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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

brokeback in alberta.

I hope we're not the only one getting a kick out of the Alberta Government's praise of Brokeback Mountain...

Made in Alberta productions net four Golden Globes

Brokeback Mountain to shine at Oscars

did the "west" really "want in?"

Some people would suggest that the "West" has more than one political ideology in some ridiculous attempt to paint the "West" as anything but a monolithic Conservative homogeny! :-P

Here's a short exert from the most excellent recent edition of Mark Lisac's Insight into Government publication:

"The Conservatives won the most seats in each of the four western provinces and picked up enough in Ontario and Quebec to give them the biggest representation in the House of Commons 124 seats out of 308.

Look closer and it isn’t so simple.

Albertans voted 65% Conservative and gave the party every seat in the province.

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the Conservatives took the most seats but the popular vote was a saw-off; the Conservatives won a three-way split with less than half the popular vote. The split was even more pronounced in British Columbia, where the Conservatives won 17 of 36 seats with 37.3% of the popular vote.

Alberta is in. The rural Prairies and the B.C. Interior are in. The West as a whole is far too complex for simplistic characterization. Big parts of the region don’t look much different from the rest of the country.

The results in B.C. closely matched those in Ontario, where the Conservatives won 35.1% of the popular vote. Ontario is just as much Conservative country as B.C., and B.C. is just as much Liberal and NDP country as Ontario. In fact, the Conservatives picked up a bigger share of votes in Toronto (23.8%) than they did in Vancouver (22.1%).

All the people talking about the West have to define more closely what they think the West means. The arrival of westerners in government has one huge symbolic effect: Alberta and the Prairies can enjoy an emotional sense of recognition a feeling that they count. The election as whole delivered other, perhaps even stronger messages: the separatist cause in Quebec faltered, thanks to the Conservatives hard work; the divergence between rural and urban interests deepened; Canadians demonstrated once again a preference for balanced representation by at least five parties, a message the politicians may gradually and grudgingly have to accept."

Mark Lisac is also the author of Alberta Politics Uncovered: Taking Back our Province, which we highly recommend to anyone interested in Alberta politics.

Monday, January 30, 2006

clear ceiling ahead, captain.

Last Thursday, we attended a very interesting lecture sponsered by the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta titled "Back to the Future? Examining the Election."

The lecture included presentations by Gerald Baier of the University of British Columbia; Claude Denis of the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa; and Steve Patten from the University of Alberta.

All of the speakers had some very interesting insight on last week's election and the implecations and non-implications it may have on the near and far reaching future of Canadian politics.

Though they all had a number of interesing comments, there were two that stuck out for us:

- When you take a look at it, the Conservative victory was fairly unimpressive. Even with the Gomery Inquery, a mid-election announcement of an RCMP investigation, and the disaterous Liberal campaign, the Conservatives were only able to increase their popular vote by 6% (roughly half of this coming from Quebec) and increase their seat count by 26.

The fact that they weren't able to drastically increase their support under these circumstances would suggest that perhaps the Conservatives have reached a ceiling of support under their current leadership.

- Nationally and provincially in Alberta, Conservative support is still lower than the combined Reform/PC vote in 1997 and Alliance/PC vote in 2000.

Here's a spiffy little chart we've drawn up...

Image hosting by Photobucket


Sunday, January 29, 2006

first john manley... another potential Liberal leadership candidate drops out of the race...

No word yet if Mr. Raymaker will accept an ambassador post during the dying days of the Martin regime.

Friday, January 27, 2006

is ted morton the first victim of a harper government?

One of the things we've been pondering in the week since the Federal Election delivered us the election of a Conservative Government, is the effects it may have on the current Alberta PC Leadership Race.

Though the race to replace Ralph Klein as leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Association has been on for sometime, the election of a Calgary-based Conservative Prime Minister throws a new dynamic into the race.

For instance, Dr. Ted Morton, the MLA for Foothills-Rockyview, Alberta segregationist, and darkhorse in the race has used every opportunity to promote his leadership campaign through vehement and slobberingly rabid attacks on our Federal Liberal overlords in Ottawa.

Running on the slogan "More Alberta, Less Ottawa," Morton struck fear into Alberta's Tory elite by winning a hotly contested Tory nomination for the 2004 election. He was elected.

But will his supporters still be enthralled and mesmerized with attacks against a Calgary-based Conservative Ottawa? Can Morton shift the focus of his campaign against Ottawa or has Dr. Morton revealed himself to be a one-trick pony?

Does he actually have the substance to carry a "real" issues-based campaign? One only has to look at Dr. Morton's maiden speech to the Alberta Legislature to wonder if he has the ability to run a campaign based on "real issues" (ie: Health Care, Post-Secondary Education, the Environment, Agriculture, etc).

Though we're sure the change in government in Ottawa will have a major effect on the efforts of the ConnecTed group, we're undecided about its effect on the other leadership candidates: Paul Jim Dinning, Ed Stelmach, Lyle Oberg, Dave Hancock, and Mark Norris.

The major question we're asking is: if the "West is in now" as Prime Minister-Elect Stephen Harper announced in the late hours of January 23, is Ted Morton now out?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

edmonton voted: 2004 vs. 2006.

Compare and contrast...

Here are the City-wide results...

Image hosting by Photobucket

And here are the riding-by-riding results. Remember, only Edmonton Centre, Strathcona, East, and St. Albert are nearly all urban ridings. Edmonton Leduc, Beaumont-Mill Woods, Sherwood Park, and Spruce Grove include large rural population and are "rurban ridings."

Image hosting by Photobucket

This is the first time since 1984 that the Progressive Conservative / Reform / Alliance / Conservative have elected MP's in every Edmonton ridings.

Non-Progressive Conservative / Reform / Alliance / Conservative Edmonton MP's since then have included:

- Ross Harvey, NDP MP Edmonton East (1988-1993)

- David Kilgour, Liberal MP Edmonton Southeast (1990-2004), Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont (2004-05); Independent (2005-06)

- Judy Bethel, Liberal MP Edmonton East (1993-1997)

- John Loney, Liberal MP Edmonton North (1993-1997)

- Anne McLellan, Liberal MP Edmonton Northwest (1993-1997), Edmonton West (1997-2004), Edmonton Centre (2004-2006)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

mckenna on his way home...

That was fast.

At least he's not dithering...

enlightened election commentary...

...but not ours.

Here are some enlightening Canadian election related comments from the BBC interactive website...

"I am not sure Canada has made the right choice, but for certain Canadians can be thankful for their proportional representation. Your system is much better suited than ours for keeping one party from dominating the political agenda, and ensuring that the voice of the minority gets a fair hearing. It's also easier to get rid of a bad PM than a bad president.

M G, Riverside, CA, United States"

"I'm quite surprised to see how many Americans see the result of this election as a wish of Canadians to 'relink' with the US. Some might see Harper mainly as a pro-American, but for many Canadians he's a change from the corrupted party and wants to give back power to the provinces. Many were fed up with the Liberals wanting to keep all the power and the money in Ottawa. Believe it or not, America is not the only thing we have on our mind when we vote.

