Politics and its Discontents: On Voter Engagement

One of the purported panaceas for electoral disaffection, subscribed to by many, is some form of proportional representation, a subject upon which I admit to being poorly-schooled. Beyond some of the basic arguments both for and against PR, I know little. However, one of the most frequently-stated reasons for embracing it is that it would ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Don Iveson asks: Do you support LRT expansion?

Tweet Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson took the the streets, and then to YouTube, to ask Edmontonians if they support expansion of Edmonton’s Light Rail Transit system. The campaign is part of Mr. Iveson’s bid to convince provincial and federal politicians to support the expansion of Edmonton’s light rail transit system, a key part of the ...

Bill Longstaff: From the Wildrose, an interesting idea

Alberta’s Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith has offered what on the surface sounds like a good idea. Her party is proposing the province transfer 10 per cent of all its taxes—personal and corporate income taxes, education tax, tobacco tax and fuel tax—and 10 per cent of any budget surplus, to municipalities to spend as they see ...

Politics and its Discontents: On The Perils Of Retirement

As a retiree, I occasionally think that maybe I have too much time on my hands – too much time to follow politics, especially its more sordid aspects which, sadly, seem to define almost all politics today. National, provincial and municipal affairs appear beset with a kind of self-indulgence and selfishness (perhaps the two are ...

Politics and its Discontents: This Is Why They Can’t Have Nice Things In Toronto

Watch below as reputed drug dealer Councillor Doug Ford thuggishly engages in some sanctimonious and hypocritical grandstanding in ‘defence’ of his hapless brother: As well, you might want to read Joe Fiorito’s piece in today’s Star on the inanity and hypocrisy of those who still support Rob Ford. Recommend this Post

Bill Longstaff: Buying Calgay’s civic election with a little help from Preston Manning

Alberta’s election funding rules are notoriously weak. Those applying to municipal elections are no exception. The essentials can easily be summarized: no spending limits, contributions limited to $5,000 a year (the candidate may contribute up to $10,000 of his own funds), and the candidate must file a disclosure statement of contributions over $100. Candidates are ...

Alberta Diary: Campaign Diary Volume 7: It’s Nomination Day … ‘In for a penny, in for a pound!’

That’s me, David Climenhaga, candidate for St. Albert City Council, handing over my nomination papers yesterday morning to city Chief Legislative Officer Chris Belke. Below: Checking my papers one last time; pausing at the entrance to the East Boardroom of St. Albert Place, where yesterday’s democratic action took place. “In for a penny, in for ...

Alberta Diary: Got trouble with ‘overbearing urban planners’? The Manning Centre wants to help!

A civic election all-candidates’ meeting in Calgary. “Why don’t we pass the time with a game of solitaire?” Actual Manning Centre supported candidates may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Manning Centre namesake Preston Manning; Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi; Calgary developer Cal Wenzel (CTV photo). If on Oct. 21 the market-fundamentalist slate trained and sponsored ...

Alberta Diary: Campaign Diary Vol. 1: The actual dark secret of democratic politics

The front page of Saturday’s St. Albert Gazette. A good first week of campaigning. ST. ALBERT, Alberta Well, I reckon the first week of my campaign for city council here in St. Albert has to be judged a success – at least by the measure of the excellent coverage I received in our two local ...

Politics and its Discontents: Rick Salutin on Civic Embarassment

We are in Edmonton right now, and when people ask us where we are from, I mention our community as being about 70 kilometers from Toronto; I then hasten to add that we have nothing to do with Rob Ford, one whose escapades every westerner we meet seems to be well aware of. Never have ...

Alberta Diary: Blame Ralph Klein for Redford Government’s messy regional planning crisis

Representatives of Edmonton region municipalities discuss regional planning issues at a recent meeting. Actual municipal reps may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths; Ralph Klein with Steve West. The foundations of the regional planning crisis that prompted a frustrated Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths to threaten Edmonton-area municipalities with ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Polarized Politics

Well aware that the universe does not revolve around the City of Toronto, which is within an hour’s drive of my abode, I rarely write posts that pertain to it. I make an infrequent exception today because of a greater truth that the risible antics of its mayor gives rise to. It is hardly a ...

Bill Longstaff: City charters—progress for Calgary and Edmonton?

The municipal level of government is the orphan of our political system. Cities are, under the Constitution, creatures of the provinces. In 1867, making municipalities wards of the provinces may have made sense; most people lived on farms or in small towns serving the farms. Eighty per cent of Canadians were rural. Today, eighty per ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Small-Mindedness of Rob Ford

It has been said that to be a great leader, a person has to have a great vision. I’ll let you decide where Toronto May Rob Ford fits into this equation by reading this story about what he thinks people should be marching and demonstrating for. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Crippled General Laid Bare

That is the phrase Star columnist Royson James uses to describe Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Even if you live nowhere near the city, his analysis of power misused and abused makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the mentality and tactics of the right-wing. Recommend this Post