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Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget. In Saskatchewan, he cut funding to education, though it still didn’t balance the books.  He had to take money from the province’s contingency fund, including almost a half million dollars for advertising, that he had balanced the books, when in fact, he had not. Hiding deficits for (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

Alberta Politics: Is there enough Orange Wave left in Alberta to propel more Dippers to Ottawa?

ILLUSTRATIONS: A typical Alberta conservative voter, with orange hair, flirts with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair while Prime Minister Stephan Harper, in the background, tries to warn her to stop. Actual Alberta political figures may not appear exactly as illustrated. With apologies to Normal Rockwell. Below: Alberta political commentator Duane Bratt. Could there be enough momentum […]

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Alberta Politics: When propaganda becomes memory: Pierre Trudeau and the National Energy Program

PHOTOS: Pierre and Justin Trudeau back in the day, with possibly quite a few Liberal supporters in the background. Below: Prime Minister Steve and Defence Minister Jason Kenney. Everybody in Alberta knows Pierre Trudeau and his National Energy Program laid waste to Alberta in the 1980s, and that would include plenty of people out here […]

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Alberta Politics: Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust!

PHOTOS: From the sublime to the ridiculous? Liberal Lester Pearson, the top postwar economic performer among Canadian prime ministers. Below: Stephen Harper, the bottom. Below him: Pierre Trudeau (second best) and Brian Mulroney (second worst). Below them: Unifor economists Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan. One of the most effective ways to keep a population quiet […]

The post Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone: As PM, Stephen Harper’s economic performance is a bust! appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Independence Day: an excellent moment to remember Stephen Harper is no ‘Tory’

PHOTOS: Today is Independence Day in the United States, and also in Texas, where this photo was snapped. Below: Stephen Harper, not a Tory, unlike John A. Macdonald, below him, who was. Below both of them, a Hessian soldier gets ready to load up and shoot at an American insurgent. Only the Hessians’ pants were […]

The post Independence Day: an excellent moment to remember Stephen Harper is no ‘Tory’ appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Government by sneak: the preferred Harper Conservative response to thorny issues and hard-fought elections

PHOTOS: Poultry farmers not exactly like these, and dairy farmers as seen below, are facing sneaky attacks by the Harper Government. And speaking of the chickens coming home to roost, below them is a screen shot of former Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro. VICTORIA, B.C. Same sex marriage advocates and poultry and dairy farmers might […]

The post Government by sneak: the preferred Harper Conservative response to thorny issues and hard-fought elections 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.

Alberta Diary: A political oddity hits the big time – but what do we really know about Michael Cooper?

Michael Cooper turned up door knocking on your blogger’s doorstep in St. Albert last summer. A photo was required! Below: Independent St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and journalist Paul Wells.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Every few years, Michael Cooper seems to pop onto the national news radar. The first time, it was as a political oddity, a sort of human-interest story with an edge.

The story appeared under a headline in the National Post that read, “Not your average high school senior: ‘Blood sport’ of politics has lured Michael Cooper most of his (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Wildrose Party endures its cruelest day as two MLAs quit to join Jim Prentice’s PC government

Ian Donovan, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and Kerry Towle at yesterday afternoon’s floor-crossing news conference in the Legislature Building. (Ici Radio-Canada photo.) Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and quotable former prime ministers Harold Wilson, Brian Mulroney and Winston Churchill.

There was the cruelest sort of irony in the battering suffered yesterday by Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition, which lost two MLAs to the apparently rejuvenated Progressive Conservative Party of Premier Jim Prentice.

Kerry Towle, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake and last week the party’s seniors and human services critic, and Ian Donovan, MLA for Little Bow and the party’s agriculture (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Socialist Stephen Lewis Roars Once More in Takedown of the Stephen Harper Government

By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Sun Nov 23 2014

At the age of 77, Stephen Lewis describes himself as being “happily in his dotage,” a man free to bare his soul and dispense with diplomatic niceties.

He did just that in Charlottetown last Friday. The one-time lion of the left unleashed a withering roar over eight years of Stephen Harper government that deserves to be moved from the relatively tiny confines of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and into a larger forum.

