Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Alberta Diary: Collapse of rickety Wildrose coalition of market fanatics and religious fundamentalists could be bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s NDP

A recent meeting of the Wildrose Party Legislative caucus. Actual members of the official Opposition party may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.

Monday’s bombshell that the rickety coalition of ideological market-perfection fanatics and social-conservative religious fundamentalists called the Wildrose Party was coming unstuck may turn out to be a bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s New Democrats.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith’s big problem – other than the fact she appeared to have been completely out of the loop last week about the upcoming defections of MLAs Kerry Towle and Ian Donovan – (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…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Who Has The Worst Job in Alberta Politics?

Why does the public go bananas when Danielle Smith, the leader of the Official Opposition, criticizes the PC government? They say she’s too negative, too shrill, too something. Can’t she be more positive they ask? More supportive?

Clearly they haven’t a clue about the role of the Opposition.

A thankless job

Winston Churchill grumped that being shot was a kindness compared to being the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. He’s right.

Consider this. Danielle Smith, as the leader of the Opposition, has the privilege of being the leader of the government-in-waiting without having access to the levers of power (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The bloom is off the (Wild)rose – Opposition Leader Danielle Smith assailed by doubts, dissent and departures

Are the wheels falling off the Wildrose bus, which may or may not look exactly as illustrated any more? Below: Beleaguered Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, Taber-Warner-Cardston MLA Gary Bikman and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson.

These may be happy days for the Progressive Conservatives under Premier Jim Prentice, but the bloom is definitely off Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition.

Just weeks ago seen as a sure bet to be the province’s next premier, Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith is today buffeted by an embarrassing scrap between her party’s social conservatives and socially progressive members over LGBTQ rights, troubled by questions about her (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Are the wheels falling off the Wildrose bus?

TweetA short few months ago, it almost felt inevitable that the Wildrose Party would sweep into a majority government at the next election. They were up in the polls and the long-time governing Progressive Conservatives looked corrupt, broken and battered. But over the past few weeks, it appears the Official Opposition is stumbling into disarray. Leader […]

Politics and its Discontents: WildRose Revisited

The other day I wrote a post about the Wildrose Party’s retraction of its definitive equal rights clause that covered almost every conceivable individual. Although leader Danielle Smith had enthused the day before about its inclusiveness, when party delegates voted it down, she quickly changed her tune, saying that the more generic substitute was better.

In this morning’s Globe, Gary Mason offers his own view on what many see as a regressive step for Wildrose, and what he calls yet another ‘bozo eruption.”: The change was important for a political institution that is still viewed suspiciously in some (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The least interesting part of Legislative Session: The Throne Speech

TweetEvery year, political watchers gather at the Alberta Legislature for the pomp and circumstance of the Speech from the Throne, hoping to get a glimpse of a political agenda. And every year they are sorely disappointed at the Throne Speech’s lack of detail. Yesterday’s Throne Speech, delivered by elderly Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell, was unremarkable, […]

Politics and its Discontents: Perhaps They Forgot (In)Alien(able) Rights?

The Edmonton Journal reports the following story about the Wildrose Party: Wildrose members on Saturday voted down a “definitive statement” on equality rights, one day after leader Danielle Smith trumpeted the motion that had been adopted by the party last year.

Perhaps its specificity offended some of the party’s ‘less progressive’ members? Delegates at the Wildrose annual general meeting in Red Deer voted 148 — 109 to reject a proposal to make policy a motion adopted last year defending the rights of all people, “regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Two political general meetings in one weekend: Wildrosers conduct gloomy post-mortem while PCs flirt with characteristic hubris

Steady as she goes! Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, centre, works to keep party stalwarts, on either side, on the right course, which would be not too far to the right, of course. Alberta Premier Prentice, at the wheel above, tries to get the earnest Wildrosers to take a wrong turn. Actual Alberta conservative party leaders, supporters and their political vehicles may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and the real Ms. Smith.

