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Calgary Grit: A Beginner’s Guide to Alberta Politics II

Blogging has been sporadic of late, but with Alberta barrelling towards an election, now is likely a good time for another Alberta Politics FAQ. When will the next Alberta election be?

Alberta’s fixed-ish election date legislation calls for a vote between March 1st and May 31st, 2016. Prentice, being a true reformer at heart, has said he will respect this. Really?

Ha ha. No, of course not. Most expect an election call to immediately follow the March 26th budget.

Alberta’s fixed election date law has proven to be about as binding as Alberta’s balanced budget law. So who’s going to (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Maverick MLA Laurie Blakeman accepts Liberal, Green and Alberta Party nominations

Fresh from her big victory in Alberta’s Gay-Straight Alliances debate, Edmonton-Centre Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman announced this morning that she has accepted the nominations to be a candidate for the Liberal Party, Alberta Party AND Green Party in the upcoming provincial election. With these three nominations, she hopes to… Continue Reading →

Susan on the Soapbox: A Modest Proposal for Cooperation Among Progressives in Alberta

“I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection” — Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (1729)

Relax. Ms Soapbox’s modest proposal does not involve devouring children in order to ease Alberta’s economic problems. It builds on an excellent cooperation strategy proposed by Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party.

But first, a little context.

Alberta’s “scare ‘em to save ‘em” premier is expected to call a snap election this spring. Progressive voters of all political stripes fear they’ll be crushed by the Conservative juggernaut. They’re madly galloping off (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Monday morning candidate nomination updates in Alberta

The Progressive Conservatives held their first “Super Saturday” on Feb. 21, 2015, during which contested nominations were held in seven constituencies. The handful of contested PC nominations have been overshadowed by the nearly forty acclamations by incumbent PC MLAs across the province…. Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta Politics Round-Up: Redford and the Opposition

An investigation into former Premier Alison Redford‘s use of government airplanes has been closed and no charges will be laid, the RCMP announced yesterday. In 2014, Premier Dave Hancock and Justice Minister Jonathan Denis asked the RCMP to investigate findings made… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Sunday evening candidate nomination updates in Alberta

With a provincial election expected in the next few months, the 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives are expected to have all their candidates nominated by the end of March 2015 and be in a position to trigger an election soon after…. Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: So long Liberalberta! Raj Sherman calls it quits.

All four main political parties will have new leaders going into the next election after today’s announcement by Liberal leader Raj Sherman that he is resigning as leader and will not seek re-election as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark. Like the Wildrose Party, who… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Saturday Morning election nomination updates in Alberta

From Lethbridge to Rimbey and Peace River to Cochrane, here is your Saturday morning candidate nomination update: Airdrie: Mayor of Airdrie Peter Brown announced this week that he will seek the Progressive Conservative nomination. Mr. Brown was first elected Mayor in 2010. The… Continue Reading →

Alberta Diary: Enough with the fantasy Wildrose was Alberta’s best opposition, already! It’s baloney!

And then there were five: The Wildrose caucus back before it experienced civil war, desertions and mass defections, including that of its leader, the woman in red above. Below: former NDP leader Brian Mason and current Leader Rachel Notley; effective Liberal MLAs David Swann and Hugh Macdonald.

One of the more irritating byproducts of mass defection by the Mudville Nine and two of their caucus colleagues who rejoined the Tory Mothership a few days earlier has been the outright wholesaling of the nonsensical claim the Wildrose Party was the most effective opposition Alberta has ever known.

Jen Gerson and Jesse (Read more…)

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: No change! No change! Jim Prentice’s ‘new management’ is offering the same old Tory stuff

New management … same old owner. It’s all about marketing. Below: Jim Prentice and Fred Horne, advocating the same health care policies.

Sustained, uninterrupted privatization of health care, a senior official dumped for daring to speak out about political interference in her supposedly independent work, thousands of dollars in illegal donations to the good ole Tory Dynasty now led by Premier Jim Prentice …

All this and a Speaker who doesn’t understand or care about his impartial role in the Legislature. … Plus a national mission to build pipelines to all points of the compass!

This is new management? Sure (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: NDP and Liberal candidates’ with similar appeal in Edmonton-Whitemud don’t make progressive voters’ job any easier

The NDP and Alberta Liberals fight it out in Edmonton-Whitemud. I’ll leave it to readers to determine who’s just been demasted. Below: Liberal candidate Dr. Donna Wilson (CBC photo) and NDP candidate Dr. Bob Turner.

The reasons are perfectly clear and quite understandable, but it’s depressing nonetheless to see Alberta’s provincial Liberals and New Democrats fighting so bitterly for a few scraps from the table at which the Tories and the Wildrosers get to dine.

But how else can we explain the spectacle of our province’s two progressive parties with only nine Legislative seats between them battling it out in (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Just as things were looking up a bit for foundering PCs, Alison Redford showed up again

Alison Redford contemplates which way to turn as she leaves behind a trail of devastation, toward the capital city’s new Sky Palace Hotel, left, or toward Edmonton’s High Level Bridge, right. Actual former premiers and the landmarks they threaten may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Ms. Redford; Tory leadership candidates Jim Prentice, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver.

Just when things were starting to look a little better for Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, Alison Redford blundered back onto the provincial scene like the monster from low-budget a 1950s horror flick.