V Page, Montreal, Qc, Canada"

"Kudos to alienated Westerners and ignorant hicks for electing a leader who campaigned with the same conservative rhetoric heard worldwide: lower taxes, smaller government, and, of course, get tough on crime. However, if anyone actually looked at his election 'promises' and the fiscal numbers Harper and his cronies throw around, it becomes evident that he desires to short-change the Canadian people by dramatically cutting services across the board, except the military of course.

Jeff Baylis, Ottawa"

"The razor-thin minority the Conservatives have garnered in Canada will not be enough to allow these Prairie Taliban to unleash their reactionary policies upon us. Harper is little more than a Bush stooge, albeit reigned in by the enlightened liberal factions that will keep things in check. This government will inevitably collapse in 10 to 18 months, as most minority governments do.

Andy Araujo, Toronto, Canada"

And from CNN...

"We are glad to see that Canadians have values-voters too," said Bob Morrison of the Family Research Council, a Washington-based group opposed to abortion and gay marriage. "We can be optimistic about the end of the social engineering as driven by the Martin government."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

daveberta: reflections on the elections.

With the exception of recounts, Election 2006 has ended.

The results of this LONG election has left us with some thoughts and comments... here they are...

1. Edmonton Strathcona - A strong second for NDP candidate Linda Duncan. She did amazingly well for a federal NDP candidate in Alberta and her 17,142 were only eclipsed by Conservative Rahim Jaffer's 21,956.

Here are the results...

Rahim Jaffer, Conservative - 21,956
Linda Duncan, NDP - 17,142
Andy Hladyshevsky, Liberal - 9385
Cameron Wakefield, Green - 3,128
Mike Fedeyko, PC – 604
Dave Dowling, MP – 455
Kevan Hunter, ML - 106

Mr. Jaffer has accomplished what seemed nearly impossible for an incumbent Conservative candidate in Alberta during this election; he received less than 50% of the popular vote. Congratulations on bumping the trend, Mr. Jaffer.

2. Edmonton Centre - Well, we're disappointed that Anne McLellan was defeated, though we're not at all surprised (we wouldn't have been surprised either way).

As we've mentioned before we don't think it's in the best interests of Albertans to send 28 Tory MP's to Ottawa, just as we believed it wasn't in the best interests of Ontarians to send 100 Liberal MP's to Ottawa throughout the 1990's.

It was interesting to see that as the Liberal vote across the province collapsed, Anne McLellan was able to hold nearly the same 22,000 votes she received in 2004. But alas, more voters turned out and voted for Conservative Laurie Hawn.

We must say that after watching the victory and concession speeches of both McLellan and Hawn, that they were both very classy and gracious. We'll miss you, Anne.

Congrats to the hard working campaign teams on both sides of this battle royal. You've both proved that a thing called "electoral competition" can really exist in Alberta.

3. Peace River - Independent candidate Bill Given garnerd over 20% of the vote against rookie Tory candidate Chris Warkentin.

4. Minority Government - As we mentioned in our previous post, we are pleased with the set up of the next parliament. Though the possible coalition combinations are interesting, we're hoping that this Parliament won't end up being a bickerfest like the previous one.

Plus, it will do the Liberal Party of Canada wonders to spend some time in opposition.

5. Stephen Harper - The first thing we think of when we look at him is "cold oatmeal."

Prime Minister Oatmeal.

6. Surprises to us... - 10 Tory MP's from Quebec!?! What? Liberal MP Reg Alcock losing his seat? Peggy Nash in Parkdale-High Park? Keith Martin re-elected? Jean Lapierre re-elected? The Tories getting spanked in BC? Tony Clement actually winning?!?! what?

7. Liberal Leadership - Paul Martin's resignation... wow, we were giving him until Friday to do it, but geez... we're not really impressed with the list of potential candidates. So far, it looks like a group of "has-beens:" Joe Volpe, Maurizo Bevilacqua, John Manley, Frank McKenna... Michael Ignatieff looks interesting, but the jury is still out.

Though lately we've heard a rumour of an awesome Alberta candidate...

At the Liberal caucus is meeting this week, will they decide to appoint an Interim Leader? If so, who? We like Stephane Dion. :-)

8. Us. Uh, yes, us. It's been an interesting election to comment on and we had some interesting oppurtunities to do so... whether it was arguing/debating with c-lo every morning at work, commenting on the CityTV political panel, or writing commentary on the BBC website, it was fun. Hopefully they'll be another one of these in 18 months...

This is all we have now, but we'll post more thoughts as they pop into our collective minds...

finally, it's over...

...and we can't say we're not pleased with the results.

We will have more indepth commentary this evening, but for now we can say that seat wise, this is probably one of the best senarios we were hoping for:

- a small Conservative minority = change in government.
- a large Liberal official opposition = time for the Liberals to rejuvenate themselves and get some perspective outside of governing.
- a larger NDP caucus = more seats, but could also equal less influence in the House of Commons is now divided.
- a smaller Bloc caucus = from what we hear, the Bloc dropped in popular support as well. This is good (though we're surprised the Tories picked up 10 seats in Quebec. wow).

We should have more time this evening to write up a summary of our thoughts. See you then.



Monday, January 23, 2006

vote vote vote!!!!


If you don't know where to vote, you can check here! Also, you can find a list of Edmonton ridings and candidates here!

Everytime someone doesn't vote, baby Jesus cries. You really don't want to make baby Jesus cry, do you?

january 23rd is here at last!

Just a reminder for those of you interested in seeing what the real daveberta looks like (we're not quite as cool as the real slim shady, but oh well...), we'll be on CityTV's election night panel tonight commenting on the live results coming in from across the country (if you need a blogging fix, were very sure that CalgaryGrit will be doing some sort of live updates).

As well, the Univerity of Alberta Political Science Undergraduate Association will be having an election night party at the Powerplant on the U of A Campus. Here's the skinny...

When - Anytime after 7:00 PM on Monday January 23
Where - The Powerplant, U of A Campus
What - Watch Election returns and enjoy drink specials
Election Night Specials? Corona, $3.75 Coronita, $2.50 Highballs, $3.00
Added extras? And what promises to be an interesting night at the polls. Your chance to cheer and drink beer to the winners [and losers!] of the election.
We'll probably be heading to the Powerplant for some much needed drinks following the panel...

Other than that, we we'll be jetting around the city for most of the day, so we won't be doing much blogging - but we'll be back commenting on the aftermath and ensuing chaos tomorrow!!!

edmonton strathcona predictions...

Well, we don't have any data to base this on, but it should be fun to see if we're even close when the results are tallied at the end of the night...

Rahim Jaffer, Conservative - 18,000ish
Linda Ducan, NDP - 14,000ish
Andy Hladyshevsky, Liberal - 12,000ish
Cameron Wakefield, Green - 5,000ish
Mike Fedeyko, Progressive Canadian - 500ish
Dave Dowling, Marijuana Party - 300ish
Kevan Hunter, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) - 100ish

(rounded off of course)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"like a university text book, costs 50 to 70 $Billion$"

Holy smokes! Not only is this guy sketchy, but he's got a sense of humour... (we think...) too bad he didn't show up to any of the candidates forums...

