Went on a last minute road trip yesterday with some great people to the great little town of Rocky Mountain House. Was a 2 hour ride there and 2 back from Edmonton. Had never been to RMH before...
I love going to these small towns, they're fun! Ended up in the "Saddle Sore Saloon" at 4 in the afternoon (yes, it's as classy as it sounds...). interesting crowd.... my buddy and I stuck out like sore thumbs... didn't sell any Liberal Party memberships there... ; )
Had dinner at the Chef's Cafe - a really nice little resturant - if you are ever in RMH you have to go!
Just an interesting RMH fact - in the 2004 Provincial Election, Liberal Candidate Susan Scott (who is an awesome lady!) placed second. This was the first time a Liberal placed second in RMH in 49 years!!! The results looked like....
Rocky Mountain House Constituency 2004 Provincial Election
(47.7% Voter Turnout)
Ty Lund, PC - 5,773 (57%)
Susan Scott, Liberal - 1,266 (12%)
Lavern J. Ahlstrom, Social Credit - 1,265 (12%)
Ed Wilhite, Alliance - 807 (8%)
Bruce Hutton, Seperatist - 503 (5%)
Jennifer Issac, Green - 335 (3%)
Anthony Jones, NDP - 300 (3%)
to put this into perspective, here are the results from the 2001 election (55.5% Voter Turnout):
Ty Lund, PC - 7,820 (70%)
Lavern J. Ahlstrom, SC - 1,705 (15%)
Winjand Horemans, Liberal - 1,171 (11%)
Doug MacAngus, NDP -408 (4%)
so... all the power to those right-wing fringe/spilt the PC vote parties!
Friday, February 25, 2005
Went on a last minute road trip yesterday with some great people to the great little town of Rocky Mountain House. Was a 2 hour ride there and 2 back from Edmonton. Had never been to RMH before...
Posted by daveberta at 9:43 AM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Well, as this is the first post in my 'new flat in the city' (as opposed to my 'old flat in the city'), I must let you in on what i'm thinking...
1) It's just after 10pm and I just ate an entire bag of Maynards Wine Gums...yum... I am sooo wired for the night.
Maybe I'll start writing one of my term papers - for one of them, I'm writing on domestic and regional security issues in Eastern Europe since the dissolusion of the Warsaw Pact in the early 1990's. I actually have a real facination with Eastern Europe (cultural, political, historical). I'm not sure where this comes from - It may be because i'm just a radical communist revolutionary at heart ;)
I don't come from an Eastern European family (I'm an 11th generation Canadian - 'My people' settled in New France around 1665).
I think I want to go to Eastern Europe. I've been to Western Europe twice (both times before I was 18 years old). Warsaw, Prague, Minsk, Moscow, Budapest, and company just sound so cool. Maybe one day...
2) Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will be delivering the first budget of the Martin Minority Government tomorrow at 4pm Ottawa time. The Parliamentary website has an interesting fact sheet of how the budgetary process works. It should be interesting to see what kind of budget it'll be. Stay tooned!
You can watch the budget presentation live on your computer or on television on CPAC.
3) I watched the movie 'Troy' last night... and its joined 'The Village' as one of the worst movies I've seen so far this year... Right now, the bad movies are winning. Haven't seen too many good movies this year... I did see Garden State - one of my 2005 fav-o-rites!
I have Shrek 2 sitting on my shelf, hopefully the big green ogre will break my losing streak of bad, bad, bad movies!
D : )
Posted by daveberta at 10:15 PM
Thursday, February 17, 2005
this is going to be a slightly less political posting than the last one. I've discovered one of my new favorite bands - the coral - the're a British band and pretty good. Check 'em out!
this will probably be my last post for a bit, I am moving this weekend and won't have internet access at my new place until the END OF NEXT WEEK!!
For those of you in Alberta - Happy Family Day long weekend!