Lewis focused on five fronts of perhaps irreversible decline in this country, five only, because (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Sun Media – not its squalid commentator Ezra Levant – is the problem

Ezra Levant, on the job with his Sun News microphone. Mr. Levant is not the problem. Sun Media is the problem. Below: Justin Trudeau, Bernie Farber, and Brian Mulroney.

Ezra Levant is a squalid nuisance, barely worth contemplating.

Sun Media is the problem.

On Monday, Sun Media apologized for Mr. Levant’s repellent and sexually obsessive hysterics about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s parents, one dead and the other an elderly grandmother and thus neither in a position to defend themselves.

This only happened, of course, because Mr. Trudeau threatened no longer to talk to legitimate Sun Media journalists, of which we (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Did Brian Mulroney Order the Humiliation of Ezra Levant?

Yes, according to Robert Fife:

Brian Mulroney called Liberals to say Sun Media will apologize tomorrow for offensive rant by @ezralevant vs @JustinTrudeau. #cdnpoli— Robert Fife (@RobertFife) September 28, 2014

You know, the CTV reporter who first exposed the Senategate scandal.And if it's true it couldn't be more delicious.Or more humiliating for Levant.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Brian Gallant has a thin resume? Stephen Harper hasn’t held a real job since he quit the mailroom in ’79 or whenever!

New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: Cranky old National Post opinion thingy Kelly McParland, age undetermined; Justin Trudeau, 42, getting off an airplane with some old guy, 62; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59.

As the present now will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ …

— Bob Dylan (age 73)

If anyone has the right to be bitter about bright young Liberal leaders with good looks, great hair and supposedly thin resumes like those of New Brunswick (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Jim Prentice appoints another Pipeline Focused Cabinet

TweetAs he prepared to be sworn-in as the 16th Premier of Alberta at Government House today, Jim Prentice aimed to project the image of a leader who is in command and in control of the situation. And today’s tightly controlled cabinet shuffle achieved that goal. Unlike previous cabinet shuffles, the news around today’s appointments were […]

Alberta Diary: Dispatches from your crazy Uncle Steve: It’s all the fault of the media elite!

“Isn’t that Brian Mulroney talking to some guy … Hey! Isn’t that one-a those Trudeaus?! Mulroney’s just another Trudeau lover! Like the Ottawa media elite!” Yadda-yadda… Below: The real Crazy Uncle Steve, Mr. Mulroney again, Heather Mallick. You can tell she’s a member of the urban Ottawa media elite because she’s wearing pearls!


You may think the Harper Tories are getting ready to do battle with the Liberals under Justin Trudeau (whom former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney just called “a potent package”) and the New Democrats under Thomas Mulcair (whom Mr. Mulroney called “the best (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Voice From The Past

The always mellifluous Brian Mulroney offers some less than sweet-sounding words for the Harper government. As reported in The Globe and Mail, in an interview with Don Martin on CTV’s Power Play, the former prime minister is quite critical of aspects of of the current, and warns that the electoral appetite for change is real and needs to be respected.

About Harper’s very public and disgraceful dispute with Canada’s Chief Justice, he says:

“You don’t get into a slagging contest with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, even if you thought that he or (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Feminist Therese Casgrain Disappears From Public History Under Harper Government

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


This shows the smallness of Steve Harper. What the hell is going on that we allow ourselves to be governed by this miserable piss-ant!

Our structures are failing us. Canada’s democracy is not much more than an elected dictatorship.

Check out this story by Canadian Press reporter Dean Beeby


The Therese Casgrain Volunteer Award, was started in 1982 by the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau.

It honoured Canadian activists such as June Callwood until it was eliminated — unannounced —by the Harper government in 2010.

An image of Casgrain and her namesake volunteer-award medal also disappeared (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Once a Tory leadership front-runner, Gary Mar reaches out from Asia to haunt Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives

Brian Mulroney, right, famously responds to the claim made by John Turner, left, that he had “no option” but approve Pierre Trudeau’s patronage appointments. Below: Gary Mar in 2011.