From, the website of Edmonton Strathcona Marijuana Party candidate Dave Dowling...

Reasons to Vote Dave Dowling:

Fiscal integrity: Dave Dowling spent under $200 as a sign of fiscal integrity:
Auditor for Dave Dowling: Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton
audited the Bank of Canada!
Did the others hire their friend or relative??

Platform: Dave Dowling's is simple, two words and it saves billions:
The others : like a university text book, costs 50 to 70 $Billion$

Party Record: Dave Dowling's wants more rights and freedoms for everyone.
The others: all of them, the record of pirates! Scandal, corruption, abuse of the tax payer.

Environmental respect: Dave used less than 500 sheets of paper, less than one branch of one tree:
The others: Who knows how many forests they killed for spam?

Web sites Dave Dowling's: relevant content, lots of it!
The others: one page or a couple of pages. . . at most!

who's going down?

For those of you interested, the Election Prediction Project has published it's predictions of which candidates will survive and be defeated in tomorrow's election (props to Scott Tribe).

Their predictions are...

Conservative - 118
Liberal - 104
Bloc Quebecois - 56
NDP - 29
Independent - 1

As well, their individual seats predictions predict that a number of Paul Martin's Cabinet Ministers will be going down in the blazing glory of defeat come 7:30 pm tomorrow.

Some high profile defeat predictions include...

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan (Edmonton Centre)
Agriculture Minister Andy Mitchell (Parry Sound-Muskoka)
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew (Papineau)
Human Resources and Employment Minister Belinda Stronach (Newmarket-Aurora)
Government House Leader Tony Valeri (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek)

It should be interesting to see how accurate these predictions are come tomorrow night.

As well, taracool has posted a link to the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy's election predictions.

decision day tomorrow and daveberta's thoughts on election 2006

This federal election has been a weird one for us. It's the first election campaign in quite a long time that we haven't been knee deep in (in 2004, we campaigned during the federal, provincial, and municipal elections). Though weren't completely uninvolved in the campaign (we spent a day at the beginning of January delivering campaign pamphlets for Anne McLellan in the Queen Mary Park area with former Liberal MLA Lance White. We've also been doing a certain amount of non-partisan elections stuff - punditry, etc).

1. We find it very unfortunate that there is a large chance that Edmonton and Alberta may be sending 28 Conservative MP's to Ottawa on Monday.

This is unfortunate mainly because of the dumb first-past-the-post system (the same system that kept the Reform/PC/Alliance from winning any large amount of seats in Ontario from 1993 to 2004). A contingent of such partisan homogeny does not accurately represent the choice of Albertans and will continue to perpetuate the stereotypical image of Alberta as the Conservative motherland.

Michael IgnatieffThe entire fiasco surrounding Dr. Ignatieff and his academic writings highlight one of the major flaws in Canadian politics. Academic papers are not meant to be defended in 15-second media clips against people who haven't read them in the first place.

Now, to be clear, we’re not defending this issues Dr. Ignatieff has written about (we haven't read any of his work). Our concern is that this incident may, with the prospect of having every academic paper you've written taken out of context and trashed, serve to discourage other academics and intelligent people from running for parliament. Now it may just be us, but we would think that it’s people like Dr. Ignatieff who would be the type of parliamentarians who could raise the level of debate in the House of Commons, something which is desperately needed.

3. Though we enjoyed Jack Layton’s performance at the Bonnie Doon Community Hall last week (see pic), we weren't overly impressed with any of the party leaders. Paul Martin is past his best before date, Harper is too shifty (and has a creepy smile), and Layton is too happy.

Yes, there’s just no pleasing us…

4. Just as we felt unable to connect with any of the party leaders, we had an equally hard time identifying with any of the parties. We usually float somewhere in between the Liberals and NDP, but when deciding who we would support, it had to come down to the individual candidate.

5. One of the issues we raised on the BBC website and on the CityTV election panel was that none of the parties talked about the real issues. Whoop-tee-doo, a 2% reduction in GST, tax-cuts, negative ads. NONE OF THIS STUFF REALLY MATTERS! NONE OF IT!

None of the parties successfully brought forward issues that really matter: the Environment, Healthcare, Canada’s place in the Global knowledge economy, and post-secondary education! (to name a few).

6. Negative ads. We still don't like them.

7. Fun. Though we found this election low on substance, we did enjoy some of the comic relief provided by some of the parties. Special props go out to Scott "Blog Boy" Feschuk, the NDP Bingo Cards, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), and the CPC Energy dog (wtf, mate?). You left us with tones of great memories.

8. And finally... our predictions... well, we entered both Steve's and Janet's election prediction contests and here is the result of our clairvoyance...

Conservative - 139
Liberal - 84
Bloc - 60
NDP - 24
Independent - 1

(note: we won't be surprised if our predictions are off)

Speaking of predictons, interlocutor has some before-and-almost-after snapshots of his predictions for tomorrow's election and the ensuing chaos.

we saw it coming...

NBC cancels The West Wing
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Associated Press

Pasadena, California — The new president on The West Wing will be a real short-timer: NBC announced Sunday it was pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning political drama after seven seasons in May.

NBC, struggling to regain its footing after the worst season in its history, also outlined several midseason schedule changes - including the moves of popular dramas Law & Order and Las Vegas (Read the rest here).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

pre-election weekend!!!!! the fun begins to wrap up...

Well, it's a little under T-minus 2 days until Election Day on Monday.

Here are a couple of things...

- We went to our last regular election panel on CityTV last night. It was fun. We were particularly energetic and aggressive, so they let us talk a lot longer than the other panelists. :-P

For those of you who missed us last night, you still have a chance to catch us on CityTV's election night panel starting around 10pm on Monday evening. The panel will be commenting on results as they come in. U of A Political Science Professor Gurston Dacks will also be there.

It should be fun, though we're quite sure we'll need a few stiff drinks after the results come in...

-For those of you interested, we're featured on the BBC News website along with fellow Canadian bloggers Bart Ramson, Jason Cherniak, Colby Cosh, Kate McMillan, and Steve Janke.

- We went out partying at Halo last night. It was mod night. It was sssooooo radtacular.

- The people at Make Poverty History have released a list of candidates who support the Make Poverty History Goals.

- The radtacular Bart Ramson has endorsed Bruce Benson, Liberal candidate in Selkirk-Interlake.

- For those of you near the University of Alberta Campus on Monday, the Political Science Undergraduate Association will be hosting an Election Night party at the Powerplant.

- John Bowman from CBC's "blog report" has an interesting post about how Section 329 pf the Canada Elections Act may have an issues with bloggers posting election results as they come in...

- The always wonderful Janet has set up an election prediction contest - you can check it out and join the fun here! "The deadline is Monday, January 23, 2006 at 12pm EST (that's 10am for you Edmonton folks). So enter early!"

ADDENUM - Steve Smith is also conducting an election prediction contest!

happy b-day M!

Happy B-Day to our always wonderful sister, Madeleine! :-)

Hope you have a great year!

Friday, January 20, 2006

daveberta endorses linda duncan in edmonton strathcona.

Deciding who we will cast our ballot for in this election has been a tough decision for us.

