeed, the Opposition and media seek failure appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Perfesser Dave explains ethics in lobbying and how to manage political marriages

VICTORIA, B.C. Some stories are just too confusing for ordinary bloggers to explain. That’s when we turn to the expert knowledge offered by such distinguished academics as Perfesser Dave, The Answer Guy ™, Canada’s No. 1 expert in politics, now at the Observatory of Political Phenomena in Victoria, B.C. As a result of his years […]

The post Perfesser Dave explains ethics in lobbying and how to manage political marriages appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mark Anderson reports on the Change Readiness Index’ findings that the growing concentration and inequality of wealth is making it more and more difficult for countries to deal with foreseeable disasters. But Jon Queally points out that a concerted effort to quit abusing fossil fuels could do a world in making our world both more fair and more sustainable.

- James Galbraith suggests that the EU is guilty of gross malpractice in how it continues to treat Greece in the face of overwhelming public opposition to austerity. But as David Dayen points (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: ‘Alberta is not Greece yet’ … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz’s mythmaking?

PHOTOS: Calgary in the near future, as fancifully described by the usual suspects at the University of Calgary, if the NDP doesn’t start delivering Conservative polices with alacrity. Below: U of Calgary Professor Jack Mintz, grabbed from Imperial Oil’s annual report; former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge. VICTORIA, B.C. “Alberta is not yet Greece, […]

The post ‘Alberta is not Greece yet’ … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz’s mythmaking? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Alberta’s strengthened political financing rules under Rachel Notley’s NDP only highlight how far Saskatchewan has fallen behind.

For further reading…- Bill 1 is here (PDF), while Alberta’s legislation which it amends to prohibit organizational donations is the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, RSA 2000, c E-2 found here. And by way of comparison, the closest Saskatchewan has to the current or amended versions of sections 16 and 17 of that legislation is section 242 of the Election Act, 1996, SS 1996, c E-6.01 here. – I’ll point again to Barret Weber’s (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Timing of NDP election finance bill’s planned implementation a direct shot at foundering Tories

PHOTOS: NDP Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley at yesterday morning’s press conference on Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, PC Leader Ric McIver. With Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta, there can be no question that Alberta’s NDP government is playing hardball with what’s left of […]

The post Timing of NDP election finance bill’s planned implementation a direct shot at foundering Tories appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- PressProgress points out that neither the public nor a group of the world’s leading economists sees the slightest value in balanced-budget gimmicks which override sound public decision-making. And Paul Krugman observes that the entire conservative economic strategy is based on overinflating bubbles, then letting somebody else clean up the resulting mess.

- Matthew Weaver highlights the use of “poshness tests” to screen out working-class applicants seeking work with key UK employers as a particularly stark example of how prestige and wealth have less and less to do with individual achievement. And Anna (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gives a thumbs up in the Legislature for her government’s Speech from the Throne yesterday. Below: Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell reads the speech (Government of Alberta photos). There weren’t any real surprises in the Notley Government’s first Speech from the Throne yesterday, although the ban on corporate and union donations […]

The post The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- David Cay Johnston looks into new research showing just how much distance the U.S.’ highest-income .001% has put between itself and the rest of the country’s citizens: (F)or the first time ever, the IRS offers a close look at the top .001 percent of taxpayers. It shows that incomes in this rarefied air — the top 1,361 households — are soaring while their tax burdens are falling.

The differences in income-growth rates from 2003 to 2012 between the top .001 percent and the rest of the top 1 percent are akin (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too

PHOTOS: A group of Albertans studies the effects of corporate cash on the conservative domination of North American politics. Actual Albertans may not appear exactly as illustrated. Regardless, Alberta’s NDP government may be about to try to fix this problem. Below: Parkland Institute charts showing the percentage of election campaign donations in 2012 over $375, […]

The post Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Inside baseball: Legislature picks Speaker; Albertans to get first glimpse of NDP policy Monday

PHOTOS: Opposition Leader Brian Jean, at left, and Premier Rachel Notley, far right, drag the new Speaker, Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner, to his chair, a tradition dating to the days when chairing the Legislature wasn’t as desirable a job as it is today. Below: Another shot of Mr. Wanner, like the one above provided […]

The post Inside baseball: Legislature picks Speaker; Albertans to get first glimpse of NDP policy Monday appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Political Eh-conomy: Nope, Alberta still needs to raise the minimum wage

Last night, Andrew Coyne published a column in which he champions introducing a minimum income over raising the minimum wage as a radical policy suggestion for Alberta’s new NDP government. Coyne couches the column in his typical pseudo-contrarianism. Here he is supposedly advocating socialism…gasp! In reality, however, Coyne gets it backwards: a minimum income in Alberta today would almost certainly be a dangerous neoliberal measure. It’s raising the minimum wage that can help open more space for progressive politics.