Posted by daveberta at 4:27 PM
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
-Revenue from VLTs when Klein was elected in 1993: $40.3 Million
-Revenue from VLTs in 2003: $577 Million
-Increase in calls to ' Gamblers Anonymous' since 1992: 2,600%
-Amount of non-renewable resource revenue the Tories have spent while in office: $135 Billion
-Amount required for Alberta to catch up with its infrastructure backlog, such as roads, schools
and hospitals: $7 - 9 Billion
-Amount government spent to defend Stockwell Day in defamation lawsuit: $792,000
-Amount government wanted to charge taxpayers just to find out Day's legal fees: $59,571
-Increase in post-secondary tuition since 1993: 273.4%
-Number of municipal districts in Alberta: 68
-Number of municipal districts that have declared themselves economic disaster zones because of the mad cow crisis: 33
-Amount two American companies received from Klein's BSE Bailout Package: $42 Billion
-Average amount individual producers received from Klein's BSE Bailout Package: $1,800
-Amount Albertans have paid extra on their power bills because of deregulation: $5.38 Billion
-Total cost to taxpayers because of deregulation: $8 Billion
-Increase in government spending on travel and communications since 1998: 53%
-Number of government ministries in 1993: 17
-Number of government ministries in 2004: 24
-Cost in 2003-04 of maintaining and operating the government's air force: $4.35 Million
-Number of staff required for the government's air force: 13
-Number of taxpayer-funded flights made by government '02-'03: 3,100+
-Amount government spent on the horse-racing industry (last four years): $132.9 Million
-Increase in health care premiums since 1993: 63%
-Increase in health care premiums since 2002, the year Klein swore the only way taxes were
going in Alberta was 'down': 30%
"Ralph listens, Ralph cares". - 1997 PC Campaign Slogan...
Posted by daveberta at 6:00 PM
Saturday, February 12, 2005
In this episode of "daveberta super news countdown (d.s.n.c.)," we are going to countdown with 1 story for each level of political news.
Internationale (does the US count as Int'l???)
Former Vermont Govenor Howard Dean has been elected as the Chairman of the US Democratic Party. See the story here.
O Canada (I love maple syrup!)
Olympic Gold Medal wrestler Daniel Igali has declared his intention to run for the BC "Liberals" in the May 17, 2005 election in the lower mainland riding of Surrey-Newton. Well, he seems like a nice guy, but how did he end up running as a Campbell Liberal??? Should keep things interesting though...
I luv Alberta ( "the province formerly known as Ralph's World")
A fire Thursday night at the Lamb-Weston complex east of Taber has shut down operations at the french fry processing plant until further notice. A truely sad day in the history of Alberta.
Royally your's: Edmonton, UK (yes, there is more than 1 e-town)
The flagship Ikea store which was the scene of crowd chaos among midnight bargain hunters has reopened.
The store in Edmonton, London, opened its doors again at 1700 GMT on Friday after consultation with the police and the local council.
Five people were taken to hospital after Thursday's early morning crush as crowds flocked for the huge discounts.
The company had expected 2,000 customers but about 6,000 turned up.
Read more of the Ikea madness here!
Wow, what a week!
Posted by daveberta at 12:42 AM
Friday, February 11, 2005
for ya'll plannin' ta be 'round t'e grand ole' state o' kentucky, don't ya'll forget to ya'll come on down to th'old Answers in Genesis Creation Museum and Family Discover Centre. (daveberta recommends you take the virtual tour!).
"T. rex—the real king of the beasts. That’s the terror that Adam’s sin unleashed! You’ll run into this monster lurking near Adam and Eve. How’s this possible? Find out soon!" - Virtual Tour, Section 19#
I sooooo want to go to this museum. Anyone wanna come with me? (holtopia??)
Posted by daveberta at 9:42 PM
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Wow... what planet am I living on???
Premier Ralph Klein announced tonight on his televised 'address to the people' that the provincial government will institute a fully funded tuition freeze for Alberta's PSE students along with a promise that work will also begin on a new tuition policy to ensure that money isn't a barrier for Albertans seeking an education. The policy will be completed by September 2006.