We have always voted Liberal. We consider ourself a small-L liberal type, but have felt in recent years that the Federal Liberal Party has strayed from the liberal values which we hold as our own.

Whether it be pushing large tax cuts for corporations, the increasing arrogance of some Liberal Cabinet Ministers, or the scandal surrounding ad-scam in Quebec, it is clear to us that this is not what Canadian liberalism stands for. It has become clear to us for sometime that the Federal Liberals need to spend some time in the opposition benches.

In our riding in particular, it has been a hard decision. Though Edmonton Strathcona is a diverse riding which rides the south bank of the North Saskatchewan river. It includes communities such as Bonnie Doon, Windsor Park, Garneau, Windsor Park, Strathcona, along with the University of Alberta campus. The area represented provincially largely by numerous Alberta Liberal (including Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft and Alberta Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald) and an NDP MLA (Raj Pannu), has consistently re-elected Reform/Alliance/Conservative candidate, Rahim Jaffer, since 1997.

We will not be supporting Mr. Jaffer for a number of reasons. First, we really couldn't name one initiative he's spearheaded since his election in 1997. Second, we couldn't support his party in its current incarnation (for policy reasons). As we could not in good conscience support Mr. Jaffer, we looked to the other parties.

The Liberal candidate in Edmonton Strathcona is a good candidate. Andy Hladyshevsky holds a solid track record of community involvement and seems like a really bright guy. But as stated above, we just cannot support the Liberal Party in this election.

The Green Party candidate, Cameron Wakefield, is a really nice guy and we appreciated what he had to say at the various forums in the riding. We hope the Green Party grows and gains a larger presence on the national stage. Unfortunately, the Green Party post-secondary education policies are less than incredible.

The Progressive Canadian candidate, Mike Fedeyko, also impressed us. He spoke very well at all the forum, and presented a moderate and sensible standpoint in the Edmonton Strathcona race. We wish Mr. Fedeyko good luck on election day!

The Marxist-Leninist candidate, Kevan Hunter, was defiantly the most entertaining candidate at all the forums. Unfortunately for Comrade Hardinal Baines, we will be taking a pass on the revolution this time around...

The Marijuana Party candidate, Dave Dowling, didn't show up to any of the forums and has a crazy website. He's the Marijuana Party candidate, and he never showed up. He does have a pretty crazy website though...

Then there's New Democratic Party candidate Linda Duncan. Ms. Duncan has been campaigning hard in Edmonton Strathcona since last spring. She has a surprisingly incredible amount of real world experience for any new candidate in this election.

Linda Duncan's experience includes serving as the former Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environment for the Yukon, Vice-President of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, Vice-President of the Lake Wabamun Enhancement and Protection Association, Board Member of Alberta's Clean Air Strategic Alliance, Active member of the Alberta Environmental Network's energy caucus, and a Board Member of the Environmental Careers Organization. As you can see, she has a solid record on environmental issues.

Though we haven't been incredibly impressed with her performance at the various candidates forums, we believe she is the alternative to another four years of Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton Strathcona.

On January 23rd, as a proud Canadian liberal, we will be casting our ballot for Linda Duncan. We hope you do as well.

one year down!

woo hoo! it's officially been 1 year since we began this sometimes sorry excuse for a legitimate blog! - back in January 2005, when "we" were an "I."

thanks for all those who have visited, commented, and made the mystical land of daveberta what it is!

(and total props to the over 33,000 visitors who've stopped by since last March)

If you would like someone to blame for the creation of this blog, look no further than to Ms. Nicole Martel. Nicole's former blog, GoPolitical, was our inspiration (and the first blog we ever read).

Nicole is also the Federal Liberal candidate in Edmonton East and an awesome candidate to boot! Make sure to check out her campaign blog!

If we lived in Edmonton East, we'd vote for Nicole Martel!

If you're in Edmonton East, you should too! :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

we shook jack layton's hand! oh oh!

"Woah, Dave! You're certainly wading into enemy territory" were the words that came from the mouth of an acquaintance last night when they saw us at Jack Layton's rally at the Bonnie Doon Community Hall.

That is correct, Senator, we were indeed in attendance at the Jack Layton rally. But no, we are not now, nor have we ever been a member of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

Anyway... having been to and organized many political rallies in the past, we have some reflections about this one in particular...

1. There was definitely a lot of positive energy in the room.

2. 100% Props to the organizers, it was a packed and well managed event.

3. We attended a rally way back in 2004 for Paul Martin in the same hall (this is more of a general comment).

4. Though he was speaking to a converted crowd, Mr. Layton's performance was impressive. He had energy, and his message was clear. He also made a convincing call for soft-Liberal voters to "put the Liberals in the penalty box."

Suggestions for Jack Layton...

1. Don't wade into provincial politics. Last night, in the presence of Brian Mason and the mighty Alberta NDP Caucus of 4, Layton took a tiny swipe at the Alberta Liberal Opposition, calling the Alberta NDP the "real opposition" in Alberta's Legislature.

Number 1#, perhaps Mr. Layton doesn't realized that there are a lot of Alberta Liberal/Federal NDP supporters in Linda Duncan's Edmonton Strathcona riding who will be supporting Linda on the 23rd.

Federal support for a political party does not equal support for a provincial party. We may support Linda Duncan in Edmonton Strathcona, but provincially, we support Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman in Edmonton Centre. There are many like us who support different parties at different levels. We don't appreciate the slam (plus, Brian Mason is a flake).

This has to be one of our top "pet peeves" we have with the NDP, and one of the main reasons why we would never join them (among other reasons). When you become a member of the federal wing, you automatically become a member of the provincial wing. Not a positive in our books. Provincial and Federal politics are two different puppies.

2. Working Families. Mr. Layton majorly overused this phrase during his speech. It's fairly obvious that "working families" is code for "union members." Call it what it is. Working families sounds corny when it's overused. It also assumes that someone is classified by their occupation. Perhaps it's because we don't believe in the overall "class-war," but it sounded quite flakey.

Yeah, that's our take... check out c-lo's take on the rally here


he's watching...

Look who stopped by the other day....

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ted morton on the federal election.

Why doesn't Ted Morton for for Parliament? It would probably a more effective waste of taxpayers dollars than having him pontificate as a backbench Tory MLA in the Alberta Legislature...

Here's part of an email we recieved from the "ConnecTed" Group...

"It’s a New Year! Let’s get a new Federal Government!

Hello Fellow Friends!

In just a few days, we’re going to have a Federal election. Ted has been campaigning with a number of Conservative MPs and candidates as he supports the efforts to get a new, clean Conservative Government elected.

He’s been door knocking in Edmonton-Centre with Laurie Hawn, the former fighter pilot who’s poised to send Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan back to a law school somewhere. And with Mike Lake, the young family man who will be replacing another Edmonton Liberal, Dave Kilgour.

Ted has also been out with Blaine Calkins, another first-time candidate, who will be the next MP from Wetaskiwin. He’s been helping a couple of incumbent MPs as well, including Jason Kenney, one of the Conservative stalwarts in Calgary, and Rahim Jaffer, one of the young stars of the Conservative team in Edmonton-Strathcona.