Advice to Jim Prentice: If, in some future pre-election leaders’ debate someone asks you about Gary Mar’s 2013 compensation package, don’t say: “I had no option.”

In fact, that would be true if Mr. Prentice were to say it. Ditto Ric McIver, the second- or third-runner, depending how you calculate it, in the 2014 version of the Progressive Conservative Party leadership race.

As for Thomas Lukaszuk, he was in cabinet (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson’s compensation: glaring omission in Alberta Sunshine List coverage explained

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne with Janet Davidson shortly after he announced her appointment as Deputy Minister in September 2013. Below: Service Alberta Deputy Minister Jay Ramotar; Lord Black of Crossharbour in his role as honourary lieutenant colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.

And the top paid Alberta civil servant is … not even on the media’s Top Ten List from the government’s so-called Sunshine List of 2013 civil service salaries!

Just for the record, Alberta’s top paid civil servant is Janet Davidson, deputy minister of health and an Officer of the Order of Canada, with a spectacular annual (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: AlbertAnt country singer, seeks ConservAntive nod

Inspired by this headline:

Calgary Grit: Canada’s New Government Turns 8

Today marks the 8th anniversary of Stephen Harper’s election as Prime Minister. At the time, a lot of Liberals figured they could turn him into Joe Clark after a quick leadership change. Yet, by this time next year, Harper will have passed Louis St. Laurent, Robert Borden, and Brian Mulroney, to become the 6th longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history – and most succesful conservative in over a century.

That’s the good news. The bad news for Harper is that it’s hard to fight the “time for a change” bug. Trudeau and King both lost elections after around a (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Why I voted for Jim Coutts in 1984 and probably would again, a lesson in retail politics

Jim Coutts, son of the Great Plains and, as long-time principal secretary to Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, once said to be the second most powerful person in Canada. (University of Lethbridge photo.) Below: The Lancaster bomber arrives in Nanton, inconveniently huge, but still too small to house a roadside café; my uncle, Fred Garratt, who ran Nanton’s hardware store.

I only met Jim Coutts once, almost 30 years ago, and only for about 30 minutes, but he left an impression that has proven indelible and taught me a couple of worthwhile lessons about retail politics in the process.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Warning to Canadians: Reefer Madness in Colorado and Washington could mean the end of civilization as we know it!

Your intrepid blogger with one of the wholesome and touristic murals of Legal, Alberta – evidence Civilization As We Know It survives in Canada, thank goodness! Note the crowds of tourists. Below: Perfesser Dave; Mural on the Legal Post Office; Mural on the wall of Denver Airport; So, do you stand with civilization (Legal murals), or Colorado chaos (legal marijuana)?

MEMORANDUM: Suggested Federal Tory Campaign Strategy TO: CPC Strategical Staff, Prime Minister’s Office FROM: Perfesser Dave, Political Consultant

Reefer Madness hit Colorado and Washington State yesterday, the first day of 2014. As a result, civilization as we know it (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s South Africa Trip Starts Badly

Well I see Stephen Harper's trip to the Mandela funeral started off on a high note, with a macabre political version of the Mile High Club.With Harper obviously glad to leave the sordid Senate scandal behind him, and consorting with three former Prime Ministers.Even tweeting this photo of him and his old arch enemy Jean Chretien…

But I did notice that Great Ugly Leader was the only one drinking, and no wonder eh?Read more »

Alberta Diary: No surprise, Alberta PCs endorse Alison Redford with the traditional 77% Solution

A couple of political pundits try to explain to Alberta Premier Alison Redford, centre, why the 77 Per Cent Solution may not be a good thing after all. Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Note that the previous reference has nothing to do with illegal drugs or Rob Ford. Below: Ed Stelmach, Clint Dunford and Ralph Klein.

The members of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party – whoever they may be at this particular moment in history – endorsed Premier Alison Redford yesterday to the tune of 77 per cent.

What good will come of that, you wonder?

“Why (Read more…)