Both of Alberta’s right-wing parties held general meetings this weekend – the ever-ruling Progressive Conservatives in Banff and the so-far never-ruling Wildrose Party in (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta Politics Roundup – Eve of Fall Sitting

TweetFall Legislative Session November 17, 2014 will mark the start of the first legislative session for new Premier Jim Prentice, Health Minister Stephen Mandel and Education Minister Gordon Dirks. The 43-year old governing Progressive Conservatives have promised to introduce new laws focusing on property rights and ‘ending entitlements’ for their MLAs. This will be Rachel Notley’s first session as […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Limping Alberta Liberals face more financial troubles

Tweet Did Liberal leader Raj Sherman break Alberta’s political donations limits when making donations to his own party? The Calgary Herald is reporting that Dr. Sherman may have exceeded the $15,000 limit for donations three times in the past four years and donated double the limit this year through corporations he controls. The questionable donations were […]

Alberta Diary: Business arising from the minutes: Unionized St. Albert workers sign deal; CTF Alberta director suddenly departs

Toronto’s once notorious Rochedale College, now a perfectly respectable apartment building. Below: Outgoing Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta Director Derek Fildebrandt and the King’s Noodle Restaurant (grabbed from TripAdvisor).

TORONTO

It was my intention, since I am away from Alberta on business, not to file an Alberta Diary post this evening. Truth be told, Friday night and Saturday are the week’s worst times for readership anyway, as those readers with a life tend to be off living it.

Still, my iPhone gonged portentously when I exited my Air Canada flight from Edmonton here in the Ford Bothers’ hometown tonight with two (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Said to be sought as candidate by Wildrose Party, ‘tax watchdog’ spokesperson’s intentions are for the moment unclear

CTF Alberta spokesperson Derek Fildebrandt last summer at the Legislature in Edmonton. Below: Premier Jim Prentice and political blogger Dave Cournoyer.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith is “working hard” to recruit Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta spokesperson Derek Fildebrandt as a candidate for the next provincial general election in the Calgary-Bow riding, Daveberta.ca blog author Dave Cournoyer reported yesterday.

“Mr. Fildebrandt is an outspoken critic of the PC Government and has targeted Premier Jim Prentice with FOIP requests dating back to his time in Ottawa,” Mr. Cournoyer wrote, citing “rumours” that he said have been circulating for some time.

If it (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Annals of Irony: Those alleged Wildrose caucus recordings and Danielle Smith’s 1999 school board ‘opposition research’ escapade

A mean note found in a trashcan or a coffee cup and reassembled. Actual mean notes found in actual trashcans may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin, Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith, former Calgary Herald editorial page editor Peter Stockland, former Calgary Liberal candidate and public school trustee Jennifer Pollock, former CBE chair Teresa Woo-Paw, now a PC MLA.

There is a certain irony in Opposition Leader Danielle Smith’s distress this week at the thought someone might have recorded meetings of the Wildrose Party’s Legislative caucus.

That someone, according to Ms. Smith, was former (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Look who’s running in 2016: Alberta Election nominations

TweetWith the four provincial by-elections over, the focus will soon turn back to nominating candidates to stand in Alberta’s next general election. The next election is scheduled to be held sometime between March 1 and May 31, 2016, but can be called earlier if premier requests the Lieutenant Governor to issue a writ of election. The Wildrose Party and the […]

Alberta Diary: Conservative parties squirm as fired AHS executive triumphs over government, controversial MLA quits opposition caucus

This just in from Alberta’s two conservative parties. Below: former Alberta Health Services CFO Allaudin Merali, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, MLA Joe Anglin (CBC Photo), Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, former health minister Fred Horne.

Alberta’s governing Progressive Conservative Party and its Opposition Wildrose Party, in addition to sharing an identical right-wing ideology, face a similar problem this morning, a situation and a person each party would very much like to see go away as quickly as possible.

In each case the circumstances have the potential to embarrass each party seriously enough with voters to impact its chances in the next (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Danielle Smith’s Leadership Review: A Game of Power

“No one wants less power; everyone wants more.”—Robert Greene

Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose party, put her leadership on the line after failing to capture any seats in the four Alberta by-elections. Her leadership review was to take place in mid-November, well ahead of the leadership review scheduled to occur after the 2016 election.

