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Maple-Flavoured Politics: The Alberta Election’s Federal Implications

As I look at my Twitter feed today, May 6, 2015, the day after the Alberta provincial election, I see that some federal Conservatives are saying that the results of the Alberta election don’t worry them. I’m not surprised they are saying that. After all, it is literally the politically correct thing to say. Never … Continue Reading

Dead Wild Roses: The Dynasty is Dead! All Hail the New Orange Crush!

Let’s be honest folks, this election win by Rachel Notley and the NDP was completely unexpected here in what has been fortress Tory Alberta for the last 44 years. I watched the election write itself out with trepidation for the first hour and a half, because one can never forget, this is Alberta, and for the longest time you could elect a half a bag of stale nacho chips here as long it sported the Tory Blue colours.

And then it happened. The seat count exploded for the NDP and the Orange Crush never looked back. No (Read more…)

cmkl: The NDP’s amazing win in Alberta – suggested reading for after the hangover

I have only the highest praise for everyone who put Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP in power over the last months – indeed years. They are some exceptionally talented intelligent and hard-working people. And everyone’s euphoria is absolutely warranted. So I feel like a miserable, cynical shit for writing what I am about to … Continue reading The NDP’s amazing win in Alberta – suggested reading for after the hangover →

Bill Longstaff: WOW!

atypicalalbertan.ca: Important Races to Watch and My Predictions

It is election day in Alberta and before I have anything else to say, I have this important thing to say: VOTE!

It will only take a few minutes but it is fundamentally important to our province. Before the campaign started, many pundits were predicting a strong PC majority and very low voter turnout. But, by today, we have laid witness to one of the most profound and interesting campaigns of the last 44 years. Be a part of it.

Without further adieu, I would like to outline a few close races to watch for as the results pour in (Read more…)

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Albertans will choose

[View the story "Natural resources, public assets, or corporate?" on Storify]

Bill Longstaff: Calgary Chamber of Commerce not afraid of the socialist hordes

Chambers of Commerce are not the greatest fans of social democratic political parties. And the Calgary chamber is not the greatest fan of the Alberta NDP. But neither is it particularly hostile. On the contrary, it had some nice things to say after NDP leader Rachel Notley addressed its members last week in the run-up to the May 5th election.

The chamber did not approve of the NDP’s proposal

Bill Longstaff: Finally, a political party with the guts to talk tax hikes

The right-wing mantras of no new taxes and tax cuts have become so embedded in political discourse that suggesting a tax increase, regardless of the social good it may do, has become almost taboo. Even liberal and left-wing politicians have become reluctant to insist on levels of taxation necessary for the quantity and quality of services Canadians want. But finally, a political party has

Dead Wild Roses: The Edmonton Journal Saturday Editorial – Grade ‘A’ Propaganda

The amount of horseshit per square centimetre in this Edmonton Journal editorial must violate the laws of physics, it just isn’t reasonable to pack this much fail into one column of newspaper. Who wrote this tepid work of Tory apologia? To me it smells like the business owners out East decided they needed to nobly stand up for the privileged in our province.

I’ve excerpted the parts I wanted to comment on, but you really should read the entire slavering, propagandistic ode the PC party over at the lowly esteemed Edmonton Journal. Duly note that this is (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Alberta: The NDP Closes In On A Majority

It may be hard to believe, but something amazing is happening in Alberta.Other polls have documented the rise of the NDP.But now one is suggesting the party is closing in on a majority. Read more »

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lessons to be learned in Alberta.

The May 5 provincial election in Alberta is unfolding as anticipated. With pundits panicking, reporters rebelling, it will only be the final poll next Tuesday that will tell the real story. And in this cautionary tale of political progress there are entrails to be read that can foretell the political future of other provinces if not the country.

The funniest stories of the current campaign are the ones that have editors’ lower jaws hitting their desks as they read of the possibility of a New Democrat majority in the Alberta Legislature. Before there is a serious up-tic in heart failure (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: They Get It. We Don’t.

California has set an ambitious target for greenhouse gas emissions.  Their target is to cut emissions 80% from 1990 levels by 2050.  That’s an ambitious target but, let’s face it, 2050 is a long way off in the world of politics which means there’s lots of time to duck any meaningful action, enough that it can be left until it’s simply too late.

Apparently California governor Jerry Brown knows the best way to make that 80% of 1990 by 2050 target a reality is to trim the lead time.  What better way than to order an interim emissions reduction target. (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: In Medicine Hat, Homelessness Is (Almost) Over

Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston: ‘What we’re saying to other municipalities is that you can do it, too.’ Photo: David Dodge, Green Energy Futures.

According to its mayor, Medicine Hat is ”a hardworking oil,

Read more…

Terahertz: How to lose an election

Alberta’s election continues to be far more entertaining than the one here in the UK.

Amid his party’s plummeting polling numbers, Progressive Conservative Premier Jim Prentice needed to re-connect with voters and rebuild trust for his party during the leaders debate last night.

Instead, he told the only woman on stage that “I know the math is difficult…” in a discussion around tax increases. Very soon after #MathIsHard started trending in the province and NDP leader Rachel Notley was able to remind viewers that this is the leader who doesn’t want Albertans to “worry their pretty little heads.”

