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Alberta Politics: By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty

PHOTOS: Ed Stelmach in the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Preston Manning, the Godfather of the Canadian right; Stelmach’s finance minister, Ted Morton; New Democrat political strategist Brian Topp. Ed Stelmach, the last good premier the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party managed to elect, spoke up yesterday about the tactics used by his party […]

The post By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Wednesday night candidate nomination update in Alberta

I have made the following updates to the list of nominees and nomination candidates planning to run in Alberta’s next provincial election. Please email david.cournoyer [at] gmail.com if you have additions to the list. Thank you. Bonnyville-Cold Lake: City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta can’t afford to ignore the Provincial Sales Tax

“Rat-free, PST-free and Liberal-free” has been a Conservative mantra in Alberta since the reign of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. But is this trifecta now in jeopardy? The decline of government revenues caused by the drop in the price of oil has once again sparked… Continue Reading →

Alberta Diary: Bill 10 gong show’s bungled effort to pander to PC Party’s worst elements proves Jim Prentice is no political superman

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, as he appeared to almost everyone until yesterday, except there are no ships here in Alberta, which is why we need all those pipelines. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks; humiliated PC MLA Sandra Jansen, official sponsor of Bill 10; and Liberal MLA and Bill 202 sponsor Laurie Blakeman.

If the gong show that erupted yesterday over the Progressive Conservative government’s bungled effort to pander to its troglodytic social conservative faction by roadblocking LGBTQ students’ rights illustrates anything, it is that Premier Jim Prentice is not the political superman we imagined, before whom all must bow.

It (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: What are Premier Jim Prentice and his three ‘agents of change’ planning for Alberta’s public service?

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…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Prentice term-limit idea is gimmicky and probably unconstitutional

TweetYou are Jim Prentice. You have the podium and the attention of Alberta’s media. You are the next Premier of Alberta. You can dream big. You could promise to replace all of Alberta’s aging hospitals by 2020, to build a high-speed railway from Calgary to Edmonton, to forge a new relationship with municipalities through Big City Charters, or reinvent the […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Rob Anders to run in new Bow River riding?

TweetSources say that controversial Member of Parliament Rob Anders is preparing to run for the federal Conservative nomination in new rural Bow River riding south east of Calgary. The six-term MP has represented Calgary-West since 1997 but lost a heated Conservative nomination contest in the new Calgary-Signal Hill riding to former Progressive Conservative MLA Ron Liepert. It was previously been speculated that Mr. Anders could […]

Alberta Diary: Could Ric McIver still win the Alberta Tory leadership race? Actually, yes, he could!

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. All the money’s on Jim Prentice – but is it the smart money? Below: Ric McIver, Jim Prentice, Jim Dinning and Gary Mar.

CALGARY

Could Ric McIver actually win the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race?

Or, to put that another way, could Jim Prentice lose?

Maybe that seems like a theme for a political science fiction story to you. After all, Mr. Prentice – the former banker, corporate lobbyist and federal cabinet minister – is the choice of the PC establishment.

What’s more, he’s now backed by 49 of 59 PC Members of the (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The Redford legacy haunts Prentice Tories

TweetMost people rely on TripAdvisor or call a travel agent to book hotels for overseas trips, but it is alleged by intrepid CBC investigative journalists that former Premier Alison Redford dispatched a staffer to visit hotels and restaurants in advance of her trips to India, China, Switzerland, Washington, and Toronto for a cost of nearly $330,000. It is not […]

Alberta Diary: Don’t let any ‘celebrities’ tell you different, we’ve got friends of science here in Alberta

Don’t worry: you have absolutely nothing to do with the apocalypse. You might as well mine more bitumen while you wait for it. Below: Barry Cooper; another version of the Friends of Science billboard; yet another great billboard supporting democracy and the people. Billboard photos found on the Internet.

Alberta’s “Friends of Science” are friends of science like North Korea is a democratic people’s republic.

But to give credit where credit is due, both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Friends of Science do great billboards.