It’s nice to see that voters in other areas, especially Ontario, are starting to get the message that the Liberals are not worthy of getting rehired to be the Government. If you had employees who made mistake after mistake, wasted company resources, and told whopper after whopper, you wouldn’t hesitate to fire them. You wonder why it’s taking so long for some people to grasp what has been so obvious to Albertans for years. But let’s do all we can to make sure that this time, there is a change in Ottawa.

If you have friends, relatives or colleagues in Eastern Canada, make sure they understand that a vote for a Liberal is a vote for more waste, squander, scandal and mismanagement. Is that the way they run their personal and business affairs?

ConnecTed wants Ted Morton to be the next Premier. We also want Stephen Harper to be the next Prime Minister. What a one-two punch that will be in making this a great place to live, work, invest and raise a family!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"you'll get a free wig!"

Check out Klein's Discount Medical Supplies!

"Your one-stop mail-order do-it-yourself home-surgery mega-store!"

we wish our name was paul martin...

... well, not really. But maybe Dave Duceppe or Dave Layton...

"Got a party leader's name? Hop on board, free
CBC News

If your surname is Harper, Martin, Layton, Duceppe or Harris, you could be flying high after the federal election and at no cost.

A new promotion by WestJet is offering free airfare anywhere in Canada to anyone with the last names of the federal party leaders.

The offer goes to "all Canadians who share their names with any of the contenders for Canada's next prime minister," said Bob Cummings, vice-president of marketing for the Calgary-based airline.

There are some catches in the WestJet Gets Political promotion.

The trips must be booked by Thursday at 7 p.m. MT, and flights must be taken the day after the federal election Jan. 23. Travellers also have to pay all taxes, fees and surcharges.

At least Don Martin will be getting a good deal.

it's official...

The Second Session of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of Alberta will convene on February 22, 2006 at 3:00 p.m.

soft landings for tory hacks in alberta...

Speaking of a culture of entitlement...

From the Edmonton Sun...

"Paula Tyler is back.

The former Alberta deputy minister who made headlines in New Zealand over her abrupt departure midway through a contract is going to work for Capital Health.

Cabinet approved a deal yesterday that would enable Tyler, the partner of Ralph Klein's chief of staff Peter Kruselnicki, to maintain her provincial government benefits while working for the regional health authority.

Klein said last year that Tyler would not be returning to work as a deputy minister in his government after he hired Kruselnicki to replace Rod Love.

The order in council passed yesterday appoints Tyler to the position of senior official, health services, but she'll actually be seconded by Capital Health to serve as vice-president of mental health, said Alberta Health spokesman Mark Kastner.


"There seems to be a lot of soft landings if you are in the top echelon of the Conservative government," said NDP MLA Ray Martin. "It seems to me to be a very unusual approach."

Tyler made headlines in New Zealand when she quit midway through a three-year contract as CEO of the Kiwi Child, Youth and Family Services Department to return to Alberta after Kruselnicki's appointment.

(For more info, see previous posts here and here)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

why are edmonton tories getting a free ride?

While the national Conservative campaign rides a wave, the Liberals campaign stumbles with the dexterity of a beached whale*, and the NDP try to be heard, Edmonton's candidates from all parties are door-knocking, canvasing, and getting ready to get out the vote on January 23rd.

But, as some Edmontonians may have noticed, many local Conservative candidates in ridings across Edmonton have been missing from local all-candidates forums and meetings.

Though Edmonton Strathcona Tory Rahim Jaffer couldn't find the time to meet with his constituents and attend the all-candidates forum at the Knox-Metropolitan United Church (one of two candidate forums in the riding), it was funny to see that he was able to make the time to pose for some cheap photo-stunts with Alberta Progressive Conservative Leadership candidate Jim Dinning (see left and right).

Way to be a responsible candidate and representative, Rahim!

As well, Edmonton Centre Tory candidate Laurie Hawn was also a no-show at a candidates forum in that riding sponsered by Edmonton's Pride Centre. The Tories were also a no-show at the Public Interest Alberta City-wide forum at the Royal Museum.

What gives? At this point, it is fairly obvious that the Tories are going to sweep all but one Edmonton-seat, so what are they afraid of? Why is the media not "going after" the no-show Tory candidates who will be Edmonton's elected representatives? If your Tory candidate can't even give up 2 hours of their time to attend an all-candidates forum, can we expect them to responsibly represent us in Ottawa?

*Merci a Graham Thomson and for this fun phrase from his weekend article in the Edmonton Jounal.

key implications of a tory victory.

Scott Proudfoot, Principal from Hill Watch Inc., has released a neat little document which outlines the "key implications" of a Conservative victory on January 23rd in the face of 13 years of Liberal governments.

Parts of the implications have to do with the Conservatives agenda and policies, and the others have to do "with how Ottawa is likely to work under the Conservatives..."

The key implications Mr. Proudfoot lists are:

- Shift of decision-making power back to Cabinet and away from Public Service;

- Some initial confusion about how decisions are being taken;

- Corporate Canada lacks history with the party and will need to establish channels with the new players;

- Expenditure review will be key initial driver of government agenda;

- Retrenchment into federal areas of jurisdiction;

- Repair mode on Canada-US relations; and

- Substantive agenda but business impact is limited with defence being the main area of new spending.

Though many of the symptoms listed in his analysis are probably felt by any incoming government, it is interesting. Check it out.

(100% props to our good friend Howard for passing this along to us)

what happens when you're #1?

Well, we can stop blogging now...

We've officially reached the pinacle of our blogging career.

Monday, January 16, 2006

stephen harperer

From today's New York Times...

A Conservative Evolves, and Leads a Canadian Race

Published: January 16, 2006

HUNTSVILLE, Ontario, Jan. 14 - "God bless all of you, God bless Canada!" is the way Stephen Harper finishes every campaign stump speech as he appears to be heading toward a landslide victory to become prime minister.

Although not known for kissing babies, Stephen Harper, campaigning in Huntsville, Ontario, on Saturday, has worked to soften his image.

It is an unusual line in a country where politicians do not customarily talk about God or their religious beliefs, where church attendance is plummeting and same-sex marriage has become legal and widely accepted despite the opposition of many religious leaders.

"It sounds very American," said Jackie Mitchell, a 45-year-old music teacher who attended a Harper rally on Saturday in this woodsy, rural community. "But what he's saying is, let's get the country moving."

The reference to God may be a signal that Mr. Harper and his Conservative Party are preparing to take the country in a very different direction after 13 years of Liberal rule characterized by a softening of drug laws, an expansion of the rights of gays and a distancing from United States positions in foreign affairs. (read le rest ici)
(95% props to the wonderful Anonymotronic for letting us know about the article - minus 5% for not providing a link to our site, even though he said he would... months ago...)

david suzuki in edmonton

Since Grant MacEwan's Students' Association has been doing a less than stellar job at publicizing this...

Dr. David Suzuki will be speaking at Grant MacEwan College tomorrow evening:

Doors for the general seating event open at 6 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. and a question and answer session to follow.

For tickets, contact the MacEwan Students' Association at 420-1757 or visit Tix on the Square.

We'll be there!

and the lamest party logo award goes to...