So suggests the latest version of a regular (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Goodbye? The future looks bleak for the Alberta Liberals

TweetIt has been a long time since things have looked good for the Alberta Liberals. The provincial party has been teetering on the verge of the political abyss for years but lately the future looks especially bleak. Recent announcements that popular Calgary Liberal MLAs Kent Hehr and Darshan Kang are moving to greener pastures in federal […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Can the Alberta NDP win in Calgary?

TweetTo describe it as a long-shot is polite, but two Edmonton MLAs running for the leadership of Alberta’s New Democratic Party say that growing support in Calgary is critical. Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Rachel Notley launched her campaign for her party’s leadership at Niko’s Bistro in Kensington this week. And Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen described Alberta’s largest city as […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: When is the next Alberta election?

Tweet With the governing Progressive Conservatives selecting their new leader in September 2014, there is growing suspicion that Albertans could be going to polls sooner than expected. While Alberta’s next strange “three-month fixed election period” is not until 2016, a loosely written law may allow the next premier to trigger an early election. According to Section 38.01(2) of […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Tiny Alberta Progressive Parties need to get their act together

TweetWhat do the Alberta Liberals, New Democrats, Alberta Party and Green Party have in common? None of these parties will form government after the next election. As Albertans prepare for another electoral showdown between two conservative parties – the long-governing Progressive Conservatives and the opposition Wildrose Party – many non-conservative voters and voters looking for an alternative […]

Susan on the Soapbox: The Alberta Federation of Labour’s Litmus Test for Alberta’s Opposition Parties

“Sometimes telling the truth hurts…and it will hurt here.”—Rob Anderson, Wildrose MLA at the Alberta Federation of Labour Conference in response to a question about the legal right to strike*

The Alberta Federation of Labour held a two day conference this weekend in Calgary. Ms Soapbox was extremely fortunate to receive an invitation to hear Rob Anderson (Wildrose), Deron Bilous (NDP) and Dr David Swann (Liberal) speak at a panel on “Alberta Political Parties’ Vision for Labour and Working People.”

Mr Anderson

Apparently, the Progressive Conservatives were also invited but Premier Hancock was busy and none of 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: A mystery that won’t go away: Why do Alberta patients still face such long waits for lung surgery?

A horse with a silver blaze, curried mutton and a dog that did nothing in the night-time helped Sherlock Holmes get to the bottom of a mysterious death. Will it take a legendary detective to uncover the problem with lung surgeries in Alberta? Below: Dr. Verna Yiu; Dr. Raj Sherman; Dr. Ciaran McNamee.

Scotland Yard Detective: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Detective: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Holmes: “That was the curious incident. (Read more…)

calgaryliberal.com: Liberals triple support in Lethbridge: Liberals at 24%, NDP at 14%, Conservatives at 38%

Something is happening in Lethbridge. According to a group out of Lethbridge College the Liberals under Trudeau have jumped from 8.38% (2011) to 24% for the area of Lethbridge. Provincially, Raj Sherman’s Liberals have jumped from 14.7% (2012) to 18% in Lethbridge-East, a point ahead of the Wildrose and the clear alternative compared to the […]

Susan on the Soapbox: Ms Soapbox’s Great Adventure—Off to the Leg (it rhymes with “edge”)

Last week Ms Soapbox was introduced to the Legislative Assembly by Liberal MLA, Laurie Blakeman, the oldest (as in longest-serving, not age!) opposition MLA. Ms Blakeman noted that Ms Soapbox was a lawyer but said the House wouldn’t hold that against her. Ms Soapbox stood to receive the “traditional warm welcome” of the Assembly. The MLAs thumped their desks and waved, warming the cockles of Ms Soapbox’s heart!

The Caucus Meeting

When Liberal MLA, Dr David Swann, invited me to attend a Liberal caucus meeting I leapt at the chance. In less than 10 minutes

. . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Ms Soapbox’s Great Adventure—Off to the Leg (it rhymes with “edge”)

Alberta Diary: Why is Alberta’s medical queue-jumping inquiry uninterested in dramatic 1990s case?

Dr. Ron Bridges of the Helios Wellness Clinic testifying yesterday in a screen grab from CBC’s broadcast. Below, Dr. Ciaran McNamee, who hasn’t been called to testify.

What are we to make of the fact Alberta’s preferential health care access inquiry has failed to call a witness who was at the centre of one of the most spectacular allegations of medical queue jumping in recent years?

Really, yesterday’s report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that the often strangely passive inquiry has decided not to bother asking Dr. Ciaran McNamee to testify about what happened to his lung surgery patients simply

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Why is Alberta’s medical queue-jumping inquiry uninterested in dramatic 1990s case?

Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!

The Dagny Taggarts, a synchronized skating team from Ottawa get ready to do their popular routine, “Where Is John Galt?” Defence Minister Joan Crockatt is in the front row, second from right. Below: Senator Tom Flanagan; U of C economics student Kim Jong-un, in full Calgary drag; Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ecstatic for his boss; and Nobel Prize winner Raj Sherman with the author. Actual events may not turn out exactly as predicted.

Why wait for 2013’s headlines when you can read them here on Alberta Dairy right now? In a spirit of transparency bordering on clairvoyance, Alberta Diary

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!

calgaryliberal.com: 2013 is the Alberta Liberal’s year to shine

  The Alberta Liberals are under attack. The Liberals are being assailed from every party from every corner of this province. The march to the middle has been of pronounced presence by almost every political faction in Alberta. The NDP have made open moves toward Liberal voters, campaigning hard in long held seats like Edmonton-Gold Bar and [...]