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Thursday, September 22, 2005

wtf alberta.

It seems that our illustrious and beloved leader, Premier Ralph Klein, has decided that he knows best when it comes to what Albertans want. Apparently, we would rather he cut us all a one-time $400 cheque instead of say...

...improving the quality of institutions that have starved for funding under his reign.
...doing something visionary.
...doing anything visionary.

Honestly, a one-time $400 cheque? How is that going to help make Alberta a better place? A $400 cheque isn't going to change improve the quality of life in Alberta. It's not going to build better roads, build better schools, or improve rapid transit. It's more than definately not going to help that homeless guy that was sleeping on our front lawn last week.

What about the people who don't need the cheque?

What about the people who need more than a one-time $400?

*cough*AISH recipients*cough*

And of course, in the true spirit of Alberta's democratic tradition, the decision to spend the $1.4 Billion on rebate cheques was made in a closed-door Tory caucus meeting in Lethbridge. Yes, that's right, a party which in the last election received the votes of only 22% of eligible Alberta voters has decided that it has the authority to spend $1.4 Billion while behind closed doors.

Can we expect any public input into these decisions?

Can we expect any serious debate on the spending of Alberta's future revenues when the legislature is recalled next May?

*cough*probably not*cough*

Alberta: Looking for Vision since Peter Lougheed retired in 1984.

23 comments:

angela said...

the people who bitch about corruption the loudest and most publicly always end up being the turds who dont conduct their own business transparently.

bourgeois alberta, have fun going to the mall and blowing your tax break on crap. this is what success looks like!

Aaron said...

I'm spending mine on Lotto 6/49, Cigarettes, Liquor and Blackjack to make sure the gubmnt gets its fair share back.

Aaron said...
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c-lo said...

Yes, that's right, a party which in the last election received the votes of only 22% of eligible Alberta voters

That is a cute justification to nullify government action, but if we were to ascribe to this as a means of determining whether a government was fit to govern then we would never have governments. Would you feel better if it was 30%? What if it was the Liberals with 22%? I think not...

Herbinator said...

You note on "vision" is apparently all too true. I'm a Calgarian and I'd say this province is still far from perfect.

Aaron said...

Yes, that's right, a party which in the last election received the votes of only 22% of eligible Alberta voters

People who don't vote have no right to complain.

The CBC has a page (down now) showing that 47% of the people who did vote voted PC. The results are replicated HERE

What is interesting is that the 47% of votes translated into 73% of seats worth of representation in the Legislature. One vote for the PCs is worth 1.55 times that in terms of representation, due to how the electoral boundaries are determined.

Aaron said...

I blogged my analysis HERE

daveberta said...

"That is a cute justification to nullify government action, but if we were to ascribe to this as a means of determining whether a government was fit to govern then we would never have governments. Would you feel better if it was 30%? What if it was the Liberals with 22%? I think not..."

We respectfully disagree. Though our point is that the decision to spent $1.4 Billion should have been debated in the Legislature, we believe it is given even more credence due to the low support the Tories garnered in the last election.

As for the Liberals being in the same situation, we would respectfully point out that our partisan convictions are more than definately overridden by our desire for some form of responsible government in this province. This situation would be wrong no matter the party in power.

"cute justification"

Sorry dude, but we cannot help if our good looks shine over into our blog posts. ;-)

calgarygrit said...

HIGH SPEED RAIL LINK! HIGH SPEED RAIL LINK!

Martin B. said...

Rail link? What a waste. How can I possibly benefit from that?

I suggest either

a) build a direct Edmonton-Montreal pipeline or

b) Finish the high speed rail link currently under construction in the Ottawa suburbs.

Martin B. said...

According to Le Devoir, that money is mine anyways.

Looney Canuck said...

It's just "rum bottle politics". It was something of a tradition here in the East, although I suspect that some of you already knew that. It was resurrected in Nova Scotia just before the last provincial election, when the Hamm government gave a partial rebate to everyone who paid provincial taxes in the previous year, or was it two? The only difference is, that your province can actually afford to do that. ;-)

Tudor said...

One article I read about the rebate had some business guy pissed off about the $400 rebate. He was all like, "WTF d00d?! Klein should have invested that shit in some massive-ass corporate tax cuts! That would have provided vague, intangible benefits for all the citizens of Alberta."

