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Alberta Politics: Alberta shows why there will be no NDP-Liberal entente, Nathan Cullen’s mistimed musing notwithstanding

PHOTOS: Loose-lipped New Democrat Nathan Cullen – whatever was he thinking? Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, former Alberta Liberal leader Raj Sherman, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP strategist Ian Capstick. Whatever Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen was thinking when he flapped his lips to the delight of the conservative mainstream media about how […]

The post Alberta shows why there will be no NDP-Liberal entente, Nathan Cullen’s mistimed musing notwithstanding appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Two polls, widely different results, and Postmedia only reports one – what gives?

PHOTOS: “It is indeed Christmas in July for Conservatives!” Maybe it’s July, but is this guy really Santa Claus? Below: Pollsters Quito Maggi and Lorne Bozinoff. A Forum Research Inc. interactive voice response poll conducted on Tuesday of this week indicates 34 per cent of decided voters plan to vote NDP, 29 per cent to […]

The post Two polls, widely different results, and Postmedia only reports one – what gives? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Fast food and fair wages: What happens when a good idea from Alberta hits the big time in New York?

PHOTOS: New York, New York … You gotta love it! Below: Fast food, New York City style. Below that: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Alberta’s New Democratic Party government got a powerful boost from an unexpected quarter yesterday for its plan, which is controversial among certain well-heeled interest groups, […]

The post Fast food and fair wages: What happens when a good idea from Alberta hits the big time in New York? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Lawyer, businessman and long-time Tory Douglas Goss steps aside as U of A board chair

PHOTOS: University of Alberta Board Chair Douglas Goss at the infamous Melcor Five news conference on May 1. Below: New University of Alberta President David Turpin, who took over on July 1, and former U of A provost Carl Amrhein, now the deputy minister of health in the Alberta government. Lawyer, businessman and long-time Tory […]

The post Lawyer, businessman and long-time Tory Douglas Goss steps aside as U of A board chair appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Tory sale of government air fleet was a terrible business decision, executed incompetently

PHOTOS: Not this Beechcraft King Air, maybe, but three a lot like it are now plying the friendly skies of North Dakota, which is a great deal for their new owner thanks to the generous former government of Alberta. Below: The unsold Alberta Government Dash 8, and former Conservative Alberta premiers Alison Redford and Jim […]

The post Tory sale of government air fleet was a terrible business decision, executed incompetently appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Who ends up allied with whom in a ‘Pizza Parliament’? It may not be as simple as you think

ILLUSTRATIONS: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, left, and Conservative Leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, get together in a liaison dangereuse … actual Canadian politicians may not behave exactly as predicted, or expected. Below: The real Mr. Harper, NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, the real Mr. Trudeau and notorious Republican political consultant Karl Rove. Today’s […]

The post Who ends up allied with whom in a ‘Pizza Parliament’? It may not be as simple as you think appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: It was Greek to me #nlpoli

After days of intense talks,  the Europeans apparently have finally reached a final deal to help Greece out of its latest financial misery.

Greece is broke.  With a gross domestic product of about US$238 billion, the country had a government debt of about US$346 billion.  Some of the country’s banks have very low reserves of cash.  People have already made a rush and withdrawn their money from them.  This has forced the government to impose a tight limit on withdrawals in order to avoid a bank collapse of the type that hit Newfoundland in 1894.

Under the new deal,  the European Union will place officials in key parts of the Greek government in order to ensure that the Greeks actually implement reforms that are part of the bail-out deal.

It’s a tough response, but then again the Greeks are in a tough economic spot.  The third tough spot, since 2009. . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: It was Greek to me #nlpoli

Alberta Politics: Is anyone seriously surprised Alberta’s books might be in worse shape that we were told?

PHOTOS: Uh-oh! Newly appointed NDP chiefs of staff start to check the books left by the now-departed Prentice Government, and they don’t like what they’re finding. Actual government political staffers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Joe Ceci and Provincial Gadfly Joe Anglin. Can anyone honestly say they were surprised to hear […]

The post Is anyone seriously surprised Alberta’s books might be in worse shape that we were told? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes?

PHOTOS: A screen shot from the new Harper Government anti-Tom-Mulcair advertisement. Actual Harper government plagiarism may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Scenes from the nearly identical 2011 Manitoba NDP 30-second spot and 2015 Harper Con spot. If political ads were popular songs, the Manitoba NDP would probably be getting ready to sue the Harper […]

The post Does advertising plagiarism suggest Harper Government’s running on intellectual fumes? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Pandermonium #nlpoli

You can tell the election is already going on.  You can tell because of what some of the political workers are doing.