Well, who am I to dis' a policy that makes sense! It's about time - it took the guy 12 years to get it!?!
I couldn't help but think that these statments by Mr. Klein sounded very very familiar... yes! It sounds kinda like Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberal PSE Policy from last fall's provincial election! But don't take my word for it!
On a Tuition-Freeze
Mr. Klein -"My message tonight to Alberta’s universities, colleges, and technical institutions is this: If you must increase tuitions, don’t send the bill to your students. Send it to us.
As our centennial gift to Alberta’s post-secondary students, government will pay the bill for their tuition increases for next year. "
Alberta Liberals - "Immediately freeze post-secondary tuition fees."
Mr. Klein - "We will do whatever it takes to make sure money isn’t a barrier to attending Alberta’s post-secondary institutions."
Alberta Liberals - "Commission an independent study of Alberta’s post-secondary education system to identify solutions to financing and accessibility issues and to increase student success."
Wow, so... if this is why I voted Alberta Liberal, what did Tories vote for?
Posted by daveberta at 8:36 AM
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
just three notes for today...
1) TONIGHT! PREMIER KLEIN will be making his annual televised chat to the masses (of course, he's one of us - one of the masses - once you minus the BC fishing lodge, private fleet of government planes, massive pension, Rod Love, etc - he's just like you and me!).
What will he say???
Joe Tory says: "He'll promise more money for PSE, because it is very important to him and his government. He is such a great person, the best Premier the world has ever seen! I love Ralph and his world!"
daveberta says: "A real investment in PSE would be great, but, I'll believe it when I see it (so, not likely)."
So - don't miss it: 6:30pm on CFRN in Edmonton & CFCN in Calgary.
2) - GOP Operative Gets 5 Months in Jail
Just in case you needed more convincing... here is more proof that the Republican Party is evil: Allen Raymond, President of GOP Marketplace, LLC, has been sentenced to five months in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to jamming Democratic phone lines in New Hampshire during the 2002 election. The lines were in three cities. They were the designated lines to allow Democrats to call in and get free rides to their polling precincts.
Clicky here to read more
3) It's official, the next session of the Legislature will begin on March 1, 2005 at 1:30pm.
See the press release here.
So, let me see... the last session ended in October of 2004... November-December-January-February....wow, that was a nice 4 month holiday. The Tories mustta needed the time off to lick their wounds from the wooping they got on the November 22 election. Let hope session lasts more than 2 weeks this time.
jeez, don't ya just luv democrazy in Alberta?
Posted by daveberta at 4:56 PM
Monday, February 07, 2005
An interesting idea occured to me today while I was studying for an upcoming mid-term exam. This idea is about how the Conservative's could force Paul Martin's hand on Senate Reform. Now, this may sound weird, but I have some advice for Stephen Harper...(that sounded weird!) - Before I let you in on my idea, I need to state clearly that I HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR NOR HAVE I EVER SUPPORTED THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA (or their policies on SSM, more privatization, the idea of a warm cozy love-in with George W. and the GOP Gang, etc...).
Okay, now that I got that out of the way. My suggestion to Stephen Harper and his Party is that if they are really really serious about Senate Reform, why not force Paul Martin to deal with it by having their Senate Caucus (which were mostly appointed by former PM Brian Mulroney) simultaniously resign. This would leave some 3o new vacant senate seats on top of the already 16 or so vacant seats. So, now there would likely be 40-50 vacant seats in a Senate with just over 100 members. With a minority government now in place, I highly doubt Paul Martin would dare appoint 40 new members, but he could not let the Senate sit half-empty (or half-full). I think that an act like this would not only show that the CPC rejects appointment of Senators, but it could allow for some major reform of the upper house (or it could completely backfire, of course).
But, this would only happen if the Conservative's are really serious about Senate Reform. Are they?
