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Calgary Grit: A Beginner’s Guide to Alberta Politics II

Blogging has been sporadic of late, but with Alberta barrelling towards an election, now is likely a good time for another Alberta Politics FAQ. When will the next Alberta election be?

Alberta’s fixed-ish election date legislation calls for a vote between March 1st and May 31st, 2016. Prentice, being a true reformer at heart, has said he will respect this. Really?

Ha ha. No, of course not. Most expect an election call to immediately follow the March 26th budget.

Alberta’s fixed election date law has proven to be about as binding as Alberta’s balanced budget law. So who’s going to (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: #abvote Google Hangout with MLA Laurie Blakeman

It has been a banner month for Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman. At the start of last week, the Progressive Conservative government did a 180 degree flip to endorse Ms. Blakeman’s bid to allow students to create Gay-Straight Alliances in Alberta schools. By… Continue Reading →

Susan on the Soapbox: Laurie Blakeman Takes a Symbolic Step…in the Wrong Direction

Crikey!

On Friday Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman announced that she’ll be running as a candidate for the Liberals, the Alberta Party and the Greens in the upcoming election…

…and on Sunday Ms Soapbox announced to her dad that she’d joined the NDP. He swears he’ll never speak to her again.

While I applaud the efforts of progressive MLAs and party leaders to cooperate I fail to understand how Ms Blakeman’s decision gets the progressives anywhere.

As journalist Graham Thomson points out this isn’t a merger of the Liberals, the Alberta Party and the Greens and it’s not a (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Candidate nomination update on International Women’s Day

In recognition of International Women’s Day, today’s candidate update focuses specifically on the total number of women nominated to run for Alberta’s political parties in the upcoming provincial election. Women make up the majority of our population, but they rarely come even… Continue Reading →

In This Corner: Stuff happens, week 9: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the dumbest of them all?

The halo over Jim Prentice is getting more and more tarnished. Prentice, who has been on a PR offensive over his upcoming budget and unnecessary and illegal election, put his foot in it on CBC Radio on Thursday. Prentice told listeners that when it comes to Alberta’s economic woes, everyone is to blame; or, as he put it, “In terms of who is responsible, we all need only look in the mirror, right?” It’s partly true, of course, but by far the biggest share of the blame belongs to the PC party. But that’s a subtlety lost on the (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Tuesday candidate nomination update in Alberta

Alberta’s New Democrats demonstrated some organizational strength last weekend as close to 400 supporters packed the TransAlta Arts Barns to watch party leader Rachel Notley accept the nomination to be a candidate in Edmonton-Strathcona. On hand for the unofficial NDP… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Sunday candidate nomination update in Alberta

Some Progressive Conservative Party supporters are privately expressing frustration with the decision by Premier Jim Prentice and his cabinet ministers to openly campaign and endorse incumbent PC MLAs facing nomination challenges. One PC member who contacted this blogger described it as… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Monday morning candidate nomination updates in Alberta

The Progressive Conservatives held their first “Super Saturday” on Feb. 21, 2015, during which contested nominations were held in seven constituencies. The handful of contested PC nominations have been overshadowed by the nearly forty acclamations by incumbent PC MLAs across the province…. Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta Politics Round-Up: Redford and the Opposition

An investigation into former Premier Alison Redford‘s use of government airplanes has been closed and no charges will be laid, the RCMP announced yesterday. In 2014, Premier Dave Hancock and Justice Minister Jonathan Denis asked the RCMP to investigate findings made… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Who will stop the Jim Prentice juggernaut?

The past few months have been a sobering reminder that it foolish to underestimate the staying power of Alberta’s 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives. A year ago the scandal ridden PC Government appeared to be on the verge of collapse. And now,… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Election Alert! PCs set March 15 nomination deadline!

The Progressive Conservatives gave hints today that they could be preparing for a Spring 2015 provincial election. Reported by the Calgary Herald and confirmed by sources close to this blogger, the PC Party has set a deadline for candidates to be nominated… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Will Liberal wild card spoil NDP gains in Edmonton?

TweetTwo polls released in the final weeks of 2014 could give an indication of the direction Alberta political might take in 2015. The polls show Jim Prentice‘s Progressive Conservatives dominating in Calgary and rural Alberta. And with Wildrose Party support in decline across the province, Mr. Prentice could be tempted to call an election sometime in early 2015. The polls … Continue reading Will Liberal wild card spoil NDP gains in Edmonton?

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Top 10 moments in Alberta Politics in 2014

TweetIn my nearly ten years writing about politics in Alberta on this blog, 2014 was easily the most exciting. The sheer number of scandals, controversies, fumbles and resignations made for new content on a daily basis. If I had the time and resources, I could have easily written three or four posts a day for most of … Continue reading Top 10 moments in Alberta Politics in 2014

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: What a year 2015 has been in Alberta politics!

