Archive for September, 2009

That’s a WRAP

I have joined the Wildrose Alliance.

This is uncharacteristic of me, as I am typically the stalwart defender of what is not to be (growing up a Liberal in Alberta you kind of have to be), but this time around, I’m making the decision based on a couple of factors.

  1. The Historical Context
  2. David Swann
  3. Danielle Smith

I have always considered myself to be somewhat of a pragmatist, so I think that the situation that has arisen in Alberta is one where we can see true pragmatism be realized in a productive sense. Alberta has never elected an old party to govern. Since I was in Montreal for the last PC leadership race (Dinning could’ve done it), and really would have rather disembowled myself than join the Tories, I didn’t have a chance to vote for the new Premier. In this case, I might. Democracy is an adaptive thing, and democracy in Alberta happens to require a membership card.

The ALP is unimpressive. I don’t like the performance of the party, and I don’t like how they treat new blood. Old guard Alberta Liberals in the mold of Old Labour in the UK are not my cup of tea, and the return of the party to these ideological roots is not something that I am impressed with. I liked the party under Taft, the party of Decore. I liked the party that appealed to the free market, liberal democratic, semi-populist ethic that defines the Albertan experience. This party, under Liberal (?) leader David Swann, is not what I believe is best for Alberta, nor what can defeat the destructive Tory regime.

Finally, I am bewitched by Danielle Smith. She is a free market enthusiast and holds social policy in the image of Gordon Campbell. I worry that a party under her could become a fringe-firestorm-flop like the ADQ in Quebec, but I think that she shows promise. The other option, Mr. Dyrholm, is clinging to a failed version of conservatism that presents no real difference to the ruling progressive conservatives. If the WRAP wants to cut into conservative support, but build the big and sensible tent it needs to govern in an Albertan ‘democracy’, it needs to elect Danielle Smith. She has the broad appeal to appeal to social conservatives (she endorsed Ted Morton – I almost left out the T, what a Freudian slip that would have been), fiscal conservatives, and libertarians. I personally think she has the ability to appeal to free market, small government Liberals such as myself. The party would do well to choose her.

If you are interested in joining the Wildrose Alliance, please visit here. I encourage you to sign up (you only have a couple more days) and cast your ballot for Danielle.

I’ve never been a member of a non Liberal political party in my life. Danielle Smith is someone, however, that I think can and should be premier (David Swann fits neither of those characteristics). I am happy to offer her my support, and my best wishes in the upcoming election. She’s got my vote.


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Outrement and Alberta

Seems things are bubbling around all over the place, here in my current (and temporary) backyard as well as out in the trials and troubles of the Quebec wing of the Federal Libs.

So, as an addendum to my last post, things have bounced all over the place.  Yesterday, Cauchon was offered the riding of Jeanne-Le Ber, currently held by the Bloc.  So, in other words, instead of letting the left of centre, former justice minister and three time winner in Outrement run against the sole NDP member from Quebec, let’s have him run in a riding that isn’t his home riding, and is ALSO not held by the Liberals.

Then today, apparently after some degree of intelligent consideration took hold in the OLO (for quite possibly the first time since… well, I can’t think of the last opposition leader I really liked), it was decided to let him run in Outrement.

There are two things to draw from this, the first is that Denis Coderre is not all powerful in Quebec (a relief for most Libs I would imagine) and the second is that this should never have hit the press.  When the Liberal house in Quebec is not in order, and the Lib’s can no longer depend on a majority of seats in Ontario, where then do they cast about for their majority?  They have to win a majority of seats in one or both provinces to get a majority nationally, and a pretty substantive one.  With lingering anger and resentment, not to mention suspicion clearly rampant within the Quebec wing of the party, how do they plan to do that?  This hit the newspapers because no one trusts or likes each other, and you need some trust to build a solid electoral strategy that will be respected and followed.  Good luck with that election call if this is any indication of the kind of strength of the Liberal party.

Personally, I think they just read this blog and agreed with me.

The second big thing of the day…  And one that will no doubt please my Blog partner…

So apparently there are as many as ten Tory MLA’s in Alberta willing to cross the floor to the Wild Rose Alliance Party should Danielle Smith win.

This is, to put it mildly, pretty big.  I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that we’re watching the next governing party of Alberta coming together.

I still can’t believe that my friends in Alberta here who are older than me have had 4 premiers and 1 party governing Alberta in their lives, while I, from BC, have had 8 premiers and 3 governing parties in my life.

I rather miss living in a functioning democracy, though Alberta might be coming along.

Link Round Up:

-From the: I’m not sick of losing yet files comes a new shocker.  John Tory is a famous man, famous for: A) mismanaging Kim Campbell’s campaign (John Tory is in this video) , B) Losing his last bid for Mayor, C) Losing the 2008 Ontario Election, D) Losing his own riding in said Ontario Election, and, as icing on the cake, E) Losing in his by-election bid to get back into the Legislature, despite running in a seat held by the tories since it’s inception.  What is he doing now you ask? Running for mayor of Toronto… again!

-Best. Trucking company. Ever. Not political, just awesome.