Frankly, the rebate makes a lot more sense than the other alternative -- giving corporations a break. And you seem to ignore the fact that $2.6 billion of the $6 billon surplus are going to be invested in social programs. The province simply has a lot more money than it can possibly burn through in the course of one year -- if the government would have held on to the other $1.4 billion it would have likely disappeared into tax-cuts.

daveberta said...

"Frankly, the rebate makes a lot more sense than the other alternative -- giving corporations a break. And you seem to ignore the fact that $2.6 billion of the $6 billon surplus are going to be invested in social programs."

Yes, but when you take into account the amount they've cut over the years, it really doesn't make a huge difference. Take for example the $8 Billion infrastructure deficit in Alberta, a perfect example of what happens after 10 years of reckless slash and burn politics.

Frankly, what the heck is $400? We'll pay one month of rent and it'll be gone. woo hoo. we'd much rather it went to something like building a better province.

Toronto Tory said...

Daveberta, respectfully:

Yes, that's right, a party which in the last election received the votes of only 22% of eligible Alberta voters has decided that it has the authority...

I don't buy this logic, in this case or ever. Would you attack the Federal Liberals with the same line? After all, they received an even lower percentage of eligible votes in the last Federal election, and they've made far more reckless spending decisions, behind doors closed more firmly (like in a hotel room with Buzz Hargrove).

Would you only pull out a line like that when you disagree with the specific spending?

There are plenty of ways to criticize the $400 cheques. I would probably agree with many of those critiques. There's no reason to chop your own argument out at the knees by inserting silly premises into it.

daveberta said...

Hey TT,

C-lo (clobrown.blogspot.com check it out, it's a good blog) made the same argument across the cave floor last week.

We don't think $1.4 Billion decisions in general should be made behind closed doors, regardless of the party in power.

We really don't have any difficulty criticizing the federal libs, so we probably would, but this website tends to focus on provincial alberta issues, so there's a good chance the $1.4 Billion spending in Alberta was more likely to be covered.

We believe our general frustration over how any party which only has 22% of an eligable voting pool supporting them can end up with over 60% of the seats in a house of assembly (this includes the H of C) flowed into this general argument over the $400 rebate cheques.

And of course, the difference between the spending in the Federal NDP/Liberal budget is that it was at least passed in the H of C, this spending will most likely not even be seriously debated in the Alberta Legislature.

PS. Buzz Hargrove is a knob.

interlocutor said...
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interlocutor said...

$1.4 Billion, eh? What do you suppose it would cost to cure cancer? Aids? Arrange for clean drinking water for all of Africa? Enough wind turbines to power the whole province?

Hell, why not at least build the largest refinery in the world in, say, Medecine Hat (which in my estimate is out of reach of hurricanes, earthquakes and -- mostly -- terrorists) since at the rate gas is going we'd double our money pretty quick. That, at least, would be some kind of investment.

Instead, cheques to the bumpkins will prove to fulfill the 'pissing away' part of the oft-quoted 'God, give us another oil boom and we promise we won't piss it away.'

You know, maybe I'll toss my $400 into my RRSP; then at least someone's worrying about my future.

Nastyboy said...

Angelabourgeois alberta, have fun going to the mall and blowing your tax break on crap. this is what success looks like!

What a load.

I'm no fan of the "prosperity dividend' cheque either, but most peopel I know aren't going to run out and blow it.

I'm going to donate mine to charity. Friend and family have tolsd me they're using theirs to pay down student loans, add it to the RESP's for their kids or tootheir own rrsp's, pay their rents etc.

Albertans are smart, industious, hard working people. Most will put the money to good use.

Nastyboy said...

proof-reading is for sissies.

daveberta said...

We haven't quite decided what we'll do with our $400. As much as we'd like to buy a new ipod or digital camera, we think we may donate most of it to a charity.

Perhaps the WarAmps or the campus foodbank.

daveberta said...

and yes. proof reading is for sissies. ;-)

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

I got my $400 today, and I'm mad as hell. It should be an income tax credit, not a payout. It should be the full value of the surplus, not the $1.4 billion Klein and Co. didn't waste on health and education bureaucracy. Finally, it should be given to those who have at least lived in Alberta for more than 8 months of prosperity.