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Alberta Diary: Wildrose tells Craig Chandler to get lost; Tories might be smart to do the same

Craig B. Chandler in a portrait snatched from his Facebook Page. Below: Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith’s brisk communication to Mr. Chandler.

GRANDE PRAIRIE

If Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party leaders were smart, they’d quickly find a way to send the same message to Craig B. Chandler he just got from Opposition Leader Danielle Smith.

On April 10, Ms. Smith, concerned Mr. Chandler was suggesting he was just the guy to bridge the gap between her Wildrose Party and the foundering Tories, Tweeted to him: “Your views & how you express them are wrong for Wildrose and Alberta. I would never (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The ‘Self Preservation Society’ wants Jim Prentice for ‘The Alberta Job’ – but can he forgo his ambition to be PM?

“The Alberta Job.” Will the original “Self Preservation Society” get to keep the Tory gold? Is Jim Prentice – above, not exactly as illustrated – the man to help them do it? Read on to find out why we’ll probably never find out. Below: The actual Jim Prentice. Below him: Possible, rumoured, putative PC leadership candidate Stephen Mandel.

The question Jim Prentice really needs to ask himself is this: “Do I really want to ride that bus all the way to the bottom of the cliff and be sitting in it when it bursts into flames?”

The (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Rejection of Gay-Straight Alliances motion shows some Alberta MLAs need a reality check

TweetBe it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to introduce legislation, like Manitoba’s and Ontario’s, requiring all school boards to develop policies to support students who want to lead and establish gay-straight alliance activities and organizations, using any name that is consistent with the promotion of a positive school environment that is inclusive, […]

Alberta Diary: Tales from the Tory crypt: Apres Alison le deluge

Tory leadership non-candidate Jim Dinning with your blogger, back in the day. Below: Former premier Ed Stelmach and non-candidates Ted Morton and Gary Mar.

If we were to speak for former Alberta premier Alison Redford today, here is what we would say: “Apres moi le deluge!”

There is plenty of fight left in the Alberta PC Party. The trouble is, it is all directed inwardly, at other Tories.

On everything except the policies that must be changed to save the party, Alberta’s crumbling 43-year-old Progressive Conservatives dynasty is disunited, playing out its increasingly bitter rivalries in public.

Given that, (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: PC finances: looks like Armageddon for Tories and Wildrose Apocalypse for the rest of us

Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith, on horseback, gazes at all that remains of Alberta’s once-mighty Alberta Progressive Conservative dynasty. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear quite so metaphorically. Below: PC Party Executive Director Kelley Charlebois.

We can probably thank former Alberta premier Alison Redford for breaking the spine of the 43-year Progressive Conservative dynasty in this province. For, after not quite two and a half years of her leadership, broken it appears to be.

If you want proof this is so, look no further than the lamentable financial condition in which the party finds itself today.

We already knew (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alison Redford and the misogyny defence: does it really hold any water?

Former Alberta Premier Alison Redford in happier times, as we remember her on the eve of her selection as PC Party leader in the fall of 2011.

The suggestion former Alberta Premier Alison Redford was treated differently, and was presumably fired by her party more peremptorily, because she is a woman is generating considerable heat if not a great deal of light in political circles in Alberta.

This claim first surfaced a few days before Ms. Redford’s political ship sank, at a time when her Progressive Conservative Party was in a state of open rebellion against her leadership. It has (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A very Albertan coup: Alison Redford fell victim to her own hubris, as well as that of her Progressive Conservative Party

Alison Redford announces her resignation moments after 6 p.m. yesterday while Deputy Premier Dave Hancock looks on grimly in the background. Below: Mr. Hancock, the man thought most likely to become the PC Party’s interim leader and premier, as the crisis played out last week.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who resigned moments after 6 p.m. yesterday, fell victim to her own hubris and that of the party she led.

In the next few days and weeks, we are certain to hear two competing narratives emerge to explain what happened to Ms. Redford’s short, unhappy premiership, which began when (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Electoral math is calculus, not arithmetic, so 15 more Tory defectors won’t necessarily bring down Alison Redford’s shaky government

Alberta Premier Alison Redford and her crack team of Tory political strategists consult the Billion Dollar Brainiac, the Alberta government’s carbon- and vote-capture supercomputer, to figure out how many members must remain in her shrinking caucus for the party to survive a non-confidence motion. Actual crack Alberta political strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Just ignore the note that says “Bon Voyage.” Below: MLAs Steve Young, Edmonton Riverview, and Matt Jeneroux, Edmonton-South West.