-Oldy but a Goody, still relevant, an article from a few months back by the Tyee on branding Vancouver and the opportunity of the Olympics.  HIGHLY recommended.

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Terribly sorry for my absence, a jaunt over to Europe for a few weeks coupled with an amazingly hectic work schedule has had me barely even following hte news, so when I got a few minutes to look around the political landscape the other day, I noticed some pretty interesting things.  This was the first to strike me as particularly senseless,

So the embattled NDP bastion of Outrement is rapidly getting thrown some pretty impressive assistance, all from the local Grits of the province.

Outrement is widely recognized as a must win for the Libs if they are to make a real come back in the next election, as well as to prevent even the slightest possibility of an NDP ‘breakthrough’ in the province.

Old Tom Mulcair will need all the help he can get, and running against the former justice minister and three time winner of Outrement would certainly hinder his chances.

Luckily, the Grits are up to their old infighting and squabbling.  It seems Denis Coderre, current Quebec Lieutenant for Iggy, really doesn’t want competition for the role of Quebec Right Hand Man.  Why else would he deny Martin Cauchon the opportunity to run in the riding?  Especially why would he continue to deny him the chance after an open letter from the president of the riding association to Iggy asking for Cauchon to be the candidate.

I do hope Cauchon gets less conciliatory soon and more angry, after all, good old fashioned civil war between the Old Guard ™ Liberals would do wonders to help the newly minted coalition of the socialists, separatists and tories.

Apparently the riding is being held aside for an as yet unnamed female candidate, in an effort to renew the party in Quebec, apparently going with what wins isn’t part of the renewal process.

It’s fine to want to put certain people into certain ridings in order to get them into the Legislature, but you generally do that to ridings you know you’ll win. By the very nature of cherry picking people, you assume they couldn’t win the nomination race, meaning that you’re likely to disenfranchise those long standing members of the riding when you parachute your candidate, and generally lose out on that ‘local flair.’ Go figure, local voters generally prefer their representative to, well, represent them.

So what do you lose if you railroad your local riding associations?  You lose the crutch of your local fundraising power, the bulk of your best volunteers and a fair amount of your lower and middling paid campaign staff.

That’s an acceptable loss in a riding  you can’t lose, is it one in a riding you’ve lost twice in a row?  The man running the Liberal campaign in Quebec seems to think so, I tend to have my doubts.  One of the first rules of competitive sports is you don’t make assumptions about your opponents, when you go in assuming you’ll win, you’ll usually be surprised.

And today’s link roundup!

-It feels a little anti-climactic now, what with Jack’s backflip on EI (which I tend to vaguely support, but am pretty torn on), BUT: Electionprediction.org has now gone live with a hypothetical fall or spring federal election!

-Secondly, and I’m sure you’ve all seen it now, but apparently when the federal ministry of fisheries and oceans puts out a helpline to help lobster fishermen, the just assume the biggest problem is too little action, and not too few lobsters.

-The Canada Line opened in Vancouver!  I know I’m late to the party, but living in Edmonton meant I couldn’t get out to see it until fairly recently.  To quote a friend of mine who has a masters in civil engineering, I hope the Canada line,  like the Millenium line, is bad city planning done very well.  It’s nice and shiny, and the location is great, there are problems with the design, and it was done hugely on the cheap (meaning for example that increases in service become incredibly difficult/expensive) but for what is demanded in the city right now, it’s great.

Dr. Horrible won an Emmy.  This I approve of heartily.  I’m a geek, sue me.\

-And how could I forget poor Rahim. I would have left him alone, entirely, and I mean that.  Especially since, well, losing to the NDP in Alberta is embarrassing enough, BUT: He’s FIGHTING the charges?  Really?  He’s fighting getting caught driving over the speed limit, while intoxicated and having cocaine on his person?  Is he going to say that the radar gun lied?  That all three alcohol tests he was given all lied?  That somehow he didn’t realize he had an 8-ball in his pocket?  Let’s be clear, people make mistakes and people are human, it’s not the act that I have a problem with (per se, though it’s still pretty reprehensible), it’s that he claims he’s innocent.  Yes, maybe he is, and the courts will decide, but I just cannot see, without hearing his side (which he has yet to do, despite being given the opportunity), any credible way he is innocent.

Man up, apologize, and go into a rehab program if you need to.

Sorry to leave on such a downer note, in that case, heres a video you should watch if you want a good political laugh! Once more popular than Trudeau!

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From TPM:

“He’s an inspiration for us,” Reid said of Kennedy. “That was the issue of his life and he didn’t get it done.”

This bodes poorly in my opinion. Anyone interested in mounting a primary challenge in Nevada?

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I take it all back!

Stephen Harper is the KING OF PATRONAGE! He is the WORST THING to ever happen to Canada since SMALLPOX! Stephen Harper is funding your home renovations just so he can STUDY YOUR HOME and STEAL YOUR CHILDREN! Stephen Harper wants to make GEORGE W BUSH the MINISTER OF DEFENSE!

Ladies and gentlemen, dust off your campaigning shoes. It’s time for an election.

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