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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Linda McQuaig responds to the CCCE’s tax spin by pointing out what’s likely motivating the false attempt to be seen to contribute to society at large: Seemingly out of the blue this week, the head honchos of Canada’s biggest companies, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, put out a media release insisting that their taxes are not too low.

This defensive posture — who mentioned murder? — reveals they fear others may be slowly catching on to the massive transfer of wealth to the richest Canadians that’s been going on for the past (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes quits Alberta cabinet – presumably to run for PC leadership

Half-confirmed Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ken Hughes, on the night in 2011 Alison Redford won the party’s leadership. Well, that was then and this is now, as the appalled looking unidentified passerby sensed to have sensed. Below: Doug Horner. Anyone else?

Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister quit his cabinet post yesterday, by the sound of it because he intends to run for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.

If that’s the reason for Ken Hughes unexpectedly showing up in one of the back rows of the Legislature’s latest seating chart – he didn’t give a lot of notice that (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Good advice for Alberta New Democrats from Quebec: this time, make it easy for voters to support you

Ray Guardia, one of the key architects of the federal NDP’s 2011 breakthrough in Quebec, at yesterday’s closing session of the Broadbent Institute’s 2014 Progress Summit in Ottawa. Below: Environmental activist Tzeporah Berman.


Here’s a tip for Alberta New Democrats from one of the principal architects of Jack Layton’s historic 2011 Quebec campaign: don’t tell voters they’re stupid because they’ve been voting Tory for 43 years.

Ray Guardia was too diplomatic, of course, to put it quite like that in a panel discussion yesterday on winning progressive campaigns during the final session of the Broadbent Institute’s 2014 Progress Summit (Read more…) - Alberta politics: New poll shows Albertans love their Big City Mayors

TweetThe same poll that showed former Premier Alison Redford with a 75% disapproval rating also showed urban Albertans have huge confidence in the leadership of their big city mayors. Previously unpublished questions from the same poll conducted by Marc Henry‘s ThinkHQ and provided to showed Edmonton mayor Don Iveson and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi with […]

Autonomy For All: Nenshi: Right About LRTs, Wrong About Ideology

Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi visited Toronto last week and made some sensible comments about LRTs.  He also made some mushy and poorly reasoned comments about ideology, his ideas are popular, but fundamentally wrong and beliefs like this actually hinder progress on issues people care about.  You cannot wish away ideology.  It doesn’t go out of style because it is simply how you view the world, and how you think a better world can be made.  Here’s what he said: “Here’s the thing: nobody cares about those old labels of left or right and liberal and (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Municipal Voters: Partisan Intervention is Coming Your Way

Did you mistakenly think that the Manning Centre’s attempt to bend the 2013 Calgary municipal election to more “conservative” was an aberration?  You would be quite wrong.

The author of the Metro News article is considerably more charitable than I am about the matter – but then again, he was in Ottawa, not Calgary and didn’t necessarily see the full breadth of the effort on the part of the angry right wing to twist the election. When right-wingers from across the country huddled in Ottawa last weekend for the Manning Networking Conference, they understandably had their eye on the (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Five keys to political success from Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s chief of staff, Chima Nkemdirim

I attended a panel on political best practices this afternoon at the Liberal Party of Canada 2014 biennial in Montreal, and one of the speakers was Chima Nkemdirim, chief of staff to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Describing himself to cheers as a Calgary Liberal, which isn’t always an easy thing to be (I speak from experience as a Liberal BCer), Nkemdirim shared best practices, tips and lessons from Nenshi’s two successful campaigns for mayor – the first of which began with the candidate literally polling at 0 – including these five keys to political success. All Politics is Local (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Alberta cities, province fly the Rainbow Flag for Sochi Olympics

TweetDefying the stereotypes of Alberta as a conservative backwater, Rainbow Pride Flag are flying outside of city halls in Edmonton, Calgary and St. Albert and the Alberta Legislature today in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Russia. The a small but powerful gesture is a sign of support for a community that has become the target […]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Cal Wenzel Hasn’t Got A Leg To Stand On

I didn’t think much of Wenzel’s allegations when he filed his lawsuit.  After reading the statement of defence filed by Naheed Nenshi today, I don’t think Wenzel has much to work with.

Perhaps the most damaging to Wenzel’s case is a series of tweets by Wenzel’s supporters referring to him as “The Godfather” – before the interview in which Nenshi allegedly defamed Wenzel by referring to him as “The Godfather”.

I think more concerning than the lawsuit itself (which is truly “pass the popcorn” political theatre) is the response of Alberta Justice regarding alleged funding irregularities in the (Read more…) - 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 […]

Calgary Grit: 2013: Year in Review

January: SunTV applies for corporate welfare, arguing that they cannot survive unless the government forces people to watch them.

Later this year, they would give Rob and Doug Ford their own show…before cancelling it faster than Lucky 7.

Whoever could have guessed this fine young man would find himself at the centre of so much controversy?

February: Patrick Brazeau is knocked out of the Tory caucus. While the Senate has yet to change rules around travel expenses, they were quick to pass a “no pictures of senators in thongs” bill.

March: In what was really the only (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad!

TweetWherever you find yourself these this week, I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy your time in the warm company of family and friends. Merry Christmas. As is annual tradition, some of Alberta’s leading politicians delivered their seasonal greetings through online video this week. Tweet

Calgary Grit: The Year in Photos

You know what they say: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have

Those left-wing media elites at the Toronto Sun have always had it in for Ford.

