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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 […]

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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…)

Alberta Diary: Why Edmonton Strathcona electors should vote NDP, as (not exactly) explained by Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland

Toronto Spadina MP Chrystia Freeland, a Liberal, after speaking at the University of Alberta Faculty Club last week. Below: Eleanor Olszewski, nominated Liberal candidate in the federal Edmonton Strathcona riding; Linda Duncan, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona.

Last Wednesday night, during an engaging talk at the University of Alberta Faculty Club, Chrystia Freeland pretty clearly laid out the arguments for why voters in Edmonton Strathcona should re-elect New Democrat Linda Duncan in the next federal election.

The Toronto MP, who is one of the bright lights of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s caucus, wasn’t aiming to make that point, of course. (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The #PCldr Files: Who is the best Tory choice for the coming Wildrose Apocalypse?

Your blogger with PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk. We’re not usually as friendly as this picture makes us look – especially on Twitter. Below: Tory leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice, candidate Ric McIver and the late federal NDP leader Jack Layton.

What Alberta’s foundering Progressive Conservative dynasty needs to do now is pick the leadership candidate most like Jack Layton! Who could that be?

They need to do this because, as Dave Cournoyer, author of the Daveberta.ca blog, shrewdly suggested the other day, the PC Party could now be choosing the next Opposition leader.

After the catastrophe of Alison (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Big by-election in Fort McMurray? Never mind that! As goes Macleod, so goes Alberta…

Fort McMurray, before the Bitumen Boom. Things have changed. Below: Conservative Fort McMurray-Athabasca candidate David Yurdiga, Liberal candidate Kyle Harrietha, NDP candidate Lori McDaniel, former Conservative MP Brian Jean.

If the good people of Fort McMurray climb out of bed this morning and decide to elect a Liberal to represent them in Parliament, there will be shock, dismay and consternation throughout Alberta.

But, fear not my fellow Albertans, even in the unlikely event this happens, it almost certainly won’t mean whatever you are told it means.

Yes, today is the day after the weekend and the day before Canada Day (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Red in Central Canada, blue in Ottawa an immutable rule that favours Harper’s Tories? Don’t bet on it!

Is Justin Trudeau finished because Kathleen Wynne just won in Ontario, like the mainstream media’s pundits are telling you? Don’t be too sure! (Say, as one Twitter commenter asked, who is that old man with Mr. Trudeau?) Below: The same guy with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. Weird! Below them: Lawrence Martin and Tim Harper.

It’s certainly true that the Ontario Liberals are going to miss Progressive Conservative Party Leader Tim Hudak. He was a gift that kept on giving.

But their federal cousins, and the federal NDP as well, can take comfort. They still have Stephen Harper.

So it’s (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ontario election: OK, that didn’t really work … can we get back to being New Democrats now?

Ontario’s victorious Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne last summer. Below: Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

Well! That didn’t work out quite as well as we’d hoped, did it? Can we get back to being New Democrats now?

I speak, of course, of the results of last night’s Ontario provincial election – in which it seems to me from my vantage point out here on the Great Plains that there are lessons in the vote for New Democrats in the west and the New Democrats in Ottawa too.

I realize that the great Canadian tradition of (Read more…)

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The left-wing conservatives #nlpoli

In 2010,  the provincial Conservatives had a chance to reinvigorate their party in time for the 2011 general election.  They deliberately stuck with an interim leader in order to avoid what they considered a potentially decisive leadership contest.

After the 2011 election, the Conservatives kept Kathy Dunderdale, even though she’s made it clear when Danny Williams quit in 2010 that she was planning to retire and had no further political agenda or objectives of her own.

Kathy Dunderdale finally decided to retire in 2014.  The Conservatives had a second chance to reinvigorate their party.  They chose to pass on the chance, opting for a leader picked by some sort of back-room deal.

(Read more…)

The Ranting Canadian: "You’re either with working women and men or you’re…

“You’re either with working women and men or you’re against them.”

- Peter Kormos (1952-2013)

It has been one year since we lost Peter Kormos, a former Ontario MPP who died too young, at the age of 60. Kormos, who died on on March 30, 2013 of natural causes, wasn’t an ordinary politician. He set the bar high, as a political leader and as a member of his community. The above video is a tribute that was played at his memorial last May. It’s 11 minutes long, but it’s worth watching.

For those who don’t know (Read more…)