The prospect of a Rachel Notley-led New Democrat government in Alberta terrifies Premier Jim Prentice, the Harper Conservatives and their Big Oil backers.
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It is election day in Alberta and before I have anything else to say, I have this important thing to say: VOTE!
It will only take a few minutes but it is fundamentally important to our province. Before the campaign started, many pundits were predicting a strong PC majority and very low voter turnout. But, by today, we have laid witness to one of the most profound and interesting campaigns of the last 44 years. Be a part of it.
Without further adieu, I would like to outline a few close races to watch for as the results pour in (Read more…)
I have a question for you, dear reader. What factor was the biggest factor that drove your voting decision in the 2012 Alberta election? Did you base your vote on a platform, a leader, a party, a local candidate or was it a combination of two or more factors?
The 2011 Canadian Election Study asked a similar question of 2500 voters after they voted in the 2011 federal election. Responding to the question, “Which of the following was most important in your decision to vote for this party,” most voters said they liked the policies of the party they voted for (Read more…)
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…)
Former NDP leader Brian Mason in a couple of typical poses, above and below. I’ll bet you didn’t know he was a terrific political blogger too!
Jim Prentice is Alberta’s first Wildrose premier and he will soon call a snap election to ensure he can push forward a Wildrose program of using temporarily low oil prices as justification to roll back public sector salaries, attack pensions, reintroduce health care premiums and lay off nurses and teachers.
This sharp and credible warning comes from someone who should be better known as a political blogger than he is, a shrewd analyst of (Read more…)
Led by Premier Jim Prentice, members of the PC cabinet try to get away from the issue of gay-straight alliances in Alberta schools. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice, Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman and caucus rebel Thomas Lukaszuk.
The spectacular incompetence exhibited by the Prentice Government in its effort to curry favour with social conservatives by scuttling an opposition MLA’s private bill to protect gay-straight peer support groups in Alberta’s schools is breathtaking, reminiscent of the Redford Government’s lowlights.
This is “new management”?
Late yesterday, Premier Jim Prentice tried to press the (Read more…)
Alberta civil servants: do you get the feeling someone may have their eye on you? Below: Agents of change Richard Dicerni, Ian Brodie, Oryssia Lennie and Steve West.
Premier Jim Prentice says he intends to “reform” Alberta’s public service, fix its low morale, reverse its “shocking” turnover and deal with its other “very significant problems.”
He’s appointed a former senior federal civil servant and well-connected business professor to be his “agent of change,” along with a couple of right-hand persons to assist with this change agentry. Their work will start immediately.
Sounds way better, huh, than former premier Alison (Read more…)
Premier Jim Prentice, with pointer, instructs his Progressive Conservative caucus on how they will vote on Bill 10. Actual docile PC caucus members may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman as she blows the whistle on homophobia in Alberta schools.
Last week, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice tried to frame Bill 10, the hastily cobbled-together response to Bill 202 that we’ll get to read moments before it’s introduced this week, as an effort to balance the rights of LGBTQ students with those of parents and school boards.
Bill 202, Edmonton-Centre MLA (Read more…)
Laurie Blakeman, veteran Alberta Liberal MLA for Edmonton-Centre, flanked by a couple of her friends at the 2014 Edmonton Pride Parade. Below: Premier Jim Prentice and Education Minister Gordon Dirks.
By choosing yesterday to put the right of citizens to use their religious beliefs as an excuse for bigotry on the same level as the right of citizens not to be victims of bigotry, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and his Progressive Conservative Government chose to tolerate, if not encourage, anti-gay bullying in schools.
Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.
No matter what’s in Mr. Prentice’s promised amendments to (Read more…)
Ian Donovan, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and Kerry Towle at yesterday afternoon’s floor-crossing news conference in the Legislature Building. (Ici Radio-Canada photo.) Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and quotable former prime ministers Harold Wilson, Brian Mulroney and Winston Churchill.
There was the cruelest sort of irony in the battering suffered yesterday by Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition, which lost two MLAs to the apparently rejuvenated Progressive Conservative Party of Premier Jim Prentice.