Ms Smith

Ms Smith’s decision appeared, at first blush, to be a risky gambit. However when analysed in the context of Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power, it was an act of political survival.

The Laws of Power

Greene’s best seller, The 48 (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Joe Anglin fires opening shot in Wildrose Civil War

TweetCiting a “civil war” within the Wildrose Party, MLA Joe Anglin has decided to leave the Official Opposition caucus to sit as an Independent MLA. Mr. Anglin said in a Facebook message posted this morning that he did so in advance of today’s caucus meeting, where leader Danielle Smith was expected to introduce a motion […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose leader faces Rocky [Mountain House] challenges and leadership review

TweetReacting to her party’s poor results in four provincial by-elections held this week, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith announced that she will face a leadership review at her party’s annual convention on November 14 and 15, 2014 in Red Deer. This is a smart move by the official opposition leader, as a solid approval rating will silence her […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose needs to be more than the Anti-Redford Party

TweetPCs sweep four by-elections, NDP and Alberta Party make gains Disgraced former premier Alison Redford gave Albertans a convincing reason to vote Wildrose, but Danielle Smith‘s official opposition needs to find a new strategy to defeat Premier Jim Prentice‘s Progressive Conservative. This appears to be the case as Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives celebrate their candidates victories in four Alberta by-elections held yesterday. […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: What’s at stake in the four Oct. 27 by-elections?

TweetWith less than two days left in Alberta’s mini-election, voters will head to the polls on the morning of October 27, 2014 to cast their ballots in by-elections being held in Calgary-Elbow, Calgary-Foothills, Calgary-West and Edmonton-Whitemud. As these mid-term elections approach, what is at stake for Alberta’s political parties? Progressive Conservatives In a normal general election, […]

Alberta Diary: Plot summary for a zombie policy apocalypse: Return of the Living Bed Blockers, Nightmare on Alberta Avenue, Part IV

Even though we know the prescription for curing the “bed blocker” problem, it’s unlikely Alberta can escape the revenge of the conservative zombie policy makers, shown above. Actual Progressive Conservative and Wildrose policy makers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Zombie policy enablers Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith; ER physician Dr. Paul Parks.

The “Bed Blockers” are back. Health Minister Stephen Mandel (unelected) used the term, so it’s official.

Actually, it’s a lot like a horror movie that never ends out here in Alberta. Just when you think it’s safe to settle down on Elm Street and get the (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Sources: MLA David Xiao disqualified from federal Conservative nomination

TweetA Progressive Conservative MLA is appealing a decision by a Conservative Party of Canada committee to disqualify him as a nomination candidate in the newly created Edmonton-West federal riding, according to reliable sources. It remains unclear why the committee chose to disqualify Edmonton-McClung MLA David Xiao, who announced his entry into the contest in March 2014. If Mr. Xiao’s […]

Alberta Diary: On those Wildrose attack ads: they can hardly say Jim Prentice has ‘no plan’

The harshest of the three Wildrose Attack ads. Just let Youtube play, and you can see the Wildrose Party’s other two current attack ads plus its single positive spot. Below: A screen shot from one of the spectacularly ineffective 2006 No Plan ads attacking then premier Ed Stelmach. The full ads, unfortunately, have been removed from Youtube. A scene from another of the 2014 Wildrose ads.

I’m not at all certain the Wildrose Party’s TV ads attacking the governing Progressive Conservative candidates in the upcoming Alberta “mini-election” are going to work as intended.

The three negative TV ads depict Premier (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Welcome to Alberta, where, baby, these are the days of miracles and wonders…

Conservative political leaders distribute loaves and fishes, part of the school lunch program planned for the hundreds of new schools that will be popping up overnight out here in Alberta. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Premier Jim Prentice, Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and Education Minister Gordon Dirks, all of whom we can have faith will deliver.

It is no longer a metaphor when we say Alberta’s conservative politicians are performing miracles and wonders.

Leastways, yesterday, Premier Jim Prentice announced his intention to perform an actual, literal miracle – to create 230 new (Read more…)