The Liberals are going door-to-door.  They are meeting voters.  They are asking for their votes.  Then the campaign workers write on Twitter and Facebook.about the “glorious day” of campaigning  they’d had.

Politicians tweet as well. The candidates tweet about their campaigning. The elected politicians tweet about the meeting they went to, or a government comment, or questions in the House of Assembly. 

Taking a lesson he learned from Reform Conservative turned Grit turned provincial Conservative Steve Kent, provincial Connie turned Grit Paul Lane goes places,  takes a picture of himself there, tweets it, and then frigs off somewhere else. The selfie makes it look like he stayed at the event.  That’s how he can be in so many places at the same time.

Lane also posts . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Political Pandermonium #nlpoli

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: And now for the hard part … getting businesses and right-wing commentators to curb their hysteria

PHOTOS: Alberta NDP premier-elect Rachel Notley at the centre of media attention. Below: NDP premiers Dave Barrett of British Columbia and Bob Rae of Ontario, back in the day; columnist and NDP activist Gerald Caplan. And now, the hard part … If you thought overcoming the supposed Progressive Conservative juggernaut piloted by hastily departing premier […]

The post And now for the hard part … getting businesses and right-wing commentators to curb their hysteria appeared first on Alberta Politics.

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: NDP leadership rules screw local businesses #nlpoli

Any of the small, local printing companies who usually make a fair bit of cash from political campaigns can keep their printing presses chilled during the upcoming NDP leadership campaign.

Any candidates who make it past the other restrictions must print any campaign materials like flyers and householders in unionized printing plants. The campaign rules released on Wednesday are plain:

“Candidates shall not use non-unionized companies for the production of any campaign material.,  where such services are available.”

That’s great for the largest printer in the province but it shuts out pretty every other shop. 

Dictatorship of (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: NDP votes for “More of the Same” #nlpoli

Gerry Rogers is smiling again now that Earle McCurdy has agreed to be the NDP Kevin Aylward.

If Earle had decided to stay retired,  Gerry was the substitute leader the key inside factions of the party had tapped to fill-in until after the next election.  Rogers would have had to take one for the team, just like her Liberal namesake did in 2007.

Now that McCurdy is in, the party executive will announce some leadership process that either completely avoids a convention (like the Conservatives in 2010) or puts up a sham competition (as in the NDP 2014 leadership review).

Drew Brown recently likened the next NDP leader to the Liberal’s last-minute substitute in 2011.  Fair enough.  Any possible change for the party will come in the future.

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The Void #nlpoli

For its last editorial of 2014,  the Telegram decided to discuss the fate of the province’s New Democrats.

A quick summary:  things were good for the Dippers.  Now things are not so good.  This isn’t just a local thing.  It’s happening nationally.  Lorraine Michael has said in year-end interviews she likely won’t be around for long after the next election.

Lorraine has been wonderful, the editorial says. It good that she’s going to leave.  After all , why “would Michael want to obscure her legacy by presiding over such lean times?”

Talk about ending on a wrong note.

(Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Rational. Disciplined. Principled. #nlpoli

Back at the start of the current Conservative administration in 2003, they were very sharply aware of the problem with using one-time revenues for day-to-day spending.

They were so concerned about using that one-time money that they tried to get the federal government to do the impossible, namely give the provincial government here a permanent handout equal to oil revenues, in addition to the oil revenues that the provincial government collected.

Then they tried to get the federal government to exclude those one-time revenues from the Equalization formula so the provincial government could get the oil money and the hand-out at the same time. That didn’t work either.

The one thing the Conservatives didn’t do – for all their rhetoric about independence – was to act like a responsible, independent government.  They didn’t manage public finances for the long haul.

(Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Looking towards childcare in Canada, with lessons from Sweden

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141016-childcare.mp3

 

This week, the federal NDP reignited a national debate over childcare by proposing a universal $15 per day childcare program. This is the focus of today’s episode, which features two guests. First up, Angela MacEwen. Angella is an economist with the Canadian Labour Congress and has long been a strong advocate for public childcare in Canada. I spoke with her about the economics of universal childcare.

My second guest is Petter Nilssen, who is the press secretary for the Left Party in the Stockholm municipality and is a board member of the Institute for Marxist (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta may be under ‘new management,’ but we’re getting the same old bait ’n’ switch tactics in health care!