The assumption of just about everyone in the Punditocracy, the Commentariat, the Blogosphere and the Media Bloviarchy here in Alberta is that if Premier (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: 4 ways out of the PC leadership crisis

Tweet The increasingly public struggle between Premier Alison Redford and a group of disgruntled MLAs in the Progressive Conservative Party continues this week. Following Monday’s announcement by Calgary-Varsity PC MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans that she would sit as an Independent MLA, two more PC MLAs are publicly considering leaving. Edmonton-South West PC MLA Matt Jeneroux mused […]

Alberta Diary: If Alison Redford won’t voluntarily step aside, Alberta’s Tories are likely finished

Alberta Premier Cruella de Vil brings some of her rebellious MLAs to heel. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: High-profile caucus rebel Donna Kennedy-Glans; Stephen Mandel, former mayor of Edmonton and about the only person who could unseal the Alberta Tories’ doom at this late hour.

The departure yesterday morning of Donna Kennedy-Glans from the Alberta Progressive Conservative caucus makes it pretty obvious the message is sinking in with disaffected PC MLAs that casting Alison Redford as Premier Cruella de Vil and then putting her on double-secret probation may not have been the most astute strategy (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: $45000 trip has serious political costs for Redford

TweetAfter spending two months avoiding having to pay the costs of her $45,000 trip to South Africa, Premier Alison Redford called a press conference late yesterday to announce she would reimburse the government for costs of sending herself and her executive assistant Brad Stables to South Africa in December 2013. Despite attempts to ignore the issue, Ms. Redford has been unable […]

Alberta Diary: Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

There will be no more scenes like this aboard Government of Alberta aircraft, thank you very much! Actual Alberta cabinet ministers and cabin crew may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: a screenshot of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s news conference yesterday.

Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced yesterday she has personally paid back the $45,000 cost of her trip to South Africa in December, and that of the young aide who went along with her.

“My hope is that we can now get back to the work Albertans asked (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: By-election update: Conservatives choose Barlow for Macleod, Liberal MPs invade Alberta

TweetJohn Barlow was chosen as the Conservative Party candidate last night in the Macleod riding. With a by-election expected to be called soon, Mr. Barlow defeated three other candidates – Melissa Mathieson, Phil Rowland and Scott Wagner – to win the nomination. During the campaign, Mr. Barlow faced severe opposition from Canada’s gun lobby for […]

Alberta Diary: Revelation CAPP paid Mansbridge, defender of Murphy’s speaking fees, brings simmering controversy back to boil

CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge, back in the day before he could seriously contemplate receiving a $28,000 speaking fee just for flapping his gums over dinner. (Photo found on the Internet.) Below: Similarly compensated CBC commentator Rex Murphy, presumably at about the same moment in history. Below that: Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith’s enthusiastic review of Mr. Murphy’s remarks to an oil industry audience and a shot Mr. Mansbridge’s appearance before CAPP from the group’s Facebook page.

There he is, not quite as large as life and rather blurry, but nevertheless front and centre on the Facebook page of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Pride flags over Alberta: for real, or a cynical commitment of convenience that’s a mile wide and an inch deep?

A rainbow banner flies alongside the city, Alberta and Canadian flags at the city hall of St. Albert, Alberta, last weekend. Below: A really great pride banner spotted during a recent Pride Week in Vancouver.

Fourteen years ago, the Alberta provincial government led by Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein was convulsed with controversy at the thought of same-sex marriage.

In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Klein threatened to employ the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to prevent legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Only in 2005, did Mr. Klein give up this particular fight, and reluctantly (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Gun-toting conservatives take aim at Macleod by-election candidate

Tweet“Just say no-to-Barlow!” was the message broadcast to the 15,941 followers of the National Firearms Association Facebook page. The National Rifle Association‘s Canadian cousins hope to drag down John Barlow, a candidate for the Macleod Conservative Party of Canada by-election nomination who they claim supports the RCMP seizure of firearms from abandoned houses during last year’s High River flood. The organization […]

Alberta Diary: The view from Alberta: Nova Scotia premier assailed for embarrassingly low travel bill

A steward serves Alberta Premier Alison Redford as members of her entourage dine nearby during their return flight from South Africa. Don’t worry, this is satire, and actual Alberta politicians and their political advisors will never appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, obviously suffering from a defeatist attitude and a regional inferiority complex, prepares to pay for his own ham and cheese sandwich. So why is he smiling?