Posted by daveberta at 8:15 PM
Sunday, February 06, 2005
The location for Acts 6 & 7 of the Louis Vuitton Cup have been announced - Malmö, in the Skåne region at the south of Sweden, will be the Northern European location for the Louis Vuitton Acts 6 & 7, with racing beginning on the 25th of August, 2005. The back-to-back events, featuring both Match and Fleet Racing are among 14 opening Acts of the 32nd America's Cup.
For those of you who don't know what I am writing about, the Louis Vuitton Cup is the "Challengers" stage of the America's Cup (For sailing fans, it's comparable to the Stanley or World Cup). Whichever team wins the Louis Vuitton Cup moves on to challenge the defender of the America's Cup (the team who won last time). So, back in 2003 during the America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Team Alignhi (Switzerland) defeated 2 time America's Cup champion, Team New Zealand, 5-0.
So far, eight challengers have been accepted into the Louis Vuitton Cup Race (including teams from the UK, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand, the US, France, Spain, and Italy).
As of last week, Act 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup is to be held in Marsailles, France; Acts 2-5 are to be held in Valencia, Spain; and Acts 6 & 7 are to be held in Sweden, while the America's Cup race is to be held in Valencia, Spain. Check it all out at the Official Website of the 32nd America's Cup. Very exciting stuff!
Posted by daveberta at 7:19 PM
Friday, February 04, 2005
3rd post of the day....I am a nerd.
I would just like to take the time to do a post-humourous recap of thanks for my weekend of last. I would like to thank my friend, Howard, for introducing me to Model Parliament two years ago! To what I am sure is the disappointment of one particular "Liberal" (translation: Good-time Charlie) who attempted to torpedo our Caucus, WE HAD FUN, SO HA! FIE ON YOU!
Yeah... so...last weekend, I and many of my fellow university chums and non-chums undertook the role of debate in the good old British style of Parliamentary Democracy (Ottawa cage-match style).
Night Friday - After an hour or so of socializing and beverage consuming at the great establishment of the Globe, myself (the Finance Minister) along with the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Canadian Heritage made our way to our glorious enterance at the Alberta Legislature Buildings. After being a total of 25 minutes late for our 30 minute caucus meeting, we (the mighty Liberal Caucus of 15 - what we lost in numbers, we made up in parliamentary personality!) took on the evil conservatives and not-evil-but-sometimes-almost-evil ndper collegues in a death match of "speech from the throne." Thanks to Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald for doing a great job as Gov Gen! What happened following the sftt was a brutally long session of kareokee and the like @ Cliff Clavin's Pub.
Saturday Mornin' - After a brutally long night of kareoke and schmozing, I needed a stop @ Tim's for some coffee on my way back to the Leg. Well, lucky for me, I encountered 3 of my fellow Model Parliamentarians in line. Three great NDPers! So, back to the Leg and late again for caucus... oh well, who needs the finance minister anyway! What happened next was quite fun, QUESTION PERIOD! Twas good times, enjoyable. Everyone was in a good spirit and fun about it! I must thank the honourable member for Nanimo-Cowachin (holtopia!) for her pointed question regarding one "Mr. Sponge Bob Square Pants." In response, I can say that the Government of Canada will do everything to protect Mr. Spongepants from those who would not have him around (Click here).Debate of Bills - I'm not going to get into this, because there ended up being alot of ammendments and attachments and stuff, I think our bill was passed (not sure what it looked like at the end...).
Saturday Night - following a long day of debate and raucus caucusing, we made our ways to the fine O'Byrne's Pub where we proceeded to socialize and cause much scandal (take that Gomery Inquiry!) Twas a fun time, I seem to remember lots of singing and stuff. Got to meet alot of people from the other parties, good people, not all the conservatives were as scary as I thought they might be! They were actually quite fun! Same with the ND people! FUN! I didn't like the getting kicked out at closing time part though (thanks to whoever it was that carried me back to Catherine's apartment!).