Premier Jim Prentice and Health Minister Stephen Mandel, both PC candidates in the Oct. 27 four-seat mini-election, at yesterday’s “Bed Blocker” news conference in Edmonton. Below: NDP candidate Dr. Bob Turner and Liberal Candidate Dr. Donna Wilson, RN, both running against Mr. Mandel, ex-mayor; Seniors Minister Jeff Johnson; and AHS CEO Vickie Kaminski.

Unelected Premier Jim Prentice and his appointed Health Minister Stephen Mandel held a news conference in Edmonton yesterday afternoon to demonstrate they’re doing something decisive about Alberta’s embarrassing “bed blocker” problem and, no doubt, aid both their by-election campaigns on Oct. 27.

“Bed blocker” is an uncomplimentary (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…)

The Ranting Canadian: Doug Ford should drop out of the Toronto mayoral race – he is…

Doug Ford should drop out of the Toronto mayoral race – he is splitting the anti-John Tory vote. John Tory should drop out of the mayoral race because he is splitting the anti-Doug Ford vote. They should both drop out because they are both splitting the pro-Chow vote.

If that sounds silly or presumptuous, then think of how arrogant and pretentious it sounds to Chow supporters (or NDP supporters in federal and provincial elections) that progressive-minded people should roll over, abandon their principles and “strategically” vote against their own interests just because one right-wing, pro-corporate, anti-labour, elitist candidate “isn’t as (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Brian Gallant has a thin resume? Stephen Harper hasn’t held a real job since he quit the mailroom in ’79 or whenever!

New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: Cranky old National Post opinion thingy Kelly McParland, age undetermined; Justin Trudeau, 42, getting off an airplane with some old guy, 62; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59.

As the present now will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ …

— Bob Dylan (age 73)

If anyone has the right to be bitter about bright young Liberal leaders with good looks, great hair and supposedly thin resumes like those of New Brunswick (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Be careful what you ask for! Jim Prentice walks away with the Wildrose political play book

Premier Jim Prentice. Below: Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith and former party strategist Tom Flanagan, this time on the button.

As the expression goes: be careful what you ask for! You might just get it.

There is irony – perhaps even bitter irony – in what newly minted Alberta Premier Jim Prentice managed to do to the Wildrose Opposition last week and will likely continue to do to them this week as well.

As he attempts to right the leaky Progressive Conservative ship of state, which nearly sank during the inept captaincy of fired premier Alison Redford, he has not (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: I Am Hoping for NDP Voices in the NB Legislature to Help Families Advocate for An Adult Autism Care Facility

The picture above is from Conor’s 2nd Birthday on February 2,  1998.  The next day we received his autism disorder diagnosis, described initially as Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified,  six months after various tests and six months after requesting medical attention because we did not understand his lack of development and we were concerned.  Shortly thereafter as his deficits became more obvious and pronounced the diagnois was changed to Autistic Disorder now part of the DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder. An age 2 diagnosis was rare in those days. Conor at 3.  Over the first year, post (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: I Am Hoping for NDP Voices in the NB Legislature to Help Families Advocate for An Adult Autism Care Facility

Alberta Diary: Rob Anders, Canada’s Worst MP, has been handed his great big hat a second time

Calgary West MP Rob Anders waves farewell from the back of a pickup truck, a type of vehicle that along with firearms was numbered among his most loved things. Below: Nomination victor Martin Shields; Mr. Anders in one of his favourite poses, with a great big pistol, and asleep in the House of Commons.

Leaving so soon, Mr. Anders? Here’s your hat.

Long before Canadians had the Ford Brothers to humiliate them around the globe, there was Rob Anders, the hardy perennial of the Canadian loony right – elected six times over 17 years by the inattentive voters (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Unelected and unknown education minister looms as first major blunder of Jim Prentice’s New Tory Government

Still on track? Jim Prentice’s New Tory Government experiences its first full day of governing. Below: Unelected Education Minister Gordon Dirks.

The appointment of Gordon Dirks as unelected minister of education by Premier Jim Prentice on his first day in office has the potential to become the first serious political blunder of Alberta’s New Tory Government.

Mr. Prentice obviously intended the appointment of Mr. Dirks, a former Saskatchewan cabinet minister and Calgary public school trustee, to be a powerful symbol of dramatic change in the troubled 43-year-old Progressive Conservative dynasty he now leads.

If no one knew much about Mr. (Read more…)