Tim Hortons provides the ultimate pick-me-up for a normally subdued Rob Ford

Harper deals with the Senate scandal.

Even at 79, he still looks better than Stockwell Day in a wetsuit

$20 says they’re telling Paul Martin jokes

Mulcair’s “pro-lettuce” stance is the kind of populist policy sure to excite voters

While Harper’s help with flood relief was appreciated, I can’t help but think the owners of this flood (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Year in Photos

Calgary Grit: Quotes of the Year

Scroll to the bottom to vote on your favourite quote…

“I am Conservative. I am a traditionalist. I wish I left Cabinet in the traditional way – with a sex scandal!” -Stephen Fletcher, after being removed from Cabinet

“When I stand back and look at the cast of candidates, even I would pick me. I have to be plain about that.” -Sandra Pupatello

“You know, there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we (Read more…)

Calgary Grit: Persons of the Year

Every December, I like to name a “Person of the Year” – the individual who left their mark on Canadian politics over the past year. The only rules are that the PM is too obvious a choice, and that lame picks (“You!”) are strictly verboten. The Person of the Year doesn’t need to be someone who used the force for the powers of good, or someone I like – just someone who made a difference. So, yeah, crack smoking mayors and disgraced senators are certainly eligible. Below is a list of recent choices:

2012: Allison Redford 2011: Jack (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Alberta politics this week

TweetA new provincial cabinet was sworn-in this morning, one a week after the cabinet shuffle was announced. The original announcement, made by press release at the unusual time of 4:45pm on Friday, December 6, was typical of a tactic used by government when it wants a story to be underreported. After facing a week of […] - Alberta politics: A Christmas cabinet shuffle in Alberta?

TweetWith the Legislative Assembly’s fall sitting coming to an end, can some Progressive Conservative MLAs expect an early Christmas present from their leader, Premier Alison Redford? Nearly half-way through the PC Party’s twelfth term in office and fresh from a leadership review victory, it is expected that Ms. Redford could choose to shuffle her cabinet before […]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: So … Wenzel Is Suing Nenshi?

It came out in the news yesterday that Shane Homes’ president Cal Wenzel has decided to sue Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi over statements made during this year’s election campaign.

At first, I found myself scratching my head over this lawsuit.  Why bother?  It was one sentence in one interview in the middle of an election campaign.  Big deal.

Then it occurred to me – the move is consistent with a SLAPP lawsuit.  In the short term, it has little to do with actual defamation of Cal Wenzel – I think that the leaked video that he was so angry about (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Hope and Debt

TweetThe political battle between the Wildrose opposition and long-governing Progressive Conservatives continued today as the Legislative Assembly resumed for the fall sitting. Debt was the biggest issue of the day. Wildrose leader Danielle Smith jumped at the opportunity to make light of comments Premier Alison Redford made that compared the government’s decision to accept debt financing […]

Susan on the Soapbox: Congratulations Mayor Nenshi!

John Macfarlane, editor of The Walrus,* asks the question: When did society turn against its best and brightest and more importantly, why? He was bemoaning the fact that Torontonians had elected Rob Ford—a man he described as wearing “his ignorance like a badge of honour”—to be their mayor.

Mayor Rob Ford

Mr Macfarlane concludes that the practice of electing idiots to run things is the result of two things: the “nothing is sacred” attitude that developed in the 1960s which led to a devaluation of knowledge and expertise, and the tendency of politicians to put their own selfish interests (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Don Iveson’s win a vote for optimism and smart planning

TweetThere will be plenty of analysis about what last night’s election means for the city of Edmonton. With 132,162 votes – 62% of the vote – Don Iveson earned a commanding victory in the mayoral election over his two main opponents, Karen Leibovici and Kerry Diotte. This is a win for the positive campaign and a […]

Calgary Grit: Alberta Envy

From downtown Toronto, things aren’t looking so bad in “redneck” Alberta these days…

Don Iveson is 34, supports public transit and the arts – and is Edmonton’s new mayor.

…and this guy just got re-elected with over 75% of the vote. - Alberta politics: The new (and old) faces of municipal elections in Alberta

TweetTomorrow is election day and in counties, municipal districts, villages, towns, and cities across the province, Albertans will cast their votes for mayors, reeves, councillors, aldermen, and school trustees. In Calgary, uber-popular mayor Naheed Nenshi is expected to crush his opponents, including former Progressive Conservative MLA Jon Lord and a cast of challengers from the […]

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Pay to Go Politics in YYC

So, yesterday there was an “all candidates forum” sponsored by The Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Urban Development Institute – Calgary and The Canadian Homebuilders Association – Calgary Region.

I did not attend this forum – for several reasons.  We already know that the developer community (or at least notable cabal within that group) have a “bone to pick” with the incumbent city council, and would dearly like to make things more “developer friendly” in the future.  They are entitled to that opinion and to advocate for it.  I have enormous problems with the obvious attempt to sponsor a (Read more…) What the heck is CivicCamp?

Who’s behind these pencils? Where do pencils get their funding from? Pencils are nothing but a left-wing propaganda machine. One pencil wrote in cursive once so all pencils obviously can only be used the same way!

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but play this game whenever I hear some folks talk about CivicCamp in an accusatorial way. Basically you replace the word “CivicCamp” with the word “pencil”. You see, in some circles there is a mis-understanding about what CivicCamp is, which that it is simply a tool. Like a pencil.

It’s not the fault of these folks that they (Read more…)