The Western Block Party! This bunch of crazies, led by holocaust denying lawyer Douglas Christie, may only be running 4 candidates in this campaign, but they're sure to win Mrs. Jenkins Grade 2 Art competition...

As well, the NDP have a new game up on their website... Creibility Hunt. We think the NDP may have spent too much of their energy thinking up of these website games, rather than on how to run an effective national election campaign... :-P

And in the weirder than the Western Block Party category... Edmonton's Northern Star College of Mystical Studies is now accepting applications for the fall semester. Courses at the college include:

• Body Feng Shui
• Meditation
• Massage For Couples
• Reiki - Levels I, II, III
• Certification Programs:
• Aromatherapy
• Flower Essences
• Herbology
• Journey Through The Chakras -
A Pathway To Freedom.

And tuition is only $4650 per year!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

the marc garneau connection.

We found out this weekend from "top men*" that we are indeed related to Canadian Astronaut and Vaudreuil-Soulanges Liberal candidate, Marc Garneau.

Our great-great-Grandmother, and his great-Grandmother just happened to be the same person (our great-Grandmother, and his Grandmother were cousins).

Not that this means much, it just means that we're related to someone who's been in space... ooooooooh!

Top men, indeed.

*Said in a voice similar to that of the CIA agent from the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

whack the pm...

okay, seriously folks. In this disturbingly entertaining game, you can smash the bejesus out of your favorite (or least favorite) Canadian Federal Party leader...

*note* *don't take it too seriously...*

Saturday, January 14, 2006

captain james tiberius harper?

The always insightful Interlocutor has written a great post about Conservative leader Stephen Harper's alleged fondness for everything Star Trek... a little part of us died when we heard the news... the Captain James Tiberius Kirk and the adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise just won't be the same anymore...

"So it turns out Stephen Harper is a huge Star Trek fan (see the revelatory blog post from "The Shotgun Blog" at Ezra Levant's shitty magazine, as well as a corroborating Edmonton Journal story).

I am saddened on so many levels to hear this, and also profoundly confused.

Why? Because this news grievously undermines one of my long-held theories concerning how this particular pop culture preference reflects political alignment: specifically, as I'm sure everyone knows, conservatives typically prefer Star Wars, and progressives usually prefer Star Trek. (If you're not convinced, has an illuminating
four-part piece on the subject.)"
We are saddened as well. We recommend you read the rest of Interlocutor's post here.

horowitz, facism, negative ad's, and the holocaust: a summary of an edmonton strathcona election forum

As promised, here we go...

Wednesday evening was the night of the second all-candidates election forum in the riding of Edmonton Strathcona. Held at the Myer Horowitz Theatre in the University of Alberta Students' Union Building, six out of the seven candidates duked it out (Marijuana Party candidate, Dave Dowling, was unaccounted for...).

The evening started out great, the candidates showed up and respectfully lined up on stage, waiting to speak to the mass of about 200-300 Edmonton Strathconians who trekked the -5 snowless conditions to be there.

As things started out, the candidates first answered three questions prepared by the Advocacy Department of the U of A Students' Union (the wonderful group who organized the event). The three included questions on topics ranging from student debt to youth apathy. Though most of the answers were standard, Conservative incumbent, Rahim Jaffer, brought up the idea of Income-Contingent Student Loan Repayment. An idea, which isn't bad on it's own, just that every jurisdiction which has enacted it has seen tuition deregulation and massive tuition hikes, which equals larger student debt.

Mr. Jaffer of course, was a smooth operator as usual. Watching from the audience, you could tell he'd done this a couple times before (finishing his answers 58 seconds on the minute, etc).

Andy Hladyshevsky, the Liberal Candidate, was in our mind, the best speaker of the evening. He answered all the questions with energy, and left you remembering his comments afterwards.

Hladyshevsky Quote of the evening: "I don't like the way the Conservatives are spreading the word 'corruption' like ketchup into every thing that every good person in government stands for."

Linda Duncan, the New Democratic Party candidate, answered all the questions intelligently, but that was all. Though Ms. Duncan has, in our opinion, the most impressive resume of all the candidates, she didn't have very many memorable quotes of the evening and didn't overly impress us (though we still may vote for her on the 23rd).

Mike Fedeyko, the Progressive Canadian candidate, was a pretty good speaker. He also made sense. Other than the Progressive Canadian Party being the Progressive Canadian Party, he made them sound pretty good. Not having actually read their official policy positions on their website, Mr. Fedeyko made their policies sound fairly moderate, centrist, and filled with common sense.

Green candidate, Cameron Wakefeild, also did a fairly good job.

Kevan Hunter, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) candidate (who is rumoured to be the son of Edmonton Centre Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) candidte Peggy Morton), was most definitely the most entertaining candidate at this forum - best quotes of the forum as well! He also continued on the theme of Canada's illegal occupation of Haiti...

Here are some of the better Kevan Hunter quotes...

"If we really want to do our part in helping the real world, we need to stop recking it."

"You have a choice between negative ad's… and fascism."

"I think fascism in this country is a serious concern"

As well, some dumbass in the audience asked Andy Hladyshevsky a question comparing the Liberal attack ad's to Hitler's tactics in Nazi Germany... Andy had a kick ass response... here is part of it...

"I'll give you a comment to that, that person may be flat ass wrong. No one is going to trivialize the Holocaust in this auditorium, not in Myer Horowitz's auditorium!"

pm in edmonton (it almost rhymes...)

Liberal leader Paul Martin is going to be in Edmonton tomorrow, speaking at the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 488 Hall around 4:00pm.

We're going to be out of town, so there's no chance of us going...

Friday, January 13, 2006

daveberta on citytv

Unlike another blogger, we have not been pontificating about our regular media appearances since the beginning of the election. But for those of you in Edmonton who haven't figured it out yet, since the beginning of December 2005, we have been a regular member of CityTV’s election panel.

Every Friday for the past month during the 6pm news and continuing until the end of the election, our very own handsome and dashingly charming self has been staring on CityTV.

And of course, on January 23rd, on election night, we will be on CityTV as part of the election night political panel.

marxist advertizing

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) - not be be confused with the regular Communist Party of Canada - has released election campaign ad's on their website and they are just priceless!

The ad's, which star Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) leader, Sandra L. Smith, promote the virtues of the worker's revolution and the evils of American imperialism... :-P

They even used old school Soviet propoganda pictures! Check out the picture of the 1890's worker at the end!

UPDATE: The Community Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) radio ad's a great as well. Make sure to check out the second half... totally old school fiddle potato farmers...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

alberta stuff.

Well, not tones has happened in the realm of Alberta provincial politics in the past month or so, but there has been a bit of movement...

- Infrastructure and Transport Minister Lyle Oberg has re-launched his Leadership Campaign website - Oberg Online (not quite as cool and hip as "Hancock's Crew")

- Both the Alberta Liberals and Alberta PC's will be holding Party Conventions in the upcoming months - the Alberta Liberals will be holding a policy convention in Edmonton, and the Tories will be holding an AGM and convention in Calgary.