One such is causing a buzz in Calgary right now, demonstrating the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A Tale of Two Leaders: His was the best of exits, hers was the worst

Retiring Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason with your blogger’s introduction-to-journalism class in 2011: he was witty, passionate and persuasive, a big part of why the Alberta NDP continues to draw young supporters in significant numbers. Below: Mr. Mason with Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who has also retired from politics; in a typical pose at a party social; and in another typical pose, proving Alberta’s weather was never too cold for a speech from Brian Mason.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Tales from the Tory crypt: Apres Alison le deluge

Tory leadership non-candidate Jim Dinning with your blogger, back in the day. Below: Former premier Ed Stelmach and non-candidates Ted Morton and Gary Mar.

If we were to speak for former Alberta premier Alison Redford today, here is what we would say: “Apres moi le deluge!”

There is plenty of fight left in the Alberta PC Party. The trouble is, it is all directed inwardly, at other Tories.

On everything except the policies that must be changed to save the party, Alberta’s crumbling 43-year-old Progressive Conservatives dynasty is disunited, playing out its increasingly bitter rivalries in public.

Given that, (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A very Albertan coup: Alison Redford fell victim to her own hubris, as well as that of her Progressive Conservative Party

Alison Redford announces her resignation moments after 6 p.m. yesterday while Deputy Premier Dave Hancock looks on grimly in the background. Below: Mr. Hancock, the man thought most likely to become the PC Party’s interim leader and premier, as the crisis played out last week.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who resigned moments after 6 p.m. yesterday, fell victim to her own hubris and that of the party she led.

In the next few days and weeks, we are certain to hear two competing narratives emerge to explain what happened to Ms. Redford’s short, unhappy premiership, which began when (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Another PC MLA abandons Redford for the Harper Tories

TweetAnother Progressive Conservative MLA is about to jump into the federal arena. Edmonton-McClung PC MLA David Xiao will announce this week that he will seek the Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-West. An email circulated to Conservative supporters in Edmonton says that Mr. Xiao will make the announcement at 10 a.m on Tuesday March 4th, 2014 at […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Ron Liepert versus Rob Anders: the next PC-Wildrose proxy war?

TweetWill former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert make the jump into federal politics? With the launch of the TimeToDoBetter.ca website today, rumours began to spread that the former two-term Calgary-West Progressive Conservative MLA turned consultant could challenge ultra-conservative Rob Anders for the Conservative Party nomination in the new Calgary Signal Hill riding. Mr. Liepert’s candidacy […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

TweetThe ghosts of Senate reform will haunt Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his party establishment gathers in Calgary on Halloween to discuss and debate party policy. After more than seven years in office, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have accomplished little on the issue of reforming the Canadian Senate. Who would have thought that a Senate scandal […]

Susan on the Soapbox: A “Two Minute Tory” Spends an Evening with Ted Morton

Ted Morton, the former Finance Minister and unsuccessful PC leadership candidate, was holding court at the Manning Foundation. He was going to give a speech on how a bunch of lefty carpet baggers (aka the “Two Minute Tories”) hijacked the PC leadership selection process to the enduring detriment of the Blue Tories.

The party faithful clustered around him to exchange pleasantries. Ms Soapbox worked her way to the front of the line and introduced herself as a Two Minute Tory who’d made the unfortunate mistake of voting for Ms Redford in the last PC leadership race.

Ted Morton

(Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who is driving the conservative agenda in Canada?

TweetIn America’s Forbes Magazine this week, Alejandro Chafuen praised the leadership of the conservative policy think-tanks that helped set the stage for the election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative majority government in 2011 and the success of conservative politicians across the country. This apparatus of conservative special interest groups, think-tanks and news media has contributed to shifting […]

Alberta Diary: CBC journalist Charles Rusnell: slaying Alberta’s Tory dragon, one scandal at a time …

Your blogger with CBC investigative reporter Charles Rusnell. Below: Edmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu; Mr. Sandhu with Alison Redford in a Tory Party photo grabbed from the Daveberta.ca blog. The photo-bomber is Calgary-Fort MLA Wayne Cao.