First, the basics. The $15 minimum wage was a key promise of the NDP campaign and increasingly being adopted across North America. A minimum income is a theoretical idea that’s never (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: The Annals of Government Relations: B.C. lobbyists with faint Dipper links keep turning up in Alberta

PHOTOS: A line of “government relations” specialists with packs full of resumes mentioning past NDP connections make their way over a mountain pass from British Columbia into Alberta. Actual lineups of B.C.-based lobbyists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Brad Zubyk, principal of Vancouver-based Wazuku Advisory Group, which is about to set up shop […]

The post The Annals of Government Relations: B.C. lobbyists with faint Dipper links keep turning up in Alberta appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: NDP health minister’s decision to drop Tories’ phony AHS ‘decentralization’ is no loss to anyone

PHOTOS: Alberta Health Services, as originally envisaged by the Tories and described by the Wildrose Party. Below: Another AHS reorganization as seen by the NDP. Below that train wreck, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Alberta’s two right-wing opposition parties are said to be in a lather because of Health Minister Sarah Hoffman’s announcement yesterday the […]

The post NDP health minister’s decision to drop Tories’ phony AHS ‘decentralization’ is no loss to anyone appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Ours is smaller than yours! With 2 Sky Palace killers and 9 members, PC shadow cabinet outdoes Notley Cabinet … sort of

The PC Alberta Drum Band. It’s not this bad, but close enough. Below: Grant Notley, Raj Pannu and Brian Mason. HALIFAX, N.S. Well, we have to give them this much: the Alberta Progressive Conservatives have managed to produce a shadow cabinet even smaller than Premier Rachel Notley’s minimalist ministry! Not that they had much choice […]

The post Ours is smaller than yours! With 2 Sky Palace killers and 9 members, PC shadow cabinet outdoes Notley Cabinet … sort of appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: One government change and Big Tobacco’s effort to sidestep menthol cigarette ban goes up in smoke

PHOTOS: Young cigarette smokers. Youthful menthol smokers in Alberta may not appear exactly as illustrated, although it’ll stunt their growth just the same. Below: Health Minister Sarah Hoffman and former health minister Stephen Mandel. HALIFAX, N.S. What next? Apparently Alberta’s NDP government is now making decisions based on the best interests of the province’s citizens! […]

The post One government change and Big Tobacco’s effort to sidestep menthol cigarette ban goes up in smoke appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson weighs in on the need for our public policy to ensure a fair initial distribution of income and power in order to ensure that further redistribution is sustainable: The issue of how to deal with rising inequality and the squeezed middle-class has recently moved to the centre of political debate, with the various parties proposing significant policy changes. International experience suggests that a more equal Canada will require major changes to a wide range of policy levers and not just to the tax and transfer system.

Work by the OECD and (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP

PHOTOS: A really smart guy tries to figure out a way back to power for Alberta’s post-Prentice Progressive Conservatives. Actual PC strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Doesn’t look like it’s going that well. Below: NDP Health and Seniors Minister Sarah Hoffman; Bill Moore-Kilgannon, her new chief of staff. A lot of ink has […]

The post Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: There’s no way the Broadbent Institute should have hired a high-profile strikebreaker to moderate a panel on Alberta’s election

PHOTOS: A striker, at right, confronts a security guard during one of the dark days of the 1999-2000 labour dispute at the Calgary Herald. Below: Calgary Herald political columnist Don Braid and Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith. I was genuinely shocked when I learned a few days ago that the Broadbent Institute is about […]

The post There’s no way the Broadbent Institute should have hired a high-profile strikebreaker to moderate a panel on Alberta’s election appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes?

PHOTOS: A screen shot from the new Harper Government anti-Tom-Mulcair advertisement. Actual Harper government plagiarism may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Scenes from the nearly identical 2011 Manitoba NDP 30-second spot and 2015 Harper Con spot. If political ads were popular songs, the Manitoba NDP would probably be getting ready to sue the Harper […]

The post Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: On search results

Colby Cosh’s latest on the role of the “human search engine” in tracking down information about candidates and elected officials is worth a read. But it’s worth keeping in mind that the search results only matter to the extent they’re put to use.

On that front, having commended Notley for her initial response to issues raised about Deborah Drever, I’ll note that there’s reason for concern about Drever’s subsequent suspension.

I’m always leery about personal controversies being used as an excuse to disqualify people from participation in public life. And the high bar for excluding people from running seems like (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Horgan was in Edmonton for celebrations. Here he is with a Cowichan ex pat now Alberta NDP MLA Shay Anderson.  

 

Horgan was in Edmonton for celebrations. Here he is with a Cowichan ex pat now Alberta NDP MLA Shay Anderson.

He sent this on his iPhone. I think he had better get

Read more…

Accidental Deliberations: On minimal solutions

Shorter Corporatists to Fleece the Irrelevant Beggars trying to avoid a living wage for Alberta: Has anybody pointed out that if we ensure that the hungry have food, some of them might gain weight? That’s why we consider it more responsible to force-feed them diet pills.