Sunday Mornin' - Well, Sunday mornin... I decided it was in the best interest of all my fellow caucus members to let me sleep in and recoop. So, in my 11am Trudeauesc enterance (red scarf and sunglasses included), I graced back into the house of debate and ended up accidentally voting to create a world-wide free trade zone (ooppps!). Well, in penance for this hanuos crime against common sense, I crossed the floor to the New Democratic Caucus. Soon after, my socialist bretheren and I staged a bloodless coup, taking over the front benches of the ND Caucus and enstalling myself as the moustachless Leader of the NDP (watch out Jack Layton!). Twas a good time, being able to stand up for the principles of the worker and take on those Liberal dawgs and Conservative hawks! Cheers everyone! It was fun!
So, in final recap, I HAD FUN! Though I ended up crossing to the NDP, MP2005's Liberal Caucus was made up of a good bunch of fun people! Thanks! Though there were only 15 of us, we had fun! (and that was much better than having even one rotten smelly apple - you know who you are).
Also, Thanks to Stella for being a great Speaker! Thanks Spence for organizing such a fun weekend! Thanks to Andrea, the "Social Coordinator!" Thanks to Ryan, Dan, and Jason for their distinct leadership qualities as rotating PM's! Thanks to Jen, Lisa Claire, and Catherine - the Charlie's Angels of the Liberal Caucus! Thanks ND Holly, Ali, and Step for the fun time! And, everyone (who was there) for making it a fun weekend!
Posted by daveberta at 8:17 PM
in the midst of secret research in my work as a top secret agent for an even more top secret organization, I accidentally typed in www.gaggle.ca (instead of www.google.ca). type it in your address bar and see what you get...
is this a good thing or a bad thing???
Posted by daveberta at 7:21 PM
For my weekly finale...
Ontario's Rae Review on post-secondary education is going to be released on Monday morning (8am alberta time). The review, led by the intrepid former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is expected to recommend some interesting reforms to Ontario's PSE system - keep your eyes on this one... For those of you from the great land of Alberta, you may know of one of the Rae Review Advisory Panel Members - none other than former U of A SU Prez Leslie Church.
NEXT - for those of you nerds out there (comrades?). A movie trailer for the new Star Wars movie is now on the Star Wars Website. Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is going to be released in theatres on May 19m, 2005 (My first Star Wars posting = I am now officially an internet nerd!).
And finally, the federal Public Works Department will no longer supply members of Parliament with made-in-China lapel pins displaying the Canadian flag. Read the story here!
This is the type of posting I am deciding I will do when I don't feel like writing much. : )
Have a nice weekend!
Posted by daveberta at 5:17 PM
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Just a couple of cool links i've discovered in the past week.
1) CBC Archives - Very cool site with radio and video clips from across the past 50 years. Politics, Sports, Arts, Culture, etc. Check it out! CBC Archives
2) The Living Room Candidate - On this website, you can check out US Presidential election TV commercials going back to 1952. Recommended for political junkies like myself!
3) The former memebers of BC's Citizen's Assembly have set up a website to promote their single transferable vote choice. Check it out...
The House of Commons is also back in session this week and I was listening to it today (background music, wow does Stephen Harper have an angellic voice or what?). During QP, one of the Conservative MP's (I think it may have been Edmonton Spruce Grove MP Rona Ambrose)brought up the dreaded "democratic deficit." The just of the question was that there are at least 16 vacancies in the Senate (3 in Alberta), and what is the PM going to do about it (hold elections or not?).
Now, I strongly believe that the Senate needs some pretty heavy reforming, I'm just not sold on what those reforms should look like. I don't think that electing our Senate under the flawed winner takes-all FPTP system would do anything to improve regional representation. Perhaps somekind of PR system, or STV? What do you think?
Back to the H of C question... one of the things i'm wondering - where do the Conservative Senators stand on this issue? Most of them were appointed by former PM Brian Mulroney. Would they run in a Senate election? Something they may have to think about if the PM ever decides to move on this issue.
Posted by daveberta at 8:54 PM