It only cost $946.44 for Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil to travel to and from South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral last month because Nova Scotians (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Redford’s top advisor earns more than Obama’s top advisor, claims Wildrose

TweetPremier Alison Redford‘s chief of staff earns a bigger salary than his counterpart in the West Wing, claimed the official opposition Wildrose in a press release yesterday. As the salary disclosure ”sunshine list” of Alberta’s senior public servants who earn more than $100,000 annually was released late last week, opposition critics honed in on Ms. Redford’s senior staff. The Wildrose opposition […]

Alberta Diary: Back to the future? Private-client opinion polls said to show big shift toward Alberta’s Wildrose Party

The future belongs, the future belongs, the future belongs to us… Peter Lougheed preaches to the converted in Calgary not long before the 1971 provincial election. After 42 years and counting, is there really another seismic shift under way in Alberta, or just more blundering by pollsters? Below: Mr. Lougheed not long after the 1971 election; Premier Harry Strom graces a Social Credit election poster from the same election campaign; Premier Alison Redford last year.

Tout le monde political Alberta is abuzz with rumours of new private polls that show a significant shift of voter support away from the Progressive (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Dunderdale’s departure relocates Redford deeper in premiers’ popularity sub-basement

Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you. Not necessarily a good thing with certain dancing partners! There’s just no way actual Canadian premiers, no matter whom they’re dancing with, ever look this good! Below: unpopular dance partners Alison Redford, premier of Alberta, Greg Selinger of Manitoba and all-but-departed Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland.

Well, she’s not quite hit Rock bottom.

But thanks to the departure announcement yesterday by the premier of the Rock, Alberta Premier Alison Redford is now in a dead heat to be Canada’s second least popular premier.

With a pallid 31-per-cent approval rating, Ms. Redford (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose fundraised more than the Alberta PCs in 2013

TweetThe Wildrose Party raised more than the long-governing Progressive Conservatives in last year’s party fundraising, according to Elections Alberta financial disclosure reports released last week. The financial reports show Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose Party raised $2,690,710 compared to the $2,206,419 raised by Premier Alison Redford‘s Progressive Conservatives. The gap between the two parties widens drastically in […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2014

TweetBecause politics is unpredictable, forecasting the future can be a tricky business for pundits, but here is a list of a dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2014. Manmeet Bhullar (Calgary-Greenway): An up and comer in the PC ranks, Mr. Bhullar was rewarded for his time as the competent Service Alberta minister with an appointment […]

Alberta Diary: NDP-Grit coalition to defeat Rob Anders? Unlikely! This is a Tory civil war

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, left, glares at Rob Anders, far right (as it were), Canada’s Worst MP, as challenger Ron Liepert, centre, with an unidentified vole who is not authorized to speak on the record, look on. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated, but pretty much. Below: The real Rob Anders, asleep on the job.

It’s hard to fault Rob Anders for framing his intramural opponents in the new Calgary Signal Hill riding as a conspiracy of Liberals, New Democrats and Red Tories.

After all, it’s a well-established fact that nothing frightens Calgary voters quite as (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Fear & Loathing in Calgary Signal Hill: rumble on the right breaks out in Calgary

Your blogger in 2011 with Ron Liepert, Alberta’s former Worst Provincial Cabinet Minister. Below: Calgary West Member of Parliament Rob Anders, Canada’s worst MP, with his friend and supporter, Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Coming soon to the new federal riding of Calgary Signal Hill: fear and loathing on the campaign trail.

Come with me on a savage journey into the heart of Alberta’s never-ending Conservative nightmare: Alberta’s former Worst Provincial Cabinet Minister is about to challenge Canada’s undisputed Worst Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in the redistributed southwest Calgary federal riding!

In the corner (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who are the Top MLAs of 2013?

TweetIt has become tradition on this blog at the end of each year that I publish a list of Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta who have been the best and most notable of the past year. This year was the first time I struggled to compile a list. In the nine-years since I […]