TweetDecember 29, 2015 Column by: Dirk Pranter, Provincial Affairs columnist, Edmonton Journal-Sun Tories re-elected for 14th time A snap mid-Summer election returned Jim Prentice’s renamed “Conservative Party of Alberta” to its fourteenth term as government. In an unexpected twist of fate, Finance Minister Danielle Smith was defeated in her home riding by Wildrose Party leader Randy Thorsteinson. But don’t feel sorry for … Continue reading What a year 2015 has been in Alberta politics!

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015

TweetAs 2014 reminded us, politics can be an extraordinarily unpredictable and forecasting the future can be a tricky business for political pundits. Aside from the obvious choice of Premier Jim Prentice, here is a list of a dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015. Rob Anderson (Airdrie): The outspoken rookie MLA left the PC Caucus in 2010 … Continue reading A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015 →

Alberta Diary: Enough with the fantasy Wildrose was Alberta’s best opposition, already! It’s baloney!

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…)

Alberta Diary: Jim Prentice revealed as Hayek ‘disciple’; Heather Forsyth to lead Wildrose rump; Preston Manning says he’s sorry … and more!

A crowd of typical Albertans reacts to the news Danielle Smith and most of her caucus have gone and joined Premier Jim Prentice’s PCs. Below: Mr. Prentice; neoliberal saint Friedrich Hayek; Preston Manning, who is really, really sorry he didn’t counsel a vote or something; interim Wildrose Leader Heather Forsyth; and new Tory MLA Gary Bikman.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think the most interesting news tidbit yesterday was that Heather Forsyth will become the new “Wildrump” leader, Preston Manning’s peculiar apology for accidentally uniting the right, the government’s sneaky tuition fee increases, or even the poll (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Has the Wildrose Party outlived its purpose?

TweetAnyone already cynical about politics in Alberta will have their views reinforced with yesterday’s announcement that Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and eight of her party’s MLAs have abandoned their role as the Official Opposition and joined the 43-year governing Progressive Conservatives. After a five hour meeting of the PC Caucus at Government House, Premier Jim Prentice and Ms. Smith walked […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose wilts as Danielle Smith joins the PC Party

TweetFor four years, Progressive Conservatives told Albertans not to trust those kooky and scary Wildrosers. At the same time, the Wildrosers told Albertans not to trust those crooked and corrupt PCs. Today, it now appears that the leaders of the two parties have now put the past four years behind them and are joining forces. Following a […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Is the Wildrose Caucus about to merge with the PC Caucus?

Tweet Are more Wildrose MLAs preparing to cross the floor to the Progressives Conservatives? Independent MLA Joe Anglin has told reporters that Danielle Smith‘s 15 MLA Wildrose Official Opposition Caucus will vote on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 on whether to join the governing PC Caucus. Mr. Anglin’s comments, claims published on an anonymously blog and tweets from conservative activists fuelled the rumours […]

Alberta Diary: Did you hear the one about the health minister’s Twitter followers? Neither did they!

Alberta Health Minister and bowtie enthusiast Stephen Mandel. A lot of his Twitter followers aren’t real people. Below: NDP Leader Rachel Notley. She doesn’t have as many Twitter followers, but a much higher percentage are real people. But then, what do you expect from New Democrats?

Warning: People you meet on the Internet could turn out to be anyone! Or nobody …

Kids, are you sure that fellow you decided to follow on Twitter, the nice man who says he’s a bowtie enthusiast and loves Edmonton, is really … the minister of health?

And even if this Stephen Mandel guy (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Santa Clause: A holiday gift of biting humour from Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley

NDP Leader Rachel Notley, helping to improve the New Democrats’ game in Alberta. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks, restored Tory MLA Peter Sandhu and former PC cabinet minister Evan Berger; Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.

No one can say Rachel Notley hasn’t upped the Alberta NDP’s game since she was elected party leader in October.

Yesterday, the provincial New Democrats put out a biting public statement on their proposed amendments to Premier Jim Prentice’s so-called Alberta Accountability Act that was funny enough to make me laugh out loud.

The Progressive Conservative government’s Bill 2, as noted in this space earlier (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A timeline of Alberta’s Gay-Straight Alliance debate

TweetIt is sometimes amazing how quickly one political issue can transform and dominate the debate. This week’s raging debate about allowing Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) in Alberta schools has twisted and turned so many times, it has become difficult to figure out who is in and out of the closet on this issue. Wikipedia defines a Gay-Straight […]

Alberta Diary: Maneuver to derail Alberta gay-straight alliance bill shows Prentice Tories will tolerate bullying for political gain

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…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta Tories are swinging right, paradoxically because of the implosion of their right-wing brethren in the Wildrose Party

Family values: Not so long ago they were all swinging left, but now the Progressive Conservative caucus of Premier Jim Prentice is swinging right. Getting ready to launch, from left to right, new PC caucus member Kerry Towle, Mr. Prentice, new caucus member Ian Donovan, and an unidentified former Redford Government cabinet minister. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice, NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark were onto (Read more…)