There’s (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Morning Line: Alberta 2015.

The May 7 provincial election in Alberta is something of a wake up call as Albertans shake themselves from the Tar Sands dream. It was probably the recent Prentice austerity budget more than anything else that told people that times are changing. There is no question but Albertans need to adapt to reality. There is just is no way they will like it.

In producing a Morning Line for this election you start by ignoring all the polls. Albertans lie to pollsters. They have been lying to them since the days of Bible Bill Aberhart. And if you had voted (Read more…)

centerandleft: Alberta and Polls: Never Again

The Calgary Flames are preparing to host their first playoff game since 2009 in a matter of days. While the Flames are working hard to even up their series, the politicians are working the doors. The province of Alberta may be preparing to elect a new party to power for the first time since 1971.

Does this sound familiar? Just three years ago I was responsible for the following assumption:

Danielle Smith is likely to be the next premier of Alberta

It doesn’t sound like a terrible statement, but this type of statement reveals a foolish reliance on poor (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Henry Mintzberg rightly challenges the myth of a “level playing field” when it comes to our economic opportunities: Let’s level with each other. What we call a “level playing field” for economic development is played with Western rules on Southern turf, so that the New York Giants can take on some high school team from Timbuktu. The International Monetary Fund prepares the terrain and the World Trade Organization referees the game. Guess who wins.

The rules of this game have been written by people educated in the economic canon of the already (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Eric Morath points out that a job (or even multiple jobs) can’t be taken as an assurance that a person can avoid relying on income supports and other social programs. PressProgress offers some important takeaways from the Canadian Labour Congress’ study of the low-wage workers. Angella MacEwen writes about the spread of the $15 minimum wage movement in Canada.

- Meanwhile, Carol Goar writes that while we should be looking to improve our social safety net, we need to do so while taking into account the real experience of the people relying upon (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Alison picks up on Armine Yalnizyan’s important question as to whether the Cons have a Plan B other than hoping for factors beyond our control to boost oil prices. And Brad Delong argues that based on the foreseeable direction of our economy, we need a stronger public sector now than we’ve ever had before: (A)s we move into the twenty-first century, the commodities we will be producing are becoming less rival, less excludible, more subject to adverse selection and moral hazard, and more subject to myopia and other behavioral-psychological market failures.

The (Read more…)

Babel-on-the-Bay: Alberta stumbles as the Hair’s empire crumbles.

There are at least a couple ridings in Alberta that could attract some smart Liberals for the federal election. Voters in that province are not stupid you know. They might also like to send a message to the Prime Minister after what he has helped to do to the province’s economy. The message is simply: Bye-bye Hair.

Canadians are inclined to forget much of what the Hair has done to this country over the past nine years. The effect of that bad stewardship has had an even worse effect on the province that gave him its 100 per cent support. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the sudden disappearance of Danielle Smith and her fellow Wildrose Party defectors offers a case in point of the dangers of forgetting that politicians ultimately answer to the public.

For further reading…- CBC reported on the actual deal between Smith and Jim Prentice here, while Darren Krause reported on Smith’s nomination defeat. And CBC examines Wildrose’s bounce back in the polls as it elected a new leader.- Don Braid notes that Smith was warned about some of the dangers of crossing the floor at the time, while Andrew Coyne sees a bait and (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Canada’s Economy: Not Exactly Healthy

If you are a worker, you already know that Canada’s economy is a mess.  The only people who don’t seem to know it are at the top.

Press Progress published a very detailed analysis of how messed up our economy is today.  A few of the highlights: First, the good news: Corporate Canada’s profits have hit a 27-year high, according to a new report by CIBC World Markets. Bay Street has never been happier, right? 

Well, there’s just one little catch: new Statistics Canada data shows the Canadian economy shrank in January. All those layoffs and store closures you’ve (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Simon Wren-Lewis connects the UK’s counterproductive austerity program to the lack of any wage growth. And Gary Lamphier observes that Alberta is serving as a case in point that jobs generated through public policy rigged in favour of the wealthy are no less precarious than any other type, while Erin Anderssen comments on the connection between public-sector work and greater wage equality.

- Adam Liptak writes that the First Amendment’s protection for speech – like so many other rights which have been redefined to suit the powerful – is now serving primarily (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: The "Piss Away" Province

The key to understanding the dilemma is to realize that Tar Sand, bitumen, is just a part of Alberta’s oil history.  The province has also produced a vast amount of conventional crude oil.  It’s actually produced and exported a good deal more conventional crude oil than Norway.  That brings us to the starting point of the conversation. The CBC today features another one of those awkward, cringe-worthy stories about Alberta and Norway and why Albertans are wallowing in another recession while their Norwegian counterparts are sitting on a mountain of wealth.  The easy answer is that Albertans, while deeply Conservative, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Babad writes that we should be glad to see jobs being created in the public sector since the private sector is doing nothing to offer opportunities for Canadians. And Andrew Jackson discusses how Quebec’s progressive economic model has served it well, while offering an example which other provinces should be eager to follow.

- Konrad Yakabuski weighs in on the need for pharmacare to make an essential element of health care universally accessible. But while Brent Patterson agrees that we should be pursuing pharmacare, he also warns that ill-advised trade agreements may (Read more…)