April 30, 2010
Why did the chicken cancel the election?
Press release from the Government of Alberta:
Alberta continues to lead on Legislature reform
Province extends terms of existing MLAsThe Government of Alberta is extending the existing terms of Alberta’s Members of the Legislative Assembly until March 3, 2016 or an earlier time as provided under the Elections Act. The five-year terms were originally scheduled to expire in March 2013.
"The decision to extend the terms of our MLAs allows for and reaffirms the democratic will of Albertans who voted for them," said Premier Ed Stelmach. "Our province has shown leadership in holding elections and continually advocated that the will of the people must be reflected in the Legislature."
Ha ha. I'm just kidding, of course. No government would ever be so arrogant as to claim that canceling a planned election was actually an advancement of democracy... Wait, what?
Alberta continues to lead on Senate reform
Province extends terms of existing senators-in-waitingThe Government of Alberta is extending the existing terms of Alberta’s senators-in-waiting until December 2, 2013 or an earlier time as provided under the Senatorial Selection Act. The six-year terms were originally scheduled to expire this December.
"The decision to extend the terms of our senators-in-waiting allows for and reaffirms the democratic will of Albertans who voted for them," said Premier Ed Stelmach. "Our province has shown leadership in holding Senate elections and continually advocated that the will of the people must be reflected in the Senate."
So what brought this on? I think it's safe to say that Stelmach looked at the polls, saw that there was was a very real chance that his PC Senate candidates (assuming he could find any willing to run under that banner) would get trounced by the Wildrose, and decided that the damage he'd take from losing the Senate race would be greater that the fallout from killing the election altogether.
So the question is: Are we going to let him get away with it?
Labels: Alberta PCs, Ed Stelmach, Wildrose Alliance
October 08, 2009
About a month ago, the Mark Dyrholm campaign announced that he had been endorsed by Ontario MPP Randy Hillier. I supported Randy in the Ontario PC leadership race this past summer, and was somewhat disappointed that he'd picked a different candidate than my favourite, but didn't think too much of it. However, it struck me as odd that the endorsement got no direct coverage in the media whatsoever; it was only covered by the Dyrholm campaign itself and a few blogs that quoted them.
As time went on, though, I grew more suspicious. So this week, I e-mailed Randy Hillier and asked him about this endorsement. Here's what he said:
About two months ago, Wildrose Alliance leadership candidate Mark Dyrholm adopted the immigration policy that I had used in my platform for the Ontario PC Leadership race. I was asked by his campaign team if I minded, and if I could express my appreciation in Mark's adoption of the policy. I sent Mark a note congratulating him for adopting such a forward-thinking policy into his own campaign platform.
However, I've not come out in support of any particular candidate in the Wildrose Alliance leadership contest.
Let me repeat that: "I've not come out in support of any particular candidate." Shame on the Dyrholm campaign for trying to portray Hillier's praise for a single policy as a full-fledged endorsement.
It also makes you wonder about some of the other endorsements their campaign has claimed to receive...
Labels: Wildrose Alliance
July 20, 2009
What was the Reform Party based on?
Mark Dyrholm, a candidate for the leadership of the Wildrose Alliance, was interviewed on the Adler show last week. As part of his response to a question on how he would "label" himself, Dyrholm said:
"If we look at what Albertans and western Canada supported for in the Reform Party days, that came out of a strong background of social conservatism."The idea that Reform's founding was based on social conservatism is a common misconception about the party, which I have heard frequently from Eastern media types (which makes it rather odd that Dyrholm would fall for it). In fact, the issues and motivations that led to the Reform Party's founding were all about democratic reform (hence the name) and fiscal conservatism (balanced budgets, etc).
In his book, Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, William Johnson describes Reform's initial policies as follows:
To Harper's relief, the new party had taken a stand against the Meech Lake Accord and for a Triple-E Senate, for free trade with the United States, and for entrenching property rights in the Constitution of Canada.The social conservative element didn't develop until later, and even then, it was usually approached from a democratic reform angle. For example, Reform's policy on abortion was to have a national referendum to settle the issue.
[quoting John Weissenberger] And the reaction from the outside was just so vitriolic. There was a really vicious cartoon in the Free Press of Manning with bad pointy teeth and he carried one of those big marching drums, and the quote underneath was: 'Join Preston's thump for Jesus.' I was shocked, because religion wasn't even discussed at this meeting, it had nothing to do with what was discussed. I remember saying to Stephen, Were these guys even at the same meeting?
Labels: Wildrose Alliance
June 19, 2009
Danielle Smith supporter buttons
As you may know, Alberta's Wildrose Alliance Party is having a leadership race. I'm supporting Danielle Smith, who is the former Alberta director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business -- just one of a lengthy list of involvements in various conservative/libertarian causes that make her worth voting for.
I've created support buttons for her; feel free to post them on your blog or such. And don't forget to check out her website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.
Labels: Danielle Smith, Wildrose Alliance