Though it looks largely boring, the Tory convention will include a Leadership review on Mr. Klein. Though it is not widely expected that any of the pretenders to Mr. Klein's slowly crumbling throne will mount a "dump Ralph" campaign during the review, it should be interesting to see what type of approval rating he receives. Anything lower than 90% (which seems inevitable) would definitely make a large dent in the Premier's armour (and his oversized ego).

So... we shall see... we're more that sure our 'deep throat' in the PC Party will be filling us in with all the goodies come convention time. :-)

- By the end of January, Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals will have nominated at least 20 candidates for the next provincial election (out of 83 seats).

- It looks like the provincial budget may come down in February. This means that the Legislature is probably going to reconvene in the next couple weeks for a Spring Session.

- Oh, how we wish we had a computer scanner... believe it or not, we got a Christmas card from Mr. Jim Dinning this year. Boy, was that fun. :-P

- Rumours of who might run for the NDP nomination in Edmonton Strathcona when popular three-term MLA Raj Pannu retires have continued to swirl... though usual names like former ATA President Larry Booi are still around, names like Rachel Notley (daughter of former NDP Leader Grant Notley) have recently been floating. (**June 15, 2006 UPDATE** It looks like my Rachel Notley prediction has come true as she is now running for the NDP nomination in Edmonton Strathcona...)

- For those of you interested, the youth-wings of the three main Alberta parties now all have websites - the Alberta Young Liberals (AYL), New Democratic Party Youth of Alberta (NDYA), and Young Albertans Progressive Conservative Association (YAPCA, pronounced as- we're assuming - yapka). Not sure if the Alberta Alliance has a youth-wing...

coming soon... myer horowitz review...

Coming tomorrow!

A complete recap of the Edmonton Strathcona Myer Horowitz Election forum! You won't want to miss it!

ohhh, it was a fun night!

Who would have thought someone would have dropped the 'H-Bomb' at a campaign forum!?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

tory cabinet: alberta content.

We're sure that many bloggers have seen this ensemble, written up by the always awesome Rick Mercer, with his thoughts on a potential Conservative Government Cabinet.

Though his were obviously satirical in nature (Stockwell Day in a Federal cabinet? hahaha)

As much as we dread the thought of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister, if the Liberals national campaign bombs any further, it may be an inevitability.

This got us seriously thinking about which Alberta Conservative MP's would make it in a Stephen Harper-led Conservative cabinet. Though we're sure that every current Tory MP with Reform Party pedigree circa 1993 (ie: Diane Ablonczy, Art Hanger, Ken Epp, John Williams) believes he or she (singular) will make the cut, we would predict that there would only be three or four Alberta MP's that would make it to full Cabinet Minister positions (the rest being dealt out to other Western, Maritime, Ontario, and possibly Quebec MP's).

So, right or wrong... here's our predictions for Alberta Tory MP's who we believe would make the cut as full-Cabinet Ministers in a potential Stephen Harper-led government:

Rona Ambrose, MP Edmonton - Spruce Grove since 2004;
James Rajotte, MP for Edmonton - Leduc since 2000;
Lee Richardson, MP for Calgary Centre since 2004 (MP for Calgary Southeast from 1988 to 1993);
Monte Solberg, MP for Medicine Hat since 1993;
and duh... Stephen Harper, Calgary Southwest since 2002 (MP for Calgary West from 1993 to 1997).

This will no doubt meet the ire of many Alberta right-wingers, who will probably never be satisfied until the National Capital gets moved to Calgary. And even then, they will still be bitter about it ever being in Ontario in the first place.

If anything, a Tory government in Ottawa should be a major blow to the Alberta's Provincial Tories, who will no longer be able to use that fancy "it was the fault of those evil Liberals in Ottawa" card they love so much.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

five weird things...

Last week, Angry in T.O. tagged us in a game of "Five Weird Things..."

As the game-name suggests, we list off five weird things about ourselves and then tag a couple of non suspecting blogging folks... so... here... we... go...

1. We love Maynard's Wine Gums. In fact, we can eat an entire pack without even thinking about it (the 7 hour sugar rush is a bit of a kick though).

2. We've been to Ribstone, Alberta (how many other people can say they've done that...)

3. Everytime we see an NDP lawnsign, we think of orange popsicles (we live in the Garneau area, so we end up thinking about orange popsicles quite a bit).

4. We have an unhealthy obsession with public policy. We can't stop reading policy reports. Not just on the job, but at home, and at Tim Horton's, and at the Sugarbowl...

5. Our Cross-Country Skis were "Made in the USSR." And yes, they are wood. They are awesome.

So, in retaliation for Angry in T.O.'s tagging us, we shall tag Socialist Swine, Section 15, Zorph, Peter Rempel, and Taracool.

upcoming candidate forums!

Here are some upcoming Edmonton riding and City-Wide Election Forums we know of...

Wednesday, January 11th

Riding: Edmonton Strathcona
Horowitz Theatre
University of Alberta Students' Union Building
115th Street & 89th Avenue
5:30 PM

City-Wide Forum
Topic: Immigration
Norquest College Auditorium
10215 – 108th Street
7:30 – 9:00pm
Sponsored by Edmonton Mennonite Centre for New Comers and Norquest College
Moderated by: Portia Clark


Thursday, January 12th

City-Wide Forum
Royal Alberta Museum
12845 - 102nd Avenue
7:00 PM
Sponsered by Public Interest Alberta


Friday, January 13

Riding: Edmonton East
“Spotlight 2006 – The Candidates’ Forum”
On Shaw TV channel 10 and 630 CHED
7:00 PM


Monday, January 16

Riding: Edmonton Centre
10804 - 119 Street
7:30 pm
Sponsed by the Unitarian Church of Edmonton's Social Justice Committee

City-Wide Forum
Vote Alberta Young Candidates Forum
Red Star Pub
10534 Jasper Avenue.
8:00 - 9:00 PM
(Edmonton East candidate Nicole Martel will be representing the Liberals)


Thursday, January 19

Riding: Edmonton East
Eastglen High School
11430-68 Street
7:00-9:03 PM
Sponsored by the Newton Community League.
Moderated by Dave King, former Minister of Education for the Province of Alberta.

cold war 2006.

Do you think being indicted by a US Federal Grand Jury and being accused of being a spy could be bad for your career?


A husband and wife who work at Florida International University were indicted by a federal grand jury Monday on charges of being covert agents of Cuba.

Carlos and Elsa Alvarez are being held in jail, pending a bail hearing. They have not entered a plea, but their lawyer told local reporters that they were not guilty. Carlos Alvarez is an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies. Elsa Alvarez is a social worker in the university’s counseling center.

A spokesman for Florida International said Monday night that they had been placed on paid leave, pending further developments.

We also thought this was interesting...
The charges are less severe than espionage. According to a press release issued by the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami, the charge of being a covert agent carries with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Check out the rest here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

naked old white guys don't inspire people to vote.

Image hosted by
Image hosted by

Seriously, folks...

leader's debate party- in edmonton...

... on the U of A Campus at RATT tonight starting at 6pm (yes, only one hour away, but hey!)

RATT's on the 7th floor of the Students' Union Building for those who are interested in joining the festivities!