You’d think it would be easy to run a petroleum-soaked, cash-rich jurisdiction like Alberta, but a day seldom seems to pass out here on the western edge of the Great Plains without our governing Progressive Conservative Party suffering another pratfall or embarrassment.

But how many Albertans know that so many of these scandals bedevilling our permanent governing party have been uncovered by the same (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Tom Flanagan, neoconservative spiritual leader, consigned to utter darkness

Conservative icon Tom Flanagan’s defining moment. Below: Dr. Flanagan in happier times; the six signatories of the Alberta separatist Firewall Manifesto; Richard Nixon saying goodbye during his 1952 Checkers speech. Unlike Dr. Flanagan’s likely career trajectory, Mr. Nixon came back.

Who could have predicted that yesterday would be the pope’s last day on the job?

I speak, of course, of Professor Tom Flanagan, spiritual leader of the neoconservative movement in Canada.

Well, Dr. Flanagan is the neocon pope no more, having uttered the astonishing opinion at a seminar the previous evening in the deep-south Alberta city of Lethbridge that

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Tom Flanagan, neoconservative spiritual leader, consigned to utter darkness

Alberta Diary: Education minister’s bluff called by apoplectic schoolteachers! Now what?

The trading pit: Is this what Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson sees when he thinks of the Alberta Teachers Association? Actual Alberta schoolteachers may not be exactly as illustrated. Then again, these days … Below: Mr. Johnson and ATA President Carol Henderson.

OK, Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s bizarre attempt to bluff the province’s 35,000 unionized schoolteachers into signing a contract has failed. Now what?

One week ago, Mr. Johnson mailed the president of the Alberta Teachers Association and the Chair of the Alberta School Boards Association a rambling letter setting out the government’s latest bargaining demands in what’s turned

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Education minister’s bluff called by apoplectic schoolteachers! Now what?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Former Finance Ministers Morton, Liepert and Snelgrove line up with free advice.

TweetFree from the tight leash of party discipline, three former Finance Ministers are giving plenty of advice to Premier Alison Redford and Finance Minister Doug Horner. Ted Morton, the former two-term Tory MLA from Foothills-Rockyview and two-time Tory leadership candidate who served as Finance Minister from 2010 to 2011, penned an opinion-editiorial in Wednesday’s Calgary [...]

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Latest Poll On Northern Gateway

A new poll has found 61 per cent of B.C. residents oppose Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, while support is at 35 per cent.

And the Insights West online survey found opponents of the project are more entrenched – 38 per cent are strongly opposed, compared to just 11 per cent who strongly support the new route for crude oil across northwestern B.C. to Kitimat.

The full results can be found here. Meanwhile Alberta separatist Ted Morton ponders measures that, if taken, could lead to a civil war in this country. So, yeah, to say they could “backfire”

Alberta Diary: The Redford Tories’ conundrum: Progressive reason versus Conservative passion

They kissed us once. Will they kiss us again? Alas, in Alberta right now, there’s no way to be cert- cert- certain. Alison Redford chats with a typical Alberta voter last spring – although, Alberta politicians and their supporters may not turn out to be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Ms. Redford, Finance Minister Doug Horner.

Here in 14 words is the conundrum that faces the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta Premier Alison Redford: you can be progressive, or you can be conservative, but you can’t be both.

So which is it?

The problem that confronts Ms. Redford’s PCs

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Redford Tories’ conundrum: Progressive reason versus Conservative passion

Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!

The Dagny Taggarts, a synchronized skating team from Ottawa get ready to do their popular routine, “Where Is John Galt?” Defence Minister Joan Crockatt is in the front row, second from right. Below: Senator Tom Flanagan; U of C economics student Kim Jong-un, in full Calgary drag; Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ecstatic for his boss; and Nobel Prize winner Raj Sherman with the author. Actual events may not turn out exactly as predicted.

Why wait for 2013’s headlines when you can read them here on Alberta Dairy right now? In a spirit of transparency bordering on clairvoyance, Alberta Diary

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!