Kerry Towle, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake and last week the party’s seniors and human services critic, and Ian Donovan, MLA for Little Bow and the party’s agriculture (Read more…)
Steady as she goes! Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, centre, works to keep party stalwarts, on either side, on the right course, which would be not too far to the right, of course. Alberta Premier Prentice, at the wheel above, tries to get the earnest Wildrosers to take a wrong turn. Actual Alberta conservative party leaders, supporters and their political vehicles may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and the real Ms. Smith.
Both of Alberta’s right-wing parties held general meetings this weekend – the ever-ruling Progressive Conservatives in Banff and the so-far never-ruling Wildrose Party in (Read more…)
Sometime toward the end of November, the Alberta government will release their 2nd quarter fiscal update. Finance Minister Robin Campbell will likely tell us that the second quarter was another good quarter but that the good news is coming to an end and the 1st quarter projection of a $3 Billion bonus will be revised. The reason of course is that oil prices are down again. The budget projected $95 oil (WTI) and today’s spot price is under $79. For every drop of one dollar in the price of oil (WTI) the government treasury loses $215 million.
As much as Premier Jim Prentice wants (Read more…)
This just in from Alberta’s two conservative parties. Below: former Alberta Health Services CFO Allaudin Merali, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, MLA Joe Anglin (CBC Photo), Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, former health minister Fred Horne.
Alberta’s governing Progressive Conservative Party and its Opposition Wildrose Party, in addition to sharing an identical right-wing ideology, face a similar problem this morning, a situation and a person each party would very much like to see go away as quickly as possible.
In each case the circumstances have the potential to embarrass each party seriously enough with voters to impact its chances in the next (Read more…)
Last week, I wrote about the 7 things to watch in the four October 27th by-elections and now that the results are in, I thought I would revisit the questions.
1. How many ridings will the PCs hold?
Premier Jim Prentice (credit: Dave Cournoyer)
The PC’s go 4 for 4! Despite the fact that these were Tory strongholds and that the PC vote share was down considerably, this is a big win for Prentice and demonstrates that the electorate is willing to give him a shot without making his party wear too much of the Redford stain.
2. Who will (Read more…)
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…)
By-elections are being held in four ridings across Alberta on October 27th. This mini-election, of sorts, is needed to elect Premier Jim Prentice and two of his cabinet ministers to the legislative assembly. More importantly, the four races will serve as a weather vane in the rapidly shifting winds of politics in Alberta today.
We shouldn’t read too much into the face value results because Jim’s team is risk averse and has chosen circumstances that will lead to favourable results and at the same time, by-elections give the electorate a safe place to punish governing parties without dramatically affecting the party (Read more…)
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…)
A flight steward welcomes well-connected passengers aboard a chartered government of Alberta flight sometime in the near future. But don’t worry about it. You’ll never know if Alberta’s privatized air services are not exactly as illustrated because there will be no accountability. Below: Premier Jim Prentice, the business guru who came up with this scheme; Edmonton Journal political columnist Graham Thomson.
Alberta’s mainstream media seems to have discovered at last that selling off the government’s air fleet to expunge the embarrassment of Alison Redford’s premiership is not necessarily an astute business move, and is most definitely unfair to the 27 (Read more…)
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…)
Opposition party members prepare to run against the Progressive Conservative candidates, uncertain why they are being made to race with sacks on their feet while the Tories aren’t. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. New faces below: The NDP’s Jennifer Burgess; the Tories’ Mike Ellis.
Premier Jim Prentice called a news conference yesterday morning in Calgary and announced, as widely expected, that he and his two likewise-unelected cabinet ministers will run in by-elections to be held within the shortest time frame legally possible.
Unexpected was that Mr. Prentice himself would run for the Progressive Conservative Party in (Read more…)
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith introduces her party’s Edmonton-Whitemud candidate, Tim, Grover, at a news conference in the riding yesterday. Below: NDP Candidate Dr. Bob Turner, Mr. Grover again, and former Edmonton mayor, unelected health minister and PC candidate Stephen Mandel.
In the race to knock off an unelected health minister whose main qualification is that he’s a former elected mayor, it’s a commentary on the state of Alberta that a distinguished hematologist, oncologist and medical school teacher stands far less of a chance of pulling off an upset than a young entrepreneur whose businesses are not even named in his (Read more…)