And... unlike Mr. Jaffer, we're pretty sure Stephen Harper will show up to this debate...

edmonton strath-to-the-cona.

Last night, along with Mr. Robertson and Mr. Smith, we attended the Edmonton Strathcona candidate forum held at the Knox Metropolitan United Church. Though it wasn't the most exciting forum, we do have some thoughts...

1. Tory candidate Rahim Jaffer, the three-time incumbent for the riding was a no-show at the forum. Mr. Jaffer was joined in the no-show category by Marijuana Party candidate Dave Dowling... was Mr. Jaffer too busy campaigning for Tory candidates in Ontario to show up to a forum in his own riding?

2. Liberal candidate Andy Hladyshevsky was the most polished speaker. He was calm, cool, and humerous at times. For the most part, we would have a hard time disagreeing with many of the things he said.

3. Marxist-Leninist candidate, Kevan Hunter was great entertainment. His answer to nearly every question, ranging from Kyoto to committing 0.7% GDP to International Development Aid had something to do with Canada's "illegal occupation of Haiti..." crazy Marxist. :-P

4. Progressive Canadian candidate Mike Fedeyko was a pretty good speaker, though he slightly misjudged the crowd when he started quoting a Fraser Institute report...

5. Green Party candidate Cameron Wakefield was okay. Not the most polished speaker, he wasn't able to compensate oratorical for the Green Party's lack of solid policies...

6. NDP candidate Linda Duncan was a good speaker. Though we're most likely going to vote for her come January 23rd, we were not overly impressed with her performance at the forum. But it's nothing against her personally, none of the candidates really impressed us.

Overall, it was a pretty tame forum, we're looking forward to the next Edmonton Strathcona forum at the Myer Horowitz Theatre on the U of A Campus on January 11 at 5:30pm - tell your friends and show up!

So, ending it off, here are our current predictions in the Edmonton Strathcona race (rounded off, of course)...

Rahim Jaffer, CPC - 18,000
Linda Duncan, NDP - 13,000-14,000
Andy Hladyshevsky, Lib - 12,000-13,000
Cameron Wakefield, Grn - 3,000-4,000
Dave Dowling, MP -500
Mike Fedeyko, PC - 400
Kevan Hunter, ML - 100

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

green university

As we continue our analysis of the federal parties Post-Secondary Education platforms, we would like to welcome everyone to the Faculty of Platitudes! (aka: the Green Party of Canada PSE policies...)

In their recently released main policy document, the Green Party has lived up to their name and proved that they are green in the PSE policy arena (nyuk nyuk nyuk...). Not a very good PSE policy package, it sits on the extremely vague side of the scale on just about every point.

In the document, they left us with six main PSE points... and not much to analyze...

Here it is...

"166. Work with provinces and higher learning institutions to reduce post-secondary tuitions."

Okay. This sounds fine and we're assuming it means giving the provinces more money for PSE. Dedicated transfer? Vague.

"167. Boost participation in cooperative education programs and apprenticeships."


"168. Encourage more hands-on learning in our post-secondary education system."

Really vague... We would seriously like to know what "Hands-on learning" means... does this mean anything at all?

"169. Harmonize government programs such as the Millennium Scholarship Fund to provide a single need-based grant program to reduce student debt."

We agree that harmonization of programs is good for efficiency, but we have a suspicion that our definition of harmonization and their definition of harmonization may be different. Tones more needs-based grants are needed, but we need more details.

"170. Increase investments in post-secondary education and ensure that public funding plays a major role in research and development initiatives."

Sounds good. But vague.

Well, in our professional opinion, the Greens have definitely dropped the ball on this policy area...

As well, the Globe and Mail has released some of the details of the Liberal PSE policy, which is supposed to be released tomorrow. We're not going to comment on the details from the story; we'll wait until it's actually released before we do the critiquing.

(As well, be sure to check out our take on the Conservative PSE policy and an NDP PSE announcement.)

tagged by that crazy swine...

The always fun Socialist Swine has tagged us in another one of those blog meme's that float around... so, here you go....

Four jobs you've had in your life:

Pizza Chef, Fundrasing & Event Coordinator, Research Officer, Executive Policy & Information Officer

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Spiderman, Primary Colors, Shawn of the Dead, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Four places you've lived:
The Bayou & Edmonton, Alberta

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Family Guy, the Daily Show, The West Wing, The Sopranos

Four places you've been on vacation:
Halifax, Paris, Brussels, Nice

Four websites you visit daily:
CBC, Newsfutures, CalgaryGrit, Homestar Runner

Four of your favorite foods:
Maynards Wine Gums, Oranges, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Chicken

Four places you'd rather be:
Rather be? Why? Edmonton rocks!

Four albums you can't live without:
- At Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash
- The Royal Tenenbaums Soundtrack
- The Get Shorty Soundtrack
- Riding with the King by B.B. King & Eric Clapton

Four vehicles I've owned:
- None. :-)

So, assuming this is how it works, I tag the following four people for this meme:
- c-lo, interluctor, lotusland, & senator catalyst

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Monday, January 02, 2006

and they rejoiced at our triumphant return...

As the eve of 2005 has passed, we find our creative juices running fairly low. We had a very relaxing holiday, but after spending the past three days in party/celebratory-mode, we find our desire to even write this blog post on the low end of low.

But alas, we shall force ourselves to please the mighty blog gods with a post...

We have a couple things to mention...

Federal Leadership. We're still having a very hard time getting excited about this writ period. All the party leaders are boring and uninspiring. We don't particularity enjoy Paul Martin, but we enjoy Stephen Harper even less. We are also fairly disappointed with Jack Layton in this election (so far), he's just not very inspiring. Please, someone offer VISION. Please.

Income-Trusts. We don't really know much about them, but the entire thing seems slimy.

Edmonton Strathcona. We're still unsure of who to vote for. We think we like our local NDP candidate, Linda Duncan, but we haven't ruled out voting for Green candidate, Cameron Wakefield, as a protest vote.

For those of you interested, there are a couple of Edmonton Strathcona election forums coming up in the near future (at the University of Alberta and Knox-Metropolitan Church). We'll post more info when we confirm them.

As well, Edmonton Strathcona Progressive Canadian candidate, Mike Fedeyko has set up his website and has joined Linda Duncan in candidate sites linking to our blog. Props to both of them!

Warren Kinsella. We're a little disappointed we didn't make Mr. Kinsella's top 10 blogs list. What's up Warren baby!?! ;-)

Blogs/Webboards. Mike Klander. Gordon Stamp. Seriously folks. Did they think that people weren't reading their stuff?

As for Mr. Klander's Olivia Chow comparison, we can assure everyone that Oliva Chow (see right) is much much better looking than a Chow Chow dog (we met her last year).

Also, see Derek's take on Mr. Klander... hahaha. keep it up, Mr. Raymaker.

As for Mr. Stamp, well, we don't think very highly of Alberta separatists, so we'll leave it at that.

Movies. We've seen a couple of good movies over the holidays. We saw the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Fun with Dick and Jane, and Walk the Line (for the third time...). They were all good. Fun with Dick and Jane was particularity funny.

haha. We're watching Office Space as we blog. This movie is too funny... har har har...